Tigers 6, Islanders 1
Balmain carried on where they left off against Hakoah midweek, thrashing Greenisland (thats Green-Island, not Greenis-Land for the dyslexic – you know who you are!) 6-1 at Birchgrove on Saturday. Balmain were without captain Eric Lynch who was recovering from a total toe reconstruction, and they soon lost Luis Soares to injury when he suffered a corked thigh, coach Andrews bringing on Noel Deasey as his replacement. A deadlocked opening half hour was broken when Lorenzo Merlino sent Jem Richardson clear on the right and he wrongfooted the keeper before rolling the ball into an unguarded net. Curiously, the goal featured a brilliant piece of refereeing as play-on was called despite the non-interfering Julian Bracewell being well offside. It was the pearly Macleans-white booted Bracewell who headed in the second after Dave Hardwick treated the crowd to a mazy circumnavigation of the penalty area followed by a pinpoint cross.
The gargantuan long throw of Grant Burgess was put to good use early in the second half, with Dave Hardwick heading the third straight in off a throw-in. Young Brazilian dead ball specialist Juninho Deasey hammered in the free kick of the season shortly after that, sending a left-footed rocket from outside the area that left the keeper stranded. The only blemish of the day came when a Greenisland free kick was diverted by the rush of air from Anthony Trieste’s airswing clearance, causing Jackson Gothe-Snape to score a rare chested goal rather spectacularly at the wrong end. The Tigers rolled on though and Daniel Totaro broke his scoring drought, slotting the ball into the corner after it fell to him from a deflected Adriano Deasey free kick. Richardson snatched his second late in the game and Sami Yildiz was unlucky not to bag a goal as well, but this time the passive offside call went against Bracewell. Picking the player of the match was again a hard decision as the team was full of stars. Dave Hardwick and Grant Burgess had outstanding games, but the Exchange Hotel brews went to the tireless Daniel Totaro who capped a great match up front with a well deserved goal.
Roving SBS camera-man Matt Jaffrey has kindly provided us with the following highlights package:
- Jeremy Deasey’s bullet free kick
- Lorenzo Merlino hits a cracking volley that forces a great save from the keeper
- Daniel Totaro scores from a deflected free kick
The U21s produced an ordinary second half, conceding twice in the final ten minutes to lose 2-1 to Greenisland. Eric La Rocca opened the scoring on the quarter hour with another long range free kick, proving the first one a few weeks ago was no fluke. Unfortunately that was the only bright spot amid a host of good chances that the Tigers were unable to finish. Two sloppy goals were conceded in the final 10 minutes to allow the bottom placed Islanders to snag their second win of the season.
Earlier the U19s continue their improvement, playing as well as they have all season, in a 7-0 romp over Greenisland. Simon Roddy was the first half hat trick hero, bagging goals in the 11th, 29th and 45th minutes. Marcus Beh scored his debut goal for the club in his second appearance and Chris Grayson socred a brace either side of half time. Finally defender Glenn Lynch somehow found himself upfield far enough to score his first for the season. The match also featured a stirring half time sermon from The Reverand Sam McNeill, urging his teammates to turn the other cheek in the face of hostilities from their opponents.