Sunday 16th February saw the Dragons take to the indoor 3g pitch of Parc Eirias as they took on the football teams of North Wales Police and Manchester Police. Unusually this tournament would see Dragons v Dragons as the team was split to create two separate squads. For this reason we have split this match report in to two sections, Team 1 written by Co-Founder and number 5 for the Dragons, Gaz Roberts. Team 2 is written by Ste Roberts, Co-Founder and number 11 for the team.
Team 1 – Chris Roberts (GK) Gaz Roberts, Dave Owen, Dave Simpson, Jodey Brown-Williams, Josh Daniels, Cal White, Rich and Mark Williams (C)
Some last-minute changes were needed on the morning of the sixteenth as the Dragons learned they were to be split in to two, it was tough to split the squad up as each individual brings something totally different to the squad. The first match was against the police of Manchester who were playing in Dark blue Manchester City kits as we played in our Raging Bull made, GAP Personnel sponsored kits. The match was fast paced with the men in blue challenging hard and fast. Going 1-0 down in the first couple of minutes the Dragons raged on with near misses from Josh Daniels, Dave Simpson and Mark Williams. The Manchester squad were power shooting from range with shots being blocked one after another, a shot blocked by Gaz Roberts hit the roof and a free kick was given which had the Dragons confused as the rules stated that if a ball was to hit the roof, a throw in would be given. Asleep at the free kick the Dragons conceded their second and quickly a third as they struggled to rearrange the squad. The fourth and final goal of the match came after a ball was battled for and controlled by the arm which the referee failed to spot from the halfway line.
Team 1 were now looking for a victory in the second to keep them in the frame for a medal winning spot, standing in our way would be the North Wales Police Team A. For this as Team 2 were on their rest period we drafted in goalkeeper Tom Thornton from Team 2 who put in a great performance. Mark Williams would put the Dragons ahead in the early stages in what was another hard-hitting fast paced game. The team was holding up very well but in the last five the police broke on a counter attack and managed to get pass the keeper to make it a final score of 1 – 1.
The next match would put the Dragons v the Dragons, a first for us but a regular scene on a Friday night in our training sessions. The two teams know each other so well and this showed as counter attacking football was displayed throughout the match. Team 1 suffered a set back in the early stages as Jodey Brown-Williams picked up an injury and had to be carried off the pitch with ankle ligament damage. The team raged on and it wasn’t untill the last few minutes that Chris Roberts was beaten by a quick passing combination of Ste Roberts and Martin Anderson making the final score 1-0.
The final match of the day saw team 1 having no subs as Jodey was unavailable due to injury and likewise for goalkeeper Chris Roberts. A squad of one defender and all outfield players saw a very difficult match for the squad as the North Wales Police B squad were quick on the counter and piled pressure on early. Taking no prisoners the men in red were taking power shots at the keeper who was struggling to keep every attempt on goal out. Josh Daniels would net the Dragons goal but unfortunately the police had put 4 past the makeshift goalkeeper.
Team 2 – Tom Thornton (GK) Joe Wilkinson, Danny Robinson, Barry Haydock, Michael Ellis, Paul Cornwall, Alan Daniels, Steve Roberts, Martin Anderson
The Dragons were invited to enter a team in to the tournament by Medwyn Lewis, a Dragons player but also an officer of North Wales Police. We of course jumped at the chance to help out and gathered a squad of 15 players.
The morning of the tournament one of the teams representing Greater Manchester Police pulled out. The Dragons were then asked to split the team in half and enter 2 teams.
The team I was a part of had mixed fortunes in our 4 games, losing the first game 1-0 in a game which could have gone either way against North Wales Police Team 1, then beating tournament favourites Greater Manchester Police 2-1 (which was their only loss of the tournament) we then had to play our Dragon’s counterparts in which we managed to win narrowly 1-0. Our final game was a 5-4 loss to North Wales Police Team 2.
Our team finished 3rd in the table and was entered into a 3rd & 4th place playoff game which after a 2-2 draw went to penalties. North Wales Police were successful on the spot kicks winning 3-1.
Until next time
Steve and Gareth Roberts
North Wales Dragons Co-Founders