After rain had fallen overnight in Tenterfield, the dawn broke on an overcast and intermittent showers on Saturday. But the die-hard keen soccer stars of Tenterfield and Ballandean had made plans to play and play they did.
Earlier in the day the Ballandean Junior juniors (six years and up) had a mini carnival type atmosphere, with teams playing on Shirley Park and enjoying it all. Games had been orgainsed from the two clubs so the younger players would get both training and game time in preparation for the coming Soccer carnivals, where they will take on Glen Innes, Warwick and Stanthorpe rep sides just to name a few.
The friends they make will be kept – as my husband says – for life. He too had been a die hard player many years ago.
They were only friendly games, but it was such a valuable day of play, friendship and support for everyone involved.
Noon came and the soccer stars could be found, relocated at Federation Oval to see their, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and aunts and uncles playing. The rain was still holding out of the supporters were taking advantage of the not so cold conditions.
Ballandean started out strong with Tenterfield Thunders defending equally as strong, but in the first 15 minutes of play Sam Gower took matters into her own hands to retaliate against the goal Ballandean had scored.
Seeing the open goal and the keeper out sunning themselves away from home, Sam put boot to leather and aimed for the long shot, to her astonishment Hamish was just too good and managed to catch it before it converted. Good thinking though 99, next game it may be your day.
Meanwhile Ballandean just kept attacking and Deakin kept on stopping, catching most of what was ascending on him. Seth, Jeromie and Bella had some good runs as did Sam with the ball, but Ballandean managed to win the day, with Thunders defence just not quite able to keep up with the amount being flung at them. David Cox did manage to find the net for Thunders and get a point on the board.
Senior Colts had a bye this week as Ballandean doesn’t have a team.
Ladies (by Glenn Caisley)
An anticipated match between the Thunder ladies and last year's premiers, Ballandean, did not disappoint.
After some slow starts in previous matches this season, the ladies knew that they would have to fire early against this undefeated rival. The midweek training sessions continue to develop a solid passing game which was demonstrated in the first half, allowing the Thunder to retain much of the ball possession.
Opportunities to score were presented with forward Sam Gower making some lightning runs down the right wing and then delivering some dangerous high crosses into the box. After some good combinations in the midfield, the Thunder's Alana Condrick made a weaving sprint with the ball past a number of Ballandean defenders, resulting in her being tackled and felled in the penalty box.
After much discussion from the sideline, Alanna Melling was chosen to take the dot shot and she calmly slotted a low ball past Ballandean keeper, Katrina Marino.
The second half continued to display a good physical contest and see the ball move quickly from end to end. Both Anika Spiller and Sarah Day, from Ballandean, made some excellent runs but were shut down by some gritty defence from Amy Condrick and Emily McMeniman.
Jamie Buckley had the best chance for the opposition which saw a long range shot shave just wide of the goal mouth. At the other end, Tia Campbell made some well-timed runs creating one-on-one chances with Marino.
Great hands by Amanda Carpenter, in goals, assisted in the 1-0 win for the Thunder at the final whistle. Congratulations to all the ladies on winning the first round trophy.
This week was an amazing week with the men having a full team so no need for Colts to play up and fill positions. We actually had subs as well.
Just as play started the showers were breaking with drops falling, but not enough to stop the play. Five minutes into the game Stuey had already started his acrobatic saves on field. Shortly thereafter a penalty shot taken by Adam Clancy was caught by the keeper, followed a minute later by a goal to Ballandean.
A corner taken by Ballandean, then another just going over the goal, followed by yet another this time caught by Teddy. Such a strong passing and use of the field was made by both sides. The half-time score was 1-0 in Ballandean’s favour, and everyone had earned a break.
Play resumed and Thunders were covering, making plays and taking shots. Ballandean recouped the ball and made their own attacks, flying balls, feet, players you name it, they were trying it.
Ballandean scored again in the second half . Not to be left standing flatfooted, Thunders continued until the end of play. Adam Clancy sighted Ballandean’s keeper out for a Sunday stroll just about to the half way line, and couldn’t resist just inches on his own half, connecting with the ball for a long shot, eyes closed, wishing hard. It connected well and GOAL!!! At fulltime, however, Ballandean was the victor on this occasion.