9TH Grade retain title at Birkenhead Tournament:

The expression "it's a winter sport" rang so true on Sunday the 19th September, with squally showers, and winds gusting in  excess of 70km/h,we got the surprise  call that the annual 9th grade Birkenhead Tournament was finally on! The fields were ahem..heavy..? The weather foul….
Being defending champs from last year the pressure to live up to the billing was high. First pool game was against Fencibles..despite numerous chances, territorial and possession domination ,and  some quality ball, the strike force were unable to find the back of the net, the resulting 0-0 draw did not bode well.
Having a bye the next round had the boys cooling their heels, watching the "adults" wrestle with a Gazebo that resembled a parasail!  Back to the Football and a comfortable win over Glenfield had us through to the championship 1/4 finals, our opponents were our bogey team from previous Tournaments, Bay Olympic. The boys came out playing good passing football, a couple of promising moves resulted in scoring opportunities which were squandered. The second half carried on in a similar vein, till at last we found the back of the net, 3 minutes later a bizarre goalmouth scramble had us back to level pegging, quick thinking , a well taken throw in, with a superb shot, had us  win the encounter 2-1, and through to the semi's against North Shore. This game was a testy encounter and quite physical, with neither side prepared to give an inch, after 23 minutes Bays came through this torrid affair the better by two goals .
Due to time constraints, we only had 12 minutes before kick-off in the final, against Three Kings United. Both teams were as good, and as tired as each other, with neither side gaining ascendancy and relying on long range shots at both ends. After 30 minutes of end-to-end football, extra time was the order of the day with "Golden Goal" rule in place. The whistle went to signal the start of extra time,a well organised build up from the left rear, some nice one-two's, a scything run down the left hand side, and an absolute pearler of a left foot by Sam Sutton, saw Bays go up 1-0 and finish as deserving champions..the sideline erupted..! Perfect end to a long day/season..

Well done Boys.. and thanks to Michael & Tom




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