Balmain Rovers v Sydney Alliance
Ron Darcy Reserve, Miller
Sunday 22 August 2004
Reserves Kick-off 1pm
Firsts Kick-off 3pm
Firsts: Match Report by Nick Vince
Well the season end gets closer and closer and despite exhortations over the last few weeks to finish with a play off position we took the field with continued hope that we could finally pick up points to get in the finals.
Our search for points took us again to the lovely western town of Liverpool, a town associated with Inghams Chicken, lowered Nissans, Discount Car lots and one of the hotbeds of NSW football to face our Learned SAL competitors Academics. Our task was not Rocket Science simply win or potentially bust our chances of final football in our first season in the SAL.
Once your journalist had found the ground (I borrowed a souped up sports car for a quick entrance and exit) Our reserve team were already a goal down on a pretty wide and secure Academics pitch. The razor wire keeping the players in rather than the supporters reminded me of a friendly your journo played in the UK against a prison side near Woking, Surrey.
Well to the start, Rovers lined up with pretty much a full strength side minus Simon Bush and your Journo who A) carried an Injury and B) had been up until 3am at a Company Function in the City at which Alcohol could not be avoided. dave Hull stepped into the breach at Right Back and Jeff moved into centre Midfield with Dom returning from a long lay off (Skiing) on the right. Rob and Dave G started their second game as a partnership upfront with the defence more or less the same with the addition of Dave Hull. Gotaro returned to add some pace to the left and did a great job stopping a few attacks down the left. Stew was again....yawn...in goal (no offence but i get tired of repeating your name on the teamsheet the whole season even though you are the best keeper in the competition in my view)
In a rare occurence Balmain started brightly taking it to the Academics with a mixture of desire and nice movement which offered a couple of chances to our front men and a few forraging runs from Jeff. Brendon excelled in the air and both Marshall and Ben brought the ball out of defence at the earliest opportunity. Dave Hull after playing for the reserves carried on his good work trying really hard to unsettle their left midfield and Dom had some storming runs infront of him.
However our good start couldnt hold, Academics started to let the ball do the work and moved Balmain around with a great pass and move game which started to open holes in defence. What i wasnt sure about was laziness by academics in pulling back when defending which often left 4 players upfront who benefited from quick breaks when the opportunity knocked.
By half time we were holding on....just and our finals hope was not looking good. We were 1 all thanks to some persistance by Rob Liney who forced mistakes and battled on to finish in the left hand corner. My half time team talk centred around trying to emulate our good start and holding our effort for 45 minutes. Dave Hull had run himself to the ground, I had shaken my hangover ....i mean my injury so we made the chanage within 10 mins of the start but to no avail. Academics whilst a good footballing side started to be a little lazy which worked in their favour as they again had numbers upfront fpr breaks but we couldnt seem to take advantage up front of less numbers defensively. A combination of saves by the academics keeper, poor refereeing by the lead singer from Hot Chocolate (Errol Brown)and I no longer "believed in miracles" but we should of got up but again we had a mad last 10 minutes trying to force not only an equaliser but also a winner. Rob and Dave came close as did Dom but we just couldnt get it.
Again a managers report for Balmain was great in patches but lacking consistancy against a team we should of beaten. Like many teams in this league they can play football but fitnesss and defensive nouse was suspect but we couldnt take advantage.
Sydney Amateur League Semi Final
Balmain Rovers v Sydney Pharaohs
Mason Park, Homebush
Saturday 4 September
Reserves Kick-off 12.30pm
Firsts Kick-off 2.30pm
Reserves: Match Report by Gotaro Uematsu
The first half of the match was played mainly in our half of the field, and the Pharaohs dominated the play as they came through the middle of the field passing to their very fit and skilful strikers who turned our tight marking defence. But our back line was solid, time and time again tackling every which way they could, a few times from behind giving some free kicks away. After a few soft calls by the ref, the game became very verbal, with whingeing from their sideline and on the pitch Ė there was more talk going on than football.
Their first goal came from a solo effort by the striker beating 2 of our men. He shot a low drive to Morganís right which he got a hand to, but unfortunately it had too much on it. As usual this was the impetus for us to create more attacks to get one back. We had a few chances but they just werenít
going in. Our best chance came from a through ball from Dave. with Serge beat the offside trap to find himself one on one. The shot hit the keeperís
legs as he came off his line, sending the ball back to the edge of the box to Rubenís feet. He measured his shot as the keeper was trying to get back,
but Ruben just missed the top right corner.
0-1 into half time, we went back on knowing we were still in it. The large pitch was taking its toll on the midfielders on both sides, and with some
tactical talk from Nick we started the 2nd half dominating, with attacks from our right getting us closer to getting one back, and Chris almost put a header into the top of the net. The game became a series of counter attacks, and we could sense they were getting tired. Unfortunately one of their counter attacks turned into an own goal hitting one of our defenders and Morgan did not have a chance. 0-2 down.
