Tuesday, February 10, 2009

300 G2: Gentlemanly Bullets vs Vicious 300

Coach Jason's big, beaming face tells the whole story in short, doesn't it?

But for those who like it long and relish reliving the sweet victory again... read on!

It was a printing error that gave Frontliners 300 their first bench penalty of PFL '09. Although Megan's home jersey number read 26, his registered number was 24, and right at the beginning he was sent out.

And so it was that 300 started the match with a player down. Without doing anything, Contact Bullets already had received a big confidence booster. So would they make full use of it and capitalize on 300's disadvantage?

Apparently not. Bullets were full of gentlemen and gentleladies that day, and for the entire two minutes, they generously stood down and made it relatively comfortable for 300.

Then when restored to five, 300 gave no thought to returning the favor and ultimately punished Bullets for being slow off the blocks. Captain Michael scored off a rebound, and the court rang with cheers of a mostly pro-Frontliners crowd.

It was a real battle going on inside: fast, furious and ugly.

Bullets again squandered the chance to equalize and maybe even go ahead, when 300 received two more bench penalties (now that's a record: three bench penalties in just one game compared to two for the entire PFL '08!) for incorrect distance.

An eagle-eyed referee (yes, the same who asked Tristan to change out of his tights in the first game) spotted Soon Khai leaving his area while doing a throwout, and awarded Bullets a freehit less than three meters from the crease.

Here, the players from 300 had no idea what to do, for if they retreated the full three meters, they would be inside the goal cage. In all the confusion, Bullets took the freehit quickly, and Tristan was sent off.

Still blur and confused with all the shouts of 'wall!' and 'three meters!' ringing, Bullets retook the freehit, and this time June was sent off.

Finally, Soon Khai came out himself and arranged the wall excellently, as Bullets' freehit smashed into the wall and bounced off.

Again, Bullets proved too gentlemanly too take advantage of this adverse situation. So 300 went into the break still defending a precarious 1-0 lead.

After the break, 300, still in no mood for compromise, took the initiative and again punished Bullets, who seemed to just be going through the motions. Credit for the goal should go to Megan. His first touch was excellent, setting himself up, and and he buried the ball right in the corner of the goal with great calmness.

In the end, it was fitting that Captain Michael, who started the scoring, would close it also. Displaying wonderful control and willingness to run into brick walls for the team, he dribbled past one, two, and three defenders, then finally smashed the ball past Lawrence with a quality shot.

Game, set, and match.

Or so 300 thought. Complacency crept into their play, and you can bet that Coach Jason's heart was in his mouth throughout the final few minutes. Only Soon Khai's reflexes and Bullets' poor luck kept the score at 3-0.

Credit must be given where credit is due. Bullets did very well to continue searching for goals even though the game appeared to be over.

But when the final whistle blew, most felt that it was a deserved win for 300 and a fair reflection of the two teams' gameplay.

1 comment:

ky said...

luck day for 300 with the 2 minutes, but great effort to put 3 into the net, it could have been more if someone just step in for a rebound. haha.

anyway, the sent off, a good lesson for you guys:

first of, if the foul is in the crease, the ref have to take it out and place the free hit outside the crease, roughly 3 meters counting from the small crease, so the only place you can form a wall is on the line of the small crease, any nearer, it will be an incorrect distance, and further it will be a penalty shot. =)