The Rawson Soccer competition is an eagerly anticipated event each semester, with every Drew’s team hoping to break the two-year losing streak. St Andrew’s last won the Rawson Soccer Cup in Semester 2 of 2015 but subsequently placed 3rd in both semesters of next few consecutive years. With a few Drew’s third-years on the 2018 team, the determination to win one of only two sports that haven’t been won since 2015, was rife.
The team was picked in May, with training commencing shortly thereafter. Some bad weather meant that a lot of the June sessions were on the tennis court, predominantly playing football tennis, but nonetheless this built camaraderie within the team. In the second week of Semester 2, we were underway, coming up against Wesley in our first game.
Wesley has historically always had a strong outfit of players, though they lack the same physicality as Paul’s, the Wesley team plays a strong game. With a hard-fought first 25 minutes, the shackles were finally broken when fresher, Cédric Kwame, slotted one past the keeper to put us 1-0 up. A pretty quick reply from Wesley levelled the scores, and the game continued with a long streak of back and forth. This continued for 20 minutes into the second half until a drive to the bottom right corner took St Andrew’s up 2-1. From this point on, Wesley gradually threw more and more people into an attack, with the final minutes having 20 of 22 players in our own defensive box. Unfortunately, in the last 16 seconds of the game, a lucky falcon managed to sneak over the gloves of Ollie Holder in goal, drawing the game up at 2-2 and sending the game into a golden goal. An extremely well fought 30 minutes of golden goal found many players cramping up, but no goals were to be scored, meaning the match was to be decided in penalties. With a few of our shots going askew, the clinical Wesley penalty takers won the match for them, leaving them with 2 points for a win in penalties and us with 1 point for a loss in penalties. While we were obviously sore, tired, disappointed and emotional, we put this game behind us and concentrated on Paul’s game on Friday.
When the game against Paul’s arrived we were still sore, but having regrouped we were ready to give everything to the game. With the first half being dominated by Drew’s, the scoreline only sat at 1-0, due to some finesse by 3rd year Matt Akehurst (goal scorer). This brilliance from Matt continued into the second half and would become a theme throughout the next game and a half. After some more back and forth from both teams, Akehurst put two more goals deftly past the keeper, bagging himself a hat trick and putting Drew’s up 3-0. Some late-game complacency meant that St Paul’s managed to score two goals back on us within in a nervous period of 10 minutes. However, the final score was 3-2, and a win for Drews meant that we were still in with a shot of winning competition overall. After round two of the campaign, Wesley was in front on 5, Drews in 2nd on 4, Paul’s in 3rd on 3 and John’s on 0.
Going into the final game against John’s, we knew that we had the team and skill to win this game, and getting up against John’s would mean our fate would be left up to the result of Paul’s vs Wesley. Playing on the flat and grassy pitch at USYD Oval 2, it was far easier to play a proper game. With a few injuries heading into the final game, the team wasn’t at full capacity, but every player was committed to the challenge of bringing home the cup. This was evident quickly when we went into the sheds at halftime up 3-0, due to Matt’s precise touch bagging him another hattrick. Coming out in the second half, a few subs were called to get on the men who are in their last year at Drew’s, on the pitch for one last hoorah. Then, Liam Brandwood managed to score what could be argued as the goal of the St Andrew’s campaign, slotting one into the top left corner with some ecstatic celebrations to follow, and getting us to what would be the final score of 4-0. Happy with our efforts, we knew our placing depended upon the Wesley vs Paul’s game and so later that day we came back to watch the epic conclusion to the campaign.
The results were`:
Wesley win outright – Wes 1st, Drews 2nd, Paul’s 3rd
Wesley win in penalties – Wes & Drews 1st, Paul’s 3rd
Paul’s win outright – Drews 1st, Paul’s 2nd, Wes 3rd
Paul’s win in penalties – Drews 1st, Wes 2nd, Paul’s 3rd
In the end, the 2018 Rawson Soccer competition had been any teams game to win. With a final score of 1-1, the deadly Paul’s combination of Adam Prentice and Matt Hooke meant one goal for the last play of the game, giving Drew’s the win. It was incredible to watch and counted as one of the few times that Drew’s were happy to see Paul’s triumph.
Conclusively, the St Andrew’s team for 2018 had a stellar campaign and reclaimed the Rawson Cup. A special mention to Adriano Hoelzle, Nimalan Sundaram, Dugald Shannon, Tom Galvin, Matt Akehurst and Ben Woodrow who have finished their residency with St Andrew’s and its’ football team. The remaining St Andrew’s players are looking forward to trying to keep the cup in the 2019 campaign.
Tom Galvin (Fr 2016) Member of the 2018 St Andrew’s Rawson Soccer Team