Balmain Rovers v Arncliffe Aurora/Prestons Racing
Bark Huts Reserve, Belfield
Sunday 18 July 2004
Reserves Kick-off 12.30pm
Firsts Kick-off 2.30pm
Reserves: Match Report by Matt Linton
Another fairly ordinary day at Belfield but this time without the howling wind of our last visit. But there was nothing ordinary about the game (or the after game entertainment). Reserves started their Cup semi final with the confidence of a team that knows it has the talent to play well and beat opponents from the top of the ladder.
From the beginning we took it to them and showed them we were no pushovers, demonstrated by some solid defence and breaking runs to put their defence under pressure. But the momentum was slowed when another soft goal was given away as seems to be the habit of Balmain Reserves in the first half of our games. From the rest of the half the momentum had swung in Arncliffe’s favour and they showed why they are sitting at the top of the First Division Reserves ladder. They strung together pass after pass, moved well into the gaps to receive the ball and constantly kept up the pressure on the Balmain backs. But time after time their attack was stalled and repelled by the solid back line. Never satisfied to come back from just one goal down we gifted Arncliffe another soft goal and drifted through the rest of the first half in something of a daze.
Satisfied we had given ourselves enough of a challenge at 2-0 down, but fearful of drug tests after Ruben snorted some suspicious looking powder, we charged out fired up and ready to go. The ref had not finished his tea and scones however, so 22 men had to make polite conversation till the collected officials had finished comparing whistles. From the start our customary second half fighting spirit shone thrugh and it seemed we were getting the better of the Arncliffe mob for the first 20 minutes. Then Arncliffe got their third and once again the momentum seemed to swing in their favour. But the best qualities of this team shone bright as the never say die attitude a couple of smart substitutions and helped us dominate the last 20 minutes and very nearly snatch a couple of goals.
The final result was 3-0 but Arncliffe only scored one of those, we gave them the other two so a 1-0 nil loss to the top team has to be admired. The main competition is still going and we have every chance to make it to the final and win it.
3 - Richard
1 - Allan
1 - Marshall
1 - Dan W
Firsts: Match Report by Sergio Fiorenza
Balmain Rovers Firsts were facing a tough game in the semi final of the SASL cup, in the shape of Prestons/Racing. They are at the top of Division 1 and would certainly prove a stern test for the orange boys. The match started fairly evenly with neither team getting into any kind of a rhythm, in fact Dom Salomoni made some strong runs against the Racing defence, causing them all sorts of problems.
However Racing do have some quality players and began to settle, scoring twice in the first half to lead 2-0 at the break. Some encouraging words from Nick at half time got Rovers back into the game briefly but Racing added three more goals to make the final score an unflattering 5-0.
Probably one thing of note is the fact that the Balmain players showed a lot more discipline than the Academics and Strathfield players on the adjoining pitch!
Before the start of this game, our first in the 1st Division, we knew it was going to be tough. We were without some key players (Bruce - ankle, Marshall - WORK?????? and Rob - spending the next Futsal season having some well deserved rest). We had one new player in the squad, Jeff, but for this game that still only left 5 players. However, with time to go before the whistle, Serge returned to the fold to allow us one sub.
The game was very close in the first half with the Rovers never letting the lead go by more than one and it was a valiant effort by everyone to only be down by 5-4 going into half time. All of us were surprised by this result and, thinking that we really did have a chance in this game and league, we returned to the field with more confidence.
Not to say there weren't chances, but the class of the opposition really shone through in the next half and it only took about 10 minutes for the lead to blow out and for us to realise that this 1st Division was something completely new. We played on, and for me in goals it was one of those days where I spent more time fishing the ball out of the net than nearly anything else.
Final result 12-4, but with only six teams in the 1st Division, when we win 3 or 4 games we will be a good chance for the semis, and seeing that the Rovers have not missed one semi in every futsal competition entered, Centrebet is currently taking good odds on us making it. Place a bet boys, it could be worth a bit later.
Balmain Rovers v Dobroyd Gunners
Bark Huts Reserve, Belfield
Sunday 8 August 2004
Reserves Kick-off 1pm
Firsts Kick-off 3pm
Reserves: Match Report by Dan Whaite
The Balmain Rovers Reserves came to this game needing a win to cement themselves in the top four, ensuring a place in the semis. A quiet confidence was apparent in the lead-up to the game as our opposition were last placed Dobroyd Gunners, a team the Reserves beat 5-1 in our previous encounter.
