Parkes Hotel Football Club v PRBC Roos
We won! We believed! We talked! We played as a team! We ran…a lot… no subs! We won!
Something was different about this game and it was evident from the beginning. We believed! We were hungry for the win. We knew there were no subs and yet, instead of ‘playing it safe’ or ‘holding back’ so we wouldn’t get too puffed, we played as though we had a bench full of subs! How did we avoid falling into a puffed heap? For the first time this season, coaches and spectators alike said they could hear our one field chatter. Not just hear our whoops and yells of delight, but hear our play directing talk: “man on”; “you’ve got time”, “Haylz is there, cross it”, “watch off-side”,…you get the picture don’t you?
Speaking of off-side, this was a highlight of the game. I don’t think our forwards got trapped once! The Roos tried to trap them, but this only resulted in us having most of the attacking half of the field wide open. All that space into which we could chip a ball or send through a pass for our zippy forwards to run down. And run them down they did! At the other end of the field the backs worked together the best we have all year! Ains, Tash, Greta and Jacinta worked like a single unit with their slides to the side, watching the middle for the late runner, and getting straight up into a high line as soon as possession changed. We caught them off-side quite a few times and kept them out all the rest.
The goals came steadily across the game: three in each half. Lauren bagged 5 and 1 went to Haylz. The forwards were on fire with their zippy runs and fancy turns. And while Lauren had the last touch on the bulk of the goals, it must be said that most of the goals were what I’d call “team” goals. What’s that you ask? It’s when the goal is preceded by a brilliant passage of accurate passes which start in the backs, move to the mids and then get sent to a striker. I’ve already mentioned how the backs worked well with the high line and steady marking. But another feature of their play was the lack of ‘panic kicks’. Ains and Jacinta on the edges stopped many a Roo play for glory, turned the ball and then accurately passed up the line to the waiting mids.
In the mids we had Bec and Em in the centre flanked by Lane and Sky. Bec and Em just kept running circles, directing play, talking Lane and Sky through the game and the result was awesome. We have played games where it seemed our transition play from backs to forwards was missing, but not this one! Those four were right on target and it all comes back to the on-field talk! We played smarter! That’s not to say we didn’t run for it. Another feature of the game was that we didn’t hesitate and won many of the 50:50 challenges. It just seemed we always had a player close enough to the action to make those runs! Awesome work mids!
There were a few tense moments! Skye tried to play the ball with her face – or rather the opposition tried to send a ball through her nose! There was a tense wait while she was checked and cleared. Greta and Tash both got called on handballs from frantic charge downs where the ball ricocheted and couldn’t be avoided. At least none were close enough to result in a dot shot, but we certainly got some practise at standing firm in a wall! Our walls were effective though. ☺ Haylz went skittling a few times and but rolled on to get back up again. Then there was the funny/tense moment when the ball was kicked straight at Skye’s torso and it looked as though she caught the ball before neatly dropping it at her feet and half the players, ours and theirs stopped, waiting for the whistle. Credit goes to Skye who reacted first, and not hearing that whistle, calmly stepped around the nearest defender and passed the ball off to our waiting centre mids. Turns out it was a chest stopped ball with no hand involvement! Then there was the time when Lauren went racing down the field well in front of all the defenders and their goalie, tired of losing to Lauren decided to charge out for a change. Lauren neatly stepped around her and had an open goal. She went in a bit closer and then took a massive kick when went sailing – for a moment we all wondered whether she might have kicked straight over the top of that ‘open goal’, and if she’d been a few metres further back, it might have as it was still on its way up! As it was, it slid in just under the crossbar in the corner. Go Loz!
Player’s player went to Ains for her consistently awesome game! She ran, chased, and calmly turned the ball on many an occasion. Coaches’ player went to Lauren for her collection of five goals. Special mention went to Emily Dean in the mid-field for how she helped direct play and to Skye for hassling the opposition players she was marking.