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Newsletter - Wednesday 3 July 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 Earlwood
Hughes Park, Earlwood
Sat 29 June 2002
Kick-off 1.15pm
Report by Adam Freeman

Hughes park is a ground that is nestled among some of Sydney’s most tasteful and understated homes. The ground has the usual standard fittings for a Canterbury Association ground: a nice slope to it, an astro turf cricket pitch and the odd patch of grass here and there.

Ridagal had decided to change the formation of the team a bit for this game, partially due to player availability and partially to give us numbers in the middle of park. So Rovers lined up with a 3-5-2 formation, welcoming back Spoz in goals, the three centre backs being John, Richard and Neil, two attacking wingbacks in Kelly and Michael Ward, a three man centre midfield of Michael Badman (back from his European tour), Adam B and Jared, with the strikers being Fergal and Sohail. On the bench we had Darren Lynn resting his hamstring and Adam F who due to work commitments may have been late to the game.

The sight of Balmain running onto the pitch to the uplifting sound of the theme from Z Cars really gets the adrenalin racing. Nobody else seems to hear it, but I always do.

Our attacking wingbacks were under orders to picture themselves as Brazilian fullbacks with Michael Ward to be Roberto Carlos and Kelly to be Cafu. The only problem in this plan was that Michael Ward refused to shave his head, which to me seemed a reasonable request.

From the kick off it became obvious that the Earlwood plan was to sit deep and belt the ball long to their lone striker, who was very quick with more than a little skill. Also obvious was that the Earlwood team was a lot more organised than on our first meeting. Rovers seem to take a while to get used to the new formation. In the early stages of the match we were perhaps too defensive, with the team playing too deep and players reluctant to get forward. This seemed to allow Earlwood to settle into the game and build confidence.

Earlwood did look dangerous when their long balls found their pacy striker and it was one of the striker’s runs that led to the first Earlwood goal. Worryingly, Rovers found themselves 1-0 down before really getting started.

Following the goal, Balmain started to get into the game. Michael Ward was particularly impressive on the left, getting into good attacking positions and delivering some great balls into the box.

When the ball was played along the ground Rovers looked a much more dangerous side. However, it was something we did not do enough. It was one of those few passing moves that put Fergal in a little space on the edge of the box, from which he hit a fantastic shot to bring us back in to the match at 1-1.

Minutes before half-time, disaster stuck with Fergal going over badly on his ankle. He limped on until half-time, but it did not look good. At half-time Rovers were forced to substitute the injured Fergal, bringing on Adam F in the unaccustomed role of striker. Hey, how difficult can this striking thing be?

Rovers started the second half quite brightly, stringing some passes together and placing the Earlwood defence under some pressure. While Earlwood continued their tactic of hitting the ball long for the striker to chase, in this half they were doing it with a strong wind at their backs, making it very difficult for our back three. Still, they coped well, especially Neil (who should be Carlos for the next game as he has - or hasn’t - the hair for it) with his usual strong headers. I guess growing up in Liverpool teaches you how to head things. I believe the technique is referred to as the Kirkby Kiss. Meanwhile, John P was doing a good job man marking Earlwood’s most dangerous player.

Unfortunately, Earlwood managed to score a goal on the break to take a 2-1 lead. Balmain kept trying to get back into the game with Kelly and Sohail swapping positions to give us a rather unexpected strike force. Jared really started getting into the game with some dangerous runs and Adam B continued to pass the ball around well. However it would be Earlwood who would score next, converting a penalty to bring the score to 3-1.

To the Rovers' credit, the team kept on trying to get back into the game and, whilst our play was below what we are capable of, the team still kept putting in the effort. This led to a free kick with Adam B breaking his ‘hoodoo’ to score a great goal - a strike worthy of a spot on the Channel 9 LG Golden Moments section, hit low into the corner. 3-2 and we were back in it. Neil had now gone off injured to be replaced by Darren Lynn.

As for the last few moments of the game I’d rather not talk about it. But I’ll let you pick from one of two endings, one of them true and one a complete lie.

a) Adam F took the ball from about halfway, dribbled round three defenders, chipping one of them - which reminded the crowd of Gazza’s effort in Euro ’96. He then launched a fearsome strike which was narrowly tipped over the bar by the keeper.

b) From all of about six inches out, Adam F hit the ball over the bar, finding out that being a striker is not as easy as it looks.

Next week we have probably the toughest game of the season against Balmain B.

There has been much post-match discussion and analysis of our mini form slump, but I’ll throw some more in. For this coming match let us concentrate on enjoying our football. If we play positive football the results will come.

The Pele points go to:

2 - Michael Ward - tireless in both attack and defence
2 - John Pereira - defended strongly throughout
1 - Adam B - a fine free kick, spread the ball well from middle of field
1 - Neil O - once again battled well at the back, dealt with high balls well in trying conditions

Also, congratulations to Neil and his team Noddy’s Nobblers for winning the World Cup Fantasy League.


The Annandale Hotel

17-19 Parramatta Rd, Annandale
Ph 9550 1078

Life has returned to normal at the Annandale Hotel. No more World Cup - just the best live music in town (gig of the week - Ed Kuepper Thursday night), top tucker at the Nosh Pit, the Locals Club going bananas with giveaways, classic tacky movies from The Sounds of Sinema and the best pub atmosphere to be found in Sydney.

This Saturday, all three Rovers teams have home games so the 5pm post-match session should be a beauty. Come and have a beer with us. For a full rundown of weekly activities at the Annandale, click on the image below -


Match Report 2
Balmain Rovers 3B Reserves v Lakemba
Easton Park, Rozelle
Sat 29 June 2002
Kickoff 1.15pm
Report by Sergio Fiorenza

Easton Park has been a happy hunting ground for Balmain Rovers recently but what happened on this windy, sunny Saturday afternoon was anything but enjoyable.

