PL Match Report - Men's Elimination Final (with photos)

August 31, 2019 at 8:48 PM

On to 2020                                                                                                                  Men

Doncaster’s Premier League Men were up against MCC in Saturday’s Elimination Final.  The only time the two teams played during the season ended in a 4-4 and this Final also ended in a draw, 2-2.  But it was MCC who won the shootout following eleven shots at the net.  Doncaster are now looking at 2020.

The home and away match was nip and tuck for the majority of that match and this Elimination Final followed suit.  In the first five minutes it was MCC that held possession and attacked at the slightest opening.  However, Doncaster’s defenders were at the ready and MCC could not find deep penetration.

Doncaster pushed the battle to the mid-field and with more cohesion and careful thinking the Dons were able to push deeper in their forward half.  While Doncaster threatened, MCC’s last line were as solid as a rock.

With just one minute until the quarter time break, MCC quickly pushed the ball into their scoring zone and a tomahawk from the sharp left hand side of the net scored.  MCC had capitalised on a rare deep thrust.

In the initial two minutes of the second quarter Doncaster’s Kiran Arunasalam quickly played a free hit from the half way line and his pass to Luke Evered opened up the circle.  Evered’s pass deep in the circle was brilliantly deflected by Russell Ford and scores were level.

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Kiran Arunasalam at his best

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Doncaster’s Tim Snow, Tom Habal and Hayden Currie continued to keep MCC’s forward pushes away from the circle.  In the mid-field, Jay Randhawa, Joel Carroll and Andrew Scheele won more than their share of contests and the battle was between the 25 meter lines.

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Tim Snow one of Doncaster's best, once again

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

As the third quarter got under way, MCC were more structured when pushing forward, holding possession to build pressure and create openings.  But very few genuine opportunities were on offer deep.  Doncaster’s defenders and mids pushed the battle back to the mid-field.

Eight minutes into this quarter a long Randhawa pass into Doncaster’s circle hit an MCC foot, a Doncaster short corner.  Randhawa finished off his set up work with a powerful drag flick into the top right hand corner of the net, Doncaster in front.

With less than one minute until the break MCC take a free hit quickly into the circle and a Doncaster foot results in an MCC short corner.  A deflection from the right hand post levels the score again.

What could be the last 17 minutes of the season, it is Doncaster that lifts the intensity, pushing forward and locking the ball in attack.  But too often Doncaster passes miss the target or traps lead to turnovers.  While Doncaster is dictating most of the play, the battle is between the 25 metre lines.

As the clock ticks, the pressure rises, Doncaster threaten but MCC’s last line is outstanding.

When the final whistle blows the crowd slumps; watching a shootout is never a lot of fun.  Doncaster’s goal keeper Mike Kelly had played his best match of the season on Saturday and that great form continued during the shootout with some brilliant pieces of work.  But it would be the MCC crowd that would enjoy the shootout winning the 7-6.

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Mike Kelly saving another short corner

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Doncaster 2 (6-SO) were defeated by MCC 2 (7-SO)

Goals: Russell Ford, Jay Randhawa

Best Players: Mike Kelly, Tim Snow, Joel Carroll

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