The 16s opens team had two games this weekend.
On Friday night we ventured to Lennox Head. It was chilly and we only had 11 players. Thanks Andre for filling in so ably in the goals. We fought hard and played good football. Jye played in centre back along side Todd and did a great job. Right near full time Reuben put a well weighted ball through for Zane to run onto. Zane evaded the keeper and tucked it away. Unfortunately they had already scored two so a 2-1 defeat but an excellent effort from all.
On Sunday morning we were at home in the rain against Italo Stars. Coach Ian and a number of players were away. A big thanks to Jasper, Luke, Tex, Connor and Kye from the 15s for filling in for us, and for Connor’s Dad for some wise words at half time. Despite the conditions we hit the pitch running and for much of the first half looked the better side! Three minutes in we were awarded a free kick approximately 35 metres out. Reuben stepped up to take it and firmly struck the ball towards goal. It just dropped under the crossbar at the last minute, 1-0!!! Later in the same half Connor found space in the box and shot towards goal. As he was in the motion of kicking the ball stopped slightly in a puddle causing him to miss-time his kick and for the ball to travel much slower than it would have. The goalie dived and tipped the ball and it rolled into the side post! So close! Stars had more shots than us but mostly from a distance and fill-in first time keeper Kye (from the 15s) mostly had little trouble keeping them out. Half time and we were still 1-0 up. At half time the team was urged to keep going and to try more through balls for Connor to run onto. Unfortunately Stars tucked away two good goals to take the lead. Reuben had his legs taken from under him and was awarded a free kick maybe 40 metres out. This time he didn’t hit it quite as well and it hit the side netting. Late in the half a superb through ball was finally delivered by Reuben with Connor who was waiting for it making a wonderfully timed run outpacing the defence by metres and looking certain to score. Inexplicably the linesman put up his flag for offside. Connor blasted the ball into the net but it didn’t count! Sitting on the bench beside and just behind the linesman I was in good position to see and when the ball was kicked he was clearly ONSIDE! Oh well! What can you do? Shortly after the ref blew for full time a full five minutes early! Another 2-1 defeat but a very gallant effort from all with a better result probably deserved.
Grade 13 South
Ballina at home to South Lismore for a rematch of a game we lost in the first round. A strong southerly wind created the advantage for Souths in the first half pushing our backs to cover the through balls. With the score nil all at half time and the wind at their backs the 13s pushed hard for goal opportunities. A great run through the middle and some tricky turns put us up 1 nil. The swirling southerly bamboozled the Souths keeper and a fine corner and header meant we finished 2 nil up. Great work from our back line in marking up tight and with good sweeping to pick up the scraps. As always, encouraging team spirit won the day, well done.