3rd Grade Men’s v Manly-GNS 2 July 2022 at Cintra

Result: Match abandoned at halftime due to the rain effected playing surface, with score 2-2.

Penalty corners: Glebe 5 (one goal), Manly-GNS 3 (one goal)

Scorer: Anthony Wark 2

Glebe players: Chris Farrugia, Sam Bagley, Adam Campano, Tony Wark, Max Spalton, Aiden Najdzion, Pat Wark, Andrew Cheong, Simon Wark, Dan Palomeque, Tom Alexander-Prideaux, James Martin, Craig Martin goalkeeper.

Unavailable players: Michael Wark (permanently retired, career-ending recurrent hamstring injury), Jacob Warnock (broken bone in hand), Jackson Howe (bad back—but getting better), Clark Foster illness, Sid Roache injury.

Pre-match prediction: Glebe 2 to defeat Manly 1.

In the first game of the season on 26 March 2022, we lost to Manly 3-4 at Pennant Hills. It was a close game that could have gone either way. Currently, in an 11-team competition we are eight on 10 points and Manly is tenth on 9 points.

My impression is that today’s game should be a close, competitive one, which may well be decided by the bounce of the ball on the day.

Under seventeen player and longtime Glebe junior Tom Alexander-Prideaux will have his first game in third grade today. Welcome to the team Tom. I hope you enjoy yourself.

Match Report:

It had been raining constantly all morning, but 15 minutes before the scheduled hit-off time of 12.30 pm the rain stopped and the water-logged playing surface had mostly dried out. The match started on time as per the scheduled start time.

Glebe started strongly and looked dangerous in the first few minutes of the half. This is unusual for Glebe who are notoriously slow starters. Glebe was awarded a penalty corner three minutes into the game. The push-out was slowed considerably by the water affected playing surface and the ball barely made it to the top of the circle. Dan Palomeque did well to beat a Manly runner and then get a strong hit away towards goal, which was well saved by the goalkeeper.

Eight minutes into the game Manly attacked down the right wing, before the ball was passed to a Manly player on the backline just outside the Glebe circle in the inside right alley. This Manly player advanced along the backline and a Glebe player made a meal of his tackle and a penalty corner was awarded. When an attacking player is advancing along the backline, the feet, if at all possible, should be outside the field of play and the stick flat on the turf. Stick out and body back to try and minimize the risk of the opposition forward finding a foot.

The ball from the push out from the penalty corner barely made it to the Manly stopper at the top of the Glebe circle. The Glebe corner runners stopped halfway out and allowed the Manly player to strike the ball, which took a deflection off a Glebe player’s stick and flew high into the goal past Craig Martin. If the Glebe first runner had of keep coming the shot would not been possible. Stopping mid circle on the run out is a poor option and the first runner needs, as a number one priority, to try and prevent any shot at goal from the top of the circle. Glebe 0 Manly 1.

Halfway through the first quarter Simon Wark made a great run down the middle of the field from 10 metres inside the Glebe half to within 3 metres from the top of the Manly circle, before passing to Tom Alexander-Prideaux who was just inside the Manly circle in the inside left position. Tom pushed towards the goal but the soggy surface took the pace off the shot and it was saved by a Manly defender. The ball found its way to Tony Wark in front of goal, but Tony fluffed the trap and the ball hit his foot. This was an excellent opportunity missed by Glebe.

A few minutes later Glebe had another dangerous circle penetration, with the ball coming across the front of the Manly goal from left to right, but it could not be stopped and hit a Glebe forward’s foot. The playing surface made doing simple things much more difficult than normal, which partly explains Glebe’s poor trapping.

Towards the end of the first quarter Glebe were awarded two penalty corners, one after the other. In the prevailing conditions, effectively executing penalty corners was not easy and Glebe had not yet come to terms with the best options available to maximize the chance of scoring. With the third penalty corner Pat Wark had a cracking hit at goal, with the ball going wide of the goal.

Aiden Najdzion covered a lot of territory in the first quarter and pressured the Manly defenders. Dan Palomeque and Max Spalton were having solid games in the middle of the field and Manly made no progress down the centre of the field. Andrew Cheong was solid in defence in front of the fullbacks and made some excellent upfield dashes when the opportunities arose. Adam Campano, Chris Farrugia and James Martin, Glebe’s fullbacks handed the adverse conditions well and did not cough-up any opportunities for Manly. They tackled effectively and were strong on the ball.

Glebe was keeping the ball wide and working it up the sideline, which was a safe and effective tactic. Cross field passes were too dangerous under the prevailing conditions.

