Four-goal Millar rips up Colombians’ lead

THE pressure finally told as OVs Convicts fought back from 3-0 down to retain Men’s Upton honours on Saturday.

Colombians were ruthless in attack in the opening half-hour at Foote’s Lane, converting each of their three chances with some outstanding finishing, but the visitors enjoyed the majority of possession and although they squandered short-corner after short-corner initially, in the end they proved to be fruitful.

The home side had taken a fifth-minute lead with a trademark reverse-stick cracker from Zak Damarell that gave Andy Brown no chance in the OVs goal before the men in white forced a succession of ‘shorts’ – seven in the space of eight minutes – but failed to convert any.

They were made to pay on 25 minutes when TJ Ozanne won the ball high up the pitch for Colombians and released Sam Dawes, who unleashed a thunderous shot into the roof of the net.

Two minutes later Dawes was heavily involved in Colombians’ third as his strike on goal was heading high and wide only for the onrushing Jonny Orme to smash it, tennis-fashion, across the line.

Even though they had scored three quality goals, Colombians were still largely on the back-foot and five minutes before half-time, Pete Millar’s low drive at yet another short-corner found the bottom corner to deservedly give OVs the goal their efforts deserved.

After the turnaround, the second half was similar to the first in terms of territory and possession but this time Convicts made their dominance count with captain Tom Millar able to capitalise on a short-corner routine that reaped rich rewards.

He scored three second-half goals with right-post deflections, before firing home late on to seal his team’s third Upton triumph in four seasons.

‘It was a bit surreal to go 3-0 [ahead],’ said Damarell afterwards.

‘Generally this season we have not been as clinical as we could have been, but today we were.

‘In the second half, though, we were not as threatening on the counter-attack as we were in the first and we lost to the better team today.’

OVs captain Millar echoed Damarell’s observations on Colombians’ first-half performance.

‘Colombians broke excellently with long balls through – Andy Dawson-Ball is a class player and he, Zak Damarell and Sam Dawes caused us problems on the break,’ he said.

‘Zak’s first goal was a great finish, Sam Dawes didn’t hang around when he roofed his and as for that third one, the player [Jonny Orme] coming in off the far post tucked it under the crossbar.

‘We were a bit shellshocked at 3-0 down because we felt we were well in the game. We thought it might be one of those days, but we kept plugging on, we knew we were creating the chances and thankfully Pete got one just before half-time. Again, it was not a great routine – he finished well off a broken down short corner – and then second half we found a routine that seemed to work and we stuck to it, it’s as simple as that.’

He added that his side knew they would be in for a tough game.

‘With people like Zak, you’ve got to be on these guys because they will create chances,’ Millar said.

‘It’s the perfect end to the season, we’ve done the treble which is great.’

Colombians 3

Damarell, Dawes, Orme

OVs Convicts 5

P Millar, T Millar (4)

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