Rovers were playing a Lakemba side that they had overwhelmed 11-0 earlier in the season, although it must be pointed out that Lakemba only had nine players that particular day. Perhaps a bit of overconfidence had affected the starting 11 when they took the field, with Lakemba also having their full complement of players.

The first 20 or so minutes were evenly matched, but the first goal was to go to the visitors - a short goal-kick thumped straight back into the Balmain goal by a Lakemba player for 1-0. The lead was doubled 15 minutes later when an unlucky Balmain challenge brought a Lakemba attacker down in the box, and the penalty was duly dispatched for a 2-0 deficit.

Rovers had a few good chances to get back into the game but the Lakemba 'keeper was having one of those games, acting like a Mexican jumping bean and stopping everything Rovers threw his way!!

The second half began much the same as the first, except that Rovers were enjoying a wind and downhill advantage. Alas, a third goal was conceded shortly after the restart and the mountain became ever larger. But for a few unlucky bounces, we could have easily got back into the game, but it was just "one of those days" where nothing seemed to go right no matter what!!

Rovers finsished the game strongly but Lakemba added two more goals for a final score of 5-0.

The Pele points go to:

3 - Mike Sommers - for a tireless display
2 - Ben Jones - also for his hard work
1 - Pier D'Angelo - for his passing and vision


Match Report 3
Balmain Rovers 3B v Abbotsford
Easton Park, Rozelle
Sat 29 June 2002
Kickoff 3pm
Report by Nick Agafonoff

Abbotsford turned up to Easton Park with an unchanged side (apart from several of their players recently discovering puberty) to the one that gave the Rovers Firsts their most frustrating game of the first round.

From the outset, the Firsts could sense the intensity (perhaps sexual) of the Abbotsford midfield thrusting forward at every opportunity. Kon, lulled into a post-coital repose, was caught unusually off-guard by the splendid spade-work of the Abbotsford right winger, but was quickly able to re-gather himself and stem the flow after the sudden, unexpected surge. While Paul McDonnell worked hard in his favourite position at the back, Andy yelled constant instructions to keep the formation in check until his large pulsating vein finally burst.

However, Martin took a nasty one to the head after committing himself to a tackle and it seemed to send him spirally out of control - and out of position. Left stranded on the periphery, Martin lurched towards the central orgy in search of some action. Feeling rejected by his peers and frustrated with his own performance he resorted to yelling out stuff like, "****! I VANT TO ****! SOMEVUN GIVE ME A ****!". Consequently, Nick was forced to bring Joey into the unenvied gimp role after desperate pleading from Dean on the sideline.

This daring move seemed to work as moments later Eddie, whose concentration had been affected by the constant pulling from his very young counterpart, seized a half opportunity and sent one through to Millard with all the experience and finesse of a high class prostitute. Millard lapped it up and seemed to be enjoying himself immensely as he gracefully controlled the ball with his sensual touch, before being taken from behind to his and his team's delight. This led to a penalty and a one on one between Kon and the opposition main man. The question was, did Kon have anything left after his unexpected ejaculation earlier on? The answer was a resounding "YES! YES! YES! OH YES!" as Kon put one through with frightening aggression.

Meanwhile, at the back, Brownie was taking everything that came his way and staying true to his nickname. Yet even the most experienced can have their moments in this harsh and unforgiving industry. After a semeningly harmless enquiry from the Abbotsford striker, it was blue balls for Brownie as he coughed it up and presented himself wide-open. Both teams were now all tied up and needed someone to stand up and be counted (onlookers were offering as little as $25).

For the Rovers, Eddie again took the game into his hand and shook it around. In the blink of an eye, he thrust forward magnificently, displaying incredible artfulness as he undressed the opposition before their very eyes. Apparently destined to score, Eddie unselfishly sent one back tantalisingly into the path of the ever-hankering Millard, who was only too ready to finish it off.

2-1 up, Clem declared himself spent and was replaced by the eager Dean. Dave was simply inspired by Dean's presence and came into his own. Dancing around with gay abandon, the Abbotsford whores could not lay a hand on him. Time and time again Dave eluded them and made passes at Dean, who was only too willing to accept them.

As the game reached its final minutes, Nick brought on Agafonoff, who was already exhausted after Lakemba's raping of the Reserves. Millard was ordered back into a mid-orgy role, as Abbotsford went for broke trying to penetrate the Rovers unique hymen zone defence. As the game reached a frenetic climax, everyone held their breath. Kon, Andy and Paul, especially, sized up each of the Abbotsford forwards and kept them to long shots at Brownie from a distance. Finally, Ammon, who was the stand-in ref and by all accounts had failed in every way to keep the game clean, blew his own whistle. Everyone sighed.

The Pele Points go to:

2 - Eddie
2 - Dave
1 - Paul Millard
1 - Paul McDonnell

Editor's note - unbelievably, the writer of this report is allowed and even encouraged to appear on a publicly funded children's television show - sad and not a little scary, really


Award Standings

Pele Medal

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

Golden Boot

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



Saturday 6 July June:
Div 4 Reserves v Balmain B @ Easton Park, Rozelle - 1.15pm
Div 3 Reserves v Earlwood @ Callan Park, Rozelle - 1.15pm
Div 3 Firsts - v Earlwood @ Callan Park, Rozelle - 3pm


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Newsletter content © 2002 Balmain Rovers

Wednesday 3 July 2002