11th grade win Papakura Tournament

The 11th Grade won the Papakura Tournament on Saturday 20th September, report to follow. Report on the ECB Murphy team winning the Papakura 11th-Grade Super Cup Tournament Congratulations to the ECB Murphy team on winning the 2008 Papakura 11th-Grade Super Cup tournament held on Saturday 20 September at McLennan Park. Three members of the team were not available (Liam, Kieran and Chris), but the squad was bolstered by the addition of Dylan from the 12th grade, and Tim replaced Kieran in goal. There were 24 11th-grade teams in the competition, which were divided into 4 pools of 6 teams. We were arguably in the strongest pool, which included Forrest Hill Milford and the first Western Springs team. We played all of our games on two pitches, both of which were in quite good condition, and certainly better than most of the pitches that we have had to play on during this season. However, the goals were reminiscent of those at the previous Papakura tournament held at the army base, being tall but much narrower than usual. Our first game was against Western Springs Joga Bonita. We dominated the play, but our few shots were mostly off target and we were threatened occasionally by breakaway attacks by Western Springs. Dylan scored our only goal. Final score: 1-0. The second game was against Papakura 10th Premiers. Our first goal was scored by Troy, assisted by a pass from Dylan who had received a header from near the goal line. Reese scored the second goal 1 minute later and just seconds from the half-time hooter following lots of pressure in the goalmouth. The third goal was scored by Reid in an unmarked position on the left within the penalty area, who easily slotted the ball past the keeper. Final score: 3-0. Our third game was against Papakura Composite. The first goal was scored by a solid left-foot shot from Dylan into the back of the net. Dylan also scored the second goal, and Troy scored the third goal. The fourth goal was a solo effort by Ryan, who took the ball up to very near the goal line but well to the right of the goalmouth, and then scored from a very narrow angle. Final score: 4-0. The last two games of the pool were the hardest and most exciting. Game four was against Forrest Hill Milford. They dominated for the first few minutes, but this changed for the rest of the first half after Ryan drilled a shot from in front of the penalty area that went just wide of the left upright. However, Forrest Hill again dominated the second half, with them almost scoring after 2 minutes, but they were denied by Tim frantically crawling back on his hands and knees to stop the ball crossing the line. In the last few minutes Forrest Hill were awarded a penalty, but this was saved by Tim. The final score of 0-0 was a very good result for us. We went 1-0 down early to Fencibles Liverpool in the last pool game after they scored following an unlucky back touch. We needed at least a draw in this game to get into the Championship semi-final, and things were looking grim until the last minute when mayhem almost ensued following the referee awarding us a goal after the ball was stopped by a defender’s hand. It appeared to us that the ball had not crossed the line, but we had to accept the referee’s judgement, which was probably hampered by him remaining very near to the halfway line virtually throughout the game. Final score: 1-1. Our record of 1-0, 3-0, 4-0, 0-0 and 1-1 in the pool round was enough to get us through to the Championship semi-final, which was against North Shore. Our only goal was a header by Reese in the penalty area that was set up by a cross from the right by Michael K. from just over the halfway line. Ryan almost scored from a powerful on-the-full volley off their keeper’s goal kick, which was deflected just over the crossbar by another player. Troy also almost scored after receiving the ball from Dylan, who had made a penetrating run to leave Troy one-on-one with the keeper, but his shot unfortunately hit the upright. In the dying moments, Reese passed the ball up to Dylan, who performed perhaps the most beautiful piece of footwork of our games to roll the ball pass a defender in the penalty area. He then passed the ball to a waiting Troy, but no goal was scored in the ensuing melee. Final score: 1-0. The final was against Three Kings. Our first goal after 5 minutes was set up by Dylan passing to Troy, who forced his way past the sole defender, his powerful shot leaving the keeper with no chance of a save. For our second goal, Dylan brought the ball in from near the corner flag, passing two players, with his shot hitting the upright and dropping in front of Troy, who finished it off with a hard drive into the bottom-left of the net. One minute later Ryan took the ball from halfway up to the penalty area, with the keeper having to deflect his shot away from the left upright for a corner. Three Kings then pulled one back with a successful penalty kick. This