This game will determine the tournament winner. This is a game that NC must win to take the trophy anything else and it goes back with the previous champions to Brisbane.
The referee blows time on at 11:32AM and both teams are trying to settle into their style and routines. The ball is worked skilfully by Stephen down the left and around the last defender and with two NC boys waiting free in he box Stephen notices the keeper coming off his line and his attempt goes wide.
Another foray down the right side set up by Angus Roby puts the ball to Liam who spins and hits with his left over the bar over the right side. It is all NC at the moment
Some creative and persistent work in and around the box sees the ball find James Mehmet. With a outside foot touch he rounds the last defender to find himself one on one with the keeper and masterfully and calmly slots the ball across and to the right of the keeper, 1-0 at 11:38AM.
SPC have weathered the storm and can consider themselves fortunate to be only the one goal down but this has provided the confidence they were looking for because the last 10 min has been all SPC with Ryan being required on 4 occassions to prevent SPC getting on the ledger. A high dropping ball tested him but he made it look easier then it was. SPC are peppering the goal and when they correct their direction NC will find the game slipping away from them if the barriage continues.
The NC boys look very dangerous on the counter and they win a corner at 11:50AM. Stephen takes the corner and the ball bounces off a few players but falls to Angus, he drives and is deflected and falls to Nick Chapman who drives high and wide of target.
Liam is taken down from behind at 11:53AM and the ball goes out for a corner from the resulting free kick for a SPC goal kick. Again NC push forward and the ball falls to Liam who elegantly slots the ball behind the keeper and just inside the left upright, some may say a poorly placed cross but not me. NC 2-0 at 11:55 AM.
Liam wins a free kick again, his skill in and around the box is causes much concern to the SPC defenders and they are responding with solid defending.
SPC get a free kick on the left side about half way. The ball is worked again upfield and towards the NC goal where Ryan is put under the pump again with two saves in the space of 45 seconds. NC push the ball out through the right side then the attack is cleverly complimented with a switch of play to see Stephen on his own. The defender presses and the ball s lost wide for the throw. Mr Burgess interchanges Stephen for Vangeli and play continues.
A mishap in back play gives SPC an opportunity and they make the most it, 2-1 at 12:05 PM. With 10 min to play in the first half NC push hard forward. Eric has a chance from a free kick cross which is defended well. SPC now push and probe up the left sde and the ball goes out for a goal kick. NC lose the ball and SPC apply the pressure again. The low drive is hit like a rocket but it was never on target. 2 min to play now the halftime and NC try to make the most of some creative counter play but luck is not with them at the moment. They are going to have to make their own luck to secure the trophy. The referee blows half time and NC finds themselves leading 2-1 in a game where SPC are dominating possession and shots on goal.
The referee starts the second half at 12:21 PM and SPC try to wrestle possession. The ball is tossed about and SPC win a free kick from what should have been a yellow card for a careless and dangerous tackle from Seung Woo. The ball is hit high to the back post but the two tall defenders ensured that the ball did not fall to the attacking SPC players. The ball goes out for a goal kick and NC now have the chance to build again. Muhammad finds no support with a creative run left side of the goal and the ball is eventually lost. A corner is delivered high and long and presents no problem to the SPC defenders. The ball is being played mostly in the half of SPC but a counter attack from SPC is masterfully disarmed by Thomas Greely and Seb Pyne. The ball is punched forward and a high ball is met on the volley by Eren only to go high and wide.
NC interchange and Seung Woo is back into the game and starts to make a an immediate presence. Muhammad is working very hard and he directs a ball to James Mehmet that is just out of reach. NC’s attack keeps finding ways to lose the ball at the final pass. Thomas Greely wins a free 30 m out and Muhammad drifts a ball to the back post where Stephen heads the ball wide.
At 12:40 PM a nicely placed ball is worked well by James Mehmet and the ball bounces from him to the keeper and back to him then pushed away for James to then pass the ball back to the edge of the box, the ball is drilled but defended away to fall near Eren, he takes a moment, steadies then blasted he ball into the net. NC go 3-1 up. The next section of play has another low and hard drive being fended away from goal by the keeper. NC can feel a hand on the trophy now and their confidence with the ball is growing. SPC have left one up front with a second forward loitering on the right wing. SPC win a free from a hand ball and SPC push 10 men forward. The clearing ball puts the SPC keeper under pressure and he miss hits the ball straight up into the air then catches the ball outside the box and now NC are awarded a free for hand ball. Seung Woo takes the free and as it dips it also swings away from the top left corner. Play continues and NC see themselves with another opportunity which bounces off the top of the crossbar. 10 min to go and the SPC goalkeeper is being tested again. All the play is with NC. A free kick is awarded and Seung Woo hits the ball into the wall and the ball pops for James Mehmet to drive low and towards the left upright and the ball sneaks in at 12:55PM. NC are now 4-1 with 5 min to go, the boys are savouring the moment as they come in to congratulate James.
A corner is won by NC and taken short by James then the resulting cross goes out, goal kick SPC. Play continues and the ball is worked from the SPC defenders passed to Seung Woo who drives hard and low only to be denied by the outstretched SPC keeper.
The referee looks at his watch and blows fulltime at 1:01PM. Newington College have won 4-1 and the trophy will return to Stanmore.
Tournament standings: NC- 7pts, BGS- 6 pts, SPC- 3pts and CGS- 1 pt.
A big thanks to all the teams and coaching staff and a big three cheers to Canberra Grammar for putting on a wonderful tournament.