Today was the biggest game of the season so far – the Onondaga Cup semi final against Cheadle. Having beaten them twice in recent weeks we knew their game plan and how to deal with it. The weight of expectation was hanging heavily over the whole U12A group– we knew we could win; we knew we should win; the question was, would we win?
We started well enough going 2-0 up quite quickly, but Cheadle’s big kid hit back with some individual goals, to put us 3-4 down at quarter time. Nerves were perhaps getting to us, the focus wasn’t there and we were struggling for fluency. It was time for a few deep breaths on the side line and some well directed words from the coaches. The second quarter saw some immediate improvement, as the attack found its range, and the ball started to move more easily from stick to stick. The confidence was growing, but there were still only two goals in it at half time, with Timperley leading by 7-5. Tom Cox (playing attack again) was leading the way at this point with three goals, and a couple of shots off the frame of the goal to his name.
The third quarter started evenly, before Oliver Crosby suffered a game ending hit to his knee. At 8-5, this could really have cost us because up to this point he’d been instrumental in keeping us in the game and was battling all over the pitch with his captain - losing his experience certainly worried me. However, Oli Loveland then went up another gear up for his team, scoring 3 unanswered goals in a 5 minute burst to get us to 11-5 at three quarter time. Almost there……….
The final quarter was just holding onto what we had. Cheadle weren’t pressing the ball and we ran the clock down well, keeping possession and scoring goals, to reach the final score of 14-7.
The result was all that mattered today. What the spectators saw was a real team effort, with every member of the squad playing their part in the performance that saw us make progress. It was good to see that after the first quarter, the team toughed it out and eventually came away with a solid win. We had our poor spell early, and then used the remaining game time to get the game won and reach the Onondaga Final for the first time in three years. Well done boys. Job nearly done……..
Goals / (Assists)
Cox 5, O Loveland 4(2), Crosby 2 (1), E Loveland 2 (1), Hunn 1, Prickett (2), Harris (1), Phillips (1)