3rd Grade Men’s v UNSW 25 June 2022 at Cintra

Result: Glebe 1 lost to UNSW 3

Half-time: Glebe 0 UNSW 2

Penalty corners: Glebe 2 (no goals) UNSW 7 (no goals)

Scorer: Andrew Cheong

Glebe players: Chris Farrugia, Sam Bagley, Adam Campano, Tony Wark, Clark Foster (GK), Max Spalton, Craig Martin, Aiden Najdzion, Pat Wark, Andrew Cheong, Simon Wark, Brad Goodridge, Sid Roache, Dan Palomeque.

Glebe umpires: Vernon Howe, Les Wark

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

Pre-match prediction:

On 4 June 2022, three weeks ago, UNSW beat Northern Districts 10-0. On 18 June 2022 Glebe beat Northern Districts 2-1. On these recent results it would indicate a 0-9 loss for Glebe in today’s game against UNSW. In our game against UNSW last year, we lost 1-9.

I am confident that we can do better than the above analysis suggests, and that we will be competitive in today’s game, although not good enough to win or draw the game.

My forecast is for a 0-5 loss.

Match Report:

The match was played on a glorious winter’s day with the sky blue, a few white fluffy clouds, a temperature of 19oC and little wind. There were no official umpires for the game and Vernon Howe umpired the first-half and Les Wark umpired the second half for Glebe. Both gentlemen did a fine job. Thanks Vernon and Les for your contribution.

UNSW were a lot younger, faster and more skillful  than our team, but Glebe scrambled well, tried hard and kept the game in the balance until five minutes from fulltime when UNSW scored its third goal. This performance from the team was light years better than our fumbling 2-1-win last week against bottom dwellers Northern Districts.

The team were strengthened this week by the return of Sid Roache after having been out for six weeks with a hamstring tear and by the inclusion of Dan Palomeque, an Englishman from Bristol who was having his first game for the Club today, after recently arriving in Sydney.

From the opening whistle UNSW put us under intense pressure and could have scored its first goal in the second minute. A sharp one hand lunge shot by a UNSW forward from three metres out was well saved by Glebe goalkeeper Clark Foster. It was a reflex save.

Five minutes into the game Andrew Cheong made a great run from halfway, beating several defenders with his speed and advanced to the UNSW circle before passing to Aiden Najdzion whose shot at goal went wide. This was a good scoring opportunity for Glebe. A short time later Glebe won a penalty corner. The corner was well executed with Brad getting a hard hit away, but it was well stopped by a UNSW defender. Andrew Cheong was having a strong game in the middle of the field and had the ability to weave his way through the UNSW defence and threaten the UNSW circle. Sid Roache was taking good field position and making himself available to receive the ball from his defenders.

UNSW had the ability to hold the ball for long periods, pass around the back but had trouble penetrating the well organised Glebe defence with fullbacks Adam Campano, Brad Goodridge and Chris Farrugia repelling al that was thrown at them. UNSW looked most likely to score when they broke quickly and spread the ball wide. Chris Farrugia delivered some hard hits down the sideline when under pressure with very few options available. This tactic was very effective in getting Glebe out of hard defence. Chris’ asthma was playing-up, but he still ran strongly, tackled effectively and denied the UNSW forwards any easy options.

The score at the end of the first quarter was Glebe 0 UNSW 0, although the UNSW probably had around 55-60% of the territory.

UNSW was awarded a penalty corner two minutes into the second quarter for a stick obstruction. Max Spalton was getting out to the corner battery quickly and he deflected the direct shot wide of the goal. The UNSW had Glebe under pressure for the first ten minutes of the second quarter, with Glebe having no attacking circle penetrations in this period. Seven minutes into the second quarter Dan Palomeque pulled the ball off the Glebe goal line after Clark Foster made an initial save, The ball seemed to bobble about a metre in front of Glebe goal for ages.

I had the impression that if Glebe were going to score, it would come from a quick break away, and I felt we had the personnel to execute a length of the field goal. The Glebe defence’s passing around the back was purposeful, effective and well executed today. When required the fullback brought the ball to the UNSW forwards before distributing the ball to a teammate positioned out wide and upfield.

Midway through the second quarter the UNSW made a quick break from defence that caught Glebe short of numbers in defence. There were three UNSW forwards to combat for Chris Farrugia and goalkeeper Clark Foster. Chris’ field positioning was perfect and he pressured the UNSW forward forcing him to have the shot from a poor angle, with the ball going wide of the Glebe goal.

Ten minutes into the second quarter UNSW broke down the inside left alley and reached the backline five metres wide of the Glebe right-hand goal post. A UNSW forward quickly tomahawked the ball across the face of the Glebe goal and the ball was deflected into the goal by a UNSW forward standing on the penalty stroke spot. Glebe 0 UNSW 1.

UNSW were awarded its fourth penalty corner with four minutes remaining in the second quarter after a rough Glebe tackle in the circle. From the direct hit left-half Craig Martin pulled off an impressive stick save.

