City Beach win 2015 Boys 16 & Under National Championships!
Congratulations to the City beach Boys for winning the 2015 Boys 16 & Under National Championships!
Gold Medal Game – City Beach Bears win the battle of the west
The City Beach Bears have won a tense grand final at the boy’s 16 and Under National Club Championships at the Hobart Aquatic Centre, with stronger defence the key to their 8-5 victory against 2014 champions the Melville Sharks.
It was a game of cat and mouse in the early stages of the game as neither team could find a way to score during the first quarter. The pressure built through to the second term, until City Beach player Christian Kyriakou broke the stalemate in third minute to score the first of the Bears five goals for that period.
Melville couldn’t manage a goal until the third term, when tournament MVP Cody Smith scored goal number 49 of his eventual 51 for the week, kick starting the Sharks game as they rallied to chase down the Bears throughout the second half.
City Beach coach Andrei Kovalenko said the match was won in defence, as he tasked his team with defusing Melville’s strong counter attack style of play, which had been implemented to effect throughout the tournament by wily master coach Tom Hoad.
“It was a very defensive game and at the end of the day our systems were better and our extra man defence was stronger than Melville’s,” Kovalenko said.
“We knew that we needed to neutralise Melville’s counter attack, and in particular their centre forward Cody Smith, who is a very strong player. Tom did a great job preparing the Sharks so it was a big challenge for us to stop them.
“We didn’t think about the score and the result throughout the game, we had to focus on what we were doing right and wrong and make sure that we concentrate on our strengths.
“Looking back on the result, I think we gained a lot of confidence by being the first team to score after a 0-0 first quarter, and it was probably the most important goal of the game.”
The encounter opened with defence dictating a 0-0 score line in the first term, despite plenty of attempts by both teams to land their first goal. With momentum on their side after breaking the deadlock, it was City Beach who proved to good in the second term to score five, while goalkeeper of the tournament Harry Konowalous underpinned the Bears defence to hold Melville to nil come half time.
Melville found first gear in the third stanza to score on three occasions, twice to Smith and once to Tobias Muir. Unperturbed by the Sharks upswing in form, City Beach also scored three thanks to William Lantzke (2) and Kyriakou with his second for the game.
Although momentum had been with the Bears early on, it had swung in the favour of Melville by the fourth term as Smith scored his third for the game, Lachlan Benneti his first as they attempted to peg back the deficit. Despite the Sharks best efforts, solid defence and the second term five-goal blitz from City Beach had won them the game and the national title.