NASSA Football Tournament

NASSA S1 Football Tournament

The tournament took place in early January at the Sports Village, Aberdeen with eight out of the nine north Aberdeenshire schools in attendance.  The tournament is organised by Mintlaw Academy pupils as part of their Sports Leaders course.  The pupils organise the draw for the leagues before the tournament and do all the officiating and scorekeeping on the day.

There were two leagues and we were up against Mintlaw A, Peterhead, Banff and Gordon Schools in our league.  Each game lasted 12 minutes with no half time.

Our first game against Mintlaw saw us lose 3-1 although the boys played really well.  Two missed headers cost us two goals and these errors proved the difference between the teams.  Our scorer in the game was Bruce Mair who showed great composure 1 on 1 with the keeper taking the ball round him to calmly put us back in the game.

The boys cut out the mistakes in the second game against one of the tournament favourites Peterhead.  We were under attack constantly in this match and the boys put in a solid defensive display to keep the opponents at bay.  Special mention must go to goalkeeper Josh Cruickshank who pulled off a string of outstanding saves and Callan Reid who put in three last ditch tackles to block shots.  On our one foray up into the opponents half Bruce played a beautifully weighted pass through to Caydan Mearns who was through on the keeper and calmly slotted the ball in past the keeper.  A 1-0 win for Turriff was the only game that Peterhead lost in the group stages.

Our third game was a local derby against Banff and although both teams had good chances the keepers were up to the task of keeping the ball out of their goals with Josh having a couple of outstanding saves again.  In this game Callan was again dominant in midfield, breaking up the Banff attacks with some timely interceptions.  Bruce had two cracking efforts on goal, one a rasping shot from distance and one a mazy run where he beat three opponents but the Banff keeper did superbly well keeping both efforts out.

Our last group game was against Gordon schools and again Caydan and Bruce scored for Turriff to complete a 2-1 win.

These results meant Turriff finished third in our league and we had a play off for 5/6th position against Meldrum Academy who were third in their league.  The game was end to end and Kyle Gray and Rhys Anderson made some great challenges to stop the lively Meldrum strikers from getting shots in on goal.  0-0 at half time, Turriff started on the front foot and Stanley Loi made two brilliant runs at the defence and only last ditch tackles by the opponents stopped him from working the keeper.  One piece of dribbling skill that Lionel Messi would have been proud of led to the Meldrum number 12 in on goals to finish in the bottom corner and this was enough for Meldrum to win 1-0.

This was a bit disappointing for the boys but they should be proud of their efforts throughout the day and their positive attitude during the games.