DREW Wenzel took a step up on the weekend to score the winning goal in the Heat’s 3-2 win over All Blacks in Bundaberg.
The 14-year-old is playing his first full season with the Heat after sitting on the bench last year.
The performance of the one-time under-13 state representative on the weekend showed he could match it with the men.
Wenzel was voted the TSR players’ player on Saturday after starring in the first half then scoring the winning goal in the second half, with only five minutes left on the clock.
Heat Coach Ben Fitzpatrick said he was impressed with the youngster’s performance.
“Drew was the standout, especially in the first half,” he said.
“The boys played pretty well and should have won the game a lot easier.
“Our polish and finishing let us down.
“We had control of the game, but it just wasn’t reflected on the scoresheet until right at the end.”
Fitzpatrick said the return of Dean Walker to the side helped in the scoring department.
“Deano scored two, one of a penalty corner and a field goal.”
The Heat had their usual slow start when All Blacks scored off a breakaway, but hit back straight away when Walker converted off a corner.
The teams went to half time with the score level at one-all.
But All Blacks took the lead within one minute of the second half.
Once again Walker levelled after some nice lead-up work by the Heat’s midfield.
The winning goal came after left half Matt Hughes tackled an All Black attacker and passed the ball onto striker Mitchell Kuether.
Kuether ran the ball down the right side at speed before centering the ball to Wenzel.
Wenzel trapped the ball and guided it past the approaching goalkeeper to win the game.
Fitzpatrick said the most pleasing thing about the game was the team’s mental strength.
“It was a pretty physical game and boys kept their cool,” he said.