A report on the Bellingen High School teams at the Australian Champion of Champions
The Bellingen High School 16s and 19s girls Futsal teams recently travelled to Runaway Bay, to compete at the Australian Champion of Champions. It was always going to be a difficult tournament as the 19s had only three players (due to HSC commitments) and the 16s had to play up in their division, as well as, competing in their own games. The trip up was uneventful stopping for lots of rests at the many roadworks! The girls and the 19s boys stayed at Treasure Island very close to where they had to play.
The 16s girls started on the Friday with their first game against Southern Cross from Brisbane. As usual, the girls were slow to start and Southern Cross were quickly on top with three unanswered goals in the first half. The second half the girls were more determined and Jemara Imrie scored three goals, however, this was not enough and the final score was 6-3. The next game against Westport from Port Macquarie saw the old rivals neck and neck in a close game. The final score 2-2. (goals to Sam Barker 2). The final game on the Friday was against Mt Alvernia College also from Brisbane. The girls again slow to start saw the opposition 3-0 up by half time. To their credit it they came back and outscored the opposition in the second half to go down narrowly 3-5. This team were the eventual winners, which shows just how close the competition was.
With other results needing to go our way and two decisive wins needed with our last two games to make the semis, the girls tried their hardest. Unfortunately things did not go our way against Shailer Park from the Gold Coast and Gympie from Northern Qld and the girls went down in both games with two more goals to Sam Barker and one to Danika Blackburn. Overall the girls learnt a lot and had a great time and certainly missed their usual striker, Jess Marks, who had Cricket obligations.
The 19 years girls only had three preliminary games as their competition was divided into two pools. Their first game was against Westport and the older girls showed their dominance early with Kanisha Phillips-Cooke scoring after only 3 minutes followed by Jemma Boswell in the fifth minute. Kanisha scored again before half time as did Danika Blackburn. Half time score 4-1. Of course, Westport came back at us in the second half, however, Kanisha put the score beyond them slotting in two more goals. Full time score 6-4. The second game was against St Monicas from Cairns and was a tight affair. It was two all at half time with goals to Jemma and Meg Roberts and the second half was just as tight with one goal to Jemma and unfortunately 2 to St Monicas. Final score 4-3.This brought us in to our final preliminary game against St Josephs. This too turned out to be a close affair. First half we were 3-4 down with goals to Jemma 1 and Meg 2 so we had to lift for the second half. The girls did a tremendous job scoring 4 unanswered goals (three to Kanisha and one to Danika) until the last minute when St Josephs scored making the score 7-5 and a great win.
This put the girls in to the quarter finals against the very strong Kellyville from Sydney. This was a cracker of a game and one that all those watching will not forget. Kanisha Phillips-Cooke was on fire! She scored four goals in the first half, one a turning volley to top corner. Kellyville, very frustrated with the excellent defence, could only slot in one. Half time 4-1. Second half saw Kellyville come back, but thanks to two more goals to Kanisha and one to Sam Barker the task was beyond their reach. Final score 7-5. What a game! Now the girls were in the semi final against Albany Creek the winners from last year (and the eventual winners this year) and despite getting close at times, the girls found themselves too tired to make it count. Albany Creek ended up convincing winners 7-2 with goals both scored by Kanisha. Still top four in Australia is a fantastic result for this team. The team had many younger players in the side that definitely held their own against the older girls. Special mention must go to Jemara Imrie who goal kept for the 19s and did a fantastic job despite being an on court player and only 15! Special mention must also go to Sam Barker who played on the court, only 14, and Hannah Taylor, also only 15. The future certainly looks bright.
There are a lot of people to thank, from the sponsors of the raffle, to Norco, Bellingen Butchery, Valley Quality meats, Buttercup and Tip Top for suppling food, to Jo and Pauline for organising that, to Simon Noble for driving the bus, Kim and Gwyn Barker helping where ever possible, and ,of course, Diggers Swimming Club for their generous sponsorship. A special thank you also to Community Transport for use of their buses, which make these trips affordable.
The 14 years boys and girls Futsal teams will be trying to do their best on 24th-27th November and are busy selling raffle tickets for beautiful handcrafted glassware generously donated by Bruce Baigent.