was followed by Ryan making another brilliant run from the halfway line, getting through three hard tackles to bring the ball up to the penalty area, his shot again being deflected away for a corner. The play for our third goal was started by Reese, who passed the ball to Ryan, who this time gave the keeper no chance at all, shooting to bring the final score to 3-1. In was unfortunate that none of the teams of the host club received medals, given the amount of effort that Papakura put into organizing such a good tournament. The only significant weakness of the tournament was the variable quality of refereeing. In three of our five pool games the referee appeared to be taking only a cursory interest in the game, whereas the referee of our semi-final and final was in full control. He even implemented the somewhat draconian policy (although not in our games) of forcing coaches to make substitutions when players fouled. The quality of our opposing teams was high: although three of the seven games were fairly straightforward, in another two we were pushed (despite also clearly being the better team), but the result could have easily have gone against us in the remaining two games. At least one of the other four pools was also very close, as illustrated by the ECB Lockwood team ending up fifth in their pool, whereas if they had scored just one more goal in their final pool game they would have come top in their pool and made it into the Championship semi-finals. Another positive feature of this tournament was that, like other Papakura tournaments, awards are given across all teams to individual players. This time Ryan was pronounced Top Defender of the tournament and Dylan was the MVP (Most Valuable Player). Let’s hope that Papakura put on another tournament (or tournaments) next year. Cheers, Paul Kolston. Other Tournaments Congratulations to ECB Murphy in winning the Shield trophy at the Northland Cup. The team was very ably supplemented by Kevin and Devon from ECB Lockwood filling in for the 4 ECB Murphy players who were not available for the tournament. There were 12 11th grade teams in the competition. These were divided into 2 pools of 6 teams with games played on 3 pitches. Two of the pitches were essentially paddocks that hadn"t seen a lawnmower for quite a while, while the 3rd was in pretty good conditon. Our first game was against Northern Wairoa. We completely dominated the play but, unfortunately, each of our 10 or so shots on target was saved by their goalkeeper and we ended with with a 0-0 draw. The second game was against Albany and was very even with both sides having several close misses at scoring. Again the result was 0-0. Our third game was against Manurewa. Like the first game we dominated the play and an almost certain goal was saved in the penalty box by the outstretched arms of one of their players (i.e. not the goalkeeper). Unfortunately the resulting penalty kick was saved, no doubt partly thanks to several members of the Forrest Hill team (who had a bye since they were in the other pool) shouting derogatory remarks against us and chanting support for the Manurewa goalie whilst we were taking the kick. Again a 0-0 draw that did not reflect the run of play. Things started to look up in the 4th game against ROSA which we won 8-0 and the 5th game against Whangarei Girls (playing down a grade), we won 4-0. Unfortunately this was not enough to make up to the first 3 draws with us mising out on both the Championship and Plate finals. In the Shield Final we played Whangarei and won 3-0. In terms of goal aggregate we did very well with a clean sheet combined with 15 goals which was a very good number given the poor conditon of 2 of the 3 pitches. Match Reort for 10th Grade Northern Cup Tournament, Tikipunga A fill in team was formed to travel to Tikipunga from the 10th Grade B2 and a few players from both the 2nd and 3rd teams were added in. There were 2 pools for 10th grade with 6 teams in each, giving us 5 pool matches with the top 3 in each playing off for the Cup, plate and shield. Pitches were a bit of an eye opener in places with bumps galore making it really difficult to judge bounce and ankle high grass in places making dribbling a nightmare. The kids all played well for their first time toget6her. We looked in control against Kamo but lost 2-1 which was unfortunate as we were in control for probably 70% of the match. Next up was Three Kings, much the same, going down 2-0. The third match was against Maunu and we came away with a 1-1 draw. The fourth match was against Papakura City coming away with a 2-0 win. The fifth match was against Kaitia, unfortunately losing to a freak goal. The players initially looked capable of taking out the pool and luck didn"t go our way. We were 2 points short of staying in the running at the end of the pools which ended our day. Everyone enjoyed the Northland weather. Aaron Wilcox


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