The Taipans hit the road for the first time this season playing UTS at Valentine Sports Centre which unusually was a neutral venue for this match. As usual, our Academy teams kicked things off on much smaller courts than they are perhaps used to however it was great to see these kids learning and enjoying the game.
As we got down to the business end of matches, the Taipans 12 Boys were on a high after their start to the season as they took on a side that beat them in the Beaches Cup only a couple of weeks ago. The Taipans weathered some early pressure from the home side before hitting the front and from that point, South Coast took control of the game. Up 4-1 at half time, the Taipans saw out the game winning 6-2 taking them to the top of the table (on goal difference).
The 13 Girls have endured a tough start to the season. They found themselves behind early in the match as UTS scored four unanswered goals in the first half. The Taipans seemed to do a lot of defending which limited their scoring opportunities. The home side added two more goals in the second half. Although, the Taipans did manage a consolation in what was in the end a comprehensive 6-1 loss.
As we moved on to the 14 Boys, there was an element of expectation from this team however they were dealt a blow before the match with two key players unavailable (injury) for this match. The Taipans got off to a horrific start conceding a couple of soft goals to see them 3-0 down inside the opening 12 minutes. UTS managed a fourth just before the break to take a commanding 4-0 lead into the break. To the Taipans credit, they came out in the second half with purpose and possibly had enough chances to get something from the game. In what was a positive, the Taipans won the second half 1-0 to go down 4-1.
The 15 Girls ground out a good result last week and their match against UTS was set to be even harder. A preseason loss to UTS was motivation for the young Taipans to get something from this game. In a see saw battle that saw chances at both ends, the Taipans hit the lead towards the latter stages of the first half which turned out to be the only goal before the break. The game ebbed and flowed and UTS seemed frustrated at Taipans’ dogged defence. The Taipans weathered the storm and took their opportunities to record a solid 3-0 win which also sees them be the only team in their age category to register maximum points.
The 16 Boys were disappointed with their result last week and were determined to get back on track this week against a resilient UTS side. The game started at a high intensity with both sides getting on the score sheet inside the opening exchanges. The Taipans took a 3-2 lead into half time in what resembled an even arm wrestle. The Taipans looked more determined in the second half and after they went two goals up, they skipped away to record a 6-3 win which puts them back on track in a season where they are expected to do well.
17 Girls next hit the court in a game that looked on paper to be a very even contest that could go either way. The game saw both teams really go at each other early however both sets of players worked hard defensively to keep each other at bay. The first goal of the game was going to be crucial and UTS scored late in the first half to take the lead at the break. The Taipans threw everything at UTS in the second half but the home side defended stoutly and nabbed a second midway through the half to see out the game 2-0.
It was our first chance to see the AWD team in action this week as they took on a newly formed UTS side. After going down early, UTS got back on level terms midway through the first half as the home side gave as good as they got. The Taipans are hot favourites this year and their technique and skill saw them power ahead to a 4-1 lead at the break. UTS in the end were no match for a side that will be hard to stop as the Taipans started their campaign with a handy 7-1 win.
The Youth team fixture has the tenancy to produce the most exciting games of the day. It was certainly the case this week as both sides went toe to toe like two heavy weight boxers. UTS took a 1-0 lead into the break before the Taipans equalised almost immediately from the restart. UTS hit the lead shortly after before the Taipans returned fire. UTS then scored again only to see the Taipans draw level again. The game could have gone either way but despite not having led, the Taipans felt they let slip points in what ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw.
In the penultimate game of what was a long day, the Taipans womens team faced a very competitive UTS side. The home side dominated possession however to the Taipans’ credit, they defended well. UTS did however grab the go ahead goal midway through the half which saw them take a 1-0 lead to the break. The Taipans battled hard through the match but were unable to find a way through the UTS defence. In fact, it was the home side that added two more goals in the second half to record a sound 3-0 win.
In the Men’s match, it was experience that was the difference. UTS featured no less than four NPL1 first grade players from Blacktown City. After a tentative start from both sides, UTS got the breakthrough through a set piece kick in. They doubled their lead soon after as the Taipans were looking to just hang on. It was disaster for the Taipans as UTS scored a third inside the last minute of the half. The Taipans did however manage to pull one back with literally the last kick of the first half. To the Taipan’s credit, they dominated a large portion of the second period however UTS held firm and managed to kill the game with a late goal to seal a 4-1 win.
We walked away with 10 club championship points in a day that could have been so much better. Although it is early days, it looks like it’s going to be a very close battle in the club championship this year with the top three sides separated by three points and the bottom four separated by just two points. We live an learn as we host last years club champions Inner West Magic next week.
Photo credit: Pedro Garcia
Cooper Kerridge running with the ball in 12 Boys.