A rivalry renewed: Junior Hoops u7 Saints vs. Oswaldtwistle Juniors u7

Saturday saw the Saints and Ossy Juniors put on another high quality show in the latest game between the two sides. Unlike the free scoring games of earlier in this season, Saturday’s game was a much tighter affair but no less exciting as both sides went from end to end, only to be halted by sterling defence or fantastic keeping.

It took nearly 10 minutes for the first breakthrough and it went the way of the Saints. Quick feet from Teddy on the right hand side created an opening and his delicious through ball was taken on by Oakley in full stride before being dispatched in the bottom right hand corner. Ossy poured forward in search of an equaliser and penned the Saints back. Assured handling from Seb and some last ditch blocks from Alfie kept them at bay before a lightning break from Leighton almost doubled the Saints lead only for the Ossy keeper to deny him with a smart stop.

With five minutes of the first half remaining Ossy brought the game level with a sweet strike only to see the Saints regain the lead a minute later to take them into the half time interval 2-1 ahead. Again it was an assist for Teddy who played an incisive slide ball through to Matthew to put him ahead of the last defender and one on one with the keeper. Showing a calmness beyond his years Matthew switched the ball from his left to his right foot and rolled the ball into the bottom left hand corner to give his team the lead.

The second half was more of the same. Both teams attacked with intent but struggled to add to their score. Seb was a rock at the heart of the Sainst defence reading the game like a veteran and now taking his turn with the gloves, Matthew made two world class stops to give keep the saints ahead. The second was a strike from distance which looked to be heading for the top bins until a hand came out of nowhere and tipped it over.

It wasn’t all Ossy however, Leighton again went close cutting in from the left and Oakley broke powerfully twice from midfield only to see one shot go narrowly wide and one cleared off the line.

With 5 minutes left Ossy drew level though and it was a reward for their attacking endeavour in the second half. Rather than settle for the draw the Saints were sparked into life and a slalom run from Teddy which started in his own half so the game open up only for his strike to go narrowly wide.

The final whistle blew and the spoils were shared in a titanic battle.

C’mon the Hoops!