Football is a fickle game; one week OC Football is on a high celebrating its whitewash of St Columban’s, the next we’re leaving Daisy Hill chasing our tails after being convincingly beaten by very tough and talented players from John Paul College.
The Year 7 team was very confident of overcoming arch rivals JPC on Saturday morning, given they beat them comfortably in Year 6 in 2016. This confidence was wiped from their faces within 30 seconds when JPC scored the opening of their 10 goals. This JPC side was not the one that OC played in 2016. This JPC side was extremely skilful and very quick. They moved the ball with speed and their movement off the ball created a hat full of chances for their strikers to convert. Although the game was one sided for most of the time, the OC players continued to fight and they scored 2 consolation goals in the second half.
The Year 8 team started the game brightly converting an early chance through Caden Penniket to lead 1 nil. Our lead didn’t last long however. Sloppy defending mid-way through the first half saw JPC equalise and the game was evenly poised at 1 all when the half time whistle was blown. Unfortunately, the good work created in the first half was lost in the second half with JPC scoring 4 more goals to easily win this game 5-1.
The Year 9 team led by Stuart Popplewell flew the OC flag on the weekend against JPC. A courageous performance by all players saw OC defeat JPC 3 goals to 1, with two goals to Callum Warden and one to Jake Jackson. A solid defensive performance from Callum Le’ake, Graeme MacNair, Woody Holmes and Luke Lambourne was the reason the Year 9 team was able to leave JPC with their heads held high.
The Year 10 Football team played exceptional football on the weekend, clearly dominating their JPC opponents. However, despite dominating huge amounts of the game, the Year 10 team fell behind to JPC following a freakish goal against the run of play. The team showed tremendous character to get an equaliser as JPC doggedly defended their goal against a relentless OC attack. The final result ended 1-1 with our captain, Luke Mursalo, bagging our only goal for the game. Whilst we were happy with a draw, we were able to leave the game with a greater understanding of what direction we need to take for the remainder of the season. Mr Ahrens was very proud of the efforts of his team and is looking forward to a positive and successful season.
The Seconds’ game was another tough match against JPC. This opposition always brings out the best football from our players. However, OC were clearly the best on the field but our shooting was not finding the back of the net. We dominated most of the game play but JPC were able to snatch a win with a great shot on goal. The OC boys should be proud of their efforts as they fought all the way to the final whistle. Alistair Swann was our only goal score but Jacob Poole had the opposition wary every time he had the ball. Another superb performance by our backs meant the opposition struggled to get past them and Tanner Elliot made sure that JPC had to earn any chances they would get. With a possible rematch in the finals, the weekend’s game shows that JPC Seconds football is no longer as dominant as it once was, especially when they send eight players back in defence to stop a rampaging OC attack.
The Firsts football team came into this much anticipated clash against JPC full of confidence after a historic victory in 2016. What a difference a year makes! A much stronger and more balanced JPC team was able to out-muscle and out-smart the Redbacks in a 5-0 victory. After an even first 15 minutes, JPC took control leading 2-0 after 30 minutes. Jake Lambourne missed a golden opportunity to peg one back for the Redbacks right on half time following excellent lead-up play from the midfield and a perfect cross from Stuart Macnair only to fire his shot straight to the keeper. With the score 2-0 at half time, the team rallied to play some attractive football in the first 20 minutes of the second half, creating some holes in the strong JPC defence but unable to score a deserved goal. In the 60th minute, Gus Moloney found himself one-on-on with the keeper and appeared to be fouled by the goal keeper. From a potential penalty to the Redbacks, the unusual long ball tactics by JPC paid dividends with a controversial penalty being awarded to JPC. Despite two late goals, including one in the final seconds of the match, the Redbacks never came up and will learn from this experience. The best players for the Redbacks were Captain Lachlan Macdonald and Sam Meaney. The boys look forward to the next week’s home game against Canterbury College.
While the TAS sides played against JPC, our Year 7/8 Supplementary team visited St Paul’s. Taking the field with ten players and being able to hold our opposition at bay showed great tenacity. Our team strength was further evident when we had a full field of players and we were able to dominate possession in our game. It showed how well we could do (even without subs). For the entirety of the game, our boys worked hard, worked to spoil the opposition's runs/plays, and held out as well as they could. Although the entire team deserves great praise for their efforts, our injured players were simply outstanding in the determination they showed; they committed to the team and contributed as much as they possibly could (and much more than expected). Despite their injuries, they showed true character. Although we ended up losing the game 4-3, the game demonstrated the commitment and courage of the OC Players.