“You want to take 20% off the power, and add that 20% to the accuracy.”
– Trey walks the team through his penalty-taking strategy.
The Herston Hatchets picked up another win last night with a 2 -0 defeat of the simply vile UQ Fifths. Two second-half goals were enough to decide the tight contest and secure the three points. A record crowd of, like, 25 people were in attendance, and the cauldron that is Jack Speare Park threatened to boil over at some points.
Anticipation was high as supporters began to stream through the turnstyles and onto the terraces. Many were keen to see whether any of their friends from uni were playing for the opposition, as this had been billed as an intra-UQ grudge match. However, it soon became apparent that, if UQ Fifths had indeed any affiliation to UQ, they were more likely made up of senior teaching staff or mature-age students than the 18-25 year old demographic favoured by the Hatchets.
Club stalwart Jack elected to put the shin pads to one side and try his hand at managing this week, to the delight of his loyal fan club – the Jumping Jacks. However, some spectators did mention (off the record) that his choice of a three piece suit was probably a bit over the top for a QIF game. Jack’s first action as manager was to bench gloveman Alex, despite him setting a Hatchets record for season clean sheets by the end of round 5. Adam I was drafted in to replace Alex.
Adam was untroubled in goals early on, but Jack decided that the gamble wasn’t paying off at the ten minute mark and decided to sub Alex back in. There were a few chances to the Hatchets in a scrappy first half, including a shot from Tej that was well-saved and a narrowly high curler from Nick. But both teams struggled to find space in attack, and the score remained 0-0 at half time.
The game plan for the second half was to hold onto the ball more, defend better and look to score more goals, which got off to a good start. Wriggly left-back Mike G made a trademark run into the box, slaloming past two hapless UQ defenders before being hauled down by the brutish third. The referee refused to allow Jack to sub himself on to take the penalty, and so a hush descended over the ground as fan favourite Trey stepped up to the spot. All the anxiety was for nothing, though, as Trey calmly sent the keeper the wrong way and scored.
Having sat back for most of the game, UQ Fifths, who are horrid, began to push further up the park. The game opened up and a few chances were created by the away team. An excellent professional foul by centre-back Rockie prevented a one-on-one (and earned both blue AND yellow cards), and substitute goalkeeper Alex had to make one or two saves. But the defensive unit (renowned as the best in QIF’s Friday division this year, with just 0.29 goals conceded per game) held firm, and pushed the ball back up the park time and time again.
One such counter-attacking opportunity released leading goalscorer Nick ‘the Raging Bull’ R down the left flank. Nick, who is regarded by many in the Hatchets management as a promising up-and-comer, took the ball under control and moved closer to goal. When he was 20 meters from his target on the left-hand side, an area which has become known colloquially as ‘the Rigby Zone’ down at Jack Speare Park, he let fly and curled the ball in at the near post.
That goal proved to be the final score of the game. It was a hard-fought game, but an important three points that keeps the Hatchets on top of the league after round 6. The team will also be buoyed by news that QUT Gold came from 3-1 down at half time to beat second-placed Annerley 4-3, and leaves Herston in the box seat.
There will be a bye next week, with the next game to be played at Jack Speare Park on May 27. Tickets are still available.