Shannon Lucas won the Golden Glove award as the best goalkeeper at the National Secondary Schools Futsal tournament last week. Two years ago it was uncertain whether the Rongotai College First XI footballer would ever kick a ball again.
“I tore an ACL in the first five minutes of a game jumping into the air to make a save. My right leg was off the ground and the opposing striker accidentally crashed into my left leg which was still on the ground. I felt a snap right away,” Lucas bemoans.
Lucas was sidelined for the best part of two years, but found solace and strength in rowing.
“I discovered rowing was a way of strengthening the muscle and I really got into it. I had some success and it was an amazing experience, but I’m better at football,” Lucas reveals.
Lucas is a Capital Futsal representative and believes his inclusion in that programme along with some of his Rongotai teammates explains the success of his school in futsal this year. Rongotai finished runners up to Wellington College at Nationals, but beat the same opposition in the local final.
“I think we’ve bonded strongly as a team this season and the boys in the Capital team have been able to transfer some of the skills learnt at a higher level to Rongotai which has been awesome,” Lucas enthuses.
Last Friday, Rongotai was narrowly beaten by Wellington 2-0 in the National final. Lucas made a series of exceptional saves. He was proud of the Rongotai effort.
“We were disappointed to lose, but the intensity of that match was an amazing experience and we left everything out there. We beat Hamilton Boys’ 2-1 in the semi-final and that was another highlight of the week,” Lucas says.
Two days later the same teams met in the final of the Wellington league. Wellington had beaten Rongotai three times this season and initially it appeared history would repeat itself again.
“We were chasing the whole game. Three times we fell behind, three times we equalised. We were keen prove ourselves and it was a team effort to beat them,” Lucas acclaims.
Rongotai won 7-6 on penalties.
“I managed to save Wellington’s second shot, but then one of our shooters missed and was 2-2 going into sudden death. I saved another shot and they missed again so we won,” Lucas reflects.
Lucas is a restless figure in goal and explains the method to his madness.
“I need to be on my toes all the time. When the ball is headed towards me, I’m thinking about any number of possibilities. Will he shot? Will he pass? Do I have to go left? Do I have to go right? Things happen quickly and it can get pretty crazy,” Lucas laughs.
Lucas sported a shaved head for the final sponsoring a cancer fundraiser.
Lucas has been playing futsal for less than three years. In 2017, Lucas was the Golden Gloves winner at the National U16 tournament.
The National Secondary Schools boys Futsal finals were decided at the ASB Sports Centre in Wellington this afternoon. College Sport Media watched the action.
Senior Final: Wellington College: 2 v Rongotai College: 0
Wellington College backed up their local success by capturing the National title, edging Rongotai College 2-0. The ASB Sports Centre is across the road from Rongotai College so headmaster Kevin Carter honourably dismissed his school early to create a bumper atmosphere for the climax.
The Rongotai crowd appeared to distract Wellington goalie Toby Hunt in the opening minutes. Hunt inexplicably walked over the top of a gently rolling ball headed goal bound. He was was lucky not to concede as the ball slithered past the post.
Hunt quickly regained his concentration and produced a series of top shelf saves to preserve a clean sheet.
His oppositee Shannon Lucas won the golden glove award as the best goal keeper in the tournament. At times, Lucas was more flexible than a pilates instructor as both teams struggled to find the back of the net.
The best chance in the first ten minutes fell the way of Rongotai's Abdi Jama who nudged the ball wide-right when Hunt was stranded.
Wellington was more polished with possession than Rongotai, who at times appeared rushed.
Wellington's Seth Ward was named tournament MVP and two clinical finishes in each half illustrated his prowess. On two occasions Ward received the ball on the left side and was able to maneuver past his marker to establish open looks which were seized upon emphatically.
Matthew Peden was a trojan for Rongotai and Will Forrest dynamic for Wellington.
There are 390 boys who play fustal at Wellington College.
In the playoff for third, Scots College, Wellington beat Hamilton Boys' High School 6-4. Hamilton's Kyle Kirsten won the golden boot award scoring 15 goals throughout the tourney.
Earlier in the week, Palmerston North Girls' High School won the senior female title.
Junior Final: Scots College, Wellington: 5 v Napier Boys' High School: 4
Scots College claimed the junior crown with a pulsating 5-4 triumph over Napier Boys' High School.
The winning moment occurred with 1:48 remaining when a rebounded shot left the Napier defence stretched and tournament MVP Kosei Okiawa an open net.
The initial block by Sam Lack, not much bigger than the match ball, epitomised the bravery of Napier's effort. Lack was nearly decapitated but unlike the Wellington Phoneix, rose from the ashes to take one last desperate shot on the Scots goal.
Scots started faster than a Ferrari in Strathmore surging to a 3-0 lead. Leo Crockett, the 'Socrates of Scots,' was the primary source of Scots ascendancy. He scored two goals and created ample forward momentum with his astute touches, though ironically Crockett's worst shot found the back of the net. A slice off the right side of the boot wriggled across the floor like a snail, hitting the post and trickling in.
There was nothing subtle about Baylee Foote's approach. The bleach blonde Napier striker is aptly named given the ferocity of his striking. A left-foot thunderbolt opened Napier's account and it was 3-1 at halftime.
Foote showed he could unleash off the right-foot to and reduced the deficit to 3-2 shortly after the interval. Scots was clearly rattled and it was soon 3-3 when two of their defenders got into a tangle and donated a tap in for Byron Stothers.
Napier relentlessly peppered the Scots goal with a series of missiles that would have had the United Nations concerned.
However it was Scots who reclaimed the lead when the stocky Wynn Skinner bowled through congestion like a Mack Truck and willed his team ahead.
Napier refused to surrender and inspiringly their seniors started a "Sky Blue" chat which was soon echoed by the majority of the crowd, most of whom were visiting teams. Perhaps it was a protest at the bleak weather outside, but most likely they wanted to see extra time and Stothers created that possibly when he equalised to make it 4-4.
Scots regrouped and the cool Okiawa appropriately had the last say of a blockbuster contest.
The golden boot was won by Calum Murdoch from St Thomas of Canterbury College. He scored 20 goals, averaging more than two a match. The golden glove recipient was Napier's Oscar Mason.
Wellington East College won the junior female title on Tuesday.
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