Close calls with Carlton in opposition

Last Saturday, May 27 saw the start of the second round for Football Stanthorpe’s competition. With Carlton at their home ground of CF White Oval, Tenterfield Thunders had a long journey to make mental notes of the weekly training the coaches had given them. Although the trip is made on a regular basis, it must not have been long enough this week (or too long, in some cases).

Player numbers were low for some of the Thunders, and too many for others.

Junior Colts started off strongly, with Deakin as the Captain for this week.  Ellen had the team of Jeremy, Bella and Emma along with Samantha all hyped up to take on the giants again. It was hard and players in most cases were so much bigger in age and size, but the ‘mighty mouse’ sized team fought gallantly -- not afraid to take from Carlton on many occasions -- but overall the scores were not there for Thunders.

Deakin did manage to find the net and congratulations were forthcoming from his team mate, Luke until it was realised it was Carlton’s goal. Some good footwork and plays, with opportunities taken on occasion, by Sam, Emma, Jeremy and Bella. But Carlton took this game away with a win.

(Ladies match report by coach Glenn Caisley). Football can certainly be a cruel game some weeks, as seen in Saturday's clash against the Carlton Bears. Missing a few key players, the Tenterfield Ladies were flat footed at the beginning of the match but maintained some good field position. Some lack of ball control and bad passing options allowed the home team to out enthuse the Thunder in the first half. 

Returning to the pitch in the second half with a nil-all scoreline, the Tenterfield Ladies started to play to their game plan and look to take an early advantage. Some quality movement from the forwards led to Tia Campbell break past the backline and get into a shooting position. On the bustling run to goal, Carlton's defender had no option but to step across and tackle Campbell which led to a penalty. Tenterfield's Courtney Moss was the elected penalty taker and was unable to guide the ball past the Carlton keeper despite having a second chance shot when the ball rebounded. 

The miss seemed to lift the Carlton Ladies' spirit and they were quick to seize the opportunity. With just over five minutes left in the match, a fast break allowed an unmarked Carlton forward to have a long range shot which found the back of the Thunder's net. 

Not giving up, Tenterfield had two more quality opportunities to equalise but, unfortunately, it wasn't their day. Final score Carlton 1 Tenterfield 0. 

Thunders Men’s side had players on tap this week with a number of members able to watch from the sideline to breakdown the plays and try to ascertain where Carlton’s weak points were. Carlton came out from the start of the game with determination and skills to back it up.

Nathan Landon-Beer has only recently returned after a 12 or so months break and his fitness was put to the test having to mark one of the stronger and more agile men for Carlton. The Thunders marking Markus Repo were also put to through the ringer; Markus would not be stopped or held down for too long.

Andrew or Teddy exerted pressure in goal with many a great flying save be it up and over or across. He even did a flip in goal to try to stop the ball, getting caught in the net. Luck for him though he didn’t do serious damage, history almost repeating itself.

Body clashes were high, falls a many, but to watch you just couldn’t bare to turn away. It was a very enthralling match to be at. End result saw Thunders’ Josh Gower many to find the net twice but Carlton took it out in the final milliseconds to win by one point.

Next Saturday find Tenterfield Thunders are at home at Federation Oval. Now things are coming down to the wire, Thunders are pumping more and more for the wins and are making the most of every opportunity.  After two weeks with byes the Senior Colts will be well rested and ready to take on City with the Junior Colts kicking off 11.50am.

The following Saturday will also be at home against United. Two weeks of hard and fast soccer on home ground will see Thunders come out with lightning strike against these two foes.