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Newsletter - Wednesday 5 June 2002 beerbeer

This newsletter is published by Balmain Rovers,
part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
The Annandale Hotel is the major sponsor of Balmain Rovers.

Match Report 1
Balmain Rovers 4A Reserves v Balmain C Reserves
Easton Park, Rozelle
Sat 1 June 2002
Kick-off 1.15pm
Report by Kelly Baigent

After the shocking defeat in Game 1 of the Balmain Cup we went into this Derby determined to give a better account of ourselves.

Things did not bode well as our motley bunch of 30-something-year-olds started arriving at the ground either late, hung-over, injured or all three. Balmain C on the other hand turned up decked out in pristine white away gear, clean bright reserve jackets and carried a huge orange sponsors banner that they pitched menacingly close to us.

Conditions on the day were perfect, cool but sunny. Underfoot was surprisingly firm considering the inclement weather leading up to the game.

No ref was in evidence so Balmain C generously offered to officiate the first half and the game got under way. We gained possession surprisingly easily and Darren Lynn narrowly missed an early opportunity. We camped ourselves in Balmain C's side of the field with our midfield pairing of Adam Brzwllski and Phil Davis completely dominating play. It was a good 25 minutes before we finally broke through. Fergal Murphy flighted a lovely cross from the right wing to Jared (does he ever stop running?), who controlled the ball and slammed home our first of the day. Several minutes later Fergal lofted another of his devastating crosses into the box which the keeper completely misread, allowed the ball to bounce over his head, bobble around in the penalty area and gift Darren Lynn the easiest of goals. 2-0 Balmain Rovers. You bewdy!

The second half saw Mike Ward finally make his debut at left back, on for the solidly performing Neil O'Donnell. Adam Freeman came on for Sohail and Michael Badman, back from injury, replaced Darren Lynn.

We continued on from where we left off and peppered Balmain C's goal. It wasn't until Adam Bzxw$ki brushed aside myself and Richie for the honour of taking a free kick outside the box that the elusive third goal finally eventuated. Adam Bzwwillzki curled the ball into the box, Badman nodded the ball onto Fergal's outstretched foot and into the goal, and it was 3-zip to Balmain Rovers.

We considered the demons of our first derby game completely exorcised when suddenly, completely against the run of play, they squeaked in a goal. Our heads did not drop as we felt completely in control of the game even in spite of a relatively close scoreline.

Bring on Balmain B!!!

The Pele points go to:

2 - to both Adam Brzozowski and Phil Davis for dominating the midfield
1 - Mike Ward - very solid debut game
1 - Fergal Murphy - for creating 2 goals and scoring one in excellent fashion.


The Annandale Hotel

17-19 Parramatta Rd, Annandale
Ph 9550 1078

The back bar at the Annandale has become the haunt of Balmain Rovers postmatch Saturday afternoons. All World Cup matches will be shown on the big screen, and we hope you'll join us in catching the greatest team sport competition in the world. Remember, support the Annnadale Hotel and you're supporting Balmain Rovers.

For a full rundown of weekly activities at the Annandale, including the great food Drew and the team at the Nosh Pit put on, click on the image below -


Match Report 2
Balmain Rovers 3B Reserves v Marrickville A Reserves
Rudd Park, Belfield
Sat 1 June 2002
Kick-off 1.15pm
Report by Jon Drea

The sun shone down in spectacular contrast to our previous week's match against Sydney University. The pitch was flat and true, not a pothole in sight - something you can’t take for granted in Canterbury and District Division 3!

We were on the back foot from the outset. Many of our players were feeling rather intimidated by the fact that not only did the opposition have matching shorts and socks to their kit, they also possessed very dapper team fleeces, financed by three lucrative sponsorship deals, as worn on flash shirts with names and squad numbers. Don’t get me wrong - the Balmain Orange is very chic, but we just could not compete. The psychological damage had already been done.

Despite missing key players including Brian ‘Sicknote’ Yeung and influential captain Ally Haining, Rovers could boast a very strong starting eleven. I lined up in Sicknote’s left back position, alongside the regular defensive unit of Onsman, Sommers and Nicholas. Behind us and between the sticks was stand-in keeper Ammon Mackie, fresh from a great performance last week. Despite Ally’s absence, a midfield of Jones, D’Angelo, J. Mackie and Bamford looked very strong. We were without our ‘superstar’ striker Nick Agafonoff, who had swapped shooting boots for documentary camera and the bush. Instead Sergio partnered leading scorer Rob Liney in attack.

