Season overview by CJ
2014 Elite Season Review
So our new management team of Dave & Adam have asked the team stalwart to do a season review of 2014 and give my take on things, as everyone is entitled to my opinion J
(And yes I will be referring to myself in the 3rd person from time to time, as Ganesy has done for the majority of the season)
I’ll be looking back at some of the season highlights, lowlights, the Good, The Bad & The Ugly and also player ratings as I attempt to review a successful 2014 season.
Going into the 2014 season we had the early challenge of replacing a few good lads from our 2013 squad who asked not to be considered for the new season.
A 4th place finish the previous season was a respectable finish in what was a very competitive grade. With the Elite having lofty ambitions for 2014 the recruitment drive was on.
Thru blind luck, shrewd manipulation and a few lads who knew a guy who knows a guy, we welcomed Declan, Todd, Damo, Nik & Andrew to the Elite roster.
With the squad coming together pre-season arrived and there was plenty of bodies turning up at Macalister Park on those lovely summer Wednesday nights with CJ putting the lads thru their paces to knock the off season cobwebs out.
The last man standing drill was particularly enjoyable for the lads I recall, notably Adam who always seemed to win. Unfortunately Crespo was not a big fan of this particular drill, I wonder why.
The successful 2013 formation of 3-4-3 was introduced to our new faces and over the pre-season games the team really started to gel. The system however was to be ditched early in the season to be replaced with a more balanced 3-4-1-2 system.
A big win over the Ladies 1st team was followed by a good win against Fowler’s mates the Karori Aces. The Tuataras looked to give us a game but came up short as did the Salmon. All 3 teams beaten convincing by the mighty Elite.
Our last pre-season game was a hastily arranged one by Crespo against the Tawa Devils from Cap 4. This was a good test of how we were looking for the upcoming season and like those before them they were dispatched and sent on their way.
There was a low point unfortunately, that of Crespo going off with what was to turn out to be a season ending ankle injury.
Overall the 2014 Elite season will be judged to be one of our better seasons in recent years. A 3rd place finish being great reward for a challenging and competitive season.
The Elite were to be challenged in the first half of the season with 7 of our first 9 games being drawn away from home.
A record of 5 wins, no draws and 4 losses saw us reach the halfway stage of the season in the top half of the table having scored 19 goals, conceding 14 with 2 clean sheets in Dave’s pocket. Considering the lack of home games a very strong return for the Elite.
The second half of the season was to be an entirely different challenge with some of the top boys in the grade having to turn up in Elite’s backyard.
Capital Football came to the party after a kind word from our Club Chairman which saw us play 5 home games in a row on the hallowed turf of Newtown Park.
A record of 4 wins, 3 draws with 2 losses for the 2nd round of matches saw the Elite finish 3rd having scored 20 goals, conceding 17 and Dave picking up another clean sheet.
The most pleasing aspect of the season was definitely our home record, which read:
P 9 W 5 D 3 L 1 GF 21 GA 13 GD +8 PTS 18
A couple of those draws could easily have been wins but still, any team would be proud of this home record.
Season Highs, Lows & The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
The 6-3 win against Naenae will be remembered for the mud, the Red Bull promo girls, CJ’s hat-trick and Niall’s goal (with the graceless knee slide but hey it was a good goal!).
However the best win of the season and most pleasing in my opinion was the 3-2 win over Olympic TFTs on Newtown Park back on the 14th June 2014.
After a goal-less first half, the Elite were to go 1-nil down to a penalty only for CJ to score a free-kick from distance to make it 1-all. Unfortunately CJ was to do a Stevie G soon after with a slip as last man which allowed the Olympic striker to run on thru and beat Dave to go 2-1 up.
The next 20 minutes was where the lads really dug in and were rewarded when a clearing kick from an Olympic corner was chased down by Andrew who ran on to beat both defender and keeper to get the Elite back on level terms at 2-all.
This was what the Elite needed and with Crespo making one of his rare appearances during the season, he was to win a penalty in the final minutes of the game to give the Elite a chance to win the game. After quite a bit of gamesmanship by the Olympic keeper, CJ took his own time to then bury the spot kick to make it 3-2 to the Elite.
As always a win against Olympic is one to savour but to come back from being down twice and keep the unbeaten record on Newtown Park going made this win my favourite of the season.
While we don’t like to dwell on the low points of the season, we must acknowledge the good with the bad and man were we bad away to Tawa Bears on the 10th May 2014 on what was a surprisingly good Onepoto surface.
