11th Grade Girls Runners-up at Forrest Hill

Well after winning the Girls NFF 11th Div 1 Championship and remaining unbeaten for the entire season the girls were feeling confident and excited about the FHM 11th Grade Tournament held on Sunday September 1.

Our confidence was a little "interrupted" by being down to one sub for the tournament and with our coach Mark Patterson being away overseas on business we were relying on our assistant coach Alan Wilson, but he had emergency eye surgery last week, so he could only do his best pirate impersonation on the day. Not to worry though, Neil Lawson was a high quality stand in coach.
We had a tough draw - all teams from the other side of the bridge that we'd not played before - Fencibles, Three Kings and Western Springs. We managed to win each game and Julia Ford was the parents pick for player of the pool play matches.  

The quarter final game against Eastern Suburbs went to extra time and with still no score, was won by penalty shoot out. Holly Strong was parents pick for player of the match.

The semi final was against the Forrest Hill Footy Fernz team - our old foes from the regular season  and a great team to play.  Again no score at full time or extra time and even after the first five from each team completed their penalty shoot outs it was still tied.  Many parents were looking ill at this stage! We got our next shot in and then saved their attempt so won in sudden death shoot out with Holly keeing calm in goal. Every girl was acknowledged for their contribution to that game as it was an epic one. Coach Mark arrived direct from the airport sometime during the excitement/stress and the girls were doing him proud - playing their game with minimal direction off the field.

The stage was set for an awesome final with the Forrest Hill Footy Chix team - a team we've only played once in a friendly as they have played all season in 12th Grade (and won the grade).  30 seconds after kick off Lara Wilson nearly scored a runaway goal and then 2 minutes later we had a shot on goal again. We had a burst of life and energy that was incredible to watch - finals football can bring out another level of commitment for sure. Sadly we let a goal in after a heroic defensive save by Julia ended up with her in the dirt close to the keepers kicking range. Dynamic efforts by the girls up front (Kaitlyn, Olivia, Mia and Lara) to score before full time went unrewarded, although Kelsey and Julia made sure nothing else got through again and Jessica provided strong cover forward and back in the midfield. Final score was 1-0 so we took home a set of well deserved runners up medals. Julia, through her all round efforts was chosen player of the final match and the tournament overall.

A well run tournament, a beautiful day and a group of exhausted girls and proud parents - an awesome Fathers Day 2013 for sure!


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