Hong Kong - Veterans World Cup
Earlier today I received an email from Brian Fitzpatrick, currently playing for the Australian Over 45's in Hong Kong. His report on the first match for the Over 40's and Over 45's is as follows: -
Over 45's v Hong Kong
After being presented with our shirts the 3 Sydney Uni boys Mick Irby, Phil Price and Brian Fitzpatrick started against the local team. When I say local there were at least 6 different nationalities in the team. Pakistani, Indian, Dutch, South African, Chinese and Hong Kong. (yes, they still call Hong Kong a country – well the expats do if they have their nationality card) all coached by a Kiwi.
Hong Kong set up very deep in defence with most if not all players behind the ball. A Mick Irby short corner conversion settled nerves. However despite having the better of the play Australia were unable to score any more and went into the half up the solitary goal.
The second half proved to be different story. The half time team talk focussed on pushing everybody up higher and making sure you were committing your opposite man and creating the one-twos to eliminate the opposition player. This brought the halves and especially Phil Price more in the game. With a lot of penetrating runs from the halves freeing up the forwards the goals started to flow. 2 to Fitz and others to the forwards saw a final score of 7 nil and a great start to the campaign.
Bring on England.
Over 40's v Ireland.The youngsters also came up against a disciplined defensive team in Ireland. A similar 11 man defensive wall saw the Aussies struggling to break down the Irish. Even an innocuous tackle by the Irish goalkeeper 18 minutes in which resulted in a dislocated shoulder did not make things any easier as one of their full backs donned the pads. A nil all scoreline was the half time score. The second half followed the same script as the first but a short corner conversion was quickly followed by another which saw the boys up 2 nil and safe. The Irish were unable to penetrate the full back line with Paul Barrett starring with the result the Aussie keepers did not get a touch for the whole game. Another short corner conversion after the final whistle saw a 3 – 0 score to the Aussies. But it was the Irish eyes who seemed to be smiling the most after the game.