DESPITE the less-than-ideal conditions a large crowd turned out at Federation Oval to watch Tenterfield take on International at the weekend.
While both clubs were missing key players, they still produced some thrilling soccer to entertain the crowd who braved the intermittent showers.
The clash against International was the first of back-to-back rounds to be played at Federation Oval with Tenterfield to take on traditional rivals Ballandean this Saturday from noon.
Junior Colts played a full game of what seemed to be tag. Deakin in goal fought hard to catch, hit or kick away a barrage of goal attacks, while Jeromie, Seth and Bella all ran the entire game. International launched attack after attack, passing cleanly from player to player as part of a tactical ploy designed to tire the opposition. Deakin, Dylan and Lachlan managed to steal some intercepts but at half-time Thunder trailed 5-0.
After a much-needed break Thunders came out with a second wind. Tatsiana stole the ball a number of times as did David. Deakin covered more of the field this time with him not having to return in goal with Lachlan stepping in as keeper.
Lachlan had long shots caught, players running at him but he was fearless as his teammates were and they just kept playing the ball and trying anything they could. Unfortunately International were better on the day with a large-margin win.
The Senior Colts were missing a host of regulars this week and their absence was felt on the scoreboard.
With only three of the senior squad available, Thunder fielded a team including three ladies while the rest were juniors backing up from their earlier game.
International made the most of their size advantage and dominated from the start. It was as if pre-schoolers were playing men.
International obviously won (the last I saw the score it was 14-0), but well played Tom, Henry, and Zac. Tia, Courtney, Sam, Dylan, Deakin, Lachlan and David also tried valiantly. Thank you Martin Dachs for turning the game into keep the ball.
With both sides missing players the ladies' clash was a friendly with International's fillies subbing up for the afternoon and gaining some pointers and experience on the field against a bigger opposition.
Thunder Ladies won 1-0. The match was played in good spirit and delivered some talented plays.
International had some aggressive Senior Colts playing up and with Thunder chasing a win it made for a fast-paced affair.
Goalkeepers ran down the field attacking the opposition's goal, to return to the ball back at their own goal, and so it began again; Long shots, short shots, passes and hopscotch over the ball, anything and everything.
Cassidy, Josh, Pat, Iseeki, France, Marty, Miles and even the experienced coach all got plenty of touches of the ball.
Inter had a 4-1 lead at half time and secured a convincing 5-1 win at the end of the match.
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