Glebe Men's 2nd grade win Sydney Cup 3-2 in a drama filled Grand-Final against arch rivals Mooorebank-Liverpool.
A full report below from Glebe's resident roving report Dr Harry Wark:
Second Grade Grand-Final
Glebe v Moorebank
15 September 2012
Homebush Olympic Pitch 1445 hours
Result: Glebe 3 defeated Moorebank 2
Penalty Corners: Glebe three (no goals), Moorebank four (no goals)
Scoring sequence: 7 m Moorebank FG, 12 m Glebe FG (Mitchell Nicholson), 16 m Glebe FG (Evan McGilvray, 30 m Moorebank FG, 31 m Glebe FG (Aaron Oman).
Glebe players: B J Bruton, Chris Holmes, Luke Rogers, Raj Patel, Adam Howard (c), Zach Farlow, Mitchell Nicholson, Pat Wark, Aaron Oman, Wayne Benfield, Aaron Nilan, Victor Dunand, Evan McGilvray, Simon Bracht. Regular second grade players ruled ineligible for the finals series because they played too many first grade games Will Noller and Anthony Wark. Third grade players who regularly played up in second grade Brayden Mead, Jack Stocker (goal keeper) and Tim De Weerd. Player injured during the season Rowan Kelly (fractured collar bone). The team officials were Coach Mick Bougoukas, Assistant Coach Geoff Paterson, Manager George Ribarovski and Assistant Manager John Nilan.
Glebe won a tough, tense, hard fought grand-final match played before around 500 spectators, of whom around 200 were Glebe supporters decked out in the maroon and white of the Club.
It was a beautiful spring day ideal for playing and watching hockey. The sky was blue, the sun was out, there were a few white fluffy clouds in the sky and there was no wind. The Glebe Flag was flying from the top of the flag-pole on the Homebush Bay side of the ground and another large Glebe flag was draped over the terraces. This gave the ground a good atmosphere and a good vibe for the Glebe team. The Glebe supporters were vocal all game and its barracking brought the best out in the Glebe team spurring them on to perform at their optimum.
After the regular season Glebe finished on top of the table and thus minor premiers and Moorebank came in second. Before the match I thought that it would be a close game and that a bit of luck here, and or a bit of brilliance there might decide the issue. My prediction was accurate; the game was close and went down to the final whistle and beyond.
The opening minutes of the game were even with Glebe having perhaps a slight territorial advantage. Moorebank was basing its attack on the quick break away. Seven minutes into the game the Glebe defence were caught napping. A 50 metre Moorebank pass found a free Moorebank forward behind the Glebe defence. There was not a Glebe defender within 7 or 8 metres of this Moorebank forward. After controlling the ball, the Moorebank forward entered the circle and sweetly cracked the ball past the advancing Glebe goal keeper B J Bruton into the Glebe goal Glebe 0 Moorebank 1. The positioning of the Glebe defence to allow the Moorebank forward to receive the ball was poor.
At the 12 minute mark Pat Wark obtained possession of the ball 15 metres outside the Moorebank circle in the inside right alley. He quickly delivered the ball to Victor Dunand. A scrabble developed inside the Moorebank circle, and the ball popped up for Mitch Nicholson who cleverly eliminated one defender and put the ball through the goalkeeper's legs before flicking the ball into the goal from close range as he was falling. Mitch's shot lacked power, but the accuracy was spot-on Glebe 1 Moorebank 1.
Glebe was keen and playing with enthusiasm and verve. Sixteen minutes into the game Aaron Oman from 10 metres inside the Glebe half spotted left wing Evan McGilvray 40 metres up field and banged through a hard hit for Evan to run onto. Evan read the play well and at full stretch latched onto Aaron's through ball and brought it under control as he ran at pace across the top of the Moorebank circle with only the goal keeper in front of him. Evan cracked the ball from the top of the circle past the advancing Moorebank keeper Glebe 2 Moorebank 1. This was a good goal, a visionary pass by Aaron Oman and great hockey skills by Evan McGilvray.
Five minutes from half-time Moorebank equalised to make the score Glebe 2 Moorebank 2. This was a simple goal. Moorebank passed the ball at a medium pace towards the Glebe goal from 10 metres outside the Glebe circle in the middle of the field. A Moorebank forward drifting across the goal mouth deflected the ball past the Glebe keeper. The Glebe defence was caught napping here, although in its defence Moorebank read the opening well and executed the move to perfection.
A minute after Moorebank equalised and with four minutes remaining before half-time Pat Wark gained possession of the ball 15 metres from the Moorebank circle in mid field. He quickly passed to Aaron Nilan on top of the circle. Aaron got away a powerful tomahawk shot on goal, which was well stopped by the Moorebank keeper who had come 15 metres out of his goal to engage Aaron at the top of the circle.
The ball fell for Pat Wark who sensed the keeper had him smothered and quickly passed to Aaron Oman 5 metres to the left of centre and 3 metres inside the Moorebank circle. The Moorebank goal keeper was stranded at the top of the circle and the goal was open. Aaron fired away a powerful, accurate shot which was partially saved by a Moorebank full-back coming back in cover. Fortunately for Glebe the ball trickled into the Moorebank goal, Glebe 3 Moorebank 2 and this was the half-time score.
