Any contributions should reach Ricky Onsman by Tuesday midday.

Lest We Forget

MATCH REPORT: by Richard Walsh

Match: Balmain AA6B v Enfield
Venue: Edwards Pk, Concord
Date: Sat 24 April 1999
Time 1.00pm

On this day Balmain took the field to record their most dismal start of the season, and perhaps most dismal start in memory. Lest we forget.

On the card our squad was only slightly less than full strength, and only one or two perhaps nursing minor injury. It was perhaps a much less focussed Balmain that began on that grey, blustery yet mild day, still hurting from our crushing loss to FiveDock.

The opening seconds saw Balmain surge briefly forward, yet dispossessed and Enfield on the break found the long ball, success in the air, quick forwards outplayed sheepish defenders to put one past the keeper. Balmain had barely drawn a breath. Still shocked we resumed play, and in similar fashion Enfield found little resistance and they scored again, and again. Balmain was in tatters. Clearly our midfield and defence had started the game on the back foot, an opportunity Enfield exploited and punished us for severely.

Balmain recovered a little to maintain some resistance, we gained more possession yet failed to keep it. Only a few passes were strung together. The Balmain defence continued to be under pressure and really only offered desperate clearances with the exception of Joey, who managed to build it up from behind. Some positive ventures were gained into Enfield territory, but once again Enfield scores on the break. Half time 4-0.

Perhaps during the break Balmain woke up. What seemed impossible now in this half seemed possible. We had Enfield locked in their own half. We now had the tricky wind conditions in our favour. From clever, yet simple passes and run after run Balmain pressed Enfield until they conceded a penalty in fouling Gary from a certain finish. Gary fittingly converts the penalty 4-1.

Into the last quarter Balmain could no longer sustain the attacks of the previous one. Enfield regrouped and we lost our hold on them. A clearly offside Enfield scores again. Balmain's back is broken again. The score goes 6 then 7-1, full time.

Overall a disconnected performance from Balmain, which not even dodgy refereeing could hide.

Pele Points go to:

Russell 2 points
Sam 1 point

NB The match against Canterbury scheduled for Saturday 1 May was washed out.

50 Cents worth
A new newsletter section to voice opinions, be they hard hitting, thought provoking or just plain silly

Richard Walsh's 50 Cents: From my view, and my interpretation of the views of others, I think there are 3 key weaknesses which are relevant to recent losses.

1) Too few examples of the backline building play and feeding the ball to the midfield

2) Too few examples of play where the backline and the midfield are seamlessly involved in support and possession, through simple passes into space.

3) A tendency for the midfield to get too far forward, and unable to get back to support the backline.

Certainly the chances of midfield getting too far forward are lessened if the backline is also forward and hence providing support, which all adds up to increased pressure on the opposition. The best defence is always attack.

Pele medal count:

5 Joey
4 Russell
2 Sergio, Gary
1 Carlos, Sam

One of the few printable jokes from a collection forwarded by email by Mike Sommers

A priest takes a walk to the pier near his church. He looks around and stops to watch a fisherman load his boat. The fisherman notices him and asks the priest if he'd like to join him for a couple of hours. The priest agrees. The fisherman asks if the priest has ever fished before, to which the priest answers no. He baits the hook and says, "Give it a shot, Father."

After a few minutes, the priest hooks a big fish and struggles to get it in the boat. The fisherman says, "Whoa, look at that big sonofabitch!" The priest says "Sir, can you please mind your language?" The fisherman thinks quickly, and says "Oh, I'm sorry, Father, but that's what the fish is called - a sonofabitch." The priest says "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know."

After the trip, the priest brings the fish to the church and stops the Bishop. The priest says "Look at this big sonofabitch!" The Bishop admonishes him "Father, mind your language, this is a house of God." The priest says "No, you don't understand - that's what the fish is called, and I caught it. I caught this sonofabitch!" The Bishop thinks for a moment and says "You know, I could clean this sonofabitch and we could have it for dinner."

So the Bishop takes the fish, cleans it and takes it to the Head Mother. He says to her "Could you cook this sonofabitch for dinner tonight?" The Head Mother replies "My lord, what language!" The Bishop explains "No, Sister, that's what this fish is called - sonofabitch". "Well, alright" says the Head Mother, "I'll cook that sonofabitch tonight."

That night, the Pope stops by for dinner. He thinks the fish is great and asks where they got it. The priest says proudly "I caught the sonofabitch." The Bishop chimes in with "And I cleaned the sonofabitch." The Head Mother adds "And I cooked the sonofabitch."

The Pope stares at them for a minute with a steely gaze. Then he takes off his hat, puts his feet up on the table and says "You know, you fuckers are alright."