With a minute remaining in the second quarter a UNSW forward broke quickly down the inside right alley and made the top of the Glebe circle. The ball was driven from the top of the Glebe circle to the right-hand post where it was deflected into the Glebe goal from close range. Glebe 0 UNSW 2, which was the score at half-time. The two goals UNSW scored were well worked field goals, with the opportunities crested by fast ball movement.

I thought we had done well to hold UNSW to 0-2 at half-time, as they had had 60% of the territory and twice the number of circle penetrations than we did.

The third quarter started with the UNSW holding the ball well and passing the ball with crisp, hard, effective passes, but Glebe was starting to get into the game and looking more likely to score. The game was an open flowing affair with plenty of end-to-end ball movement. Brad Goodridge used the hard, driven hit down the sideline to good effect. It often relived the pressure on the Glebe defence.

Midway through the third quarter Max Spalton 20 metres inside the Glebe half in the right half alley forced a turn-over and quickly passed the ball up the right-hand sideline to Sid Roache who quickly passed the ball to Simon Wark who ran it into the circle, rode through a couple of would-be tacklers and had a shot for goal that went just wide. This was a very good goal scoring chance for Glebe.

UNSW won several penalty corners in the third quarter but Max Spalton’s running out made life hard for the UNSW corner hitter. The hitter could not get a direct shot away and the rest of the Glebe defenders positioned themselves well to defuse UNSW corner variations.

Ten minutes into the third quarter Adam Campano positioned on the top of the Glebe circle fired a quick ball to Pat Wark at right half 10 metres inside the Glebe half. Pat kept the momentum going and passed a firm, fast, accurate pass to Tony Wark, who passed it on to Sid Roache 10 metres outside the UNSW circle in the inside right alley. Sid sprinted a few metres before passing the ball a flat ball to a fast-advancing Andrew Cheong in the inside left alley. Andrew gathered the ball in, entered the UNSW circle and pushed the ball past the advancing UNSW goalkeeper for a Glebe goal. This was one of the best goals Glebe has scored this year. It was a great team goal. Andrew spirited 50 metres to get on the end of Sid’s final pass.

With three minutes to go in the third quarter UNSW mounted a 60-metre attacking raid down their right hand. The UNSW forward who received the final pass sprinted into the circle with Andrew Cheong in hot pursuit. Andrew forced the UNSW forward wide and the shot when it came went over the top of the goal. Glebe had 50% of the territory in the third quarter and it was Glebe’s best quarter so far in the game.

The score at the end of the third quarter was Glebe 1 UNSW 2. By scoring their goal Glebe had now given themselves a chance to draw or win the game. The game was there for the taking by either team, and Glebe were in it with a rough chance.

The fourth quarter started with Glebe giving as much as it took and making a real game of it. Five minutes into the final quarter Max Spalton passed an early ball to an unmarked Tony Wark a few metres inside the UNSW half in the right-wing alley. Tony sprinted to the backline, ran along the backline and created an excellent scoring opportunity. Unluckily the pass across the face of the UNSW was edged over the backline off a UNSW’s defender’s stick.

A few minutes later Pat Wark had the ball in the inside right alley 20 metres out from the UNSW goal, with a packed defence in front of him. Pat cracked a bullet like pass towards the far post which found Sam Bagley ghosting in towards the UNSW goal mouth. Sam attempted a reverse side deflection into the UNSW goal, with the ball missing the goal by only a centimetre or two. This was a close shave.

With ten minutes to play UNSW broke fast down the right wing and caught Glebe short of numbers in defence. The driven cross by the UNSW winger found an unmarked teammate 5 metres out from the Glebe goal, who tried to deflect the ball into the net. The ball was travelling at speed and he UNSW forward missed the ball completely. This was a let-off for Glebe. The UNSW looked dangerous on the quick counter attack. From the set-piece they did not look like penetrating the tight Glebe defence. Dan Palomeque in the middle of the field was a tower of strength in both attack and defence. Aiden Najdzion was also a work horse in mid-field.

Glebe was playing an attacking game, as they realised a 1-2 loss was not the outcome they wanted. This left a few gaps in defence and five minutes from the final whistle a UNSW forward broke quickly down the right wing, veered into the circle and ran at the Glebe goal. Clark Foster came out to tackle and there was a collision between Clark and the UNSW forward. Somehow, I am not sure of the physics of the situation, the ball managed to trickle into the Glebe goal. Glebe 1 UNSW 3. This sealed the game for UNSW.

With 90 seconds left in the game UNSW was awarded its seventh penalty corner. Again, Max Spalton was fast out, which blocked the direct hit or drag flick option and the corner variation was a hurried affair with the eventual shot going wide of the Glebe goal. The UNSW goal shooter was under pressure from the advancing Glebe defenders.

The final score was Glebe 1 UNSW 3.

This was a much better result than the one I was expecting. Congratulations Glebe on a spirited performance.

Next Saturday’s game to on 2 July 2022 against Manly- Gordon-North Sydney (GNS) is scheduled for 12.30 pm at Cintra Park, Concord.