U15 Eagles

U14 Eagles keep their pride despite loss

YAC Ealing 7 -­ 2 Kensington Dragons U14 Eagles

So it was the biggest game of the season. The pitch was a quagmire and we lost 7-2. But when the embarrassed opposition manager shakes your hand and apologises for the conduct of his players while praising yours, you know you¹ve got something spot on.

As the Eagles coach said after the game, we need to focus on the football ­ there were some vital lessons to be learned, not least adapting our fine passing game to conditions that don¹t allow it. But let this much be said: in the face of some disgraceful behaviour by many of our opponents (from an absence of sportsmanship on the pitch to a complete lack of discipline off it, culminating in a chaotically provocative show of aggression after the final whistle) our boys proved a credit to the whole Kensington Dragons Club.

And as for the game, well for most of it this barely resembled one, with large patches of the pitch under water and much of the rest reduced to swampland. 2:1 down but dominating in the first half, we found it impossible to play with the ball on the ground in the second. Team spirits began to sag and when a dubious offside and an unseen hand-ball gifted Ealing an unwarranted three-goal lead, that sinking feeling was no longer simply literal.

But the Eagles needn’t worry. This was less a game of football than a test of character ­ and in that we came out on top. We also have our chance to put things right on pitch next Sunday as we play host to YAC at St Mark’s. Most importantly, however, we’ll make them very welcome. We may have lost, and by a score-line that hurts, but we were the ones who waded off the pitch with our heads held high.