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Newsletter - Thursday 27 June 2002 beerbeer

This newsletter is published by Balmain Rovers,
part of the Balmain & District Soccer Club.
The Annandale Hotel is the major sponsor of Balmain Rovers.

Match Report 1
Balmain Rovers 4A Reserves v Burwood B
Blair Park, Croydon
Sat 22 June 2002
Kick-off 1.15pm
Report by Mike Ward

It seemed seven days had allowed enough time for the Balmain 4A Reserves to process, digest and bury the upset loss to Concord the week previous. It was time to move on, move forward and perhaps to never speak of that game again.

We had 12 starters this week, but apparently you can only field 11, so after a few discussions Neil graciously took to the sideline for the first half. As we had no dedicated keeper on the day a quick whip around saw the purchase of a new pair of communal keeping gloves. It was then decided this may not be enough and someone should actually be wearing them on the field. It was to be Kelly who put his hand up and into the new gloves for the first half.

It was comforting to have a full set of officials this week, although one of the linesmen still looked to be a few years off puberty. The ref looked to make up for any shortcomings by threatening us all with red cards in his pre-match pep talk.

The first half saw Balmain completely dominate the midfield. Time and time again Adam B and Phil won the ball, maintained possession and supplied quality ball to our strikers. Luckily for them, the Burwood defence was a little more orginised than their midfield and played the offside rule successfully enough to give the kid running the line plenty of opportunities to wave his bright shiny flag.

Meanwhile, Richard was stamping his authority in defence, nipping any potential attack in the bud and Kelly in goal took ownership of any ball that (he he) entered the box with the confidence of a seasoned pro.

Against the run of play, Burwood managed to go one nil up, but this was short lived when a top ball through from Adam B found Sohail who calmly rounded the keeper and leveled the scores. The Burwood keeper managed to utilise a whole host of expletives to describe his defence which no doubt enhanced the definition of the beautiful game to the kiddies watching on the sideline.

More waves of attack saw Fergal finding heads with some perfectly weighted balls but none converted. This (he he) constant pressure in the box finally ensured a handball from a panicking Burwood defence and saw Darren ("Iíll take it") Lynn step up to take the penalty and send us to half time 2-1 up.

The general feeling at the half time break was that we had this one in the bag and collectively entertained visions of lifting the cup, whilst standing on a podium surrounded by blond babes in champagne-drenched T-shirts. We counted a few more chickens then returned to the field with Kelly taking up the central defence and Richard donning the new but now slightly clammy keeping gloves.

Burwood, on the other hand had been making a few positional changes. Their striker, who had been very vocal towards his own midfield, (whilst looking like a dork with his Beckham hair style) dropped back to left mid to put his foot where his mouth was.

The first 15 minutes proved that this move seemed to add some cohesion to their midfield and changed the dynamics of their attack.

Dare I say it? This was shaping up to be a game of two halves.

It was at this time Sohail stepped off the field after a solid performance and a goal in his pocket to allow Neil to slot into left mid with Jared swapping over to the right. Neilís mere presence is enough to settle any team and he soon made an impact by taking the ball down the left and punching in a crisp pass to Darren L on the edge of the box who controlled, had a look, waited and executed a beautifully timed goal past the outstretched keeper.

Burwood looked gone at 3-1, but they dug deep. They came at us and they came at us hard. There were some bruising encounters in our defence, particularly from John, who defused the attack many times with a combination of clever defending and bone crunching tackles. Kelly stood firm in the centre, Adam F locked up the right flank and gave them very few options and Mike W on the left ... well, I didnít really notice what he was doing.

Corners were conceded with more frequency as more attacks came. Richard in goal made some great clearances as we repelled again and again. Then the guy with the Beckham mohawk came up and took a great corner, which floated menacingly in to the box where two strikers charged in and leaped AFL-style, collecting Richard and an assortment of defenders. Amid the carnage that lay at the back of the net was the ball and we were now looking at just a one-goal lead.

At 3-2, I found myself looking to the sky in dismay thinking they must be getting help from above. And I think they were. Right above us was a skywriter spelling out the letters BOSE. Hi-Fi gear? I think not. Obviously, Burwood were not too good at maths, and knowing this their coach (or their God) had sent them a message in the form of an acronym that must have stood for: Burwood, One Score to Equalise.

