|Posted: 10 February 2016 at 3:03pm | IP Logged
4s v Oakhill Tigers III - LOB Minor North Cup Semi-Final
Ignatians 2-0 Oakhill Tigers
The Semi Final was finally here, and we were at home after almost 4 months away! It was good to be back. A number of us brought along the WAGs, friends and family for support, giving us a record crowd of say 20. HUGE. The wind was swirling but apart from that the conditions were fine with the pitch recovered from a lot of rain over the last month.
Typical of our cup run we again played a team in a higher division but as in every other game we believed that it would be our day and we would be able to extend our unbeaten run to 9! We lined up with Skee in goal, David Cheyne Paul Smith and Tom Quin as the back four, Ciaran Jordan Harry Dobbo and myself in midfield, with Franco up top. Matt Weinert and Jerry were the subs ready to pounce off the bench and help when needed.
We were fighting against the gale force wind in the first half so were looking to have a solid start and make it to halftime still in the game. We looked to get stuck in straight away and it was a very balanced opening start to the game. Franco tried to force his way into the box and all of a sudden he was down. It didn't look like much at first but it became evident he had took a whack to the face and his nose was running like Victoria Falls. He went off for treatment which was disappointing after a bright start. I moved up front, with Dobbo to left mid and Matt Weinert coming into centre mid.
We carried on fighting well and defending solidly. We had set our stall out well and rarely looked like giving a chance away. With our counters we were causing Oakhill problems and probably had the better chances. Some way through the 1st half Jordan was booked for dissent (which was probably a bit harsh) for saying 'that’s ridiculous'. This would end up being costly.
The moment we had been waiting for finally came with about 10 minutes left of the half. Paul Smith took the throw in, the goalie came to claim but Dobbo caused havoc and got a little flick on, Jerry (who replaced the ill Ciaran) was at the back post and guided the ball into the net. 1-0! Scenes.
With a minute left of the half a silly free kick was given away. The ball was lofted in and luckily the referee noticed a clear push otherwise we would have been going into halftime having just conceded.
Halftime blew and I was pretty happy with the first half performance, we had stepped up to a whole new level and had definitely risen to the occasion. I had to remind everyone to keep their cool having already picked two yellows we couldn’t afford to go down to 10... Saying that we had the wind this half and were hopeful we could press for another goal to try and make the game safe.
2nd half started and if anything the wind had a negative effect on us.
The 1st 5 minutes balls that would have carried through to Skee started holding up for their forwards and it took a little while for the defenders to get used to the change but they adjusted quickly. With about 55 minutes on the clock we almost got the precious 2nd with an almost identical move to the goal with a flick on leading to jerry who smashed it against the bar.
The already intense battle was about to get a lot harder when Jordan, committed as ever, made a silly tackle took out least 2 of their players and saw yellow. He was off, and there was still 25 minutes to play.. Soon after I took myself and Harry off replaced by Ciaran and the battered Franco in an attempt to keep our energy high. We for the most part coped well being down to 10 but pressure was mounting.
The ex rugby player of a couple years ago Nick Cheyne made a heroic block any professional would be proud of. Franco was looking a little lost but huge credit for going back out there when he could barely see out of one eye. With around 8 minutes to go, we won a free kick just inside their half, it
was floated in and Matt Weinert headed into the net superbly. 2-0. Massive celebrations! This was surely our day, even with liabilities like Jordan!
Skee made a great 1 on 1 save with a few minutes left to preserve the 2 goal cushion. Dobbo broke with the ball and tried to lay it off which failed, he fell to the floor and was in agony. The old man had cramp. Proper squealing. We were down to 9 for a minute. I went on while he hobbled off and soon after the final whistle blew! Everyone ran to each other and half way there I collapsed to the floor just like Dobbo and fell victim to cramp.. Somehow. So missed the celebrations as I lay on the floor wondering just how we got to the final! Jerry was MOTM.
I would like to give credit to Oakhill Tigers in a spirited game which meant a lot to both sides. In defeat they were very sportsmanlike wishing us the best for the final which can't have been easy with us lot going crazy.
That makes it 9 unbeaten for the 4s and having looked at the Honour’s list the night before the 4s have made a cup final for the 1st time in 50 years!!! Incredibly proud of everyone and 12th of March is going to be a massive day, this could be our year!
The celebrations went on way into the night with a lot of abuse for Jordan who bought the 1st round for everyone for his mistake (or should I say his dad did!).
Captain Kaig. COYI.