A lack of cohesion, movement, control and Tawa contesting and winning the 50/50’s the Elite spent most of this game chasing shadows.
It was a very hard 90 minutes to watch from the side-lines for the injured lads of Stu, CJ & Damo with all three agreeing that this was the worse game we’d played all season.
The only bright spots in hindsight was our performance in the return leg at home that Tawa even acknowledged they were lucky to get a draw from and Tawa going on to win Capital 7 undefeated.
The One that got Away
Early in the season I think we’d all agree that we missed an opportunity to get at least a point away to Upper Hutt Saints out at Petone Memorial on a clear Monday night.
We also had the before mentioned 1-all draw against the Tawa Bears on Newtown Park in which we played some great football in complete contrast to the away leg and were unlucky not to come away with the 3 points in that one.
However the one that really stuck in the throat was the 2-2 result against Island Bay Dreamers on Newtown Park!
For 80 minutes of that game we dominated the Dreamers and we finally looked like we were getting one over them, only for us to fade in the last 10 with the finish line in sight. They only needed a sniff of a chance and unfortunately they took it.
This truly was one of those draws that felt like a loss.
Best Team Performance(s)
There were two standout “team” performances for me from the season.
The first was the game against Tawa Bears at Newtown Park. Considering how badly we performed in the away leg the lads really turned it around in this game and it really set the tone for the next 4 home games on Newtown Park.
The pre-match talk and challenge to the team from a couple of the senior Elite players was really laid down and that the “this is our pitch, our home ground and we don’t let teams dominate us here or lose any 50/50’s” speech was to be repeated time and time again to make Newtown Park our fortress.
The other was the last game of the season against Vic Uni Beavers. I think most of us would agree we didn’t really perform that well against these lads in the away game but I thought everyone turned up for this one and put in a real strong team performance. Again one we could have won if not for a couple of outstanding saves from the Beavers keeper.
The Good, the Bad & The Ugly
· The quality of football at times, both home and away.
· Our home record on the hallowed turf of Newtown Park and the drinking sessions that followed!
· The shear quality of the goals this season was outstanding! The goal of the season will be hotly contested this year.
· Our defence was a real strength this year and a big improvement on last season.
· Team winning the Club and Mid-season do Quizzes while enjoying ourselves greatly.
· The support from the WAGS, especially Sally & Libby who turned up for most matches regardless of the weather and adding plenty of banter to the post match sessions.
· The Onepoto graveyard! Two of our worst performances were on that bog of a pitch.
· Injuries to key players across the season. Some of which really impacted on our options across the park.
· Having our last home game of the season on Newtown Park being postponed and being rescheduled to a Monday night. Shame on you Cap Football!
· Dave’s disappointing write up L We expect better things from you Dave!
· The win against Naenae on Newtown. Nil-all at half time and a first half the Elite would prefer to forget! While we did eventually win 4-nil, that first half was ugly man!
· Pete and Damo’s biffo moments. Not really something they’ll be proud of and were rightly fined heavily.
· The number of sitters that were missed this season. A number of lads were to be slapped with the $5 sitter fine and were not their most crowning moments. Some were uglier than others but it happens to the best of them – I should know.
I felt my review couldn’t be complete without a rating and brief on the team’s individual performances over the season.
To ensure there was some impartiality to this, I invited my esteemed fellow Wednesday Club member Niall Jessiman to join me in completing this as we mulled over the season with plenty of Tuatara Pilsner to help the old grey matter.
Dave (7.5 / 10)
After the initial shocker of the infamous “Usher” incident in game 1, Dave had a solid season between the sticks. 3 clean sheets was a good improvement on last season as was his kicking out of hand. One of the newly anointed co-team managers, Dave’s penalty save against North Wellington was a highlight of the season. Unfortunately his anticipated write up wasn’t one of them.
Damo (9 / 10)
Our own little Godfather was to be a great addition to the team this year and really made left back his own, especially with Fowler leaving midway thru the season. While a goal was never in the reckoning, as he rarely ventured past halfway, he made up for this ten times over with some fine last ditch tackling on our own goal box. Just too many to choose one as his season highlight.
Pete (8 / 10)
Another whirlwind of a season from our own all action Jackson! Coming into the season a little late due to overseas work commitments, Pete was back to his own brand of football which mostly consists of all out running, heavy touches, heavy body contact and a new element this year, having the mickey taken out of him by Libby at the post match sessions. Love having Pete in the team, as the opposition hate playing him as he never goes away! This is where I should be coming up with a goal scoring highlight for you Pete but try as you might – its nudie run again fella.
