Graeme McKenzie was a relieved and satisfied coach after his Tamworth A’s side kept their place in the State U13’s Boys Championship top division in Armidale on the weekend.
“Our number one goal was to go up there and do our best,” McKenzie said.
“I was pretty pleased to come away eighth.”
A much younger and less experienced side than the one that reached the final last year, McKenzie praised the work of the defence.
“Our defence had to work hard all weekend. They were great,” he said.
Jacob Bird typified that, saving a shot on the line in the last 20 seconds of their play-off game against Grafton as they held on for a 1-all draw. He had earlier scored “a lovely goal” to get them on the board.
Their campaign got off to a bit of a shaky start, going down to Parkes 4-nil on the grass.
“Our guys haven’t played on grass for a long time and didn’t acclimatise to the conditions well,” McKenzie said.
In saying that they were in it until the final 10 minutes, with Parkes pumping in four goals.
That was a bit of a pattern over the weekend for the Frogs.
They held eventual runners-up Illawarra South Coast until “well into the second half”, and the same against North West Sydney.
Their best result was a 2-nil win over New England.
“I was really pleased with that outcome. We’d played New England in two practice matches before the carnival and they’d beaten us on both occasions,” McKenzie said.
“Lachie Murray did an outstanding job shutting down Tyler McCann.”
Seth Brown scored both of the Frogs’ goals.
The most disappointing game for McKenzie was their 0-all draw with Sydney South.
“We should have beaten them,” he said.
“We dominated field position but couldn’t score.”
He said Sam Griffiths was great for them in goals over the weekend. Tom Littlejohns in the middle and Ben O’Connor and Hayden Constable at the back also figured prominently.
The B’s had a tough weekend in Division 3, managing just the one win.
That was against Central Coast (2) 1-nil.