SHOALHAVEN had six teams compete at the recent Country Cups held all around New South Wales – after five of them won their respective Branch Titles and the under 12 boys greens finishing as runners-up.
While Jono Wright’s under 13 boys side and Brad Banks’ under 16 girls sides won their respective Country Cups, the other four teams that competed also produced strong results.
Under 14s boys
The under 14 boys side, fresh off a Branch Title, travelled to Moruya on the June long weekend.
In their first game, they game up against Bathurst – a match where Shoalhaven dominated possession and despite having multiple scoring opportunities, they just couldn’t find the back of the net.
After being locked at nil-all deep into the second half, Shoalhaven received a free kick just outside the box, which they converted to secure a well deserved 1-nil win.
In game two, against Shoalhaven’s bogey side Eurobodella – after suffering a defeat and a draw to tot hem during the Branch Titles, to team suffered a tough 1-nil loss, in their worst performance of the tournament.
Game three saw the team take on the eventual Country Cup Champions Dubbo, who had already defeated Wagga 3-1 and Bathurst 3-nil.
This game would be the true test of the team’s ability, and the team did not disappoint.
In a see-sawing match, both sides had scoring opportunities early but failed to convert them due to great saves by both team’s goalkeepers, however Dubbo went into half-time with a 1-nil lead.
The second half saw both teams come out firing but two goals late in the half saw Dubbo take the win 3-nil.
Despite the result, this was Shoalhaven’s top performance of the weekend.
The team’s final game was against Wagga Wagga and with a number of players out injured, the gallant team fell 7-1.
In the end, goal difference determined the final make up on the ladder, with the team finishing fourth ahead of Eurobodella – giving the team a good foundation and experience to build on for next year.
Under 12 gold boys
On Friday, June 8, the Shoalhaven under 12 gold boys side, coach by Greg Pignataro, travelled to Wagga Wagga for the Country Cup.
On Saturday, the team played three games, with the first being against Orange, which they won 2-1.
They backed this up with a 4-nil win against Shoalhaven Green, with Macca scoring a hat-trick of headers from corner kicks.
The final game of the day saw the gold boys draw 1-all with Dubbo – a match which saw three different players step up for sick goalkeeper Jordan.
The following day, on Sunday, the side played two games – against Griffith and Wagga Wagga.
They managed to grind out a tough 2-1 win against Griffith before drawing nil-all with hosts Wagga.
In Shoalhaven other results, the under 12 girls toiled hard but lost all five matches, the under 12 boys green won one, drew one and lost three matches, the under 13 boys won all four matches and the under 16 girls won their three matches.