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It was the day of reckoning for Mourinho Nicholls and his band of little Dragons. They had fought hard and wiped out all previous opposition to land themselves a place in the semi-finals of the Judy White Shield.

Silverdale ‘Meadow’ was the venue with the grass so long that the Rocket and Dodger were kitted out with Cuban heels.

The Gaffer ‘Mourinho Nicholls ‘turned up slightly late apparently blaming the Walsall traffic, but me thinks he spent too many minutes on the sunbed.

A warm glow lingered over the Dragons during the warm up either from anticipation or due to the Gaffers sunbed tan. The gaffer readied the Dragons for battle and a battle it was going to be! Brownhills Community Colts were a tough little outfit that had previously beaten and drew with the Dragons, was it our time to shine!

From the minute the whistle touched the refs lips the Dragons were all over it. Every ball was contested for; every battle if not won on the first attempt was on the second. Tackles were flying in left, right and centre, nobody backed down. Phoebe ‘Captain Marvel’ Nicholls was displaying her repertoire of text book tackles, quelling the copious amounts of Brownhills attacks. Jim ‘Dynamo’ Grindrod was mesmerising the Colts defence and the on-watching supporters with his quick feet and amazing ball control. He releases the Rocket don’t the wing, who tucks in and fires wide of the mark. The Colts began to bite back especially in their challenges, the Dragons took the challenges and carried on playing the great football we’ve all become accustom to. Reilly the Rock makes a fantastic save, tipping it over the bar to keep the scores level. The game ebbed and flowed from box to box and a Colts fast attack down the right wing had the ball centred and neatly deposited to take the lead. The Dragons roared into action and attacked with venom only to be scythed down resulting in a free kick just outside the area. Captain Marvel steps up and hit a hum dinger of a shot that whistles into the roof of the net. The Dragons celebrate as a team hugging and high fiving this immense equaliser. The Colts attack again and a corner whipped in with pace is met with a pin point header to gain the lead. The Dragons breathe fire and another free kick this time favouring the left foot of Ash the Flash is whipped into the net to equalise. The crowd at this point are going nuts the noise was increasing with every minute. Freya the Slayer was having a tough physical battle, one particular challenge where she was absolutely mullered by a player to go unpunished by the ref. However, the pressure was relentless and as with every chance the Dragons lay siege to the Colts box. Dodger provided a pin point finish to take the lead. In quick succession, Ash the Flash decides to add to the total with a quick counter attack and results in him neatly depositing the ball into the back of the net. The Dragon cheerleaders on the sideline erupted with a wall of noise; Messrs Nicholls, Yates and Green were all going nuts on the opposite side. The relief was clear to see by all and reflected in the play, the kids looked confident and buoyed by the goal so continued the offensive.  Colts broke again and managed to get back on the score sheet. Two notable saves by Matty ‘Wireless’ Noguiera who efforts maintained the Dragons lead. Matty replaced Reilly at half time and to have quality replacing quality is exceptional, and I’ll go on record to state that we have the best keepers in the League. Final whistle blew and pandemonium ensued, kids ecstatic, parents emotional and coaches over the moon – final here we come.

 

The kids refuelled with squash and biscuits whilst watching the penalty shoot out to decide our opponents. Four Oaks Bulldogs came out as victors and the Dragons, still buzzing took to the meadow. The Dragons started but not with the same intensity as the semi-final and were easily the better passing side. A bit more intensity would of have reaped an earlier advantage. That be said the Dragons were dominating possession and the passing display was amazing. The Dragons in the form of Dynamo, Ash and Dodger were peppering the Bulldogs goal with shots from everywhere. It was only a matter of time until this unopposed pressure took its toll. Dodger picks up the ball and releases a thunderbolt of a shot that ripples the back of the net. The place erupts in a cacophony of noise; the local residents must have wondered what was happening – the Dragons were happening!!!! The onslaught continues with Dynamo tricking his way down the wing and crossing in a peach of a cross for it to de deflected into the goal by a Bulldog defender. The Dragons, with the wind in their sails decide to show some great interplay. Pass of the day was from Phoebe who puts the ball on a 9 pence for Dodger to whack off the post – goal of the season contender, if only it had gone in. Bulldogs claw one back after a curling shot come cross deceives the keeper.

Elation at the final whistle, a battling performance by every Dragon (even if I haven’t mentioned you by name)!!

An absolute joy to watch and a joy to train, knowing that these kids will remember this day for days to come is a massive sense of achievement. Amazing kids are born from amazing parents that are all keen, willing and understanding of where the gaffer wants to take the team. Goes to show what a no pressure environment provides – 5 months together League and Shield winners.

If I have failed to mention any other note worthy aspect then I apologise. I was so lost in the pandemonium and euphoria that I forgot to take notes and tried to write this freestyle. Big up to the representatives of other Wyrley teams who made the extra effort to come and support us – much appreciated.

Player of the games awarded to Captain Marvel Phoebe Nicholls for a dominant performance against Brownhills Colts, Dodger given the award for a sensational performance against the Bulldogs. Well done to you both!!

 

Wyrley Manager of the year – If Chris Nicholls doesn’t get that then I’ll eat my hat. Unlike Paddy Ashdown I’m backing a favourite!

 

On a side note:

Friday evening saw the presentation evenings of Nicholl’s U10 Panthers and U9 Dragons and Gem’s U11 Panthers in a joint venture. Compère for the evening was our own DJ Scotty who had the crowd eating out of his paws, thanks Scotty! Great night had by all and appreciation to both Managers and supporting parents for their efforts in arranging the night. Thanks to the team’s sponsors and parents for the kind donations provided for the raffle, the contributions equally split 3 ways.

Thanks to Trish + 1 for their efforts behind the bar / scenes

 

Oh and Happy Birthday Marie for Tuesday from all of the Dragons and parents – hope Mourinho looks after you!!!!

 

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