Good signs for season ahead
NORTH Coast Football’s State Youth League teams can look forward to a strong 2011 if the results from Sunday’s opening trial matches are any guide.
Up against fierce rivals Mid North Coast (North) at Urunga, the local representative teams recorded some impressive results while building some much-needed cohesion ahead of the season proper.
The 14-years boys overcame a shaky start to score three unanswered goals in the second half of the contest to claim a 5-2 win.
The 15s were even more impressive with a 6-0 win over Mid North Coast. There will certainly be some goal-shooting practice for the squad this week as the margin could’ve been so much greater if a higher percentage of shots on goal were converted.
The 13-years boys claimed a 4-2 win while the 16-years girls showed they will be a force in 2011 with a convincing 6-1 victory.
Due to the extreme heat, Sunday’s matches were played in thirds rather than halves and each period usually included a drinks break.
As draining as conditions were, it didn’t stop some high-quality football being produced.
Ben Sonter and Judd Duncan both scored for the 14-years boys, but scores were deadlocked after a couple of costly lapses in defence. From then on, the home side was rarely troubled with Nick Mallett taking advantage of possession to find the back of the net with a good strike from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Shortly after Mallett’s stunning strike, one of the new additions to the squad, Sheldon O’Loughlin, scored two good goals after some well-worked ball movement down the left-hand side.
The 15-years boys dominated both possession and field position early, but the radar on goal was awry. The shot count was 20-2 at the first drinks break, but only one goal came from the constant forward forays.
The lone goal came after new recruit Steven Shute made a great run to the far post to head in a corner.
Rees Duncan was the star of the show up front, finishing the clash with four goals next to his name.
In 2010 Mid North Coast were the 16-years girls premiers, with North Coast Football a close runner-up. Sunday’s flogging showed the local girls are primed to win this season.
The North Coast Football representatives stamped their authority on the game from the kick-off and by the time the first third was over, the girls had a three-goal lead courtesy of a hat-trick from Jess Gunning.
Dael Wulff then helped Gunning score a fourth before Wulff scored herself. Jess Gentle scored the sixth goal to end the master class.
The State Youth League teams play another trial match this weekend before the season starts on March 6 with matches against Hunter Valley.