MAORI HILL SCORES SEVEN ASIDE TRIFECTA

Maori Hill 11th and 13th grade teams were the club’s stars at this year’s Green Island 7-aside tournament, claiming both the section one and two 13th grade crowns, and the section one title at 11th grade.

It was our 13th grade Red team that started the ball rolling, progressing though pool play to meet Mosgiel in the final. In a taste of things to come for all of the club’s finalists, the game was scoreless at the end of regulation time, forcing the match to be decided in a brutal golden goal player-drop-off, where each team was forced to pull one player from the field each minute and play on until someone scored.

Playing in their last Green Island 7-aside (the tourney only goes to 13th grade), the 13th Red coaches made all the right calls, and the winning goal was secured with just three players from each team left on the field.

Next up came an even more intense play-off for the 11th grade crown. This time it was an all Maori Hill affair, with the club’s 11th Black and 11th White teams pitted against other, having played their way through both pool play and semi-finals. Once more, there was nothing to pick between the teams at the end of the second half, and so player drop-off followed: this time the teams were down to only two players each before 11th White – playing in orange rather than club colours – secured the winning goal.

Defending the title they won at the tournament as 12th graders the year before, our 13th grade silver girls fought their way into the semi-finals, and on into a tough finals encounter against Northern. Extra time was once again required, during which the girls secured the winning goal with four players from each team still on the field.

Other Maori Hill teams to progress to semi-final play were the club’s 6th grade Gunners and 6th Black teams (beaten 1-0 and 7-3 respectively) and our 10th grade White team, who fought valiantly, but were defeated 1-0 in the end.

Maori Hill JFC would like to extend its thanks to the Green Island club for organising this great tournament for another year; it has being going for so long now that a good number of junior coaches played in it during their own junior footballing days.

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