With the fresh legs of Alan and Jeff we pushed forward again pulling one back through Mickís magic. In one move with his left foot he cut the defence in half opening him up for his favoured right to drive the ball low into left corner, still with 20min remaining. The Pharaohsí time wasting tactics were getting boring. Our attacks kept at their goals but with so many chances missing the target, maybe it was not meant to be our day. The final whistle blew for us but we should all be proud to have made the top 4 in a new league through a season riddled with injuries.
1 each to the backline: Morgan, Chris, Rich, Ricky, Matt & Al
Firsts: Match Report by Steve Adams
It was a Saturday. According to some, Glenn to be specific, we are a Saturday team, an omen that was most definitely a good start. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, then the birds went to get some drinks for the lads and the game kicked off. From the start we looked the better side. The newly shaved Ben making several excursions from the back, creating fear in the hearts of the opposition defence ... "Heís too f*ckiní quick" one was heard to remark.
The pressure was beginning to build and then, like a knife through I Canít Believe Itís Not Butter, Ben picked the ball up on the halfway line, cut through the middle of the opposition midfield, played a one-two on the edge of the box, did a few keep-ups and overhead kicked the ball into the top corner of the net (I may have embellished the truth a little there, but it was a great goal).
Rovers were on top and looking good for a Grand Final place. The mercurial Robert Liney went close on a couple of occasions, the most agonising of which bounced on the 6-yard box and somehow managed to hit the bar and go out for a goal kick. Unfortunately, that was a sign of how the luck would run for us for the rest of the game. No sooner had I returned from the canteen with some beer, we were 2-1 down. Jim shouted some expletives to lift the morale but not even that could assist. Almost from the kick-off, the opposition won the ball and (with a very good finish) took the score to 3-1.
From that point on, it became clear that neither Rovers team would be gracing a Grand Final this season. To our credit, heads never dropped and everyone kept putting in the effort right up until the end. The introduction of some fresh legs helped give us some extra momentum. Dom was running around like some kind of marathon-running-100meter-sprint-type-person, injecting some much needed speed on the right hand side (not drugs of course, merely fast running ... sprinting, if you will). But today was not our day. The heavens opened, the rain started and the opposition banged in a fourth ... not our day.
As the rainbow appeared overhead, you could almost imagine George, Bungle and Zippy pulling up the duvet and telling Geoffrey how unlucky we were.
3 - Ben
1 - Rob
1 - Simon
1 - Marshall
Rovers v Sydney Five-O 'B", Thursday 26 August
Rovers lost 2-4.
Rovers v Dynamo Rehab, Thursday 2 September
Rovers lost 3-5.
Next match: Rovers v Homeboys, 6.40pm, Thursday 9 September, Sydney University.
21 -- Ben Jones
16 -- Rob Liney, Marshall Moir
13 -- Stewart Shaw
12 -- Steve Adams
11 -- Ricky Onsman, Dominic Salomoni, Jeff See
10 -- Sergio Fiorenza, Gotaro Uematsu
9 ---- Morgan Bowling, Chris Daley, Richard Raward
8 ---- Simon Bush, Dave Hull
7 ---- Allan Frydman, Miles Martin, Michael Penman
5 ---- Ruben Davis, Les Clarke, Brendan Coutts, Dave Giacobbe, Matt Linton
4 ---- Dean Lenz, Nick Vince, Dan Whaite, Kristian Wiles
3 ---- Jim Wragg
2 ---- Glenn Bacic, Bruce Fackerell, Dave Griffiths, Radan Sturm
1 ---- Rick Currie, Pier D'Angelo, Nick Vince
Golden Boot (final)
25 -- Rob Liney
10 -- Sergio Fiorenza
6 --- Ben Jones
5 ---- Dave Griffiths, Jeff See
4 ---- Gotaro Uematsu
3 ---- Simon Bush, Dave Hull
2 ---- Steve Adams, Dave Giacobbe, Michael Penman, Dom Salomoni, Radan Sturm
1 ---- Brendan Coutts, Chris Daley, Ruben Davis, Marshall Moir, Ricky Onsman, Kristian Wiles
This is the last issue of the Balmain Rovers newsletter for 2004. That doesn't mean there isn't stuff happening, of course. The futsal team continues its foray into the higher division, and will no doubt continue into the following competition. Balmain Rovers has entered a side into the annual summer six-a-side outdoor competition organised by Balmain Soccer Club (as the squad includes Steve Adams, Sergio Fiorenza, Dave Giacobbe, Nik Hopkins, Ben Jones, Rob Liney, Marshall Moir, Dan Whaite and Jim Wragg, you can expect this to be a very competitive outfit). The more casual weekend kick arounds will no doubt also start up again over the summer.
Meanwhile, Rovers will assess the immediate past season and make plans for next winter. Our foray into the Sydney Amateur Soccer League has certainly not been a disaster, with limited onfield success tempered by enthusiastic inclusion by the organisers. Balmain & District SC remains a very encouraging and supportive parent outfit to us. There are good prospects for starting an Over 35s team next year and options aplenty for both consolidation and expansion.
The website will be kept up-to-date with our doings on and off the field (including social events), so check in regularly. We look forward to your continued support of and - where possible - active involvement in Balmain Rovers.