Steveo (8.5 / 10)
Our resident hunter/gatherer was again at the heart of a very good defence this season. His partnership with Pete & Damo was one of the strongest combinations this season. A couple of goals this season capped off a very strong season for Steveo. No doubt his season highlight was his volley goal in front of his daughter at Newtown Park. He’s a seal...I know, I know!
Ganesy (7 / 10)
I’ve never meet a guy with so much gas J I lost count of the number of times someone’s speech was interrupted by one of Ganesy’s hearty burps! Always one for stories (and there were some real random ones) Ganesy had a bit of a breakthrough season for the Elite, having played some of his best football in our defensive midfield role with either Adam or Cory. His dummy run from halfway against Upper Hutt which threw fear into their defence and resulted in Stu’s corner kick going straight in was a season highlight.
Jas (7 / 10)
This was very much a season of injuries and fatherhood for Jas. While he’s the proudest father going around we didn’t get to see too much of Jas this season. However when there Jas was his usual dependable self, designated goal kicker and even had a couple of cracks at goal this season that may have gone in seasons past. Season highlight was clearly the birth of his baby boy!
Fowler (8 / 10)
Another solid season from Fowler before he headed off for his overseas trip. The recipient of most of the early season fines, Fowler continued to bring balance to the left hand side of the pitch but clearly missed his unique onfield connection with Crespo. His regular Facebook photo posts of his cheesy smile around the world ensured he wasn’t forgotten.
Johnny (Not Rated)
Due to injury, Johnny’s role was to be pretty limited this season but no doubt a couple of his goal keeper appearances will result in him winning another “Cat” Elite award for save of the season. The couple against the Dreamers on Wakefield were highlights to savour.
Todd (7.5 / 10)
The team gangsta T-Pain was a welcome full time addition to the Elite this season after enjoying a good number of cameo appearances for the Elite in 2013. Able to play anywhere and tackle all day, T-Pain had a strong season for the Elite. While he wasn’t able to get on the score sheet this season, T-Pain was always one of the first names on the team sheet. Highlight was his improving banter at the post match sessions, bring it T-Pain.
Adam (8.5 / 10)
The other newly anointed co-team manager was to be very influential this season in his defensive midfield role. While his prancing at times leads to post match banter, Adam makes up for it in his tenacity and ball winning skills. A couple of goals at crucial times in games led to the Elite turning games around in our favour and helping to secure vital 3 points. Season highlight for me was his growing leadership around the park capped by his crucial goals.
Cory (7.5 / 10)
Always one to set the bar high for himself, Cory had another strong season for the Elite in tandem with Adam in the midfield. After a 7 goal breakthrough season last year, it was always going to tough to match that but scored a couple of crackers this season. While we give him plenty about his glass ankles, Cory doesn’t leave much in the tank each and every week. Highlight was his goal in the last game of the season against the Beavers, what a great way to end the season. We go again!
Nik (8.5 / 10)
The team popstar Macklemore was another great addition to the Elite. After the early loss of Crespo, Nik was to own the left wing role and ran and ran and ran all day. He also didn’t mind throwing a few jump tackles across the bow of the opposition to add a little spice to proceedings. While a recipient of plenty of banter, Nik really embedded himself into the Elite this year. Highlight was his consistency all season. I don’t really recall too many bad games this season from Nik.
Niall (7 / 10)
A bit of a season where injury limited Niall’s minutes but when called upon played well on the wing or in the middle of the park. His willingness to give the foul away to halt the opposition’s flow was always appreciated as was his fashion sense. Demonstrated by the headband and wristbands in the final game. While the chop against Upper Hutt Saints wasn’t his greatest contribution, his 20 minutes cameo upfront against Naenae was certainly his crowning highlight. As he describes it, we were watching greatest that day my friends. While his goal was certainly great, the knee slide was far from it!
Decs (8 / 10)
Be it Dec, Decs or Declan, another fine full time addition to the Elite. On reflection probably played the most minutes on the park this season. His outstanding ability to link the midfield and strikers was to be a skill greatly needed with Stu limping out for majority of the season. We got plenty of talk from Decs this season and while most got to learn to understand Decs, Ganesy still struggles. Highlight was his ability to just keep playing to the end of games. Decs really helped keep the shape in the middle of the park this season and ensured we competed in most games. His post match warm downs made the team look like amateurs!
