Still rebuilding their team after losing several of their more experienced players to the 14&U age group, Warrington 12&U’s bravely took on polished local rivals Bridgefield, on Thursday night at Speke Leisure Centre.
Bridgefield set the tone early on securing four consecutive goals in rapid succession, putting Warrington under immediate pressure and keeping gameplay firmly in Warrington’s half of the pool. Warrington’s Joseph Weston, eager to prove himself in his first match, was in the thick of the action, vigorously chasing the ball up and down the pitch with dogged determination. Joseph had the opportunity to catch his breath however when an overenthusiastic tackle saw him briefly sent out of the game.
Marcus Woods offered loud vocal support to his team to ensure good positioning was maintained but Warrington struggled to gain any advantage whatsoever under Bridgefields fierce dominance. They chalked up an impressive 7 - 0 lead in the first quarter with no less than 5 of the Bridgefield players able to say they had scored.
Coach Tom Costello clearly found some inspiring words, as the second quarter saw Warrington return to play with renewed ambition. There was a marked increase in possession from Warrington, with some intense skirmishes and a slew of fouls in their favour, opening up opportunities for good attempts on goal from Marcus Woods and Joseph Weston. It was a close range goal from Louis Stowell that put them on the scoreboard, boosting team morale. Under greater pressure now, Bridgefield’s goal rate was diminished with them securing just four goals in this quarter versus three from Warrington - a second and consecutive goal from Louis Stowell, coupled with a cheeky one from Marcus Woods who casually rolled the ball across Bridgefield’s goal line.
Bridgefield came back strong in the third quarter, closely marking their opponents and intercepting several attempts from a frustrated Zak Kilpatrick, playing wing, to pass to his teammates. Zak and Eleanor Brear were both kept busy defending Bridgefield runs on Warrington’s goal, but Bridgefield’s score increased rapidly despite the very best efforts of Oliver Naughalty, who had volunteered as Goalie in place of regular Leo Kilpatrick (unable to play due to injury). A powerful shot from Marcus Woods gained another goal for Warrington but it was Bridgefield, back to earlier form, who prevailed securing six goals in the quarter.
Bridgefield’s success continued into the final quarter as Warrington, showing signs of fatigue, struggled to keep pace. It seemed like every Bridgefield player wanted a piece of the action with four of their players picking up a further five more goals between them. It was a smooth final play from Warrington however that stood out with some really well executed, fast passes up the pitch finding Marcus Woods raised hand. Marcus finished the play with a defiant slam of the ball into the back of Bridgefield’s net, demonstrating that Warrington certainly have the potential to give Bridgefield a much tougher game next time around.
Final score Bridgefield 22 - 5 Warrington