3rd Grade Men’s v Sutherland 22 April 2023 at Cintra

Result: Glebe 2 lost to Sutherland 5

Half-time: Glebe 1 Sutherland 5

Penalty corners: Glebe 4 (1 goal) Sutherland 5 (1 goal)

Penalty Stroke: Glebe 1 (1 goal)

Scorers: Brad Goodridge (stroke), Lachlan Hall

Glebe players: Jacob Warnock, Chris Farrugia, Sam Bagley, Tony Wark, Simon Wark, Paul Jowett, Andrew Cheong, Rob Curlewis, Cameron Johnston, Adam Campano, Brad Goodridge, Aiden Najdzion, Darren French, Lachlan Hall, Ken Wark (coach). Ken’s car broke-down, which prevented him attending the game.

Unavailable players: Pat Wark (chronic knee problems), John Hammond, Dan Palomique (hip injury)

Pre-match prediction:

A few players have left us for the SL 3 team. Thank you, gentlemen, for your wholehearted efforts over the preceding two weeks. They have been appreciated. A few players join us from the Premier Division second grade team. Welcome gentlemen, I am sure you will enjoy yourselves.

Sutherland have beaten us by 4 or five goals in the games we have played over last couple of years. This season they have had two wins from two games and sit third on the competition table. Looking at the form guide, I think a computer would predict a Glebe defeat 5-1 in this game. If we can concentrate for the full game, not cough-up goals with poor passing options from defence, tackle early and tackle often and manage to convert a couple of penalty corners, a win although unlikely is not impossible. The odds of us winning, I would put at 25 to 1.

Match Report:

The game was played under a grey sky, a temperature of 18oC with no rain.

Sutherland were the better team and deserved its win. Glebe improved considerably from last week’s game and had as many circle penetrations as Sutherland, and had four penalty corners to Sutherland’s five. In this game Glebe were competitive.

Sutherland started the game with a 90 second period of passing around the back, with crisp, fast passing which was impressive, before breaking quickly into the Glebe circle and having several red-hot shots at the Glebe goal which were well saved by the Glebe goal keeper Jacob Warnock. Three minutes into the first quarter Sutherland again penetrated the Glebe circle with excellent first time stopping and passing and were awarded a penalty corner. The initial shot from the Sutherland penalty corner was well saved by Jacob Warnock, but the rebound fell perfectly for a Sutherland forward who guided the ball into the Glebe goal Sutherland 1 Glebe 0.

In the middle of the field Glebe were the equal of Sutherland, with Andrew Cheong playing a dominant role, with Robert Curlewis and Cameron Johnson in support.  Andrew tackled strongly, ran well and prevented Sutherland making any headway down the middle. Sutherland had a few pacy, younger players who gave us trouble all game. The Sutherland plan was to break quickly from defence, get the ball out wide to its speedy wingers, run down the sideline, run along the backline, before dropping the ball back to a teammate on the penalty stroke spot for a tap in goal. Three of Sutherland’s goals were scored in identical fashion. It was the pace of the Sutherland high forwards that was the difference between the two teams.

It was disappointing that the Glebe defenders did not tackle the speedy Sutherland wingers early and often, thus not allowing them to hit their stride. Putting the early tackle on these wingers would have broken down the play, which would have given the Glebe cover defence a chance to regroup and reorganize.  Several Glebe players would run beside the Sutherland wingers without attempting a tackle. This allowed the wingers to hit top speed and put daylight between the Glebe defence, the Glebe cover defence and the Sutherland winger. Early tackling, even if a free hit was given away, was the obvious defence to the speed disparity between the Sutherland high forwards and the Glebe defenders. Early tackling  is a feature to take away from today’s game.

A couple of the Glebe push outs on the penalty corners went astray, which meant a well-considered strike on goal could not be attempted. Hopefully more practice will improve our penalty corner combinations.

Glebe defenders attempted a few ambitious cross-field passes from sideline hits that were intercepted by Sutherland, from which Sutherland mounted several very promising attacking raids. Fortunately, Glebe was in high attacking positions when the indiscrete cross passes were delivered. The territory during the match was around 50-50, but Sutherland were better at the counter attack and the quick break from defence.

Glebe had a couple of penalty corners twelve minutes into the game and although the push-outs were inaccurate the resulting passages of play looked as if Glebe could score. A combination of goal keeping and poor Glebe circle craft prevented Glebe from scoring. With two minutes remaining in the quarter and against the run of play Sutherland broke quickly down its left wing, passed the ball across the face of the Glebe goal for a Sutherland forward to tap the ball pas Jacob Warnock. Sutherland 2 Glebe 0. It was the speed of the Sutherland break that meant the Glebe cover defence could not regroup in time to close down the Sutherland raid. The score after the first quarter was Sutherland 2 Glebe 0.

Two minutes into the second quarter Glebe broke into the Sutherland circle after some excellent midfield work by Brad Goodridge and Chris Farrugia. From the corner a scramble ensued in front of the Sutherland goal. A Glebe shot at goal appeared to hit a Sutherland player on the body on its way towards the goal, which  I expected would have resulted in a penalty stroke. The umpire saw it differently and a penalty stroke was not awarded. The Glebe team were trying hard early in the second quarter and had 60% of the territory.

