British Airways 2 v Kensington Dragons 3
After having a deserved week of rest Dragons looked to finish the year in good form and a difficult task against last years champs would be the first of three. Sporting the new away strip the players must not have recognised each other as they started slowly and paid the ultimate penalty when a through ball was poorly defended and allowed the BA forward to slip in untracked to slot in the opening goal. Fighting against the momentum the home side had gained Dragons needed to remain firm to all oncoming attacks whilst trying to find their own game.
Half-way through the first half Dragons started to become more of a threat with Nalu Moso going close with a lob and Mariner being denied by the out-rushing keeper. They would not be denied however as from defending a corner a swift three man counter allowed Madden to cross into the stride of Mariner who was assured with his finish. Possession and territory was being controlled by Dragons at this point and good passing moves on the left and right created opportunities for Maxwell and Mariner but both could not find the finish.
Dragons would not be deterred and continued to play on the excellent BA surface and the quick interplay allowed Nalu Moso to find instinctively the run from Mariner and he showed strength and poise to shrug off the last defender and round the goalkeeper to slot into the empty net and send the away team into the break with the advantage.
The second half and both teams came out with intent and the next goal would be important in the context of the game. It was Dragons who were able to settle better and with that the opportunities to extend their lead with a Madden free-kick going close. It would be a very good move down the left between Scott and Mariner that allowed Nalu Moso to pounce on the rebound and volley home the third.
This followed a couple of substitutions in quick succession for the Dragons and this unbalanced the side offering more possession to BA who were still up for the challenge and continued to play for the result. It meant the Dragons had to stand firm and show their defensive qualities also and ten minutes before the end they were undone through a good BA move and the lead was now in the balance. The group of players worked in tandem and fought for the result to which great relief came along with the final whistle and the win.
Moore, Malone, Bowler, Batousol, Scott; O’Donoghue(c), Bangoo, Maxwell, Mariner; Madden, Nalu Moso Subs: Scheck, Humphrey, Soussi