Marcel (7 / 10)
The Elite’s most capped player was to be another whose season was impacted by injury. Marcel’s energy and willingness to run anything down was missed at times during the season but when available he tore into the opposition with his usual tenacity. Season highlights was his improving distribution and man has he got that “two shin trap” down packed. You could learn a thing or two there Pete.
Crespo (Not Rated)
Due to his pre-season injury, this was a season that really didn’t get going for Crespo. While he managed to ensure he wasn’t going to be on the nudie run this season with an early goal, his loss was felt across the season when certain games called for a player with his ability to beat a man on the outside and deliver quality ball into the box. Highlight moment was winning the penalty against Olympic to give the Elite a chance to snatch the win, even if he didn’t go down.
Stu (Not Rated)
Another player that was missed this year when a calf injury put pay to his season. While Stu made a number of attempts to get back on the park, his own ill-advised assessment that he’d be back in 4 weeks and not 6 weeks as his physio advised was quite clearly wide of the mark. My finding of an article that referred to his injury as one suffered by weekend warriors still brings a smile to my face. Season highlight has to be his goal against Upper Hutt Saints straight from the corner kick. While Ganesy can take some credit, not too many players get to score in this manner.
Andrew (8 / 10)
After we were advised early on by Sally that Andy wasn’t going to be an acceptable abbreviation of his name on the pitch, Andrew was a welcome addition to the Elite for this season. After Crespo’s pre-season injury, we were looking very light on the striker front. After a golden boot season with Marist last year, Andrew agreed to don the Oranje for the Elite and was ever present all season. His strength and willingness to chase anything down even with defenders all over him was the difference at times in games. His highlights for me were his two cracking finishes against Scarfies at Wellington College and Tawa Saints on Newtown Park. Both goals were smashed pass the keeper who had no chance!
CJ (8 / 10)
Lastly we get to yours truly. Having asked Niall to rate my season, we both agreed that after a false start to the season due to a futsal injury and a pulled quad upon my attempted return, the second half of the season was where I was able to play my part in the Elite machine and contribute across the park. In a season that saw me hand the Elite torch over to Adam and Dave, I really enjoyed letting the reins go and just enjoying myself on the pitch. As such, this was one of the more enjoyable and successful seasons I’ve had with the Elite. Personal highlight has to be the hat trick against Naenae, which was all the more rewarding considering how hungover I was!
Anyway, that’s it, CJ’s take on the 2014 Elite season! Enjoy the Elite Awards lads & Club Prize Giving and we’ll see you again for another rollercoaster ride of Elite football in 2015.
Elite 1 - Beavers 1
This was a familiar battlefield against the Vic Uni Beavers, round one was in the same location, same time, however hopefully this time a different result.
After being given the grace of not having to play in the shite weekend weather, Monday night at Wakefield, apart from being stiff nipple cold, was a great night for football.
Turning up a little late myself, I was glad to know the fine book was closed, but also that I was still was “on time” considering Jase, Rafter and Gansey were yet to arrive….
however we did have a ref… who was well on time, and busy sorting out his cards…. This could be interesting
The banter started as usual (with Niall producing his new team kit accessory) and Gansey’s stories beginning to flow…
The ref even passed comment the banter in the “lower division” (not sure what he was referring to there, as we play in the Wellington premier league) was far better than in the “top flight” league…. I think he was going to enjoy this game
The Beavers turned up with the usual line up (no stacking like their sister team) – however a small new edition in goal … the Pink Panther
(Cory was fixated on his shirt… and was going to ask him to swap after the game)
The game got underway with the Elite playing some great ball to feet football and one, twos. This was shaping up to be a great footballing experience for the ref, much better than the “top flight”.
The Elite had the best of the chances in the first half with a great little chip from Jase finding CJ in space on the 6 yard, only for him to send it down the middle into the keepers chest.
Vic Beavers quickly figured out that they could not beat the Elite by playing football and resulted to the hoof and chase… great fun when you are playing in defence!
This did not phase the Elite who again pressed on with some great work on the right through Rafter, Todd and Decs resulting in a square ball that was buried by Cory in the top left corner – 1 nil to the Elite, game on!!
Vic Beavers pressed forward again using their fast front row, and Usain Bolts brother from another mother “Shaggy”
however all the Beavers could trouble the Elite goal with, was a piddly little shot that Dave had covered and well judged… leaving it to roll into the post and wide (well left Dave)
Half time rolls around, but not before Niall decides he is tired and jumps on one of the beavers players for a piggy back ride….
