THE final game of the season for the Narooma U13 Redbacks was played in brilliant sunshine at Dalmeny on Sunday. It was a match between first (Narooma) and fourth (Broulee) but it was always expected to be a tight tussle.
From the opening minute the Broulee Stingrays showed that they were a determined side and after only six minutes scored following a Narooma failure to clear the ball at the back. This was added to after a further 10 minutes when a lofted shot into the sun blinded the Narooma keeper and suddenly the local side was down by 2-0, which remained the score until half time.
A soul searching talk by coach Nigel saw the Redbacks come out firing for the second half, trying to pull back the two goal deficit. Relying on a modest number of defensive players, Narooma threw everything at the Broulee side but their back three and goalie were equal to the task. When you lead by two goals in a grand final, you just have to defend your lead, and Broulee did this well.
Narooma had possibly a dozen chances in the second half, but each time the ball sailed just wide or there was a great save or a Broulee boot got in the way but Narooma never gave up.
As the final whistle went, it was the Stingrays who were the premiers for 2012 and the Redbacks the runners up.
Although disappointed, the Narooma side congratulated their opposition on their victory, their first over Narooma this season.
This year was a successful year for the Redbacks – minor premiers and grand finalists. Every child gave it their all but on the day it was just not meant to be. The team spirit of this side was evident at a barbecue after the game – disappointment was put aside and smiles eventually appeared.
The team this year was Harrison Bunney, Sam Jackson, Teig Wilton, Sarah Alderton, Ryan Sweeney, Nicholas Carter, Logan Sydenham, Elliott Bendixsen, Oscar Zideluns, Nakita Mikolic, Jamie Dunk and Sam Negus.
Many of these players have been together since the Under 6s and there is a firm bond of friendship between them all.
They, along with all the parents, would like to thank Nigel Jackson, who has given so much of his time over the years to coach his ‘family’. He is respected and loved by the players and has been an inspiration to them in developing their soccer skills. He has guided them to two grand finals in two years.
The team and parents would also like to thank Ally Dunk, our photographer, who has taken some magnificent photos this year. She does such a great job that she even had printed photos for each parent of the presentation ceremony half an hour later at the barbecue!
Well done Redbacks on a great 2012 season.