East Coast Bays Summer Sevens
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The Premiers and Development team have finished their season.
The classic ‘Game of Two Halves’ as Bays came back from 2-1 down at half time to overpower Ellerslie and win 4-2 with captain Joe Bresnahan claiming a well-deserved hat trick.
It took a while for some of the players, especially the younger ones, to get used to the artificial pitch and floodlights at Michaels Ave as the ball moves somewhat differently from a grass pitch, but Bays had the first strike on goal with Mikael Munday testing Ellerslie’s keeper Sean Dowling.
Some of the Ellerslie tackling was a little reckless and in the 14th minute Bresnahan was upended in the box. He took the penalty himself to give Bays the lead.
This setback seemed to inspire Ellerslie, who came surging back and Emmanuel Darkwa did well to foil Will Roper as he bore down on goal. Dave Ellensohn cleared the corner but Ellerslie returned on attack and Kris Carpenter blocked Roper’s attempt at the expense of another corner. An inswinger found Eddie Sillars, his header was too much for Ellensohn and Ellerslie were level.
An inspired Ellerslie side continued their assault on the Bays defences who had to work hard to keep them out. With just four minutes remaining in the half a through ball split the Bays defence, Andrew Wallace ran on to it and smacked a low drive past Ellensohn into the corner of the net. The home side were ahead.
Ellensohn did well to deny Roper just before the break.
Coaches Willy Gerdsen and Rod Grove had some harsh words during the half time break and two early tactical changes were made as Ellerslie continued to press. After ten minutes Bays started to break the shackles, Baptiste Azame went down in the box following a strong tackle but play was waved on, Munday was blocked and Carpenter was just wide as bays came back into the game.
The equalizer came with just over twenty minutes remaining. Bays won a free kick and Jason McKeown’s ball into the box was met by Joe Bresnahan and his header found the back of the net.
Ellerslie fought back, a free kick was blocked, they then had the ball in the net only to be denied by an offside flag.
Dillon Barnett was introduced as a substitute, his first touch of the ball saw his header hit the upright, his second touch put away the rebound and Bays were back in the lead.
Ellerslie came right back and it required a vital tackle by Kris Carpenter to foil another attempt. The home side thought they had the equalizer with four minutes remaining but two players were offside again.
With the final moments of the half coming up, Kelly Escolme made a break only to be brought down in the box. Another penalty and Jamie Olausen was dismissed as being the last man. Bresnahan stepped up and beat Dowling from the spot for the second time, notching his hat trick.
General consensus was the Bays deserve to points thanks to their second half performance but it was not a game for the faint hearted.
Team: Ellensohn, Darkwa (Messenger 51), Carpenter, Edginton, Wynne, Bresnahan, McKeown, Munday, Del Monte (Escolme 54), Azame, Buswell (Barnett 78).
Scorers: Bresnahan pen 14, 69, pen 90; Barnett 79
The Development Team suffered a 5-2 loss to Ellerslie in a game blighted by another substandard refereeing performance. Te Rui Carter, with a fine strike and a Zane Olla penalty provided little consolation.