Parkes Hotel Football Club v Peak Hill All Stars
The match started well with 10 (PHFC) plays 9 (Peak Hill). It was an adrenaline rush from the start with Em Dean getting caught on a hand ball, a mad rush to successfully defend the kick, then Lauren being taken out by the last defender on a charge upfield in the next play. We got the free kick, but the Peak Hill player got away with the late tackle without a card. Lauren seems to cop a few of these desperate and questionable tackles each game due to her speedy charges up field. Within a minute of the penalty kick Lauren scored and we were pumped – hoping for the win! It was mad-fast glorious football. Skittles on a break away chase one minute, and Z-dawg leaping to swat away a huge strike on the top right corner of our goal the next minute! We held them out until the 22nd minute when Peak Hill sent through a cross and Z-dawg had to face a 1 on challenge 1 and they slid the ball past and into the net. Now the score was locked 1-1.
The frenetic pace continued. Zarna saved many shots on goals. Free kicks were being freely dispensed, but almost all against us and the tide began to turn. The 50:50 challenges started to swing in favour of Peak Hill as the penalties kept coming against us. Kath repeatedly put her body on the line – blocking shot after shot simply by putting herself between goals and the shooters. One of these resulted in a blood-nose after she used her face to stop a shot – now that’s commitment! Skye started to anticipate play and was putting herself into position to intercept play and did several headers – one a brilliant defensive header that sent the ball up and out the sideline! The tide had turned, yet still we held them to the one all score line. Then with 1 minute to go in the first half Loz had a massive shot after a streaking run – a big left-to-right cross with power that hit the right goal post and bounced back into play. We were all watching the shot and so didn’t notice anything amiss until the Peak Hill goalie started calling for the ball to be kicked out.
Disaster strikes! Lauren is down! And staying down! The mad sprint, the big kick, a hard plant of her leg before the strike and there goes another knee for team PHFC!
Some minutes later, Loz was helped from the field and the ref blew half-time. A worried and tiring PHFC came off for drinks and a pep talk from coach Dan. “Win the 50:50 challenges; play smart; don’t be frightened by the physicality of the opposition; play our game”.
Play resumed second half and now it was 9 plays 9. This half was mostly spent in defence and Z-dawg saved many a goal! It seemed that we struggled to clear the ball from our goal kicks and get the play up field – it’s those dratted 50:50 challenges again! Zarna had a few remarkable saves – leaping and batting the ball away when onlookers were certain it was going over and in. But the tide had definitely turned and now the big kicking number 11 on the Peak Hill team began to find her mark. At 52 minutes, she sent a long ball that sailed over Zarna and into the back of the net (the score was 2:1 their way). Zarna, not to be daunted, only a few plays later had to dash out and mop up a heavy touch from a Peak Hill attacking charge.
Now it was a game of desperate scrambling. Stacey accidently stopped one of Number 11’s big shots with the small of her back – she was down winded with numb and tingling bum from the impact. After a check by Dan, she waved off the pain and continued. Play resumed, but our girls began to tire and more 50:50 challenges went to Peak Hill. Zarna intercepted multiple hard shots, some rebounding from her grip and making her dive onto them in scrambling confusion. Some being deflected. Some being caught outright. After last weekend’s game when Z barely touched the ball, this week she had lots of practise taking goal kicks and kicks out of hand. Number 11 scored again (3-1) after a handball and a direct kick from the 1/3 mark. Then a bit later, Number 11 made a 170-degree spin and took a ball on the volley after a rebound off the goal post and it was 4-1.
Despite the increasing goal difference PHFC didn’t give up. We dug the ball out of our half several times more and Haylz simply flew up-field on several mad sprints. After a few weeks with a sore ankle when Haylz was limiting her speed, it was good to see her put on the afterburners and fly upfield after the ball. However, most of the through balls were just that bit heavy and she couldn’t quite catch them. Somewhere in there, Peak Hill scored again to make the final score 5-1 and full time was called.
What a game! Valiant efforts – bodies on the line – great saves and mighty big sprints! Go PHFC! Kath took out players’ player, with Zarna as runner up. No worries though as Zarna took out coach’s player. Well done everyone!
Thankfully Lauren’s knee injury didn’t keep her out for the next game on August 10th. Stay tuned for that report coming soon from PHFC press.