15s go down fighting in the MUPC
NORTH Coast Football’s C.ex Group 15 years team has gone down with a fight on the final day at the Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC) in Victoria.
After three torrid matches on Saturday the squad faced tournament favourites Sutherland Sharks on Sunday.
The match started in the worst possible way with Adam Hancey sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity with a hand-ball offence in the 10th minute. Sutherland scored from the resulting penalty and NCF played the remainder of the match with 10 men.
Sutherland spread the ball and made NCF run for the rest of the first half.
The tactic was effective enough to lead to three more goals by half-time, the fourth one right on the whistle for the break.
Coach Jeff Hughes rallied his troops at the break and asked for one final effort to make sure they finished the tournament on a high.
Despite not scoring a goal in the match, NCF controlled possession for lengthy periods and made sure Sutherland did not add to their half-time tally.
The match finished 4-0 with the young NCF squad satisfied they had played the last part of the match to their potential.
Sutherland Sharks went on to defeat tournament hosts Bulleen 3-0 in the final, sending the Sydneysiders through to meet the New Zealand champions for a place at Manchester.
For NCF it was a valuable experience which put them further along the learning curve and showed them the standard being achieved around the country by the best in their age group.
It will spur them on to lift their intensity for the remainder of the Youth League season which recommences this weekend with a trip down to the Central Coast.