Goals Aplenty

Saturday’s 3-3 draw against East Coast Magic brought to an end both Balmain’s four match winning streak and any chance of making the finals. Balmain took the early lead through a cracking half volley from Mahmoud and the score stayed 1-0 until half time. Shortly after half time the referee gave the Magic his first gift, awarding a free kick for an innocuous little bump between two players. The free kick then turned into a penalty when the Magic players pointed out to the dumbstruck referee that the free kick was in fact in the penalty area, the official having been confused by the multitude of lines painted by the Birchgrove groundsman, Pro Hart. So that made it 1-1 and the Magic made it 2-1 within five minutes. Jem Richardson pulled one back for the Tigers, cutting in from the left and smashing a low drive under the diving keeper’s body. Dave Hardwick then made it 3-2 with only minutes remaining, with a skillfully taken turn and shot from the edge of the area. However the referee had the final say, again awarding a penalty after the Balmain keeper and a Magic attacker both hit the ball at the same time – the attacker fell over, the referee blew his whistle, Magic scored – final score 3-3.
Reserve grade also saw their finals hopes end after they too drew 3-3 against the Magic. Two goals to Andre Mazzacao and one thumping volley from Paolo Gravina rounded out the scoring for the Tigers. However it was the countless good chances missed, particularly in the first half when the Tigers could have had seven or eight goals, that cost the Tigers the game in the end.