The start of tournament season

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Last Sunday, May 21 the Rye Bay whites u12s went to their first tournament this year at Westfield.

With only a squad of nine allowed for six-aside games we took a diverse group with strengths in all areas of the pitch and consisted of Harrison Keen, Henry Cooke, Ashton Casey, Jack Arter, Cole Masters, Rhylie Freshwater, Arthur Pollard, Oscar Sinclair and George Colvin.

With each game only lasting seven minutes the impact had to be hard and fast while trying not to concede and that’s what we did. Winning four, drawing two and losing one and only conceding a single goal which meant we won the group comfortably.

In the semi-final we played our other Rye Bay reds team which was a great game going to extra time after being 0-0 after 10 minutes of normal time but Henry Cooke scored a great goal to take us into the final against the hosts Westfield.

I should make a special mention here for Lucas and Cayden Dowbekin who play for the Whites but helped make up the numbers and played brilliantly in the semi-final, even against their own team! Well done boys.

The final was going to be a tough game as Westfield have a number of Hastings Academy players in their squad but that didn’t worry the boys as they battled hard but, after a few minutes we went behind with a well executed goal.

We kept our heads and played some amazing football coming close several times which made the Westfield boys nervous and they started to make mistakes. Then a great over-the-top ball from our keeper Harrison Keen went straight to Henry Cooke who took it down and smashed it into the corner, 1-1 and again extra time.

Nobody likes going to penalties so the five minutes was a full-on battle with our defence Ashton Casey and Rhylie Freshwater keeping them out with some fantastic and important tackles. The five minutes seemed like 10 but finished level so on to penalties with Westfield going first. Our keeper was calm and saved the first then Arthur Pollard offered to go first for us but it got saved so still level pegging.

Westfield scored their next then Ashton Casey stepped forward and calmly put it in the corner, so 1-1 then Westfield hit the post with the third so it was down to our keeper to win us the tournament (no pressure!) and he does, firing the ball straight past the Westfield keeper. The boys and crowd who had stayed to watch and support went absolutely crazy! This was a massive achievement for Rye Bay whites u12s and as coaches we couldn’t have asked for more from these players but there’s no time to rest as we’re back in action on Sunday at South Ashford.

A massive thank you goes out to all the loyal parents and grandparents who put themselves out week after week to bring the boys and support them. Your support makes all the difference.

Image Credits: Glenn Keen .

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