November 24, 2013

Missed opportunities prove costly

Two missed breakaways by Yak may have been the difference in Sunday's game.

With his side in the lead after having fought their way back from an early deficit, the shifty winger found himself in alone on Lak Attack on two consecutive plays but he couldn't convert either into goals that might have put the game out of reach.

"In the moment you think 'ah, you'll get another chance,'" said Yak of his unrealized opportunities. "You really have to capitalize on every chance in a close game like this."

Which is just what Colonel and his mates did.

After floundering through the game's middle section, the feisty forward seemed re-energized after the two squandered scoring opportunities. He was determined not to let the game get away, as it very nearly did when his team blew their early lead and found themselves down 11-9 and the clock running out.

"It feels like momentum is against you," said Colonel. "We had to get one and then we found a bit of life to try harder."

Weeble took advantage of Doo's overly aggressive attempt to clear a loose ball in the corner to tie the game, then Colonel ripped a rapier into the high corner to win it.

The sudden turn of fortune was a tough blow to the upstart keeper.

"We'd fought hard all game, but it just came down to a couple of bad bounces late in the game," said Doo.

"It's a little heartbreaking," said Yak. "We were two breakaways from a win."

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November 17, 2013

Clock snubs comeback

Doo and his mates were able to take advantage of some turn overs late in Sunday's game to spark a 9-8 comeback win.

But for some roadsters the game still wasn't over.

A controversial call by representatives from both teams when the score was tied at eight to recognize the next goal as the game winner went unheeded by some players. They cried foul when Doo and Bam Bam combined to complete the comeback.

"You've got to run really hard and try to take advantage of your opportunities," said Doo. "Work hard as a team and you'll get the win."

Though it took a while for his team to find their game.

Their opponents were quick to pounce. Colonel took charge with his sharp, curving shot from the point. Yak bedazzled flat-footed defenders with his deft deking. And Weeble peeled in at the side of the crease to pick up the garbage rebounds. They built a quick 3-1 advantage.

But their up-tempo game took a toll and they were soon huffing, puffing and strolling their way back into plays. Often too late.

"We started giving the ball away and they were able to come back," said Yak.
Doo and his mates found their stride as they found their voice.

"As the game went on we started to communicate," said Doo, whose side held a slim 5-4 advantage at the break. "We were able to get some really good passing plays. That's what did it for us."

Three quick goals put the underdogs back in front, but again, they stopped running.

"You don't have the chance to let up because when you do, you let the odd man opportunities start to happen," said Yak.

Doo and his mates fought back again. This time for good.

"You've got to be patient," said Doo.

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November 10, 2013

Weathering doldrums

A month into the season the roadsters have played but one full game.

The loss of regular goalies Twizzler and Chico to new work schedules and fatherhood redux respectively has been compounded by lackadaisical commitment and comebacks that were more hype than career reignitions.

It's disappointing and frustrating.

I's not unexpected.

The early going has been a struggle for the past few seasons as some roadsters fulfill school, work and travel commitments.

The core group of roadsters who continue to carry the game's torch have adjusted by devising a modified half-court game that provides competitive play and a good workout.

But it's not very satisfying.

Clearing the evil orange plastic ball to the far end wall isn't the same as headmanning it to an opportunist teammate to create an odd-man rush on the transition. Beating the goalie isn't as gratifying when you then have to immediately turn around and provide defensive support to him. Running to the edge of exhaustion because of a lack of substitute players to provide relief makes for games littered with mental errors and slothful defence.

If there's a silver lining it's that last year the first full-court game didn't happen until six weeks into the season. This year, the roadsters are actually ahead of that pace.

It may not be the glory days of yore, but as long as there IS a game, there's hope that the games will get better.

The roadsters just need to look at the empty court next door as testament to their resilience; after more than five years the latest incarnation of roguesters are gone, unable to sustain their game through waning commitment.

The Sunday Morning core is as strong as it's ever been, and as long as they have the resolve to weather yet another early season of attendance doldrums, the fire of competitive full-court games will return.

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:41 PM | Comments (4)

November 03, 2013

Middle men

So far this season, the middle of the court has been unfamiliar ground to the roadsters. It's just not that important in the half-court game.

But in the first full court game of the new campaign, Yak and his mates used their superior transition game through mid-court to dominate their overmatched opponents, 15-2. It was one of the most lopsided scores in years.

"We capitalized on some transitions," said Yak. "It changed the nature of the game."

Without the necessity of having to regroup through the back court at every change of possession, as in the half-court game, Yak used his speed and stickhandling agility to draw defenders, while Colonel was able to tee up some sizzling slappers that cleared lanes and created opportunities against a beleaguered Beckenbauer, making his first start in net of the season.

"Getting that big shot from the point is key," said Yak.

Indeed, at least a third of his side's goals came off big shot plays. It would have been more had Beckenbauer not robbed Living Legend on at least three occasions when he was poised to chip in fortuitous rebounds and caroms.

"When you've got that big shot coming from the back, that's a big part of the game," said Chico, who took a break from his paternity leave to make a rare start as a runner.

Especially early in the season, as the roadsters are still finding their legs and creating chemistry with their linemates. Having that big blast to clear the track and generate rebounds can be a distinct advantage, said Bam Bam.

"You've got to be quick and fast on your feet," said the feisty forward, who smashed his stick in half after one particularly frustrating play cost his side a goal. "Sometimes you're caught in the wrong position, you're stopping and starting a lot more."

While the imbalance of talent wasn't as great as the score might indicate, Yak said his side's early advantage seemed to deflate their opponents.

"Once we got up by a few it changed the nature of the game," said the speedy forward. "You're not under pressure so you can start committing harder."

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:02 PM | Comments (6)