Any contributions should be given or faxed to Ricky Onsman (fx 9375 1446) by Thursday midday.

No Easybeats This Time

MATCH REPORT No: by Sergio Fiorenza

Match: Balmain AA6B v Earlwood
Venue: Parry Park No 2, Lakemba
Date: Saturday 22 August 1998
Time: 1.15pm kick-off

The last game of the season probably came too soon for Balmain, especially judged on this performance. With Earlwood needing to win to secure a top four spot, they expected an easy win after their previous 9-1 thrashing of Balmain back in May. But this is a different Balmain side now, full of passion and commitment. The early exchanges proved this, as Balmain settled into an early rhythm, playing tidy passing football and stretching Earlwood into some desperate defending.

However, as ‘keeper Adam Newcombe will attest to, it wasn’t all one way traffic. Newcombe made a couple of excellent reflex saves, defying a potent Earlwood counter-attack. Midfielder Russell Borman was also well involved in the game, pulling the strings in the middle of the park.

After 20 minutes, Balmain was forced to make a change, with Dave ‘Arveladze’ Arblaster coming on in place of Balmain’s top scorer. But Arblaster very nearly scored himself, with a scorching left foot drive which the Earlwood ‘keeper turned around the post. So, at half-time, all was well at 0-0.

In the second half, Earlwood finally pierced the solid Bacic/Walsh centre back partnership with a dubious free kick decision inside the penalty area, and it was 1-0. Borman and forward Mike Sommers, another overseas import, both worked hard to try to pull it back, Borman shooting just over from 25 yards. But ultimately Earlwood proved that a playoff place was an incentive to step up their game. Still, the final score was flattering to them at 3-0.

The Pele Medal points go to:

Adam Newcombe 3 points
Russell Borman, Bruce Smith 2 points
Dave Arblaster, Ronan Walsh, Glenn Bacic 1 point

Pele medal count:

14 Flintoff
13 Borman
12 Newcombe
11 Fiorenza
9 Bacic, Walsh (Richard)
8 Onsman
7 Smith (Bruce), Sommers
6 La Spina, Walsh (Ronan)
5 Rosenthal
4 Nuzzo
3 Austin
2 Arblaster 1 d’Angelo, Adams

The full Pele medal rundown, game by game.

v Five Dock A 18-04-98: 0-4: Bacic 3, Onsman 2, Borman 1
v Enfield: 25-04-98: washout - postponed to 06-06-98
v Five Dock B: 02-05-98: washout - postponed to 08-06-98
v Lakemba: 09-05-98: 0-6: Flintoff 3, Austin 2, Borman 1
v Earlwood: 16-05-98: 1-9: Newcombe 3, Borman 2
v Balmain A: 23-05-98: 2-5: Borman 3, Rosenthal 2, Fiorenza 1
v Strathfield: 30-05-98: 3-0 forfeit no points awarded
v Enfield: 06-06-98: 0-1: Newcombe 3, Bacic 2, Walsh (Ronan) 1
v Five Dock B: 08-06-98: 0-1: Smith (B) 3, Onsman Flintoff 2, Borman 1
v Five Dock A: 13-06-98: 0-12: Borman Flintoff Onsman Austin Smith (B) Rosenthal Nuzzo Fiorenza Sommers La Spina Walsh (Richard) 1
v Enfield: 20-06-98: 0-4: Flintoff 3, Walsh (Richard) 2, Bacic 1
v Five Dock B: 27-06-98 2-4 Walsh (Richard) 3, Sommers 2, La Spina 1
v Lakemba: 04-07-98: 1-1: Newcombe 3, Flintoff 2, Bacic 1
v Balmain A: 11-07-98: 1-5: Sommers 3, Fiorenza Onsman 2, Walsh (Ronan) 1
v Canterbury: 18-07-98: 3-1: Fiorenza 3, Walsh (Ronan) Flintoff Borman 2, Smith (B) 1
v Burwood: 25-07-98: washout postponed to 01-08-98
v Strathfield: 26-07-98: washout postponed to 02-08-98
v Burwood: 01-08-98: 4-2: Fiorenza 3, Walsh (Ronan) Nuzzo 2, Sommers La Spina Adams Flintoff Walsh (Richard) Bacic Arblaster Onsman D’Angelo 1
v Strathfield: 02-08-98: 0-5: La Spina 3, Rosenthal 2, Nuzzo Walsh (Richard) Bacic Fiorenza 1
v Earlwood: 08-08-98: washout postponed to 13-08-98
v Earlwood: 13-08-98: washout postpone to 22-08-98
v Earlwood: 22-08-98: 0-3: Newcombe 3, Borman Smith (B) 2, Arblaster Walsh (Richard) 1

See you at the dinner, or next season!