Match reports 17-18 April

PKB Falcons 0 Wests Turtles 8
The Falcon's first match was character building. The Turtles, who already had their first season under their belts, out played us. However, the Falcons never gave up. They worked hard, had some fun and played like it was their first ever game of soccer. Hayley had an impressive first half in goal; she was focussed and determined and saved many goals. The Falcons received awesome support from their many fans and are looking forward to their second game of soccer.

Player of the Day: Hayley

- Rachel Hall

PKB Barracudas 0 North Wellington Dynamos 7
It was great to have the Barracudas and Sharks games back to back in same venue for the first game of the season and we appreciated the kids and parents who settled in for the whole timeframe - sideline support was awesome.

Excitement was huge and great to see most of the team arrived in time to warm up, kitted out and all set to go, that makes the warm up and focus so much easier. :)

Will captained the Barracudas and took on the role well - staying positive, directing play and never flagging as he was all over the field, starting in sweeper and then playing stongly in goal in the second half. As well as Will, the players from last year's team - Merrie, Alex, Louis, Conor and Dylan all showed a developed and stronger game from last year with a good understanding of some of the tactics and strategy. New players Olano, Kaea, Ben and Sian all gave the game their all, working hard. These four have to learn the game and positions, tactics, strategy and roles, but we saw great attitude, good effort and some skills that will really develop as we move into the season from them.

We started strongly in the first quarter with some strong shots on goal and a really humming enthusiasm from the kids. In the second and third quarters our defence was broken through - seven times in total but the score belies the fact that these teams were quite well matched. Our shots on goal missed, and theirs didn't. We also lost a bit of confidence as they kept scoring and then suddenly we got our mojo back and in the final quarter we saw a stronger game and team and a driving attitude take us to a strong finish with some more shots on goal, which unfortunately missed. At this stage we are not focused on the score - rather on building a strong team who have fun and are learning.

Thanks to Stu Connolly for refereeing half the match so I could concentrate on the kids play and the sideline subs being ready to go. Thanks to all the parents watching and supporting us - the kids do hear you and they love you being there.

Congratulations to all the Barracudas - Stu and I were stoked to see how well everyone ran and to think how we are going to see them all come on over the season.

Players of the day - Sian for great determination and courage tackling a player the size of Conor without flinching and for applying some of what we had talked about in practice in her game much larger players. Will for such a strong hard working game, great attitude and some great saves in goal in the second half.

- Kate MacIntyre

PKB Sharks 3 North Wellington Fever 1
As usual at the start to the season, every player was keen to get out there and have a go. Caelon as captain played an important role as "stopper" or central attacking midfield and was a good motivator throughout the game. Doing lots of positive talking to his teammates. The defensive lineup was made up of Armari on the left, Tabitha on the right, and Jordan as sweeper with Connor in goal. Heath and Alex were the wide midfielders, replaced in the first round of substitutions by Reuben and Louis.

From the whistle we started working well as a team and cleared the ball from our goal very well. When we went in attack we looked strong and had a few early chances, which were well saved and defended by the opposition. Our defence were reading the game well and a most impressive debut for Jordan saw him intercept attack after attack, and Tabitha and Armari were always close by for support. One attack did get through and we missed our opportunity to clear it for a corner and they squeezed a shot between Connor and his near post. The Sharks heads' stayed up and they got back into playing in the Fevers' half and strung some great attacks together, with great passing from the defenders to midfielders to forwards, and we got our well deserved equalising goal through Louis shortly before halftime.

Alex went into goal for the second half and Heath returned to his left wing role. Louis, Armari, Jordan and Caelon kept their positions and Reuben moved into defence, Connor and Tabitha replaced Armari and Jordan in the last substitution.

Whistle went and the kids, boosted by water and just getting a goal, steamed into it. The defence joined the attack when they could. Lots of pressure in the midfield and upfront, and quality defending when needed, gave us the platform to add two more goals in the second half (both to Louis to get his hatrick). The defence did a good job, so Alex was pretty quiet in goal but he was called on to make two important saves. Jordan and Armari ran themselves into the ground and Connor and Tabitha replaced them and we saw the clock run down and the final whistle go.

Thanks to Kate MacIntyre and Mark Orange for refereeing and to all the parents watching and supporting us. Hi fives all round to the team - Kate and myself are proud of all of you.

Players of the day - Louis for his 3 goals and Jordan for his amazing energy around the field.

Very special thanks to Alex, Louis and Connor for playing 2 games back to back. Thats what being a Shark/Barracuda is all about :-)

- Stu Connelly

PKB Stingrays 5 Karori Storm 2
Wow! What a good first up result. For a match that looked pretty even early on, a 2-0 half time lead was pleasing. The Stingrays purely took more of their chances. Early in the second half we gave Karori a bit of a sniff and let them back into the game to score two goals. In the final 15 minutes, the tackling, passing and two more goals for the Stingrays put the game out of their reach. This was a fine display from defence right through to attack. The entire team came to play!

It was particularly pleasing to see 4 different players on the score sheet and a good defence to back it up. A few players were running out of puff, and as the season goes on, we will work on the fitness.

Player of the day was Arran (left back) who tackled his heart out and virtually put their right wing out of the game. Thank you to all the parents, family and friends for all the vocal support, this is great for our kids and they will provide the entertainment. Also thanks to Clint for refereeing and the parents assistance with nets and corner flags.

- Chris Mooney