Not one player in the Elite side had a bad half, with Nick, Todd, Pete, Rafter making all good inroads on the wings, and the middle being held together well by Adam & Co.
The second half kicked off with the Elite fired up after the half time team talk (which consisted of - contain Usains brother up front as all they have is the long ball, and watch George the Giants throw-ins as that is their only other weapon)
The Mighty Elite again started the second half as they did the first, great pass and move football … with the Beavers sticking to the hoof.
Both teams began to tire, and the ref was in for a run for his money… out came the ref abuse – but he was having none of it…and kept the game in check. Not being prepared to award soft free kicks or hand balls the game played on with little whistle blowing…
the Beavers karate kid on the right was causing a few issues for Cory and Pete who both nearly got a kick to the head! However this resulted in some great free kick chances that the Elite unfortunately couldn’t convert.
The Beavers started to come into the game a little more as the Elite tired… and lost their shape…
with a one on one looming, the rushing Dave made the striker play the ball around him, again sending a slow motion shot into the post (well covered Dave!)
Almost instantly the Beavers had another chance down the left, with Shaggy “bolt” smoking Damo down the line and crossing to the awaiting striker
1 -1 (few swear words), lets get on with it boys
Straight away almost from the kick off the Elite looked to draw level with a great chance to CJ at the back post after some excellent build up
Some how the pink panther managed to get a hand to the shot and tip it over the bar… bugger!!
Next in line for a chance on goal was Andrew… who managed to toe poke his way through on to goal, only to send the shot over the bar…
The pressure was mounting….
Dec’s received the ball after a bit of goal box scramble, and managing to get his shot on target, through the mass of bodies, only for the pink panther to be there waiting again…
The Elite were not to have anymore chances on goal…. Even though the pressure was being applied and 80% of the game played in the beavers half… the Elite couldn’t convert!
1 point in the bag, the Elite were happy – cementing third place on the table! Playing some great football, and defending the hoof – route one football that is always so fun to play against
Excellent finish to the season, with the ref even joining in the post match celebrations – no going back to the “top flight for him
Points on the day could have gone to anyone but ….
3 - to Cory, best game of the season, great goal, all around solid game and limited whining
2 – to Pete, apart from the air swing, great game controlling the karate kid in defence
1 – to Niall, great head band – but more importantly the second game in a row where he has taken charge from the sideline to help lead and organize the team… also helpful with the talking and chatter
Write-up by Pete
Elite 1 - Saints 2
This is the best write up in the world….. Tribute
The other weekend me and the Elite, were driving down a long a lonesome road (seriously Onepoto is a depressing place).
All of a sudden, there shined a shiny demon... in the middle... of the road.
And he said:
"Play the best football in the world, or I'll eat your soul."
Well me and the Elite, we looked at each other,
and we all said... "Okay."
And we played an average game of football and we didn’t use our heads,
Just so happened to be,
The most average football in the world, was the most average football in the world (this write up would have been way better if we had of won)
Look into my eyes and it's easy to see
One and one makes a draw, two and one makes a loss,
It was their destiny.
Once every hundred-thousand years or so,
When the sun doth shine and the moon doth glow
And the Saints do win
Needless to say, Onepoto was stunned.
Squish-squish went their soggy pitch,
And the game was done.
They asked us: "Be you tired?"
And we said, "Nay. We are Elite."
So off to the pub we went.
This is not The Greatest write-up in the World, no.
This is just a tribute.
Couldn't remember The Greatest write-up in the World, no, no.
This is just a tribute!
For anyone who does not get the reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lK4cX5xGiQ
I am also glad that the fine book is shut.
But down to the serious matter of points and who gets them. Unfortunately we couldn’t come away with the win so I though the less we talk about the game the better. There were some standout players though.
3 Points – Damo
Although I should deduct 3 points for your gold pimp chain and leaving early. I thought you played a good game and really held the back line together making tackle after tackle and keeping their speedy attacks at bay.
2 Points – Andrew
Two points, one for each defender you managed to school on your solo effort that managed to keep us in the game.
1 Point - Nick
For running and running and running down the wing time and time again.
Elite 6 - Naenae 3
Well the Saturday started like so many before... with a haze, a heavy head, stale breath, takeaway boxes showing the remnants of leftover J&M chicken or cat... and a "fire up" text from one of our esteemed leaders. And was I fired up! Where were my socks? Where were me pants? Where in Titahi Bay does Jas live? So many questions, so little time...
