An expanded AFC Henley Hurricanes U11s squad played their first match of the summer in the Reading-based Berkshire Youth Development League.
A warm mid-May morning was an appropriate backdrop for the start of AFC Henley Hurricanes U11s’ newest challenge: participation in the BYDL summer league. The league features some old adversaries as well as a number of teams they have not faced before, including their first opposition of Theale Tigers Orange.
The game began brightly, with both teams trying to make their mark. Despite recent rain, the pitch was hard and dry, making the ball bounce high.
The Hurricanes passed the ball nicely, and with increasing confidence as the game progressed. At times they pressed hard, forcing the Tigers to defend tigerishly. The Tigers’ goalkeeper took the ball bravely under pressure several times. Ethan and Jack C worked well together on the right, crossing in for Will L to calmly slot home.
The Tigers produced some dangerous crosses too, working the ball down the right and putting the ball into a crowded box. The Hurricanes needed to be alert to the danger. Dominic, Ethan, Adam and captain Jack T needed to commit at times to cut out chances. Nicholas was, as usual, winning the ball in midfield. Goalkeeper Harrison made a confident head-high catch from a powerful Tigers shot. When Adam took the green jersey later in the game, he was also a calm presence between the posts.
The Hurricanes were always looking to play in the Tigers’ half. Jack C delivered some accurate corners and crosses, allowing man-of-the-match Oscar to rise above the defence and head the ball home.
The competition continues next week at Reading’s Cintra Park.