From the moment the referee first blew his whistle, Rovers looked on top. Marrickville struggled to come to terms with the strength and power of the central midfield combination of Pier D’Angelo and James Mackie. This, alongside the wing wizardry of Ben Jones and Mark Bamford, supported well by Donny, produced numerous chances. Chances unfortunately that we could not convert. Liney’s header over the bar was the closest we came in the opening exchanges. Despite the misses our domination continued into the middle of the first half. We looked good. The ball was being passed neatly all over the park. Stand-in captain Mikee Sommers kept the defence organised and alert.

Unfortunately, Marrickville possessed the one strength that Rovers back four had very little of - pace. Their discovery of this was the turning point of the game. A long desperate ball over the top released Marrickville's speedy centre forward, with a blistering turn of pace that left the defence for dead. A good effort by Ammon in goal did nothing to prevent us going one-nil down. Two similar strikes followed in quick succession and we found ourselves three goals to nothing down at the break.

Balmain could have been forgiven for giving up at this stage, but "die" is not a word in Onsman’s dictionary. Bruce Fackerell replaced me at left back and Reserves wannabe Nik Hopkins came on up front for the injured Rob Liney, who had an unusually goalless game. We were back on the pitch, keen and ready to go before Marrickville had the chance to take off their matching fleeces. Urged on by the Balmain Faithful on the sidelines (well Paul McDonnell anyway), Rovers went straight into attack mode. Bamford found plenty of room on the right and linked well with stand-in striker Hopkins, whilst Sergio showed good touch and vision. Great work from Jones also put pressure on the Red Devils' back line. It was this pressure that culminated in the first goal. Jones latched onto a through ball and with a great first touch, a superb turn of pace and an amazing finish, we were back in the game. We were 3-1 down but looking good.

The Rovers back four played well all afternoon - except against the long ball. It was with this tactic that Marrickville hit straight back. Again, despite all his efforts Ammon could do little, and again we were faced with three goals to pull back. The game seemed just about over. Hopkins showed his versatility by scoring midway though the second half. A fine strike on the turn from just inside the box led to his first goal of the season. Another twenty minutes of pressure followed before the referee blew his whistle. 4-2 was not really a fair result. We deserved more from the game. Rovers can be left to ponder upon a few missed chances, a saved penalty and a couple of defensive errors in an otherwise fine performance.

Final Thoughts:

Perhaps matching orange shell suits next season would give us a certain "je ne sais quoi".

The Pele points go to:

2 - Ammon Mackie - more used to putting them into the back of the net than saving them; a great performance in goal
1 - Mark Bamford - great work on the right side of midfield led to most of our chances
1 - Pier D’Angelo - a point a piece for a great central midfield partnership ...
1 - James Mackie - ... despite the missed penalty (had to mention it!!)
1 - Ben Jones - good work on the wing as always and a great goal


Match Report 3
Balmain Rovers 3B Firsts
Sat 1 June 2002


Award Standings

Pele Medal

9 - Ben Jones, Fergal Murphy
8 - Paul Edwards, James Mackie
7 - Phil Davis, Rob Liney
6 - Alister Haining, Ammon Mackie, Patrick Nolan, Ricky Onsman
5 - Kelly Baigent, Mark Bamford, Jared Carter, Pier D'Angelo, Nik Hopkins, Darren Taylor
4 - Adam Brzozowski, Dean Da Silva, David Hynd, Paul McDonnell, Michael Sommers
3 - Donny Nicholas, Neil O'Donnell
2 - Michael Arthur, Sohail Dahdal, Richard Lyne, Darren Lynn, Kon Tsalikis, Brian Yeung
1 - Nick Agafonoff, John Barker, Craig Brown, Matt Clementson, Bruce Fackerell, Matt Linton, Paul Millard, John Pereira, Michael Ward

Golden Boot

16 - Rob Liney
12 - Darren Lynn, Fergal Murphy
10 - Ben Jones
9 - James Mackie
6 - Jared Carter, Dean Da Silva, Ammon Mackie
5 - Paul Edwards, Alister Haining
4 - Paul Millard, Patrick Nolan, Darren Taylor
3 - Nick Agafonoff, Sohail Dahdal, Pier D'Angelo
1 - Michael Badman, Mark Bamford, Adam Brzozowski, Phil Davis, Nik Hopkins, David Hynd, Michael Sommers, Kon Tsalikis, Brian Yeung



Saturday 8 June:
Div 4 Reserves v Strathfield @ Easton Park, Rozelle - 1.15pm
Div 3 Reserves - no match
Div 3 Firsts - no match


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Newsletter content © 2002 Balmain Rovers

Wednesday 5 June 2002