THE Bega Devils senior men’s soccer squad clashed with the Pambula Penguins on Sunday.
In spite of appalling conditions, a total of 11 goals were scored at George Griffin Oval, Bega.
With consistent rain over the weekend, and a playing surface that resembled more a swimming pool than soccer field, it would have been easy to expect a scrappy match, but both teams adapted and even excelled in the wet conditions.
In the two teams’ only previous encounter this year, Pambula scored late to snatch a 2-2 draw.
However, with a frenetic start that led to two goals within the opening five minutes, the Penguins seemed eager not to have to overcome a deficit.
With the match barely underway and already behind two goals, Bega looked stunned, but knew they had to hit back immediately and luckily did so through a penalty from Chris Dwyer.
Bega then spurned a great chance to equalise as Dwyer stepped up to take his second penalty, this time for an illegal tackle, but he narrowly missed, pushing the ball wide of the goals.
Jordan Stafford completed the first half comeback, when he slotted a kick in to the net.
Bega now looked in total control in a bizarre first half.
Dwyer made up for his earlier missed penalty to score his second for the match from an outstanding Devils’ passing play that involved more than half the team.
The Devils were now merciless in the attack and fired an array of unstoppable shots.
The first came from Stafford for his second, then substitute Clancy Morrison brought the end to a thrilling first half of scoring at 5-2.
Conditions were deteriorating in the second half, and the Devils could be forgiven for easing off and taking the three-goal win.
However, the Devils decided to step play up and send a message to other teams in the competition.
Slick passing ability and ample amounts of speed led to a dominating second half as two goals to substitute striker Blake Grant, a second for Morrison and one to Ross Jones ended the scoring and the match at 9-2 in favour of Bega.
There is a long weekend bye, with the next match to see the Devils at home to Merimbula on June 15.
In a great day for Devils senior teams, Bega’s reserve grade left it to the last minute to record a 1-0 victory over Eden.
The Bega ladies overcame the loss of their captain, and poor conditions, to record a 10-1 win, with three players posting hat-tricks.