The first half was even with both sides playing well and at this stage it was impossible with any certainty to pick the winner. The Glebe team were marking tightly and making the tackle early, not allowing the Moorebank mid field any space. The Glebe half-line of Raj Patel, Adam Howard and Zach Farlow were hard to get past. They were enthusiastic and committed.
The Glebe support staff of Mick Bougoukas, Geoff Paterson, George Ribarovski and John Nilan brought out the best in the team and the Glebe tactics were simple but sound. Players were passing early, tackling often, running hard, concentrating well and keeping the ball wide if possible.
Glebe had a few good opportunities to score in the first 10 minutes of the second half; however the goal shooting was poor with the ball travelling wide of the goal or over the top. In the middle of the second half, Glebe had 65% of the territory and Moorebank lacked authority in mid field against the experienced Glebe midfielder trio of Adam Howard, Aaron Oman and Pat Wark. Moorebank were relying on quick breaks from defence in their efforts to score. They executed these raids with precision and got away a couple of good shots at goal that either went wide of the goal or were well saved by goalkeeper B J Bruton in the Glebe goal. Moorebank always looked as if they could score on the quick break. They put together some impressive passing movements that swept 60 metres from one end of the field to the other.
Moorebank received four penalty corners in the second half, but could not manage to score, due to fine defence from the Glebe keeper B J Bruton, and excellent running out from first runner Zach Farlow and second runner Luke Rogers who put pressure on the Moorebank penalty corner battery.
With 10 minutes to go it was a tight, tense, exciting, nail-biting, finely balanced game which could have gone either way, but with a one goal lead Glebe were in a better position than Moorebank. Moorebank found it impossible to exert constant pressure on the Glebe defence and Glebe were looking strong and confident. With seconds on the match clock a quick break from Moorebank saw the ball pushed into the circle and a penalty corner awarded to Moorebank. The umpire saw the ball hit a Glebe foot, although this sequence of events was strongly disputed by the Glebe players. The full time siren sounded, but the penalty corner was still to be played out.
A goal by Moorebank from this last penalty corner of the game would take the contest into extra time. Glebe's defence had the best defensive record of any team in the second grade competition by a considerable margin. The corner defence this year has been excellent and this penalty corner was do or die for the red and blue team. The ball was cleared out of the circle by Glebe and the umpires blew the whistle for full time with the final score Glebe 3 Moorebank 2. Glebe was the Sydney Cup winner for 2012 and the Glebe spectators erupted.
There were no goals scored in a tense second half. Glebe had won the second grade premiership for the first time since 2003 and for the twenty-fifth time in its 82 year history. Adam Howard, Zach Farlow and Simon Bracht played in the 2003 Glebe second grade premiership winning team, which also included Stephan Madycki, Adrian Goode, Brad Goodridge, Tim Harvey, Marvin Lamond, David Longhurst, Ross Tapsell, Michael Wark, Matthew Wark, Ken Wark and Andrew Cheong.
Glebe was a good team; it had accomplished players, old heads with many years of experience and players new to the Club. It was a team victory constructed around delivering early ball, the taking of good field position, early committed tackling, intelligent option taking, individual effort, determination and total commitment to the team effort, above individuality and one out bursts.
Full-backs Luke Rogers and Chris Holmes (Editors note: Chris played with a broken hand for the last 10 minutes proving that Glebe Boys don't cry) were solid and for this game eliminated the aimless back/side pass from their repertoire, which had been a weakness in recent games. Interchange players Victor Dunard, Simon Bracht and Evan McGilvray gave their all when they came onto the field. They effort and enthusiasm was eye catching. It was the fine performances by the less recognised players in the team that enabled Glebe to prevail on the day. The team had no weaknesses; it carried no passengers and was swept along by the large, vocal Glebe crowd on the terraces.
After the final whistle the team went over and acknowledged the cheering Glebe supporters and both supporters and players sang the Glebe song. The tune that rang out over the ground was loud and clear, and it was followed by the chant of Glebe, Glebe, Glebe, Glebe ------. The excitement, camaraderie and Club spirit were palpable. It was a fantastic atmosphere at the ground if you were a Glebe supporter.
Two players in the team were having their first season with Glebe; Luke Rogers is from Reading 50 kilometres west of London, and Victor Dunand is from Lyon in eastern France. Raj Patel is a New Zealander in his second season with the Club. Goal keeper B J Bruton in his second season with Glebe was born in South Africa. The second grade team had an international flavour to it in 2012. In addition Mitchell Nicholson is a Queenslander. Eight players in the squad were Glebe junior products.
The feelings in the Glebe dressing rooms after the game were of exhilaration, relief, excitement, satisfaction, enjoyment and an acknowledgement that there was little in the game and that Moorebank came within a whisker of winning the match.
Congratulations second grade on the premiership win. The team were also minor premiers. There were no loose cannons in this outfit; it was a cohesive, disciplined team. The players had fun all season, enjoying their hockey and enjoying the camaraderie of being part of the team, which is why most of us play a team sport.
By Harry Wark