Monday, July 10, 2006

Two Soccer Grand Finals

The first was Parklife.
The lads won the semi final on Friday night, putting us into the 5th Grand final in 16 seasons. Unfortunately it didn't look like we were going to be able to field a team due to injuries and work and other committments. Some fast talking with the officials, a letter written by the captain, and an agreement with the other team saw myself and our injured captain available to play. Neither of us were qualified as we had not played the request 5 matches. However the other team in a spirit of sportsmanship generously allowed us to play so they could have a worthy team to play.
We took the field, and unfortunately went down 1 nil immediately with a keeping error, followed in short succession by another handball outside the box by the keeper resulting in a penalty, duly slotted.
I took the field and went straight to goal and kept the rest bar one goal out for the remainder of the first half. The goal scored was partly my fault, and partly bad luck. I went outside the box to intercept and save a hard strike at goal - the bruise is still on my calf. However the ball rebounded to half way and before I could get back into the goal was belted home. To make matters worse I was accidentally impeded in my return by one of our players.
We went to half time 4-1 down but believing we could overcome the deficit.
Second half started well with lots of strikes on goal, and although we let another one in due to a 2 on 1 attack on our goal we kept our heads up. Then Josh struck, and struck again and it was 5-3. We were back in it and with 2 minutes to play went all out on attack. This left our defence strung out and they countered with another 2 on 1 attack splitting the defender and myself in goal and hitting another home.
I then let another one in in a similar situation to the first I conceded by saving a goal and leaving the goal open for a counter volley. Finally with 30 seconds to go I dribbled out of the goal circle, got forced wide - taken to the net and forced to attempt a long pass to one of our players hanging free near the opposition goal. The pass was cut off and rolled into the goal with 1 second on the clock.
The rest of the details are on the Parklife website.

The other final was Italy V France with Italy winning on a penalty shootout.

Parklife will now hang up the boots as a club.
Pat wrote this to us all last week.
I would like to thank you all for the last 5 years. Its just been a wondeful journey with the Parklifers. Between the 50 game plus Parklifers we have played a combined total of over 1000 games which is some achievement. The approx totals are

Pat 171
Ben 154
Tim 153
Ralf 147
Mike 135
Larry 122
Pete 105
Eugene 60 and
Noss 57
To all the Parklifers - thanks for some wonderful times - stories we can tell our kids - and five Grand Final defeats!