Woy Woy vs Barnstoneworth D South Report

Blazing sunshine and a sticky pitch awaited Barnstoneworth when the team finally managed to find Austin Butler Oval Two, about five minutes before kick-off. With minimal warm-up and missing their goalkeeper, Barnstoneworth made the obvious decision to put their star striker Peter ‘Pez’ Miller in goals. At the end of the previous game against Mountains, Pez had said he thought he had a hernia, to which Trevor Husk had replied that this was no surprise, “because you’ve been carrying the rest of us all season.”

Despite the hernia, Pez was a standout in goal, showing sure hands and a preparedness to go for the attacker that saw him knocked over several times, not least when an attack down the right hand side followed by some deft passing saw Woy Woy swarm the goalmouth. Pez dived, batted and shoulder-charged attackers in true rugby fashion to save several goals.

All to no avail though, when Woy Woy received a penalty directly in front. The kick hit Will Belford in the defending wall in the legs and dribbled through, but with footwork reminiscent of Tek Tea’s last attempt at goal, Belford was unable to clear, and Woy Woy pounced on the loose ball to open the scoring.

Barnstoneworth responded with a series of concerted attacks on the Woy Woy goal which saw no fewer than six shots either into the safe hands of the Woy Woy goalie—who had a kick like a mule—wide or over the top. Anthony ‘Oscar’ Broadbere had probably his best chance at goal all season when Tom Lynch and Brett Fenton did some quick footwork on the left and passed close across the goalmouth. With the goalie flat on his face, Oscar shot and showed that all that hard work at training aiming for the crossbar was paying off.

With the sun now starting to fry skin, and Ben Johnson starting to lose his rag at the failure of the forwards to be in the right position for his passes, the half-time whistle was a welcome chance to cool down and take a breath.

In the second chapter, Jason Bush had his first go with the gloves, and discovered to his discomfort the sense of helplessness and butterfly stomach engendered by being stuck in goals (symptoms possibly not enhanced by a huge night in Brisbane the night before). His defence was solid though, and his commands and return kicks from the back were effective, and with Adam Chandler rock-solid at sweeper, Woy Woy were kept from too many scoring opportunities.

Meanwhile, slipping from centre to fullback to sweeper to wing, Chris Peers was playing like a mad dog, attacking the ball and winning the contest more often than not in a man-of-the-match performance. His steals got the ball to the forwards on many occasions, and fifteen minutes in, Pez took the ball from a long pass, and in a dazzling display of solo footwork, evened the scores.

Ten minutes later, after a combination of attacks involving everyone from Dean ‘D-Train’ Alexander at fullback, Trevor Husk on the wing, Tom Lynch, Chris Peers and Brett Fenton in the centres (and let’s not forget Steve from the over-45s who had a solid game), Woy Woy were forced into a series of corner kicks. Alas, nothing stuck and they came back hard giving the Barnstoneworth backs some long runs and some rough and tumble around the box.

With ten to go, another penalty kick from Woy Woy was intercepted and returned with interest to find Pez marked by only one defender. He outmanoeuvred him, drew the goalie, took the ball right, curved back and nailed it to make it 2-1. A minute from the end there was some debate about whether Jason Bush had touched a ball as it rolled dead chased by the Woy Woy striker.

Amidst the acrimony, the ref, who had done a sterling job, blew the final whistle. Woy Woy declined to give Barnstoneworth a cheer, which by any measure was “jolly unsportsmanlike”. Either way, we won, and we wish them good luck in the finals.

Final result: Woy Woy 1 – 2 Barnstoneworth.

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