2012 NWPL: Sydney University 9 : 7 Balmain
March 10, 2012 Leave a comment
It was an important win for Sydney Uni in its quest to make top six in the regular season whilst Balmain’s chances of getting there are slim now.
A strong feature of Balmain’s play was its ‘complex’ 6-on-5 counter-attacks. They scored 4 such goals with good finishing by James Falzon and twice by Paul Sindone.
But having started on a positive note and leading 3:1 at the beginning of the second quarter, Balmain lost because of two main reasons: The first was its extra-man conversion, or rather, lack of it – 2 from 9 (22%). Even that figure could have been worse; in one instanse, a Sydney University (SU) player swam away leaving an opponent alone in front of the goals without checking if the ball was in his team’s possession – it was not – after it rebounded off a defender’s arm back to the field.
In addition to unsatisfactory extra-man conversion, Balmain also allowed SU to score several counter-attack goals. Aggravating was the fact that some of those counter-attacks originated when Balmain had extra-man, either static or dynamic – i.e. on the move. That was the second main reason for its loss.
Balmain’s best players were Paul Sindone, James Falzon and Gavin Woods. Another candidate to the National team from this club, James Clark, was solid in the goals but on 9 occasions there was little he could do as the SU players were given too much time and space when taking those goal-scoring shots.
Sydney Uni had 5 extra-man opportunities and, unlike Balmain, scored 4 for an impressive 80% conversion rate. One more goal was scored after Balmain failed to capitalize on its good extra-man defensive actions whilst switching into the ‘even’ mode. Four other SU’s goals came as the result of quick counter-attacks.
Thomas Whalan was ‘on fire’ scoring 3 extra-man and one counter-attack goals plus skilfully delivering a ‘patient’ goal-scoring pass in another CA. Scott Nicholson was also finishing well with his 3 good goals, one of which was from an ‘upright’ position concluding a sophisticated extra-man combination. Most other SU’s players did well, among them goalkeeper, Daniel Lees. Trent Franklin was particularly ‘useful’ consolidating the team’s defence and attack by his experienced actions.
Both coaches, Damien Fanning and Phillip Bower, questioned some refereeing calls expressing it through their body language. In my opinion, some of those questions were not unfounded. Time-keeping inaccuracies interrupted the match on several occasions.
Referees: Daniel Bartels and Michael Hart