Match reports 24-25 April

Wests Barracudas 2 PKB Falcons 2
Wow, what a difference one week makes. The game resulted in a 2–2 all draw with goals to Hayley in the first few minutes, and then to Mitchell later on.

The kids ran, tackled, scored goals, and looked like they were having so much fun. Every player looked much more confident in their second outing and they should be very proud of themselves. It must have been Rachel telling the kids to treat the ball like an Easter egg and to not let it go, and we know how they like chocolate.

Well done to our player of the day this week, Harry, who was outstanding in goal in the first half stopping everything that came his way. Well done Harry!!

Thanks to all the parents who showed their support by turning up.

— David Hawkyard

Wests Suns 1 Pukerua Bay Barracudas 2
The kids took a minutes silence to mark ANZAC day and then it was game on. This was an exciting game that looked alarming early on before the Barracudas started applying what we have been talking about in practices and game strategy and strengthen up a tight defence. This is exactly what we have been looking for. An early break saw the Suns score off our goal kick. The Barracudas did not lose confidence or momentum at this early set back, but stepped up, locked in their defence much more strongly and took every chance they could to score as well. Thanks to Caeleon for playing for us this week, as well as his own team, the Sharks. And to the three Barracudas, Will, Kaea and Louis, who gave our game their all despite having played at 100% for the Sharks already. We started with Conor in goal, Sian (Captain), Dylan and Olano defending, and Merrie, Will and Ben in attack. Subs Kaea, Caelon and Louis replaced our attack line. In this half we saw the play of the day; a cross in corner from Louis that Olano took on as a superb header on goal. Although it missed, everyone on the sideline recognised this for the great teamwork and play that it was. Awesome!

Our team were great at looking for each other in attack and passing to each other, and this saw Louis set up by his team to score, so we were 1–1 at half time. Oranges, water — drunk and tipped over heads — and the boost to confidence that realising they could score creates, and we were back on. In the second half Olano took on goalie, Ben, Caelon and Merrie defence and Conor, Louis and Sian in attack. Kaea, Will and Dylan itched to get back out there on the sideline and came on as subs renewed to take the game home. We saw the whole team thinking, defending, using the sideline time and again and locking in strong defence, as well as breaking away, including two of the defence line to power in on goal attacks, and then race back to protect and support Olano in goal. This was a really well matched team for us, and the game showed the Barracudas that they can do it. All who played merited Player of the Day and as usual Will was in there keen to second guess who I would choose.

Players of the Day were:
Olano — such a strong game defender in the first half who took that strength into attacks and ran back time and again, and without his great goal keeping the score could have been quite different — Olano you did us proud! :)
Merrie — Merrie showed us all just what she can do when she is let loose. Merrie had two shots on goal that nearly got home (and this was seizing opportunity from defence in once case). She played full on and superbly the whole game. Outstanding Merrie — keep it up :)
Ben — Ben shone today. He showed real strength and determination and skill in attack, strong passing and later in defence he kept that tough locked down defence in place. Well done Ben. :)

Many thanks to Kaea's parents who did the oranges and to all the parents and family on the sideline — it really means heaps to the kids to have you there and supporting them.

— Kate MacIntyre

Wests Suns 0 Pukerua Bay Sharks 1
This was a very evenly contested game as the score suggests. With two of our players away and another only available for the second half we only would have been able to field 5 in the first half! Thankfully the Barracudas loaned us three to make up the numbers. And after observing a minutes silence for ANZAC Day the kids were into it. Kaea in goal, Tabitha(captain), Will and Jacob made up the defence and Louis, Reuben and Armari were our midfielders and attackers. Heath replaced Armari as the first sub. Wests came at us early and we were camped inside our own half and had to rely on counter attacks for most of the first half. One of those counter attacks saw Louis squeeze a shot through the goalie and we went one up. Heath got flattened and winded by a ball in his guts, but to his credit got up and got back into it.

Half-time and water and oranges reignited the kids. Caelon took the field in attack and Jacob and Louis sat out the start of the second half until Will and Kaea came off. Armari went into goal. We had more play in the opposition's half, but couldn't get a goal despite lots of good moves forward. The defensive line throughout the game were exceptional and they joined in attacks when possible but the speed getting back to defend was simply amazing and as a coach very encouraging to see.

No goals in the second half at all, but it was still exciting to watch and the positive talking to each other and encouragement is a great thing to see.

The last five minutes saw us defending quite a bit, but good clearing and sweeping by Jacob and remembering to use the sideline as a friend got us through.

Players of the day:
Heath for getting outside his comfort zone and bravely playing on through two injuries
Jacob for amazing energy and effort especially on debut.

Thanks to Kate MacIntyre for refereeing first half, Heath's family for supplying half-time oranges, and the families on the sideline encouraging the whole team.

— Stu Connolly

Wests Wildcats 1 PKB Stingrays 10
Another fine result for the Stingrays. Although we had most of the play in the first half, we were continuously stifled by the West’s goalkeeper, who kept them in the match early on. Two goals by Gus gave us a 2-0 lead at half time, although numerous attacks were foiled by their goalkeeper. To our surprise they changed their goalkeeper at half time and the flood-gates opened. Five in a row by James, another two by Gus and one through Jack Mac showed this team's determination. Once again, a complete team performance from goal keeper to striker. These guys are just boiling with enthusiasm.

Player of the Day was James for continuously applying pressure and putting his chances away. It's pleasing to see the passing developing and, once again, getting stuck into the tackles.

The support were once again vocal and the entertainment supplied by the boys. Thanks Clint for refereeing 2nd half and Paul for running the line. (Paul I’ll try to stay in the technical area next time. :)

— Chris Mooney

Pukerua Bay Piranhas 1 Nth Wellington Kiwis 6
The second game for the 11th grade girls and another loss, sadly. It has been great to see an improvement in skills and fitness from last week, and as this is the first time many of the players have played football, I was impressed. Kiwis went up 1–0 from a penalty kick after a hand ball in the box, but we went straight up the other end and equalised from a thunderous strike from Molly. Kiwis snatched a second goal just before half time. A change in goalkeepers and Harriet leaving to join the Panthers left us with only five players and we struggled in the second half. North Wellington had a fantastic player who scored direct from a corner and from a throw in, but a couple of own goals by us late on made the scoreline flattering for them.

When their best player left the field the teams looked even and we matched their skills.

Player of the day went to Lucy who defended well and helped keep the scoreline to six.

— Keith Block