|2020 U12||26th September 9:00am||League Round 14||MBUSC Main Pitch 2, Anembo Park|
For the final round of the season Mount Barker Red hosted Woodside Warriors Gold.
When the ref started proceedings both teams jumped out of the blocks with mischief and intent in their minds. This was it for the season and both teams carried an air of “be damned if we’re not gonna leave it all out here today!” From the outset Mt Barker looked the stronger side. Their passing game and willingness to share possession was worthy of admiration. But if Woodside Gold has shown anything this season, it’s a willingness to play for their mates – to defend their nest and commit everything to the battle. And so an epic battle ensued. Mt Barker striving to goal. Woodside fighting tooth and nail to repel. Every time Mt Barker looked a certainty to score, a Red and Blue shirt would materialize in the nick of time to save the day. But eventually a desperate clearance found the goal line instead of the side-line and Mt Barker lined up for a well-rehearsed corner. The ball was struck brilliantly but the Woodside Goalie stepped forward to defuse the bomb. As he did so, the ball bobbled loose. He plunged for it. His hand was pined under an opposition boot. And the bobbling ball was driven home. One – nil Mt Barker. On the back of this goal, Woodside rose to the challenge, striving forward to terrify the Mt Barker defense. But every time they threatened the onion bag, Mt Barker’s goal keeper was up for the challenge and kept his sheet clean. As the half wore on Mt Barker continued to create half chances. Eventually, a half chance from the left wing was converted to a full goal by an immaculately timed strike that stretched the back of the net and took the home side to two - nil.
The second half played out much as the first. Mt Barker attacked for extended periods. Woodside fought with the courage of Saracens defending their homeland. On multiple occasions Woodside threatened to score on the counter. But Mt Barker were the stronger side in this contest. Their constant press, their willingness to share possession and their powerful striking showed that they are a force in the making. And with three unanswered goals in the second half they took the match in commanding fashion. Full credit to both sides on a match and a season well played. To play the game well is impressive. To play well with integrity is admirable. Mt Barker Red and Woodside Warriors Gold were equally rewarded with admiration this week. And as the curtain closes on the 2020 AHJSA season we wish all players a safe off-season and look forward to 2021!