Darling Irrigation v Parkes Hotel Football Club
The game started well! We arrived in our bus and a few other carloads well before the opposition, had a solid warm up and were pumped! Perhaps the extra spectators fed into that game psyche? For the first 20 min we controlled things – lots of passes, talking, creating triangles and we made them run. Greta had a shot after a couple of second efforts which hit the corner post and rolled wide before their backs swept in to clear the ball.
Malcom said we played like it was a training session and was proud of all the passing options we were creating. We ran with the ball when we had space and when we didn’t, we passed around to create the space. However, they were a quick team and the 50:50 challenges were no picnic. We tried to be first to the ball, but it was a hotly contested thing and our shots on goal were few and far between. We created chances – passing series, and crosses, their backs and mid kept shutting us down. Don’t worry, we did the same to them and by half time the score was still locked at nil all.
In the second half, Zarna had a lot of work to do. She kept out many attacks even several mad scramble melees with second and third chances. She only let one in and it came on a 1:1 break – Z obeyed the coaches’ calls and ran out, made herself big and even slid into the shooter, but the shooter wasn’t flustered and pulled off the only goal of the match. We had several more breaks and mad scrambles but couldn’t convert one of those chances into a goal.
The Chester sisters were in the wars: there were a few tense moments when Lauren went down after a hard tackle – concerns for whether she hit her head on the ground and then relief when we found she was just winded! Then in the second half she narrowly avoided having her head knocked clean off with a clearance kick from one of their backs – but a quick hand deflected the ball and all was well. The ref either didn’t see that one or figured such an act of self-preservation was totally normal. ☺ Hayley also went down hard and took a while to get up. Then in another of her classic “throws everything into her kicks”, she flopped full length after a heavy cross only have to a defender send a floating spinning high ball that nearly dropped on top of her. There were cries of “get up Haylz and go again”! So up she got and went again.
The back line was awesome! Players’ player went to Ains for never stopping running even when it hurt. And she calmly turned the ball over and over again to distribute it up to the wings or forwards. Steady under pressure. Many times, when I’d have been tempted to clear it into the creek, Ains trapped it, looked up, deftly stepped round a rampaging attacker and sent the ball to a waiting winger. In the centre backs Kath and Tash stopped cross after cross – outstanding pincher movements to force the passes and then intercept them. They made an awesome team in centre backs and Tash was awarded Player of the Match for her consistent efforts. On the other end of the backline Jacinta “big boot” demonstrated her nickname well. She wasn’t just a defensive defender, but also rushed up to collect many a heavy touch from their mid-fielders before they could be put through to the waiting forwards. Awesome job back line!
In the mid-field we had a revolving set of runners – Greta, Em, Bec, Lane, Trudy, Skye, and Stacey – we took turns trying to mark their speedy number three player and trying to spread the ball from backs to waiting forwards, but as the game drew to a close, the ball spent less and less time up the attacking end and the mids spent more time scrambling to mark opposition players. However, we can be proud – we never gave up and we kept on running. And we almost kept them out entirely!
Awesome game girls! Thanks a million spectators!
I wonder what tales of glory the next game will bring… ☺