Balmain warmed up for their elimination semi-final against Hakoah next week with a very comfortable 4-0 win over Auburn Star on Sunday. Despite the game being played at barely over half pace, the Tigers did well to avoid injury after suffering some horrendous “challenges” from an aggressive opposition, egged on by their spiteful manager. Thankfully though a repeat of his gobby contribution to last round’s clash was avoided after Anton Ivancic remembered to bring his goggles, snorkel, umbrella and wetsuit to the bench.
On the pitch, Louis Soares waited until the last game to score his first goal of the season with a fine lobbed finish. Jem Richardson then made it 2-0 on the stroke of half time after some quality lead up play from Jeremy Deasey and Julian Bracewell. Daniel Totaro scored a second half brace, the first a cracking volley from a Richardson cross, and the second an unstoppable free kick from the edge of the penalty area. Soares played an excellent game in the midfield anchor role to earn himself the Exchange Hotel man of the match award.
The U21s finally snapped their mammoth losing streak with a comprehensive 8-0 rout of their wooden spooner opposition. Henrik Anderssen and Matt Coelho bagged two goals each, with Julian Junior, Ben Shine, Grant Burgess, and goalkeeper Andy Pye also hitting the back of the net.
The U19s also ended on a winning note, their 3-0 victory knocking Auburn out of semi-final contention. Simon Roddy scored a first half double and Hugo Muecke added the third. But the highlight of the match had to be Balmain captain Matt Coelho’s incredible miss from around one metre out with the goal-mouth gaping. Truly it rivalled Lorenzo Merlino’s goal-line airswing from the first game of the season in the best miss of the year stakes.