BATTLE: Gladdyatahs winger Val Gurskyy battles with Denley midfielder Dave Gibson for possession, during Saturday’s clash.
Last year’s premiers of the Orange over-35s football competition , Gladdyatahs, began their title defence on the weekend with a hard-fought 3-3 draw against Denley.
The previous weekend's start to the season caught Gladdies short of numbers, the side forfeiting to Millthorpe.
There was no shortage of player numbers in Saturday’s clash with Denley, and Gladdies took the early lead when Paul Slingsby put a powerful shot past keeper Pat Driver.
Gladdyatahs missed a series of chances before Denley striker, Harley Smith, opened his account after a one-on-dual with keeper Troy Campbell.
Hayden Trott and Matt Barr combined to stretch the Denley lead to two.
Frustrations mounted for Gladdies with a number of players going into the half-time break with yellow cards.
But the side started the second half the better. Adam Gersbach lobbed a high ball from the top of the box that slipped behind the Denley keeper’s head, to even the score.
Soon after Gladdies' Matt Duffy found the net to give his side the lead.
With match fitness still be found, tired legs and long grass on the Waratahs pitch took its toll on both sides, with chances slipping wide.
In was late in the game before Harley Smith found himself on the end of a Hayden Trott cross, to level the score. The match finishing 3-3.
Meantime, the Millthorpe Tigers have flagged their quality at the start of the season with a 4-1 win over Barnestoneworth United.
With United’s regular keeper Matt Savaro away on international commitments, the Tigers opened up a two-nil lead, before United midfielder Dave Sandercock notched one back to keep his side in the game.
Millthorpe replied with a third, to take a 3-1 lead to the break.
United had a good chance to stay in the running with a penalty awarded in the second half, but Wes ‘Jumpei’ Hartley found the post instead of the net. Millthorpe kept up the pressure and found a fourth to win 4-1.