They seemed to take this message on board because equalise they did with their striker slotting it from point blank range as a deflection fell to his feet soon after. We needed to hit back but time was against us and before we knew it the ref was making his last overtly animated gesture of the match by calling full time.

Well, once again we managed to control the direction of play and secure a high percentage of the possession and still not come away with the full quota of points. The post match post mortem revealed a few areas we need to work towards and a general optimism that we will be back to our winning ways sooner rather than later.

Hard luck guys, weíve got the team, let's use it

The Pele points go to:

3 - John - Gutsy and smart defending
1 - Kelly - As confident with the hands as he is with his feet
1 - Adam B - Deft
1 - Darren L - That goal was sweeet maaate!


The Annandale Hotel

17-19 Parramatta Rd, Annandale
Ph 9550 1078

Catch the last two games of the World Cup at the Annandale Hotel this weekend. Turkey plays South Korea in the third place playoff on saturday night, while Brazil faces Germany in the Final on Sunday night. Balmain Rovers will also be there for a post-match beer from about 5pm on a Saturday afternoon. Come and have a beer with us and support one of the best pubs in Sydney.

For a full rundown of weekly activities at the Annandale, including the great food Drew and the team at the Nosh Pit put on, click on the image below -


Match Report 2
Balmain Rovers 3B Reserves v Marrickville B
Callan Park, Rozelle
Sat 22 June 2002
Kickoff 1.15pm
Report by Paul McDonnell

Balmain lined up for this game with a few old faces making welcome returns. Browny was back in goals for the first time since 1982, and Glenn was back to shore up the defence, not having played since just before WWII. He lined up beside Old Man Fackerell, fresh from the Veteran's march that morning, with Mrs Nicholas cutting shrubbery on the right and Potter Yeung mowing the lawn on the left.

Fortunately midfield were a youthful bunch. Bamford, Mackie, Jones and Haining were fresh from playing in the Under 11s game that morning while up front were the husband and wife team of Mr and Mrs Liney-Agafonoff.

The game started well for the rag taggle mish-mash of former mushroom smoking jebogies known as the Rovers, with Mrs Liney-Agafonoff combining well with the forceful running of her husband and opening holes for the youngsters in midfield to exploit. Indeed it wasn't long before Mrs L-A (Roberta to her friends in the AWCA, some of whom were on the sideline swooning over the substitutes) scored a typical net busting goal. She celebrated in customary style, planting a big kiss on her husband's cheek.

Young Mackie, whose voice was in the process of breaking, then rattled in a second for the Rovers (actually it was Rob Liney - ed.. Jones, that adorable little tyke, was causing mayhem on the sidelines and was soon to scream in another goal. The youngsters, ably assisted by the father and mother team up front, were running rampant. Indeed young Jones was to be horrendously tackled by the opposition, causing puberty to set in three years early! His assailant was suitably reprimanded by the referee, who dismissed him with a wave of la carte rouge.

Meanwhile at the back, Old Man Fack and Sergeant Bacic were keeping a tight ship. Browny's sciatica was playing up again, so was playing out the second half in a wheelchair, while Mrs N was doing a lovely job on the rhododendrons. Potter was rambling on to anyone who would listen about how things were different when he were a lad. Potter being Potter Yeung was then removed from the field by men in white coats, and led off in an ambulance, grumbling about how this shouldn't be done to a man of his standing. Soon after, Mrs N came off, having broken her shears, but left us with a job well done on the rhodos. Glamour models Mikee and Pier made their entrances to the rapturous applause of the AWCA.

Quickly the new arrivals started strutting their stuff, and Rovers slammed in a couple more goals thanks to the boyish enthusiasm of Haining and the endless running of Bamford. Mr Liney-Agafonoff was inspirational, although without the attentions of his wife, who had been substituted, he became a lot more flirtatious with the opposition's cheerleaders. He finally scored on the pitch, after making more than one move off it, and also set up toddler James for his second. Ally, in between smokes behind the sheds, scored twice to bring his personal total for the season to seven and Rovers' total for the game to be likewise. The old fellas at the back did themselves proud, not only with the gardening, but another clean sheet kept.

The Pele Points go to:

3 - Nick Agafonoff (Proof that the drugs do work)
2 - Mark Bamford (Passed the ball like Glenn Hoddle with 50% less religion)
1 - Bruce Fackerell (Master of the defence, but useless up front)


Match Report 3
Balmain Rovers 3B v Hurlstone Park
Callan Park, Rozelle
Sat 22 June 2002
Kickoff 3pm
Report by Craig Brown

If football is the beautiful game then we were playing something else at Callan Park on Saturday. At times it resembled that game played in India or Pakistan with the elephants and the giant ball. One of the opposition players even ... nah, I canít say that, can I? Thatíd be un-sportsmanlike.

