Bank showing good early form

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Tuesday, April 14

Strong defence and quick passing was the catalyst behind Meadowbank United going through their pre-season tournament in Oamaru unbeaten at the weekend.

The tournament featured shortened games with two pool based in Oamaru, pool one featured Thistle, Timaru Boys’ High School, Mountainview FC, West End A while pool B featured West End B, Thistle/Roncalli and Meadowbank Reserves.

With 20-minute halves, each team played three games, something which suited all teams as it was still pre-season.

Meadowbank United coach Andy Lane said the overall tournament was a great success.

“It went really well and all the matches proved to be a lot of fun.”

Lane said the side focused on their defensive patterns.

“Our focus with quite a new team and set-up was to make sure we had our defence sorted before we began to look at attacking,” he said.

The side first played Thistle and while it was a 0-0 stalemate the result pleased Lane.

“It’s only pre-season and we’ve had things to work on, so to see our defence working well first game up is pleasing,” Lane said.

The game did produce some attacking moments by both sides and although no neither team scored it was a worthwhile hit-out.

Next up, the side tackled Timaru Boys’ High School, who they beat 3-0 thanks to goals from Matt Heywood, Riku Koyama, and Lane.

“The performance was pleasing and we had our defensive end sorted so we looked to attack a bit more and it work, with three of us finding the back of the net.”

In the side’s last game they played Timaru Club West End A, who have been a tricky side for Meadowbank to beat, but they managed to produce the goods and come away with a 2-1 win.

“We are really pleased with that performance we tend to struggle against them, so being able to come away with the points was pleasing.”

Lane said while different players stood out throughout the tournament Koyama and Eden Soutor-Napier in the midfield did a lot of extra work.

“They went really well and Riku especially played out of his skin.”

The side now turn their focus to their first game this weekend, while they are unsure at this stage exactly who they’re going to play as the draw is still to be made.

Meanwhile, the Meadowbank reserve side also had a pleasing day also going through the tournament unbeaten.

They defeated Roncalli/Thistle 2-0, West End B 2-1 and TBHS 2-1, with a Logan van Rooy double getting them home, while Kiv Alcasabas was standout for the side.

The reserves also begin next weekend.

By Brayden Lindsay

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – Meadowbank United’s Sam Downing sneaks the ball past the West End A goal keeper in their 2-1 victory.