April 04 2016 10:50:07.
By Oscar Courtney
- Supplementary Cup: Barr Hill v U11s Tornadoes
Saturday 2nd April 2016, Summerville Road, KO 10.30am.
Talk about Murphy's Law...Initially without regular keeper, Tom Messenger, the Tornadoes had an excellent replacement in Callum Looby. However, in a stroke of incredible misfortune Callum had to limp off after 10 mins to be replaced by Patrick Walsh. Despite having never played in nets before Patrick put in a tremendous display of courage and bravery. Coupled with Ronan Courtney failing a fitness test, and Harrison Birkett unable to play, the Tornadoes really found the odds stacked against them. Amazingly, despite these setbacks the Tornadoes went in to the half time break with honours even, after two superb goals from Brandon Wabayi. This after excellent work from Joe Hope and Alan Kay. If anything the Tornadoes were unfortunate not to be ahead after Brandon hit the post and Max Chidgey the crossbar. In the second half the Tornadoes did well to get their noses ahead with a goal apiece from Will Whipday and Sam Jones. However, the Tornadoes, whether through complacency, fatigue or loss of team shape allowed Barr Hill Clubs back in to the game with two quick ripostes. The Clubs with their tails up really took the game to the Tornadoes in the last 15 mins. Although both teams created chances to win the match in 60 mins I think a draw was probably a fair result. Unfortunately the penalty shoot out that ensued was to be a cruel ending for the Tornadoes. It was truly heart breaking to see Patrick in tears but he can console himself with two excellent penalty saves. He really give it his all and that's all I can ask from my players. I'm also hoping that this will be a lesson well learned by players and management. I was pleased by the subdued reaction of the players after the penalty shoot out. The silliness and giddiness pre the penalty shoot out had gone and no one was asking about the MOTM trophy. Hopefully the penny will have dropped. Yes, the result was cruel but that's football. I know we had terrible luck with injuries and absentees but the lads I feel were a bit too complacent and felt that it was job done when we went 4-2 up. We also lost our shape too often and at times I felt we were very flat. However, at other times we played some excellent passing football and really looked a threat going forward. Bottom line though is, I should have seen the warning signs quicker and I should have made some changes, to see the game out. For that I apologise to both the players and their parents. No MOTM trophy was awarded. As I said, I hope this will be a lesson well learned by management and players.