As Tornados gathered the troops for the second part of the weekend’s double header. With more of the squad in Japan watching the rugby than available for selection it was a mix of heavy legs and players returning from holidays that made their way to Sengkang for a 7.30 push back vs SCC. With second place now seemingly out of reach for either side there was still bragging rights on offer with a Tornados double over SCC very much on the cards with a forward line including both Lionel and Tim H, goals galore seemed very much on the cards.
The first 5-7 mins saw a cagey start from both sides, sitting deep and looking to play the ball around the back searching for an opening. Around mid-way through the first quarter saw a Tornados attack down the right, a speculative cross finding the foot of SCC defender and we had the first short of the game. The Tornados SC battery has been in full cry all season and feeling were odd’s on for them to go 1-0 up. A good injection, fine stop and drag flick with venom flew inches wide of the left post. Not the goal the crowd expected but bodes well for more to come.
Finally mid-way through the first half the break through Tornado’s patience and possession deserved. A lovely through ball from WWB to Tim H, a faint, moves the ball to his reverse to create space and finally the death rattle of the ball against the back board as Tim with a trade mark reverse stick finish over a sprawling keeper gives the valiant T’s the lead.
A fairly uneventful last 10 of the half saw each side tied in a mid-field battle. A mix of poor passing, and a small amount of panic from both teams. The half time hooter bringing a welcome respite and chance to regroup!
The second half starting much as the first ended. A heated mid field battle with the T’s having the better of the play, the highlight being Tim H looking odds on to add to his tally. Only for the keeper to make a fortuitous last ditch save. As Tornados grew into the half and looking the stronger of the two sides, the chances continued to come. A foot in D giving a short and surely this time that second goal and cushion they deserved. Salan calling for a change of play from the often successful drag flick, saw a fine injection, clean stop and a deft drop of the shoulder saw the ball slipped left to WWB who pinged it towards the back post for the waiting Gabriel to tap home. But NO! wait! How’s that not in the net the baying crowd gasping. The keeper getting the faintest of nicks of his pad to deflect it inches wide of the waiting stick of Gab.
Into the last quarter and the score still 1-0 SCC feeling they could nick something from a game that should have been safe for the mighty T’s. Tensions creeping up and with tired legs bringing a few loose mistakes, the game took a more physical edge to it. SCC 26 and Gabriel needing a word from the umpire to calm things down. Then with 5 mins to go Matt J collecting the ball deeper in the T’s half, flicked the ball round his marker, who then cynically steps across his path using his large frame to block the Tornado’s player. A small over reaction from Matt sees him drop his stick and square up eye to eye, or in reality eye to chest level with the SCC scoundrel! A quick sub and the tornados escape going down to 10 for last 5 minutes.
With time almost up, the ball flung up field from a desperate SCC searching for that goal to get something out of a game they don’t deserve. The ball enters the ‘D’, Ferg takes the ball with calm assurance from the stick of an attacker and plays it out of danger effortlessly. From nowhere, the whistle, umpire signaling for a short. For what? The players yell! The umpire calling back stick for the challenge. Nobody can understand... Ferg politely asking the Ump if his vision is ok, or is he watching a different game? Gets his marching orders with a yellow and SCC scent blood and a point. One last throw of dice from SCC is repelled with body on the line stuff from the T’s defense. The hooter, the end of a well fought game and well deserved win for Tornados! Bragging rights well and truly, with the glorious victors looking well placed to end the season top placed expat team in the league, with only the Dutch to play.