Bellingen High brought home runners-up medals in two divisions of the National Futsal Finals held on the Gold Coast last weekend. In a competition involving the best State and Private school teams from Cairns to Sydney, Bellingen High got more teams to the semi-finals than any other school!
Unfortunately, the carnival was held over the same weekend that Qld and NSW had semi-finals in outdoor football competitions. As a result, many teams either had depleted sides or pulled out completely. Therefore the depth of strength might not have been there this year, but the quality at the top certainly was.
The Under 16 girls team found themselves having to play not just the Under 16s teams but also all of the Under 19s teams as one 16 team pulled out at late notice. This meant a hard preliminary draw as all results counted in qualification for the final. But the girl’s results showed just how good they are. They lost their first game in the last minute to St Andrews College from the Gold Coast 4-5, then took on William Ross SHS from Townsville defeating them 4-2. The girls then had to take on the 19s teams going down narrowly to Robina SHS 1-2 and St Margaret Mary from Innisvale 3-5. They won against Good Counsel College from Cairns and in their best result, they thrashed Westport 19s 6-0.
This meant the girls finished second in the 16years teams and made the final again against St Andrews. Despite their best efforts, the girls eventually went down 4-2 in the final due mainly to injuries and overall tiredness after four days (and nights) on the go. Silver medals all round, a great result. Maybe they can go one better next year. Congratulations to Kanisha Phillips-Cooke and Maggie Mills who were selected in the All Stars team. This will mean they may be offered trips internationally in the near future. Congratulations to the whole team who displayed the best passing game of all the teams present. Special mention must go to two players for their commitment to the team game. Firstly, Maddi Tarrant who played her best game when marking Westport’s gun player and secondly Kimmi Williams who stepped up to the mark as goal keeper when our regular keeper was injured. Great work girls!
The Under 19 boy’s team maintained Bello’s proud record and produced some giant-killing performances. Their 8-5 win over the Sydney champions, Glenmore Park, was the best of the early matches but their semi-final against JP High of Brisbane almost brought the house down.
JP is a selective school which offers Futsal & Football scholarships, so most of their team members are in the QLD state team and 2 are in the Australian team. However, little Bello played out of their skins to hold them Nil all till half time. Nick Schilter, Frank La Spada, Jake Parker, Josh Currell and Julian Hulbert were awesome but it was Shaun Connor who got ‘Man of the Match’ with an incredible effort in goals to completely brick wall our opponents.
Amazingly, Bello took the lead just after the break with a fine “poacher’s goal” to Nick “the Terrier” Schilter, but the boys just couldn’t withstand the massive pressure and eventually went down despite a half chance falling to Sam James late in the game. Well done guys. Your third place in a really tough group was another standout BHS effort.
The Under 16 Boy’s team of Simba Kuestler, Dean Barlow, Sam Harrison, Billy Mills, Robert Marshall, Tony Mittasch and Harlen Dew found themselves in a mixed 15s / 16s pool but failed to produce their best. Their narrow 10-9 loss in the first game against Bill Turner Cup winners, Shailer Park of Brisbane was followed by an 8-3 loss against Sydney’s Kellyville which knocked the stuffing out of them. Having stupidly stayed up talking half the previous night, the boys lacked energy & mental toughness and their passing game fell apart for their third game. Day 2 was a better effort, but it took a 7-5 win against the Gold Coast’s Robina High on day 3 to get the boys back on track.
In the end it was only that there were fewer teams actually in the Under 16s part of the comp that allowed them to scrape into the finals. Here they met arch local rivals, Orara High. We had previously played cliffhangers with them in the District final, the North Coast final and now here we were meeting them again in a depleted National final. Our boys raced to a 2 nil lead thanks to strong performances by Billy, Dean and Rob but gradually Orara got on top and overhauled us for a well-deserved 5-3 win. While our lads were disappointed, the silver medals certainly compensated and when Rob and Dean were both selected in the All Stars team, they managed to shake off the blues completely.
All in all it was a great set of performances and a terrific time away. Mrs Hoy and Mr Lynch would like to thank Jason Dean, Maurie Hulbert and John Schilter for driving us and to Bello IGA for helping us with breakfasts. The trip was great and the quality of play was terrific. Futsal is an explosive, end-to-end game which in this competition averaged 9 goals a game or a goal every 4 ½ minutes. That was certainly impressive enough to turn local League man, Maurie, into a Futsal convert. He’s now one of many.