Sunday, 6 March 2011
U12 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS [6th Mar]
We were two seconds from losing the final today, but a last gasp equaliser and an overtime winner changed everything and sealed the U12 National Championship with a 3-2 victory over Brooklands.
Take a bow, Matthew Stewart, Pat Sugden, Joe Hunn, Dan Walker, Harun Wasim (back row); Sam Hirst, Tom Cox, Ed Loveland, Will Callaghan, Adam Kinghorn (front row), plus Oliver Crosby (who was unable to play the final).
Today these boys played some gritty lacrosse to bring the National Championship back to Timperley for the first time in 8 years, and in doing so provided more proof that we are the best U12 team in the country.
One day tournaments throw up a random schedule of round robin matches, and it is quite possible for a lesser team to spring an upset. This happened to us last year, so we were fully focussed from the off with the aim of reaching the knock out stages with as good a record as possible. The day started well as we cruised past last year's winners Wilmslow, winning 7-0 before playing Poynton, where we won an ugly match 1-0. Next up were Cheadle Hulme (5-0) and Norbury (4-0). So far so good....we had qualified for the quarter finals in first place, but were still a long way from the final.
It came a little closer with a bazarre walkover against Wilmslow, who had apparently already headed for home, believing they had been knocked out. Strange, but we were not bothered. It saved our energy for bigger battles, and there were two coming over the horizon, firstly in the shape of a good Stockport team.
Away from the grass for the first time, saw us on the really bouncy, sandy astroturf, which initially gave us a few problems. Stockport pressed for the whole of the first half as we failed to control the game in the slightest. However, it was still 0-0 at half time and then Tom Cox then came off the bench to score a couple to get us to a 2-0 win. We were now due to face Brooklands who were into their eighth consecutive final. How do they do it? We were about to find out as the adrenaline kicked in before our most competitive game of the season.
Brooklands started well and got scored a couple of quick goals, but then showed their hand by being prepared to stall the game and run the clock down. This slowing of the game actually enabled us to get our heads together and we gradually managed to get a grip with Tom Cox scoring our first goal following a lovely passing move. 1-2 at half time then. In spite of us chasing the game, the second half was meandering to an unsatisfactory conclusion as we created chances but shot poorly.
So we arrived at 60 seconds to go in the final, Timperley were losing 1-2 and we had a man sent off. It was really looking like it was over and we'd be making our excuses all the way up the M5 and M6 back home......however, it was just not to be as this team showed it's backbone. We got our man back on and pressed the ball, won it back and moved it up the pitch. Ed Loveland had a shot but missed. 30 seconds to go. Goalie's ball back line. A bit of a scramble. My timer hit zero seconds. Surely it's gone now? Ed won the ball from somewhere and whilst being pushed to the floor laid it off to Sam Hirst. Sam drew his man and dumped the ball to Joe Hunn, who scorched one past the goalie. The equaliser, 2-2 and a whole two seconds left in the game. Cue pandemonium amongst the Timperely supporters. Out of jail? It seemed that way.
Overtime was for two minutes and there was really only going to be one winner. We were the stronger team and so it showed as Tom Cox manoevered himself into position to score our third. 60 seconds to go (again), but this time we were in front and in no mood to lose it. Possession was gained from the face, and that was that. The clock ran down with no scares giving the final score of 3-2 to Timperley. Cue more pandemonium, this time spreading to players and coaches too!
This was an incredible team effort today, with the players really working for each other and their coaches to ensure that their club won the day. Matt was only beaten twice in 6 matches; the 3 defence men of Dan, Pat and Harun interchanged seamlessly throughout the day and they all played long stick midfield when required; Will and Sam did the unglamourous hard yards in the midfield (yes we do notice!) especially at the face off; Adam provided the legs for the quick breaks; finally Tom, Ed, Joe and Oli mixed it up in attack, scoring goals and giving the opposition a variety of problems all day.
Nice effort boys!