8th Grade Social WIN Papamoa Tournament

The much promised down poor of rain stayed away while a mixture of 7th and 8th grade players made their way to Tauranga for a Social 8th Grade Tournament at Gordon Spratt Reserve in Papamoa. The cold temperatures did not deter Ray Messenger turning up in his jandels and Mike McCarthy in his shorts, but both prayed for the competition to heat up quickly.

The East Coast Bays Bullets fired their first shorts at machine gun pace. Scoring 22 goals in the first 3 games and conceding 0 against Papatoetoe, Papamoa Raiders and Blue Rover Baracudas.

The competition did indeed heat up in the last pool game against Papamoa Goldstars. 2-0 to East Coast Bays which also included an unbelievable free kick from 7 year old Brandon Stewart slotting one high in the back net from almost half way, this was indeed enough to see the ECB Bullets into the semi’s undefeated. After seeing his son Stephanos go home early with a potential knee sprain Coach Ross Georgiou was determined more than ever to bring his boy home a winning medal. The team was now down to 2 subs heading into the Semi’s against Manurewa Jaguars. These 7 & 8 year olds put their bodies on the line and played together fantastically and pulled of a 3-0 win.

The hotdogs had run out, the Frozen Ice drink man had gone out of business and the cold temperature stayed throughout the day, indeed it was another cold wait, but hey, we where off to the grand final. The final was preceded by parents watching penalty shoot out between 2nd and 3rd, we all hoped our boys fate would not rest this way. However all nerves where relaxed immediately, it was a lovely pass from Levi Wilson to Aiden McCarthy that saw Aiden run the ball up the wing to the corner flag, put a lovely cross through to Brandon who slotted his 8th of the day within 60 seconds of kick off. Levi slotted his 7th and then Logan Gibb put one in the back of the net from his goal kick to make it a 3-0 win and a fantastic tournament victory for our lads. Special mentions to Drew Messenger for some great goal keeping. Nathan Thew for awesome midfield play, and to the defensive efforts of Ruben Natusch and Matthew Skilton who did not concede any goals during the entire tournament.

EAST COAST BAYS BULLETS: - 8 YEAR OLDS Drew Messenger – Levi Wilson - Logan Gibb – Nathan Thew – Ruben Natusch - 7 YEAR OLDS Aiden McCarthy - Brandon Stewart- Matthew Skilton - Stephanos Georgiou. COACH: Ross Georgiou - ASST COACH: Dean Wilson - MANAGER: Mike McCarty


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