We created a couple of early chances, but all too often were caught offside, and in general, the opening 20 minutes will not be remembered fondly by anyone there to witness it. We were still the better team somehow - or the lesser of two evils if you like - and after some good work down the right by Clem, and some comical errors in the opposition defence, the ball found its way to Paul Millard, who slotted home the first goal.

The second goal came not long after, when Patrick raided down the right hand side. The goalkeeper - whose style was reminiscent of Manuel from Fawlty Towers - gathered the ball, and the attacking move seemed to have broken down. His clearance, however, went to an unprepared teammate on the edge of the box who was dispossessed, and the ball ended up ricocheting around the goalmouth, eventually falling to Martin Hofman who volleyed home from close range.

Not long before half time we conceded a free kick about 30 yards from goal. One of the opposition defenders strode up and curled a lovely left footer beyond Ammonís reach into the top right hand corner. It was a goal the moment it left the boot, and was totally unbefitting such a poor game.

In the second half we went forward plenty of times early on, but the offside bug was well and truly caught, and we hadnít the guile on this particular day to find a route to goal other than the long ball - apart from one barnstorming run out of defence by Eddie, who then put Millard through on goal with an incisive through ball, only for the dayís other malaise, poor control, to ruin another good chance. It was endemic throughout: poor control (and passing), and only Kon really looked in touch for anywhere near the full 90 minutes.

The opposition then had a period of dominance, and from another free kick we were saved by some brilliant keeping from Joey, who replaced Ammon in goal at half time. Not long after, we had a corner which wasnít cleared, and the ball looped up high around the six yard box. Martin was on hand to out jump Manuel, and it was 3-1, eventually the final score.

I thought the game couldnít get any uglier, but was proven wrong when one of the opposition players punched Ammon in the face, pushing his front teeth back where they donít belong. After the dust had settled, he seemed not to think heíd done anything wrong and refused to leave the pitch. Surely a punch to the face has long been a sending off offence in football, so Iím not sure why he found it inconceivable that heíd been red carded.

The Pele Points go to:

3 - Kon
1 - Eddie
1 - Martin
1 - Joey


Award Standings

Pele Medal

9 - Paul Edwards, Ben Jones, James Mackie, Fergal Murphy
8 - Jared Carter
7 - Kelly Baigent, Mark Bamford, Phil Davis, David Hynd, Rob Liney
6 - Adam Brzozowski, Pier D'Angelo, Alister Haining, Darren Lynn, Ammon Mackie, Patrick Nolan, Ricky Onsman, John Pereira
5 - Nik Hopkins, Darren Taylor, Kon Tsalikis
4 - Dean Da Silva, Paul McDonnell, Neil O'Donnell, Michael Sommers
3 - Nick Agafonoff, Jon Drea, Richard Lyne, Donny Nicholas, Brian Yeung
2 - Michael Arthur, Matt Clementson, Sohail Dahdal, Bruce Fackerell, Andy Farmery
1 - John Barker, Craig Brown, Martin Hofman, Matt Linton, Paul Millard, Joey Nicotra, Michael Ward

Golden Boot

19 - Rob Liney
17 - Darren Lynn
13 - Ben Jones, Fergal Murphy
12 - James Mackie
7 - Jared Carter, Dean Da Silva, Paul Edwards, Alister Haining, Ammon Mackie
5 - Paul Millard, Patrick Nolan
4 - Nick Agafonoff, Sohail Dahdal, Darren Taylor
3 - Pier D'Angelo
2 - David Hynd, Martin Hofman
1 - Michael Badman, Mark Bamford, Adam Brzozowski, Phil Davis, Nik Hopkins, Michael Sommers, Kon Tsalikis, Brian Yeung



Saturday 29 June:
Div 4 Reserves v Earlwood @ Hughes Park, Earlwood - 1.15pm
Div 3 Reserves v Lakemba @ Easton Park, Rozelle - 1.15pm
Div 3 Firsts - v Abbotsford @ Easton Park, Rozelle - 3pm


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Newsletter content © 2002 Balmain Rovers

Thursday 27 June 2002