Gutsy Balmain outclassed in the end

If ever a match was much tighter than the scoreline suggested, then Balmain’s 5-1 loss to Inter Lions was it. A rugged first half saw the Tigers’ challenges flying in thick and hard and fast, and a few of the Lions looked like they thought they had turned up to the wrong game. Sadly a couple of near misses, typified by a thunderous Brendan Dobbie header that flew millimetres wide with the keeper well beaten, and a solitary freakish deflection from a monstrous 70 metre goal kick that was clinically punished saw the Lions take a 1-0 lead to the break. The second half was just as hard fought as the first, but Inter finally broke Balmain down with about 20 minutes to go, scoring a couple of quality volleyed goals in quick succession. The Tigers were then caught on the break for the fourth as they pushed forward in search of goals. Dave Hardwick did manage to calmly slot home an end to end Tigers move to make it 4-1 but by then the game was gone, and to rub insult into injury Inter added another in injury time. Despite the scoreline the Tigers could be proud of their effort against a side that had that little extra class about it.
A diabolical opening ten minutes robbed the reserve team of any chance they might have had in the earlier fixture, the 3-0 loss severely denting Balmain’s finals aspirations. A sloppy start from the Tigers enabled Inter to grab two quick goals, and from there they never looked like giving the game away. The third came seconds before half time, and although Balmain played well in the second half they were unable to break through the stiff Inter defence.