|2019 U14 Grading||6th April 10:30am||League Round 1||WWSC Main Pitch 1|
Grading rounds are usually awkward. In short it's designed to separate a higher than usual number of teams into two divisions. It's spread over five rounds before the split happens. Whilst it is usually reserved for the U12 Competition, this year sees a high number of team submissions for the U14 competition. All up there are 14 teams involved and obviously they need grading. For the record there are two Woodside teams.
It's awkward as clubs will submit their preference for either division during the application process. For most clubs with two teams they'll submit a team into each division. Some may submit two into Division 2, whilst some others with one may opt for Division 1. Naturally we have submitted two teams, one for each division.
As it turns out the U14 Red team, nominated for the Division 1 competition, played against Torrens Valley, nominated for the Division 2 competition. The end result fell heavily in favour of the home team, being Woodside. Unfortunately the result was as expected.
For the first 10 minutes of the game all players on the park were quiet, reserved and almost visibly nervous. It was the first round of the season of course. New player CHRISTIAN FRANCIS opened up the scoreline on the 11th minute with a delightful assist from ex-Torrens player AILBHE BIFFEN. Christian Francis' goal will be one for a future memoir. First goal of the season, first goal for a new club, all in front of a sideline seemingly full of his own support crew.
Meanwhile top WWSC U14 scorer from last season, JETT TONKIN, with the waft of Christian Francis' success, lurked. A questionable trip from an opposition player sent him in for a penalty shot on the 21st minute, but it never eventuated. A few minutes later, with a long cross from Ailbhe Biffen to a waiting JOSH BEVAN, Jett Tonkin was assisted to score his first. He then followed it up 3 minutes later with another, again from an assist, this time Christian Francis.
JAMES WALL, not waiting for the spotlight to shine on him, sunk his first on the 26th minute. He was unlucky not to put in a few more before half time. Josh Bevan and TOMMAS BALACCO both managed to send the ball towards the keeper a few times before the referee blew his whistle for half time.
After numerous positional changes by Coach BRUCE TONKIN, Woodside returned to the pitch. Within two minutes of the second half James Wall had as many strikes at goal. An elated Josh Bevan was the first to score in the second half. Josh Bevan featured strongly as a defender in last year's U12 team, however this year, with a number of established defenders already sorted, he was required in the midfield and delivered to expectation.
With so many goals scored it was rewarding to see star keeper, IZEYAH RAYMOND, appear on the list, with not one but two goals. James Wall also managed to put through another before the final whistle.
Torrens Valley, under Coach DALE GREENWOOD, deserves credit for a much improved second half. With numerous saves by Woodside's JAYDEN STEWARD, more so in the second half, there was bound to be a mistake at some point, not by him, but a defensive line-up far too high for their own good. Three goals, between 58 and 63 minutes into the second, lifted the spirits of the away players and their supporters.
Torrens Valley will visit Hahndorf in Round 2 on Saturday, whilst Woodside welcomes Murray Bridge Blue.