With a minute remaining in the first quarter Manly won a penalty corner when the ball came off a Glebe defender’s foot. Manly used the lay-off to the left of the battery and the hit from a Manly forward saw the ball go high into the Glebe goal. As the first hit at goal from a penalty corner must be no higher than backboard height the goal was disallowed. The score at the end of the first quarter was Glebe 0 Manly 1.

Two minutes into the second quarter Glebe strung four quick passes together and made a good penetration of the Manly circle. Again, the final pass to a Glebe forward standing 4 metres out from the Manly goal could not be controlled and the ball hit the Glebe forward’s foot. Glebe was making excellent scoring opportunities but failing to convert these opportunities into goals.

The rain was coming down more heavily now, making it hard to gauge the speed of the ball across the playing surface. Through a puddle and the ball nearly stopped and across a dry patch the ball skidded much faster. There were many more overheads being used than in a normal game. The powerful push lifting the ball 10-12 centimetres above the playing surface was proving an effective strategy used by a Pat Wark and Andrew Cheong.

Five minutes into the second quarter Tony Wark had a powerful shot on goal from the top of the circle at the inside left alley which was well saved by the Manly goalkeeper. Tom Alexander-Prideaux was making a few jinking runs down the right-hand sideline, and was making a good fist of his first third grade game. Sam Bagley was solid on the left-hand side of the field and covered a lot of ground. Some of his passes into the Manly circle were excellent.

Midway through the second quarter Glebe was awarded its fourth penalty corner. The direct hit was well saved by the Manly goalkeeper. A few minutes later Manly broke down its right-hand side and into the Glebe circle. A Manly forward took a shot from the top of the circle in the indie right alley. The ball was well struck and was just going inside the goalpost before Glebe goalkeeper Craig Martin got a pad to the ball and deflected it over the backline. Craig has played 428 games for Glebe, as a fullback or half and has had no, or at best  a coup of rare appearances as a goalkeeper. This was a great save by Craig made all the more impressive because of this lack of experience in the position.

Ten minutes into the second quarter a Glebe defender made a lazy tackle in the Glebe 22 metre area and the umpire awarded Manly a penalty corner. The moral of the story here is to be extra-cautious when tackling in your own 22-metre area, be on your best behaviour. Adam Campano, the Glebe first runner came out strongly to defend this corner and effectively prevented any Manly shot on goal.

With five minutes remaining in the second quarter a Manly forward made a quick raid down their left-wing catching Glebe a bit short in defence. The Manly forward broke into the Glebe circle and took a tomahawk shot at goal from the top of the Glebe circle in the inside left alley. Craig Martin, the Glebe goalkeeper made a good regulation hand save, but the rebounded ball then sat-up for a Manly forward to tap into the Glebe goal, Glebe 0 Manly 2.

With four minutes remaining in the half Pat Wark won the ball from a tackle on halfway in the middle of the field and quickly passed to Dan Palomeque 15 metres up field. Dan clapped-on the pace and advanced towards the Manly circle before passing the ball to Tony Wark 4 metres out from the Manly goal. Tony was facing his own goal when he received the ball, and the Manly goalkeeper came out to close down the shot at goal. Tony skilfully moved the ball to the side and pushed the ball past the goalkeeper into the net, Glebe 1 Manly 2.

After this goal Glebe continued to attack and won its fifth penalty corner with a minute remaining in the quarter. The ball came out to Pat Wark in the inside right alley. Pat passed to Tony Wark 7 metres out from goal and Tony flicked the ball high into the Manly net. The goal was initially disallowed as the umpire who deemed that it was the first shot at goal and erroneously concluded that it had to hit the backboard. After conferring with his other umpire, the goal was awarded as Tony’s shot was a flick not a hit and as such was not required to hit the backboard. Glebe 2 Manly 2.

This was the halftime score.

The rain had been steadily coming down for most of the second quarter and the playing surface was water logged in many areas. Manly requested that the start of the third quarter be delayed to allow the surface to drain, but the rain continued to come down at a moderate rate and the game was eventually abandoned.

Glebe had more circle penetrations than Manly and had 5 penalty corners to Manly’s 3 but there was not much between the two teams and a draw was probably a fair assessment of the relative merits of the two teams. If the game had of been decide on penalty corners, which would have been the case in the hockey carnivals of yesteryear, Glebe would have won!

The umpire informed me that if a game has run for 45 minutes the team in front at that juncture, or any time after that juncture is declared the winner. As today’s game was stopped after 34 minutes today’s result would not have stood no matter what the score was when the game was abandoned.

As both Manly and Glebe are highly unlikely to be final six contenders it is probable that the game will not be rescheduled to a later date.

There is no game next week 9 July 2022. Our next game is on 16 July 2022 at 12.30 pm, when we play Sutherland at the Sutherland Turf.