Young Tieri side gets its kicks after dark
THE light might have been fading but Tieri goalkeeper Dylan Shepardson looked to have little trouble keeping his opposition's strikes at bay.
The Tieri State School junior was named Player of the Tournament following a thrilling finale to Emerald's Twilight Tournament at Morton Park on Tuesday evening.
Tieri took out a nail-biting 3-2 grand final win over St Patricks from Emerald, but not before a few heart-stopping moments for Tieri coach Darren Stutz-Grimmond.
"It was a really tough game," he said.
"We came out blasting and were up two goals in the first half."
Dylan's goalkeeping abilities were put to the test in the game's closing minutes, as Emerald's attacking prowess threatened to snatch the lead.
"They (Emerald) came back pretty strongly, the last 10 minutes was real edge-of-your-seat stuff," Darren said.
Tieri's defence was strengthened further with some inspirational play by young-gun Lachlan Perkins.
"He was just unbelievable," Darren said.
"Everywhere the ball was, he was there."
The coach added it was this resolve, when the going got tough, that the side should really be proud of.
"Even though we got the goals in the first half, it was the defence in the second which really held it together," he said.
The twilight concept was introduced this year to encourage more competition for junior soccer players in the region. And if the positive response from this year's tournament is anything to go by, there's a good chance of a return appearance next season.
"They really enjoyed it," Darren said.
"They were looking forward to it every Tuesday - they couldn't wait."