Result: Glebe 2 lost to Saint George 3
Half-time: Glebe 0 Saint George 2
Penalty corners: Glebe 1 (no goal) Sutherland 3 (one goal)
Scorers: Paul Jowett, Sam Bagley
Glebe players: Chris Farrugia, Sam Bagley, Adam Campano, Tony Wark, Paul Jowett, Clark Foster (GK), Max Spalton, Craig Martin, Aiden Najdzion, Pat Wark, Lachlan Hall, Brad Goodridge, Andrew Cheong.
Unavailable players: Michael Wark (permanently retired, career-ending recurrent hamstring injury), Jacob Warnock (broken bone in hand), Jackson Howe, Sid Roache, Simon Wark (second grade)
There were no official umpires for the game and the two clubs had to provide the umpires. Glebe Under 17 and second grader Will Brine kindly agreed to blow the whistle. Thank you, Will, for your services, we appreciate you contribution.
Saint George were a slick, skillful team with some fast forwards. They moved the ball very well and had Glebe under constant pressure for the first 55 minutes of the game. Glebe was outplayed for most of the game and SG deserved their victory. Glebe came back strongly in the last 15 minutes as SG tired just a little and it nearly snatched a draw.
It was a keen tussle all game with plenty of physicality and heavy tackling. It was no place for the faint-hearted tonight.
Most of the first 10 minutes of the game were played in the middle of the field with SG having 60% of the territory and looking the stronger team. Glebe desperately tackled and defended to stay in the game. At the 12-minute mark SG were awarded its first penalty corner, as the ball struck a Glebe player’ s foot in the circle. The SG corner was well executed and pushed hard into corner on the Glebe goalkeeper’s left-hand side. Glebe fullback Chris Farrugia almost stopped it with his stick, but the ball managed to trickle over the goal line for a goal, Glebe 0 SG 1.
Saint George had a couple of defenders who had excellent, long overhead flicks and they were used often. This tactic was used continually by Saint George to good effect to clear their 22-metre area. Glebe found it hard to defend against them, but on the whole did a good job of preventing the big overhead developing into circle penetrations.
Tony Wark had a good chance to score after he received a hard-hit pass from his defenders in the SG circle. He pushed the ball into the rapidly advancing SG goalkeeper’s pads, which was a D-grade option. Pulling the ball two metres left around the goalkeeper would have given him a clearer path to the goal for his shot and would have been a better option. Although the rapidly retreating SG defenders might have tackled him the chances are he would have won a penalty stroke or a penalty corner, as they would have been tackling from awkward angles.
SG were quick to get players behind the ball and at times the Glebe defenders were almost aimlessly passing the ball sideways without any real purpose. It was a bit ponderous and did not open up any gaps for Glebe.
Towards the end of the first quarter Clark Foster the Glebe goal keeper made a good save from a shot hit from only a metre out. Clark read the game and left his line to smoother the SG forward’s shot.
SG were making good circle penetrations, moving the ball early, and using the width of the field. They were playing well and only desperate tackling by Glebe fullbacks Adam Campano, Chris Farrugia and Max Spalton prevented SG from scoring. The score was Glebe 0 SG 1 at the end of the first quarter.
Three minutes into the second quarter Glebe were awarded its only penalty corner of the game. The corner was well executed with the Glebe player at the battery hitting the ball towards the Glebe pusher-out for the goalward deflection. It looked dangerous for a second, but the ball was eventually cleared by the SG defence. SG continued with its excellent passing and skillful teamwork. SG had a full bench, were continually bringing on fresh players and had 60% of the territory.
A driven pass by Chris Farrugia from 40 metres out into the SG circle looking for a deflection off a Glebe stick was a good option for Glebe midway through the second quarter. At times the Glebe players were not tackling early enough and were allowing the SG players to get up to operating speed and penetrating the Glebe circle before making the tackle. The tackle should be made early if possible and if it is made outside the circle even better. The moral of the story is to tackle outside the circle if humanly possible.
