Tigers give it to Prossies

The unlikely semi-final dream remains alive for another week after Balmain outclassed second placed Prospect United 3-1. Coach Arthur Stamatis’s pre game match plan hinged on the Tigers holding out the Prossies – let me make it crystal clear that this is what they call themselves on the field – in the first half while running uphill on a pitch that resembled Thredbo without the snow. The plan went astray when Hassan Reda was distracted by his fan club of a couple of 11 year old locals who thought he was 11 as well until they saw him up close, whereupon they resorted to calling him elf-man and goblin… ah but I digress. Anyway Reda lost the toss and Balmain skiied downslope.
As for the action, the Prossies were shocked and awed by a cracking first session full of penetration with minimal collateral damage and only a couple of civilian casualties from the Tigers (if you’ve ever seen Andrew Pittas clear a ball into the crowd you’ll know what I mean). The half ended with the Tigers 2-0 ahead, the goals courtesy of Hassan “Goblin” Reda and Jeremy “Jake the Snake” Loblay. Brendan “Hugh Grant” Dobbie even got asked for an autograph on the way to the sheds by a local kid with coke bottle thick glasses who thought our Hugh was actually Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings. Playing a style coach Stamatis likes to call the “counter-attacking, running uphill, against the wind with a 2-0 lead” tactic in the second half, Balmain extended the lead to three midway through the period with a Peter Stamatis header. The Prossies did manage to get a ball in a couple of minutes before the end, but by that stage the fat lady had well and truly started singing a little ditty known as “Balmain boys we are here”.
Reserve grade suffered a big blow-out in their finals campaign after copping a 5-1 spanking from the Prossies. The Tigers squared the game at 1-1 midway through the first half, but two late goals left them chasing the game – down 3-1 at half time. In the second half the Tigers had Prossies all over them and never looked like pulling the game out of the bag. With all the other top sides winning, it leaves them seven points out of the four and, like first grade, in need of other results to start going their way fast.