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Under 12s Win 2016 Premiership

Sunday 11 September 2016

In a tough and pressurized final Maccabi beat Dandenong warriors 1 – 0 in the Under 12 Grand Final. The team had been one of the form sides all year but Maccabi had not been able to beat Dandenong in its two previous encounters.

Dandenong were tough well drilled team with a number of skilful players that were able to continually pressure teams into turning over the ball. Maccabi are a 1st year side with many new players.

In front of a huge crowd the game started well for Maccabi with a pass back to Jacob Irons who expressed a ball Upfield to Jeremy Grunfeld who beat two defenders and ran into the attacking circle and promptly missed his shot on goal. The initial signs were good but the next 40 minutes of play saw no score. Each team made a number of good moves, passing was crisp and the ball movement was fast. Both teams were here to play and put pressure on the opposition to force turnovers and when the ball was turned over the attacking team ran the ball down the field and so it went.

Maccabi kept the pressure on but Dandenong’s resilience and determination kept the score even.

Maccabi made a number of promising moves in the first half. Jacob Irons Daniel Lindros and Simon Valentine combined to move the ball wide to the right wing and looking for forwards Jeremy Grunfeld, Andrew Segeman, Jonah Bell or Jordan Tregar who were running hard to receive the ball and move it forward. Maddy Better and Gideon Miller were also contributing to the effort making good tackles and running hard to maintain the forward pressure.

To their credit Maccabi continually put pressure on the ball carriers and this resulted in turnovers.

On two occasions Maccabi almost got the ball between the posts but Dandenong were up to the task and repelled it back into play. Dandenong ran the ball down the field and formed a couple of threatening attacks of their own. They had some very skilful players that could run the ball. Five of their attacks ended up in short corners. Dandenong had a big hitting kid that could strike the ball well but Maccabi were up to the task on the short corners and backs Shai Chabbat and Daniel Lindros were solid in defence turning the ball over and getting the ball to Ions to move the ball forward.

One of the short corners Grunfeld ran out quickly to the hitter and reached him as he hit the ball. The ball flew off his stick and sailed 2 meters over the net.

Lindros also steped up and made a couple of crucial tackles to stop Dandenong’s advances. Goalkeeper Henry Wise was at his best and stopped two shots in the first half.

Maccabi also earnt two short corners in the first half that did not alter the scoreboard.

By halftime Maccabi was getting into its rhythm and Dandenong were looking frustrated by the strength, resilience and hard running of Maccabi. Maccabi came off at half time chuffed that Dandenong had not scored and that they had made a number of promising moves.

Coach Daniel Grunfeld “Grunny” reminded the team that they were to keep moving the ball around and use our players to find holes in the Dandenong defence. Dandenong were getting tired and Maccabi looked a fitter side we had to use this to our advantage. Finally the team were reminded of the game plan and to keep pressuring the ball carrier and force the turnovers that ended paying off in the second half.

Dandenong started off with a flurry of attacks moving the ball through their insides and putting pressure on Maccabi’s defence. They earnt 4 short corners in the first 10 minutes and on one of them Simon Valentine ran out at speed and amazingly stole the ball off the hitter, another was stopped by an tenacious save by keeper Henry Wise who prompt kicked the ball out of the circle.

There were tense moments for Maccabi as Dandenong piled on the pressure but Maccabi was not done with yet and the team picked up their game and made more of their attacks toward the Dandenong goal.

Right inside Grunfeld, Centre forward Segeman and inside left Bell ran the ball into the circle a number of times but Dandenong put on solid tackles but they were tiring and starting to look vulnerable. With 12 minutes to go – In one of the many good moves up the right hand side Valentine passed the ball to Irons who pushed it to Grunfeld who skilfully dragged the ball around two defenders and into the circle where Bell was waiting he ran the ball to the base line and hit it into a defenders foot. Short Corner.

Coach Grunfeld called the players to use the “Secret Number 2 play” and Treger pushed out the ball to Irons who trapped the ball and pushed it right to Bell and with an almighty wack he sent the ball into the net and the drought had been broken.

The team was overwhelmed with joy but had to quickly refocus for the remainder of the game. Many games have been lost from this position.

Maccabi refocused and kept up the pressure but Dandenong were spent and they tried to form a couple of attacks but Maccabi were full of confidence and backs Shai Chabbat and Daniel Lindros made easy work of the Dandenong forwards.

Time had run out for Dandenong and when the final whistle blew Maccabi were victors 1 – 0.


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