Balmain returned from Springwood with the point they needed to assure a semi final position after a scoreless draw on Saturday night. The Tigers were missing regulars Hardwick and Gothe-Snape through injury, as well as Bracewell and Totaro through suspension. This made way for Tristan Aguire to make his first grade starting debut. Balmain should have been ahead early as the keeper spilled a cross and Jeremy Deasey lobbed the ball into an unguarded net, but the referee baffled everyone at the ground by calling play back for some kind of foul. After that a cagey first half ended with neither side able to truly test the opposition keeper.
The second period was dominated by the solid defenses of both teams, and truth to be told it was a game of few highlights. Balmain were perhaps a little hard done by with a couple of decent shouts for a penalty, one in particular where the referee missed a blatant goal-line handball, but in the end it wasn’t the Tigers’ night as far as refereeing decisions were concerned. Balmain’s backline was impenetrable and it was no surprise to see Eamon Byrne earn the Exchange Hotel man of the match award, narrowly edging out Gavin Buddis and Anthony Trieste.
The U21s once again snatched defeat at the death, going down 3-2 in the final five minutes. They started well, with Gabriel Viera scoring his first of the season with a fine shot from the edge of the area. However by half time Springwood had regained the lead after scoring twice. Substitute Mitchell Bonus levelled proceedings for the Tigers and it looked as if the teams would share the points. Unfortunately it was not to be and that extends the U21s winless streak to eight games, six of which have been lost by a single goal.
The U19s were blessed with a full team for the first time in a few weeks, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a comfortable 4-1 victory for the home team. Glenn Lynch scored from the edge of the box for the Tigers late in the second half.