Honeybear's take second at Kingaroy Sevens Carnival
While the Bears look like they have some hard yards ahead of them in pre-season, the Honeybear's showed that, even under new coach Dennis Carroll, their end of season form and performance at the Joey's mini world cup were not a fluke.
The Honey's were immediately off to a fantastic start, defeating local Kingaroy team, West's 2 - 0 in their first game. A first half goal to captain Nikola Stevenson put the girls ahead, another from Kim Priem was icing on the cake.
The second match of the day was against a mixed Kingaroy team called Pure Chaos. Although the Chinchilla's girls ran rampant, with multiple attempts on goal, they were unable to put any away finishing 0 - 0
Early day 2 saw the toughest game for the girls, taking on Sunshine Coast team Bee Gees White. The first 5 minutes of the game was rather shakey, but the Honey's quickly found their groove, rising to the quality of the coast girls and really battling against one another. Neither team was able to gain the upper hand, and the game ended 0 - 0.
The final pool match for the Honeybears, was against Cooyar. Due to a few injuries the Cooyar team was forced to commence the match with only 6 players, until an extra arrived. Although the Honey's were by far the stronger team they didn't overly press their advantage, winning the game 2 - 0, with goals to Ebonney Kidd and Annie Johnson.
Slaking off in the final pool match, almost proved costly for the Honeybears, as they tied for second on points with Pure Chaos at the end of the pool matches, however goal difference count back was in the ladies favour and they progressed to the semi against Nanango.
The Honeybears were quick to settle into their rhythm against Nanango and a first half goal to Kidd filled the girls with confidence. The ladies continued to play well, however a defensive lapse in the middle of the second half, allowed Nanango to equalise. The game ended 1 - 1 and went to penalty shoot out.
Stevenson won the toss and elected for the Honeybears to shoot first, stepping up to take the first shot herself, and finding the back of the net.
Honeybears Keeper Bonnie Callaghan was unfortunately u
nable to block Nanango's first shot.
Chinchilla continued to show their prowess from the dot, with the following additional players also on target; Sally Carroll, Casey Hogan, Claire Valler, Ebonney Kidd, Kim Priem and Jess Bolewski.
Callaghan did her best to put off the Nanango players, and this paid off when their 8th shot taker placed her shot within range for Callaghan to bunt away, winning the shoot out 8-7.
The second semi-final had been won by Bee Gees White, which mean the Grand Final would be a rematch of the top to teams from Pool A. Both teams were hungry for the glory, but the Honeybear's were definitely on the back foot. The structured team work of the BeeGees, their quality ball skills and the Honeybears' building fatigue meant the Honey's spent most of the game defending. As the clock ticked down it seemed certain that the final was destined to also come down to a penalty shoot out, but unfortunately that was not the case. In the dying moments a minor defensive error allowed the BeeGees the tiniest gap on goal and they didn't hestitate to capatilise, squeezing a shot in on the front post, that Callaghan was unable to deflect.
Although the ladies were disappointed they had far exceeded their personal and team expectations and were happy to come away with, not only second place, but also some ideas of what they need to work on in the final weeks before the regular season commences.
The Old Bears over 35s mens team (which included 5 players who did double duty) progressed to the semi-final but were defeated 1 nil after being left with no subs due to injuries. Their path to the semi included 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss.
Unfortunately the Bears team were unable to get a win on the board with 4 losses, seeing them knocked out of the comp at the completion of the Pool stage.