On a beautiful winter’s day the Reserves started strongly through the first 20 minutes, dominating possession with some good passing through the midfield and creating some promising attacking opportunities. Alas, no goals ensued. This initial period of possession enjoyed by the Rovers Reserves frustrated the Gunners. Lacking the skills and pace required to win and hold the ball, numerous Gunners players decided to exhibit how big a wanker they could be, resorting to verbal abuse, threats and ‘tough guy’ behaviour. Nice one, guys. Despair over the paucity of service to him, and Ricky’s towering presence above him, pushed the pitch of the Gunners striker's complaining appeals to the referee higher and higher, making him sound like some sort of frantic muppet.
The remainder of the first half deteriorated somewhat with neither side maintaining possession for significant spells. The possession that the Rovers Reserves did win for that period was largely locked up in the opposition corners, with the midfield finding it difficult to distribute the ball to the centre of the field. Despite this, and to our credit, attacks by the Gunners were kept to runs on the break and set pieces courtesy of good marking in the midfield and a solid and aware defence. Few shots on goal occurred in the first half, a trend that proved to be the story of the match for both teams.
The second half started much like the first. Freshened by the break, the Rovers Reserves began to attack the Gunners through the midfield, but again without creating real opportunities on goal. This is definitely an aspect of our game that needs to be worked on. After this initial period the resolve of the Reserves seemed to drop. The Gunners were gifted a few scoring opportunities through lack of concentration on our part, but thankfully were not accurate enough to convert. In the meantime, without anyone being too sure of how, Kristian managed to break his wrist in a fall, putting him out for the rest of the season. Bad luck, son. As the half wore on it became increasingly apparent that no-one would be scoring a goal today…it was just one of those days.
Despite our lack of polish up front this was not such a bad game from the Rovers Reserves. The Gunners were definitely a different team to the one we defeated earlier in the season, particularly in defence where they were reasonably solid. The best aspect of the Rovers game was our defence. As per usual Ricky was solid, getting to the ball before their strikers and harassing muppet-man into comically high-pitched squeals. With his flash new boots and reconstructed ankle, Big Al had a super game on the right, sticking tight to his man and winning the ball on almost every occasion…was there a grudge at work here? Likewise, Matt plugged up the left flank, with nothing but corners threatening from that side. Finally, Chris positioned himself and swept up well, despite a few dodgy clearances...but we’ll let that slide. Overall, our midfield dominated, with the Gunners central players seeing very little quality ball. Despite this, good periods of midfield play were patchy and we still need to endeavour to pass the ball more and put ourselves into better support positions more often. It was only when we did make successive passes in this match that opportunities opened up to distribute the ball to the forwards. On the flip side, the midfield formation in defence was good and was not overawed by a more physical and aggressive opposition (of twats). The forwards saw little quality ball and accordingly found it difficult to score, but the Rovers Reserves showed enough in this game to suggest that we can create more real goal scoring opportunities if we concentrate on a more structured passing game.
3 - Al
2 - Ricky
1 - Dave H
Firsts: Match Report by Sergio Fiorenza
On a lovely sunny winter's day, Rovers headed out west to our new (temporary) home ground of Bark Huts to take on the Dobroyd Gunners, a team that the Balmain boys had well beaten last time they met.
Omens were pretty good too for the home side, with top scorer Rob back from his injury-enforced layoff. The game started as a seesaw battle, the Gunners a much improved side from the previous meeting, and it didn't take too long before they took the lead. They added another one soon after, and led 2-0 at half time.
Nick made some positional changes at half time and it seemed to be working well, but the goal so desperately needed just would not come. The Gunners added a third and it was game over.
2 - Marshall
1 - Michael
1 - Rob
1 - Steve
1 - Glenn
16 -- Ben Jones
14 -- Marshall Moir
13 -- Stewart Shaw
10 -- Rob Liney, Gotaro Uematsu
9 ---- Ricky Onsman, Dominic Salomoni, Jeff See
8 ---- Morgan Bowling, Chris Daley, Sergio Fiorenza, Richard Raward
7 ---- Miles Martin
6 ---- Steve Adams, Dave Hull
5 ---- Simon Bush, Les Clarke, Brendan Coutts, Allan Frydman, Michael Penman
4 ---- Nick Vince, Dan Whaite, Kristian Wiles
3 ---- Ruben Davis, Dave Giacobbe, Dean Lenz, Matt Linton, Jim Wragg
2 ---- Glenn Bacic, Dave Griffiths, Radan Sturm
1 ---- Rick Currie, Pier D'Angelo, Bruce Fackerell
18 -- Rob Liney
10 -- Sergio Fiorenza
5 ---- Dave Griffiths, Jeff See
4 ---- Gotaro Uematsu
2 ---- Simon Bush, Ben Jones, Dom Salomoni, Radan Sturm
1 ---- Brendan Coutts, Chris Daley, Ruben Davis, Dave Giacobbe, Dave Hull, Marshall Moir, Ricky Onsman, Kristian Wiles
Sunday 22 August 2004:
Away to Academics @ Jardine Park, Casula