South Island spot confirmed as turf gets a full run through

A tense one nil victory over last years title winners Dunedin Technical secured our place in the 2019 South Island while our Men’s Seconds and Thirds hosted sides at the new Football South Artificial Turfs complete with some keen local football prospects as ball kids.

With our match day preparations disrupted by the Dunedin City Council not providing us with any changing facilities at Tahuna Park our boys were even more determined to do this business against our hosts. For more of the match the home side were perfectly happy to sit back behind the ball and try and deny and disrupt us at every opportunity, with set pieces or direct breaks via Rhys up front being their best chances to get involved in the game.

From a neutral point of view it wouldn’t have been one that stood out, we huffed and puffed as we tried to find openings and almost every time one was created we fluffed our lines. It became hard work as the match wore on our attempts to create chances did open ourselves up to threat and on more than one occasion Tim O’Farrell used his pace to win the breaking ball. As has been the case this year when we’ve really needed some form inspiration its been Tom Durkin entering from the bench to change the match, again this week it was his scorching run and then delightful through ball that created a chance for Captain Dom Scahill to do what he does best.

One nil looks like a close match and the home side did have their chances but this is a victory we felt we deserved and the reward was a place among the South Island Elite for 2019.

A chance to utilise the wide open pastures of the Logan Park Turfs saw Stu and his Men’s Seconds licking their lips as they hosted the table topping Green Island side. Things looked really good for all bar one minute of the first half as we stretched and probed our visitors with Caleb Roberts finishing well at the near post and a couple of others including a guilt edged chance that Captain Nick Kelly on his Graduation Day wastefully pummelled in to the cross bar. That one minute of poor play saw Green Island equalise as we headed in to the half time break.

Things quickly got worse as a defensive mistake gifted Green Island another chance which saw us down and with plenty of work to do against a side that was now content to sit deep and compact and look for break away chances. A long half of effort saw us create some decent chances including a couple we probably should have scored, the away team were getting desperate and clearing everything and as confusion reigned a penalty was awarded for dangerous play which incensed the Green Island players and management. Caleb stepped up and drew us level with only moments left on the clock.

With precious little time an agricultural tackle on Harry Gaskin saw a free kick awarded to us and with tensions already high things boiled over as a red card was flashed by the visiting referee from Christchurch. All a bit ugly as the final whistle went and our boys took the point they felt was the least they deserved, Green Island were far from happy with the performance from the referee but credit our lads for walking away from a situation they had no control over.

A slow start from Jack Campfens and the Men’s Thirds on the other turf as they conceded two pretty soft goals against Roslyn Wakari in a game that had been pretty one sided despite the scoreline. The shipped was righted fairly quickly with two goals in two minutes drawing us level and then another a few minutes later.

That was all the lads needed to compose themselves and then push on with the game becoming more one sided as the match proceeded with another three goals being scored and making it six from six from our lads. A great start but we’ve been in this situation before in recent years and still haven’t won the title so plenty of work to do.

A tense game out at the Oval for Men’s Fifths as they struggled to implement their diamond midfield against a Dunedin Technical side who hadn’t yet claimed a point this season. It took a scarcely believable long range strike from Evan Curry with only a few minutes left on the clock to claim the points for us. A bit of work to do before a huge match on Wednesday night against club mates the Fourths.

Speaking of the Fourths it could be quite some clash on Wednesday night based on yesterday with the lads putting in dominant performance to put the Northern Frogs away 4-1 and continue their recent good form.

Both the Sixth’s and Sevenths had forgettable days at the office going down 4-1 and 7-2 respectively.

With the Women’s Premiers accepting a late deferral request from Queenstown due to exceptional circumstances, it was our Women’s Seconds carrying the flag in the Premier grade and based on the scoreline and performance against a strong Dunedin Technical side its one that is best forgotten.

Happier times in Division One, particularly our Blue side who travelled down south to face Balclutha and came away with a trememdous 8-1 win with Jess Marvin putting in a superstar performance on the day in claiming 7 of our 8 goals. It has been a long time since anyone in a University shirt has scored 7 in a game.

Yellow claimed a solid 2 nil win over a Green Island side who pressed really well throughout the game but did allow a few chances which we managed to take with a wonderful strike from Libby Antunovic the pick of the goals.

Finally a special mention to the lads who joined us as ball kids for the day on the turf who did a great job observing the turf rules and supporting those on the pitch.