For the intrepid 14, plus parents and supporters, braving the freezing temperatures of Narrogin in Winter was a small price to pay for winning the J5/6 Boys UGS Carnival at their first attempt.
Whilst Narrogin has a great Astro Turf and appropriately named Bevan George Pavilion, the boys and (token boy for the weekend ) Teagan, spent more of their time playing on fields that looked as if they would soon deliver a potato crop.
The team were unbeaten during the weekend, and this included playing over 3 hours of fast paced hockey on the Saturday alone. Wins against Bunbury Towns, UGS x 2, Collie and Ravensthorpe and draws against two remaining UGS side, saw the boys reach the final, with a record of played 7 won 5, scored 16 conceded 1.
In the final against UGS White, the boys returned to the familiarity of Astro Turf, and played some of their best hockey. Despite Several players coming close (Connor, Bailey, Kai, Olly, Mitch and Ethan) the score remained even at half time. For really the first time in the weekend “import” goalie Jarrod, was called into action making several fine saves, particularly from penalty corners.
In the second half a swift move on the left wing saw Harry in the right position to score his first goal of the season, by slapping the ball first time through the rushing keepers legs. The boys held out for a nervous last 10 minutes and had some great chances to extend their lead, particularly from Kai, who’s brilliant first touch deflection from a wide cross, met the upright rather than the back of the net.
With 2 minutes to go UGS mounted the pressure and were awarded a free hit just outside the circle. Unfortunately whilst some of our players to attending to Ethan who had been injured, UGS went through to score.
As the clock ran down the boys nervously waited to see whether their results from the rest of the weekend would see them through – and as with all great stories it did; they had won! This was the first time any of these boys had won in a multi-club tournament and to them it was a precious as a grand final. As a coach it was great that we could take a side away with 2 eight year olds, 2 nine year olds and another 5 boys who can still play the grade next year.
A big mention must go to our brilliant defence, led by Sam and Ben, with Patrick, Teagan and even young Art showing complete control.
Finally a big thanks to Sue Bullock who recommended the carnival to us. We will certainly aim to go next year to defend the title and I would urge the other coaches to consider supporting this well run and very friendly event. Most of the other teams were also at the state championships earlier in the week and so the standard was really good.
I just need to get my voice back now.