This blog is about the Grand Final of the U-12’s on the 2nd of September against Terrigal. IFS has been improving well over the season and was up for the challenge against the team to beat. Terrigal was undefeated in the season and made the final due to an extra time penalty against us. We were ready for revenge.
The players were nervous and excited at the same time as they got ready for their first 11V11 Grand Final. We were using the dressing rooms of the C.C. Mariners and players were sitting in the same seats as their “hero” Mariners players.
Some were in Maty Ryan’s old seat, Trent Sainsbury’s seat, Zwaanswijk, his seat and the now Mariners seats. They soaked up this information and were really feeling the pressure grow.
After 10 minutes the players were ready for their warm up and were leaving the change rooms. All wearing IFS Blue shirts, shorts and socks and most with their black jackets. They met the photographer Amanda Toombs, who came early and was taking professional photos to keep these memories alive through those pictures. Players were loving it and couldn’t wait until the start of the game.
09.00 sharp and the game was ready to start. Players were lined up and the stadium had never looked bigger than this morning. Massive stands, lots of people cheering and screaming, goal was further away than ever. The referee blew his whistle and the game started. Both teams were very nervous and the players couldn’t really get the ball under control. Passes went wrong and players were late for duels etc. It all comes with finals football. After 10 minutes the game started off with a big chance for Sergio, 1v1 against the Terrigal keeper. And he saved Sergio’s shot. Soon after Jakson had a 1V1 and also this time the keeper was in our way to take the lead. Terrigal was attacking from out wide and some crosses came close to our goal but Jeremiah made some line saves and the game was 0-0 at half time. Nerves were settled a bit more and the second half was better than the first. IFS started off strong, but couldn’t find the end pass to the striker and Terrigal took the lead after a long free kick which bounced of the wet grass straight into the goal. Jeremiah was shattered, but lots of IFS players comforted him and the game continued. IFS was more determined and fought back in the game with an equaliser from Sergio. Great work from Tate and Jakson in supporting him.
Not much later IFS was again attacking from the wing and with another cross and some scrambling in front of the goal Sergio scored his second of the game. IFS were up 2-1. The crowd went crazy and everyone was thrilled with the comeback.
A few minutes left and Terrigal was playing long balls to put more pressure on IFS defence. A corner was the result, and an equaliser from a fantastic finish from Terrigal. 2-2. Players were very tired from playing on such a big field and were nervous about what was happening in the last minutes of the game. Another corner and another goal was heartbreaking for the IFS players. Now Terrigal was leading and IFS had to throw all their players forward to get an equaliser. Another goal for Terrigal and the referee was blowing the whistle for the end of the game.
What a thrilling game and what an effort from the IFS U-12 players. We had 5 U-11 players playing as well and Jordan, Makkai, Tate, Jeremiah and Sean all were involved in a wonderful game.
They came very close to their first Grand Final win in the Central Coast Stadium. Next year will be their second chance.
Thank you to all the parents and fans for giving the kids an experience they’ll never forget.