Tiny team packs a big punch at tour­na­ment

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By ABBY BROWN

The Mata­mata Hor­nets didn’t quite bring home a na­tional ti­tle even though they ‘‘played out of their skins’’ at a re­cent tour­na­ment, team man­ager An­gela Roskam said.

The 11th grade team came third equal at the New Zealand Ju­nior Foot­ball Club Cup held in Al­bany on Labour Week­end.

Or­gan­is­ers didn’t let the team play off for third and fourth.

The Hor­nets made the semi­fi­nals where they held the even­tual cup win­ners to a 0-0 draw after ex­tra time. They lost in a penalty shoot-out.

Both the play­ers and their par­ents were very com­mit­ted to the week­end tour­na­ment, which Roskam ap­pre­ci­ated.

Her son, Ed­ward, suf­fered sus­pected bro­ken toes dur­ing the tour­na­ment but played on.

‘‘ We breed them tough here,’’ she said.

Play­ing on ar­ti­fi­cial turf was also a new ex­pe­ri­ence for the team. They were in­vited to the com­pe­ti­tion after a suc­cess­ful win­ter sea­son. They were run­ners-up in the Waikato premier di­vi­sion and also run­ners-up in the Waikato Cup, a knock­out com­pe­ti­tion in the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

Their coach, John Har­ris, said the team has been in the top two in the Waikato for the past three sea­sons – a big achieve­ment for a team that draws just from the lo­cal area.

‘‘It blows me away. We are just a lit­tle Mata­mata team and we got into a na­tional tour­na­ment.’’



HAPPY HOR­NETS: The Mata­mata Hor­nets came third equal at the New Zealand Ju­nior Foot­ball Club Cup held in Al­bany over Labour Week­end.

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