THE Under 17 Southern Branch representative soccer team has won its NSW Country Championship.
They won the title at Young on October 11 and 12.
This year both the U/17 and U/15 age groups were only contested by
Southern, Western and Riverina branches who played each other twice over the weekend.
It was an extremely physically demanding, energy sapping tournament playing four games of 80 minutes duration each of tough, very competitive football.
Southern Branch was undefeated winning three games and drawing one, in the process scoring 10 goals and conceding only two.
Due the physical nature of the tournament it was always going to be difficult to come away winning all of the matches.
In Game 1 they defeated Western 1-0.
After started very well s Southern was dominating possession and knocking the ball around beautifully while playing some great team football.
After 12 minutes play they were rewarded with a fantastic goal which started f with a flowing move from the back which saw interplay of five passes and a final brilliant 30 metre diagonal chip-in from the inner left channel by Cameron Brown to Daniel Lavalle.
Daniel peeled off his defender in the right side of the penalty box to unleash a thunderbolt that cannoned in off the bottom of the left post.
Although Southern dominated the remainder of the match and indeed if it had taken all of the numerous chances the scoreline could and probably should have vastly different.
This is not to take anything away from Western who not only grew in
confidence as the match wore on, but also became more dangerous as we failed to finish them off and perhaps we were fortunate they did not equalise late in the match.
In the second game Southern defeated Riverina 3-0.
The scoreline indicates it was a comfortable win, however Southern made hard work of it, tending to overplay the options and by simply being too greedy.
It was just fortunate that Riverina lacked a cutting edge and that Southern’s defence coped, although at times under pressure when caught forward by playing a poor pass.
Southern gradually gained composure and their football stepped up a gear until finally, in the 34th minute, after a sustained period of attacking moves, they scored.
Daniel Lavalle swung in a corner kick from the left, Dom Meessman climbed up at the back post to head the ball square to Cameron Brown who beat his marker to head the ball cleanly in top right corner of the net. 1-0 at half time.
They dominated the second half from start to finish playing some great flowing team football, however still could only manage to score two more goals.
One in the 12th minute from a 25metre Jordan Hale free kick and at the 28th minute Jordan Hale went on a mazy run from half way to unleash a 20 metre shot that was parried by the keeper into the path of Mitch Grant who slotted home No.3.
Game 3 was also against Riverina and Southern won 4 -0. Despite it being on day two when tiredness and niggling injuries were beginning to take toll.
Southern got out of the blocks very well and after just four minutes went ahead with a goal.
It followed a smooth flowing move by Marc O’Neill who had won possession on half way on the left flank, then beaten a second opponent, motored 10m and played a 20m pass for Daniel Lavalle on a diagonal run wide on the left who beat two defenders whipped over a great left foot cross for the flying Ryan Roche to coolly slot home a great team goal.
Seven minutes later Southern scored No.2 after another sweet move.
Ryan Soley made a great run down the right flank and squared a great cross to the near post where Ryan Roche finished very well indeed.
It was 2-0 at the break which flattered Riverina considering the number of chances Southern were able to create against them.
In the second half, although dominating possession until the 18th minute to score number 3 when Jordan Hale hit a worm burner from all of 30 metres out to leave leaving the keeper no chance.
They then had to wait until the 38th minute for No.4 when Ryan Soley fired over a great early cross for Brad McIntyre to smash home a great goal into the roof of the net at the near post.
Game 4 against Western ended as a 2 all draw.
This was Southern’s final game in an exhausting weekend of football of the highest order.
It was the most fiercely contested match of the tournament. We knew what to expect from Western as their only chance to pinch the title was to beat us by six clear goals.
Southern went ahead after eight minutes when Jason D’Amico converted from the penalty spot after Daniel Lavalle had been upended in the box.
Then immediately afterwards, Jason received his 2nd yellow card, which became red, leaving us to play the remainder of the match (72mins.) with 10men.
We were let off the hook five minutes later when Western failed to convert a payback penalty kick which went sailing over the cross bar and Southern led 1-0 at half time.
Even though still a man down Southern should probably have picked up at least one more goal, although Kyle Lavender our keeper pulled a miraculous save 8mins prior to the break.
In the second half Southern kept its shape until the 15th minute when it got caught in a counter attack and got punished at the back post undermanned 4mins. later.
Ryan Roche who was doing a great job as the sole striker was tripped in the box
And Jordan Hale converted. although their keeper got a hand to it.
This lifted Southern and although still down to 10 men they were a bit more Composure.
As the game moved into the last 15mins. despite having made four changes, Southern began to run out of legs and their minds began to wander.
This led to some taking unnecessary risks and we got punished after trying to run the ball rather than play out from the back.
Western’s captain scored a great goal to leave the final scoreline of 2-2.
This left us Undefeated on 10 points, Western 7points, Riverina 0 points.
All players contributed to a great weekend, not only representing Southern
Branch (NSW) with pride, but also giving everything they had for the team cause.
The Southern team was Kyle Lavender (Shoalhaven Heads), Jason D’Amico(Worrigee), Mitch Grant(Batemans Bay), Jordan Hale & Perry Kennedy (Tura Beach- Merimbula), Ben Spruce(Jerramadra), Dom Meessman(Wolumla-Bega), Cameron Brown(Kiah-Eden), Marc O’Neill(Eden), Chris Price-captain(Milton), Ryan Soley(Goulburn),Daniel Lavalle and Greg Wickens(Ulladulla), Ryan Roche & Chris
Christodoulou(Gerringong), Brad McIntyre(Bomaderry). Ray Hale(Tura Beach)-Manager , Les Hodges(Vincentia)- coach.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.