University Fields, Llanrumney, Men’s 11-a-side Lazarou League
17th April 2016
The Dragons will be glad to see the back of their rivals from across the Ely after suffering a second narrow defeat to the light blues in seven days.
Following last week’s heart-breaking cup exit, it seemed the team had learned enough about their opponents to have their measure this time round, dominating the early exchanges and stifling Cogan’s midfield passing game. But the Dragons failure to capitalise on some killer final balls was punished when the away side went in front after twenty minutes, a moment’s fatal hesitation over a disputed offside allowing them to nip behind the defence. A superb swinging free kick from Liam just before the break raised hopes of a leveller, but even the spring-heeled George couldn’t quite get over the ball sufficiently to direct it on target.
As has often been the case, however, the interval had a galvanising effect on the reds, and with George, Zak and Dan all seeing more of the ball in dangerous areas, they managed to turn the score around within twenty minutes: first Zak picked up the pieces from a corner to drive low through a crowd of players, then George slotted home decisively from the penalty spot after Christian was clattered to the turf with the goal in his sights. Cogan responded almost immediately with a lovely curling effort, yet the Dragons still looked the likelier winners. A shocking tackle on Zak may have been met with more than yellow by a less lenient referee as the away team’s frustration grew. In terms of the league table, a point was not going to suffice for either side, and caution was thrown to the winds. Liam struck the foot of the post with a free kick, and both Adam and Muzz had close-range opportunities, but when Cogan broke away with a minute remaining, not even the formidable attentions of Chris and Baker could prevent them working the decisive finish.
It was a cruel outcome, but the Dragons proved once again they are more than able to compete with the best in their division, and with fifth place all but certain this result should not overshadow the tremendous progress the team has made under Anthony’s guidance through the season.
Thanks to all of the squad, the manager, Craig for his linesman’s duties, and to our supporters.
Dragons scorers: Zak 50; George 55
Cardiff Dragons: Ryan B; John A (C) (Neil), Muzz, Chris, Stefan; Zak, George, Fudge (Adam), Mehdi (Christian); Liam, Dan.
Subs: Neil, Christian, Adam.
Dragon of the Day: George.