1st XI v Strathallan v Riley House
Wednesday 18th January
The St. Mary’s 1st XI continued their rollercoaster of a season with a thrilling match away to Riley House. After a very long journey into the wilds of Perthshire we arrived a little tired and jaded.
This was reflected by a very lacklustre start to the game when sloppy passing and failed attempts to “skill” a very skilful Strath side led to three well-worked goals to the home side and a mountain to climb for the visitors.
As the half wore on the coach’s shouts of “Just bang it forward!” were heard by his team and the midfield of Harris R, Captain Muaz C and wings Alex F and Tommy DB began to link up with Hamish M and Jamie F. This led to a number of shots on goal but none managed to beat the stubborn home keeper.
Lachlan F marshalled a good defensive line of William T, Will S and Otto K ahead of keeper William Mac.
Strath broke through on a number of occasions but their shots flared wide of the mark. It was in fact Harris R who came closest with a flashing shot against the bar from wide and right.
Half-Time Score: St. Mary’s 0 – 3 Strathallan Riley House
Half-time offered the coach an opportunity to reinforce the areas where we were doing well and try to eliminate the mistakes that were allowing Strath so much opportunity to attack.
With different tactics and an altered mind-set the boys strode back onto the pitch to set about the home side. Matt B and Liam B joined the fray with the former anchoring the right of defence and the latter on the opposite wing.
Riley House in the second half looked like St. Mary’s in the first as they repeatedly tried to beat the green defenders with an array of tricks. These failed allowing the visitors to bang the ball forward as per their coach’s instructions. With two strikers lurking up front and a static backline the chances soon fell to Harris and Tommy (now playing up front). Harris slotted one home having rounded the keeper while Tommy milked a penalty before converting the chance. Unfortunately, he converted it right over the bar.
Riley scored a good goal of their own but it was St. Mary’s who were the stronger team in the second period.
However, Riley eventually ran out worthy winners by 4 goals to 1 leaving the visitors to return to Melrose ruing a series of poor passes in their own half in the first period and a number of missed opportunities in front of goal in the second.
Final score: St. Mary’s 1 – 4 Strathallan Riley House
Man of the Match: Matt B; Matt made a real difference when he came on and used his pace, skill and bravery to snuff out attacks on the right of defence – a really good shift in a tough match.
Mr T Rawson
Jules Birdsall, 26/01/2017