U17-18 / 4's FINAL
Roselea 2 defeated North Ryde FC 1
It was a sunny morning for our trip out to Galston for the U17/18-4s Final. It was a great atmosphere with a big crowd in attendance. Nick although he was out injured still took up his place on our bench to support us. We were quietly confident after our great 7-2 final round robin win but were up against the top team and first-placed premiers, North Ryde.
The first half was a very tense affair. North Ryde got a larger share of possession and were constantly threatening our penalty box, making Patrick a very busy goalkeeper. Chris and Ryan A worked tirelessly in central defence while under constant attack. After 15 mins, their striker got in behind our defence and latched onto a long ball, getting a good strike on it to put it wide into the net. There was then a lot more desperate defending to keep us in the game. Anton, Nathan and Luke fought really hard to shut them down and block their shots at goal. Alex C and Jordan upfront were threatening. We created some chances but unfortunately, no goals. We went in at halftime 1-0 down, but as we had controlled the damage, we were still in the game and the boys had not given up hope.
We came out in the second half and took up the fight again. It was still a tense struggle with North Ryde attacking strongly. Alex P and Lachlan steadied the defence, with Alex blocking off the goal line to save us from giving North Ryde a two-goal lead. Joey came on and ran hard and steadied the midfield. With about 20 mins left, the tide started to turn, but we were still a goal behind. Both Liam and Ryan O started to find holes in the midfield, and sharpened their running and passing games to give us the edge.
Chris got more possession in the midfield to feed to Brendan, Alex C and Jordan. Just when it was getting desperate with only 8 mins to go, Jordan, on the break, latched onto a great pass from midfield. One on one with their goalie, he calmly slotted it past him and into the back of the net to equalise, bringing incredible joy and relief to the coaches and parents on the sideline.
It was game on for a tense finish. We got our boost and were attacking strongly, with Ryan A and Brendan making constant runs through their defence and enduring lots of fouls - including a rugby tackle. With only five minutes to go, Ryan A slipped past two defenders and into the box. As he got around their keeper, the goalie brought him down, resulting in a fair and square penalty. Lachlan stepped up while we all held our breath and smashed it powerfully past the keeper to put us ahead and create pandemonium on the sidelines. For the remaining four nail-biting minutes, we managed to hold them out to win 2-1 when the final whistle was blown.
Our Championship win capped off an undefeated finals series and a great season. It has been extremely rewarding for a great team of players who all support each other. Thanks to our coach Steve Armstrong for his great dedication to the team and to a fantastic set of parents for all their support and encouragement.