12&u Warrington 4 - 6 Chester (B&D)

Warrington vs Chester (Under 12s) Saturday 11th February 2017

This first league match of the season against Chester saw a motivated and excited team of under 12s lining up for what promised to be an evenly matched game. Playing across the width of the pool, Warrington had Joe in goal with Thomas, James, Chris, Lilly and Finton in the water and Sam and Lilly in reserve.
1st quarter: On the referee’s whistle Warrington won the initial possession and went straight into an attack, losing custody of the ball just as things started looking promising – Chester launched a counter attack and Joe made a great save from their first shot of the game. Over the following couple of minutes the ball passed between each team without much threat of a goal from either side, until Chester moved into position to shoot and Joe bravely parried the ball wide. With a minute and a half remaining on the clock some superb passing and positioning play allowed a favourable shot by Sam - just tipped over the bar by the keeper. Following the restart of play Warrington swiftly regained possession and Sam almost managed to find the back of the net with 90 seconds remaining. Chester reacted quickly and their No 3 just managed to sneak the ball past Joe giving them a 1:Nil lead as the clock ticked into the final minute. A shot for Warrington by James with 20 seconds left on the clock looked almost there, but bounced off the crossbar, completing the action in an evenly matched opening period, with Chester holding a slim advantage.
2nd quarter: Winning the ball from the very start the Warrington team quickly swam into attacking positions, James received a great pass and struck successfully for goal, it’s now Warrington 1: Chester 1, with only 4 seconds elapsed on the clock. Following some splendid offensive and defensive play by Chris, Thomas and Lilly, Sam had a shot on goal that sadly met the crossbar. Chester’s No 9 and No 2 were putting in some very strong offensive moves with the whole Warrington team doing whatever they could to stifle their play. Shots were coming from all angles and Joe and the defending players were often tested. As this phase ticked by it looked like both teams were going to finish on even scores, but with 30 seconds remaining a loud bang resonated across the pool as a strong shot from James clunked off the crossbar. Following the restart, Warrington performed some amazing positional play with a good tackle from Lilly, followed by tidy passing and great communication, James played a quick pass to Thomas and right on the buzzer Thomas’s shot found the back of the net, it’s half time and Warrington are 2:1 up.
3rd quarter: Some substitutions on the Warrington side saw Tilly and Sam take some well earned rest and the fresh arms of Finton and Chris came into the pool. Following an uneventful first few passes between both sides, the Chester No 3 took an ambitious shot from the half way line that caught Joe off guard bringing the score to 2:2. The Warrington forward pairing of James and Thomas replied with 3 accurate shots, 2 stopped by the keeper and 1 that hit the post, things were looking good again! Lilly brought the ball forward from the restart and spotted James was unmarked, an accurate pass saw James take perhaps the easiest shot of the game so far to put Warrington back into the lead. Chester counter attacked straight after with some very fast swimming and took a powerful shot, with Joe skilfully positioning himself to narrow the options, what looked like a great opportunity resulted in Chester hitting the crossbar yet again. The whole Warrington team now pulled together to try and hold their advantage, some terrific defensive moves really tested the Chester forwards over several shots, but right on the buzzer again, Chester eventually found the back of the Warrington net, closing the session with 3 goals each.
4th quarter: Chester came out strong with their No 2 taking an early and potent shot on goal that was saved well by Joe. Warrington rapidly answered with their own attacking play, James shook off his marker and played a shot, beating the keeper and putting the team ahead once more, whilst sealing his first hat trick. A further set piece by Warrington almost saw Sam add to the scoresheet with the keeper just managing to keep the ball out. Soon after, the Chester team appeared to pull together a few moves of their own, with their No 4 dodging through and successfully bringing the scores level again with what was a very strong shot. With 2 minutes of the match remaining, both sides now had everything to play for, Chester looked likely to score straight away but Lilly tipped the ball from the forward’s hand just as he prepared to shoot. Shortly afterwards, another prompt breakaway by the Chester side soon resulted in Joe having to go 1 on 1 with their No 4, narrowly missing out after a strong display and wide dive. Chester were now ahead and following a few further chances broke through again in the final minute, making the score at the final whistle Warrington 4: Chester 6.
A tight game with a final score that didn’t reflect how well the boys and girls from Warrington played, a valiant effort was put in by all and some real talents are starting to break through; showing great promise for the rest of the Under 12s 2017 season.
Coaches Comment
12&u squad got off to a very promising start to the season playing a very closely fought 1st match - it was only in the last quarter the game got away from them. Had it not been for a few unlucky shots it would have been a different story. Well done team!