As I slowly progressed through the city to pick up up Toddy, noting missed calls and texts, I came to realise that 45 minutes to drive to Porirua, pass the Haywards and hit Fraser Park may have been a little industrious and that time waits for no man. But this was no ordinary man, this was after all - Ganesy... And after pulling up and seeing the outrageous pony tails of the "Naenae Express" strikers donning their boots, I knew we were fine.
Greeted by fine north-westerlies the pitch was nothing to write home about. Dreams hadn't been broken on this ground, they'd been dumped on by the weather gods that be. I don't recall having signed up for water polo but who knows in my state in the past 48 hours. One thing was for sure, this was not going to be the rolling, flowing game the Elite enjoys playing.
The game started well enough, if not a little quiet... A few knocks and the ball coming to a sudden halt on multiple occasions showed the state of affairs, but a few passes up to the front showed the elite can play in any condition and opportunities would come.
Unfortunately the first opportunity came to the opposition as an unlucky slip in central defence allowed a lucky run through the middle by pony-tail no.1 and a low shot for the first goal. With the wind in our faces, we knew would have to stand our ground for the first half and our time would come in the second half with the wind behind us.
After testing both sides of the pitch and finding both heavily sodden, the Elite started to string more passes together. CJ was making runs through the middle, balls were flying through from Nick and Damo on the left and more of the same from Niall and Andrew on the right. Persistence paid off as the ball managed to find its way to Adam who carefully placed the ball to side of the keeper to equalise. No stopping that one son.
Naenae sensing that in these conditions they may actually be able to get out in front, started their own bombardment of the Elite defensive line. After some solid clearances, pony-tail no.1 managed to find time to shoot and hoofed the ball to the top corner. Dave knocking the ball down in slippery conditions fell to the shot and a myriad of defenders and attackers came rushing in alike. The body count was high with orange and white falling into the brown sludge and lady luck again finding her way to the Naenae boot as a toe poke moved the score to 1-2.
Not to be defeated, the Elite stepped up their game. The tackles increased, our want increased, and the pointy end of the attack came sharply against the keeper's well timed saves. CJ, with a cracker of a shot was denied as the ball deflected to the post. But he would not have to wait long as a stunning cross from Andrew found CJ and a powerful header levelled the score at 2-2. With the "have some of that" fist pump celebration the Elite were back in the game. More shots were fired in as the tempo increased. Archer, Stevo, Jas and Damo were repelling the mounting aggression from Naenae. Cory and Toddy were firing passes up to the front and the wings were pressing hard. Half-time sounded with a 2-2 score line in testing conditions.
The second half started with the wind behind the mighty elite, catching Naenae off guard. CJ in the space of five minutes took revenge for the first half torment of several unlucky strikes and sends the ball screaming past the keeper who in awe, forgot to move off the line. Not satisfied CJ again found himself pushing through the defence, holding his ground and firing another shot through for his hat-trick, bring the score to 4-2. Knowing he'd beaten the 2 goal fine, CJ came off for Niall to finish what he'd started. After taking notes, Niall moved the ball out past the defender and lined himself up for glory only to sky the ball like he was sponsored by Rocket Lab.
Still the attack pressed on. Adam was a dominant force in the middle rarely losing ground, the defence was able to push up and the ball found itself falling to Jock Niall "I must score" Jessiman. And sure enough, rolling the last defender Niall cements his moment of glory with a low strike in the back of the non-existent net and an extravagant, Platoon- esque celebration that got more mud on his kit then actually playing.
The game play continued on with the Elite staying dominant in Naenae's half. After trying to push through the now churned up middle of the pitch, Cory decides he's had enough of getting stuck and places a weaving scud missile into the top right, 6-2 Elite.
As both teams tire, play starts to move back to the wings. Nick manages a burst of speed down the right hand side with the ball stopping completely at times, requiring another touch, then awkwardly bouncing between puddles before eventually finding the one hard part of the pitch and rolling out. Naenae push back with pony-tail no.2 attempting to send the ball into the Elite's goal mouth. Toddy rushes in for the block coming off second best with the ball clipping one hand before smashing into the other. A penalty is given and swiftly taken to bring the score to 6-3.
The final moments of the game close in with both the weather and the ground having taken its toll on both teams. As the final whistle blew both teams knew they had done their best in trying conditions and the mighty Elite proving they can weather the storm.
3 points to CJ for a solid all round game, nice runs and some great finishes.
2 points to Cpt Adam for holding the centre of the pitch, maintaining our structure and having a good game in general.
1 point to Damo – Cleared a lot of ball, not much gets through our man at the back.
Elite Match Reports