East Coast Bays Summer Sevens
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The Premiers and Development team have finished their season.
The first game of the season and the disrupted pre-season showed. Bays were in control from the whistle and should have been comfortably ahead by half time instead of level, after a scoreless first half.
Waitakere had the first chance from a free kick in the opening minute but the effort was comfortably cleared. Bays hit back and Mario Hoffman headed wide from a corner. Waitakere keeper, Ruben Parker, then pulled of a cracking save to deny Luiz Del Monte from a free kick just outside the box.
The pressure continued throughout the half. Emmanuel Darkwa was blocked, Hoffman denied again by Parker, Del Monte twice more denied by Parker with more great goalkeeping and Joe Bresnahan heading straight at the keeper from a corner.
The back four of Darkwa, Phil Edginton, Kris Carpenter and Deklan Wynne were snuffing out any Waitakere forays and the left sided attacking combination of Wynne, Del Monte and Andre De Jong were giving the Waitakere defence all sorts of grief, but up front, the final touch was wayward and too many chances went missing.
Waitakere had the first shot in anger in the second half but Aidan Gwilt saved it comfortably. Del Monte was denied and both Bresnahan and Shota Nakagawa shot wide before Bays finally took the lead in the 65th minute.
Phil Edginton made a great run down the right flank crossed the ball to Hoffman who laid it off moved to the right, took a return pass and lashed it into the net past a helpless keeper.
Relief for Bays and their supporters but there was still the chance that Waitakere could equalise from a breakaway and they came close when Alopua Petoa, on as a substitute struck but Gwilt pulled off a fine save.
John White, promoted from the Development Team had only been on the field less than a minute, when he was put through by Edginton. Parker came out to cut down the angle, but was rounded by White who passed the ball into an empty net to make the game safe for Bays.
A typical first game of the season and if they can put away their chances, Bays should do well. Great games from Wynne (Man of the Match), Darkwa, Del Monte, Edginton, and Carpenter along with impressive debuts from Hoffman and De Jong.
Team: Gwilt, Darkwa, Edginton, Carpenter (Scopini 82), Wynne, Bresnahan, McKeown, De Jong, Del Monte (White 88), Barnett (Nakagawa 58), Hoffman
Scorers: Hoffman 65, White 90