Glebe needed to give the ball earlier and to add more pace to the pass. It was hard to work our way through the SG defence when they were set. We looked more dangerous when the forwards received the ball with some space. Aiden Najdzion and Lachlan Hall Glebe’s inside forwards ran hard all game and covered a lot of territory. They did a lot of chasing and tackling, denying the SG defender’s space.
Minutes before half time a Glebe defender had the ball 5 metres out from the Glebe circle 10 metres in from the sideline. There was no obvious pass available to him and he dwelled on the ball a bit too long. He was disposed and the SG forward crossed the ball to the top of the Glebe circle for a SG forward to have a free shot for goal. The ball shot past Clark Foster and there was very little Clark could do about it. Glebe 0 Saint George 2. This was the half-time score.
Glebe midfielders Pat Wark and Andrew Cheong were solid in the centre and took good field position. They appropriately injected themselves into the attack at times and they looked dangerous when they did so. Brad Goodridge played at centre half at times and did a competent job of it. He has a solid hit, a good tackle and a vision for what is possible.
In the first half Glebe were outplayed by a significantly better team and a 0-2 score line was an reflection of the relative merits of the two teams.
Early in the third quarter Sam Bagley disposed a SG player and delivered an early ball to an unmarked Tony Wark who was just inside the SG half in midfield. Tony shrugged off a few SG defenders to run 45 metres into the SG circle and shoot. Tony’s rudder was out and the ball sailed past the goal. It was an excellent opportunity for Glebe to score.
Two minutes later Saint George started an attacking movement well inside their 22m area the ball travelled at speed from one side of the field to the other. The ball was passed 7 or 8 times as it advanced art pace down field. The Glebe defence were spread eagled and a SG forward had an unchallenged shot at the Glebe goal and scored. Glebe 0 Saint George 3. This goal by SG was the best goal that has been scored against us this season. It was a beauty.
Things were looking decidedly bleak for Glebe and SG seemed to be cruising to comfortable win. Glebe was a bit too slow in its thinking and seemed to lack zip-zip. Five minutes before the end of the third quarter Pat Wark was feed the ball 45 metres out from the SG goal in mid-field. He quickly passed to Andrew Cheong on the run and Andrew beat two SG defenders with speed and stickwork before passing to Paul Jowett four metres out from the SG goal. Paul skillfully deflected the ball into the SG goal. This was a great run by Andrew. Glebe 1 SG 3, which was the score at the end of the end of the third quarter. Towards the end of the third quarter Glebe was starting to get a bit of traction, more momentum and more territory. The tide was turning a bit.
The quarter time talk was positive and upbeat. Saint George started to just blast the ball down field at every opportunity. If the blast hit was not-on they were resorting to the overhead to nowhere. SG were clinging to a 1-3 lead and their concentration was on defence. Glebe started to exert some pressure on the SG defence and make circle penetrations, which were few earlier in the game. Glebe’s passes seemed to be just missing their targets, millimetres from being trapped by a Glebe teammate.
Midway through the fourth quarter the ball was played quickly down the left-hand sideline to Tony Wark in space. Tony found Lachlan Hall in the inside left alley inside the circle. Lochan hit the ball across the face of the SG goal where it was deflected into the goal by a rapidly advancing Sam Bagley, who had read Lachlan’s pass like a book. Congratulations on your goal Sam (Sam does not score many goals as he is a half-back).
Glebe upped the ante and starting applying pressure on the SG defence who in the first 55 minutes of the game had looked as solid as a rock, but now looked decided shaky. Glebe tried a few driven hits into the circle looking for the deflection into the goal. This was a good option and most of these hits went within millimetres of a Glebe player’s stick for the deflection, close but not close enough. Glebe had grown in confidence and it looked possible that it might be able to salvage a draw from the game in the dying minutes.
A few minutes before fulltime Andrew Cheong desperate to get the ball for Glebe made a clumsy tackle on a SG player and a free hit was awarded against him.
In the last seconds of the game Glebe made a very promising raid into the SG circle only for the fulltime whistle to blow, with SG winning the game 2-3.
We won no points this weekend from two games, but the games were close, stimulating, hard fought, exciting contests, enjoyable to watch.