Coolum’s under-15 (1) soccer team came out firing in last week’s elimination final, clearly outplaying arch rivals Kawana.
If some early chances had been taken, the match would have been sewn up before half-time.
But it was clear that luck was not with Coolum when the first clear opportunity of the game saw Angus Campbell hit the side post.
Coolum continued to pepper the Kawana goal without breaking through, until Mattie Hynes cracked a fantastic shot from the edge of the box.
Once again the crossbar came to Kawana’s aid, but this time the ball bounced favourably, with Aaron Boshammer heading the rebound over the keeper to open the scoring.
The supporters barely had a minute to savour the elation of being in front before Kawana levelled, with Coolum caught short from the kickoff.
Soon after, Dylan Wesarg lofted a brilliant free kick to the far post, finding Grant Daley, who sent a great header on target, only to be blocked by Kawana’s keeper.
The teams went to the break with the scores locked up at 1-1.
The ever-reliable Alex Hopley answered the call to cover for the long list of sick and injured players and performed brilliantly.
It was a brave effort by Rory Yetman, Robbie Galbraith and Carlos Nery to play as hard as they did, not allowing illness to keep them from contributing to the cause. But with the players visibly tiring after their tremendous first half efforts, it seemed Coolum would rue the early missed opportunities.
The boys still had chances to score, with Dylan sending a sizzling free kick in that was so hot it must have burned the keeper’s hands.
Nathan Kelly sent a beautiful cross in from the left wing that Alex Hill almost got hold of on the far post, while Aaron unleashed a smashing left foot shot on the turn that was saved by the keeper.
Up the other end, Christian Neeve made a spectacular diving save to punch a blistering Kawana shot around the upright.
Steele Anderson defused plenty of dangerous opposition attacks with his excellently timed tackles and Kawana simply could not get past Harry Clark down the left flank.
Tomo Calland and Nathan Kendall did their best to help Coolum break the deadlock, but with 10 minutes to play, an excellent shot from the Kawana midfield found the top corner of the net.
Coolum redoubled their efforts to try and grab the equaliser.
Carlos burst clear down the touchline late in the match, floating a beautiful ball into the box, but the Kawana defence was equal to the task and Coolum’s last chance had gone.
It was an excellent effort by the Coolum boys, who should hold their heads high after a courageous performance today and all season.
And a final note of gratitude to the off-field crew: thanks to a great group of tremendously supportive parents, and to Scott McKenzie and John Hynes, who have generously given untold time and energy to coach the boys this season – we cannot thank you enough.
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