Eight minutes into the second quarter Sutherland made an attacking raid into the Glebe circle and were awarded penalty corners back-to-back. Glebe defended these corner’s well  although when clearing the ball from the circle there was not enough desperation or determination. The ball often hung around inside the Glebe circle when a hurried push to clear the ball out of the circle was required.  This lackadaisical approach to allowing the ball to bobble about in our defending circle needs to change. Fast, early, desperate, clearance of the ball into a wide channel is needed.

Glebe had slightly the better of the second quarter, although its circle skills in both attack and defence were inferior to these skills displayed by the Sutherland team. The score at the end of the second quarter remained Sutherland 2 Glebe 0.

Two minutes into the third quarter the Sutherland right wing ran 50 metres down the right-hand sideline, with a couple of Glebe defenders running alongside him, then ran along the backline drew the goal keeper and passed the ball across the face of the Glebe goal for a teammate to tap the ball into the net, Sutherland 3 Glebe 0. This speedy winger should have been tackled much earlier, even if the tackler was not in the ideal position to affect the tackle. Stopping the momentum of the attack would have given the Glebe defence time to regroup and reorganize.

The Sutherland winger only had the one trick, but Glebe did not pick-up this pattern and allowed him to play his single trick over and over. Pattern recognition should have occurred at some stage by the Glebe defenders, adjusting their field position to prevent the Sutherland winger beating them along the sideline.

Six minutes into the third quarter Lachlan Hall pulled off a great tackle on a Sutherland fullback inside the Sutherland circle winning a penalty corner for Glebe. A good hit was affected by Brad Goodridge, which was well saved by the goal keeper. The ball fell for Darren French who hit a tomahawk shot at the Sutherland goal from four metres out, which travelled at a million miles an hour. Unbelievably the ball hit the goal keeper and bounced out of the circle. Darren was most unlucky not to score.

Ten minutes into the third quarter Sutherland broke from their own half at pace down the left wing and along the backline before passing to the penalty stroke spot, where a Sutherland forward easily tapped the ball into the Glebe goal. Sutherland 4 Glebe 0. Two minutes later a 50-metre driven clearance from defence found Tony Wark on the halfway line. Tony beat the Sutherland fullback and sprinted into the Sutherland circle and across the top of the circle where he was taken down from behind by a retreating Sutherland player.

A penalty stroke was awarded to Glebe, which Brad Goodridge converted with a powerful push to the goalkeeper’s right-hand side. The goalkeeper went to the correct side to save the stroke, but the power of Brad’s push gave the keeper little chance, Glebe 1 Sutherland 4.

A familiar pattern continued three minutes later when a Sutherland winger broke at pace down the sideline, then along the backline before the ball came across the face of the goal for a Sutherland forward to tap the ball into the goal. Sound familiar? The three-quarter time score was Glebe 1 Sutherland 5.

Sutherland started the fourth quarter with their crisp, sharp, well weighted passing routines, which often involves ten or twelve passes. This  was an impressive feature of Sutherland’s game. Glebe’s passing was nowhere near as slick as that of the Sutherland team. The fourth quarter was end to end play, open and free flowing. Andrew Cheong had a push shot at the Sutherland goal from seven metres out, with plenty of time to line-up his shot. Unfortunately, Andrew’s shot was easily saved by the goalkeeper.  A deflection by a Glebe forward would have greatly increased the likelihood of the ball beating the Sutherland keeper. A Glebe forward lurking in front of the Sutherland goalkeepers’ pads would have been handy.

Midway through the final quarter Glebe started to make many circle penetrations and looked like it was going to score. There was an urgency in Glebe’s play that had been lacking in the preceding 90% of the game.

With two minutes remaining in the game fullback Adam Campano make a great tackle at the top of the Glebe circle and won possession of the ball. He quickly transferred the ball to Simon Wark who after running a few strides passed to Paul Jowett. Paul drew the Sutherland defence before passing up field to Tony Wark, who gathered the ball centimetres inside the backline, just before the Sutherland goalkeeper arrived. Tony back sticked ball across the face of the Sutherland goal for Glebe forward Lachlan Hall to tap into the Sutherland goal. Glebe 2 Sutherland 5, which was the full-time score.

Simon Wark and Aiden Najdzion were industrious in mid-field. Sam Bagley at wing half played well. He used the crash ball parallel to the sideline to great effect and often found the Glebe’s forwards upfield in space. Chris Farrugia had a solid game. He suffered a twisted knee which had him off the field for 40 minutes. Paul Jowett was dangerous in the forward line and set up some excellent passing movements. Darren French tackled well, hit the ball hard and made a significant contribution to the team effort,

The team was competitive in this game, and it could have been closer to Sutherland if it had converted its excellent goal scoring opportunities into goals.

Next week Glebe third grade play Briars at Cintra synthetic turf, Concord, with a 6.30 pm hit-off. This is a game where we do have a chance of winning.

Harry Wark