United win, to secure C-grade semi spot. Denley overun by Blayney
Going into the last round in 3rd position, a semi final berth in the top division of C grade was anything but assured for Barnies United over 35s.
Team statistician and Barnies president Wayne Stephens laid it bare for the team in the lead up to the match : A win and only a win, would guarantee a spot in the semis.
As the results got tallied over the weekend, it turns out he was right.
Barnies took to the field against CYMS Gold with a couple of reserves which were sorely needed.
Barnies lost keeper Matt Savaro with a leg injury midway through the first half and Andy Maguire donned the gloves. The keeper was changed again in the second half, following an arm injury to Chris Jacobs. This time Mick Carpenter, who himself has been on the injury list for several weeks, took over goal keeping duties, allowing Maguire to step back out into the field.
As for the game, the first half was a tight tussle between both teams. CYMS Gold had the best opportunity to go one up, when a shot from 5 yards out into an open goal was somehow sprayed wide. So wide, it almost went for a throw in. 0-0 at half time.
CYMS Gold were playing solid football with the effervescent Ben Churchland running all over the park to direct the traffic. CYMS were rewarded with a goal after pouncing on a loose ball at the back following a collision with the Barnies keeper.
With their backs to the wall and a semis spot now in jeopardy, Barnies hit back shortly afterwards following some delightful lead up play from David Sandercock and Brett Hazzard, who presented a chance to Andy Holmes.
Holmes turned nicely on the ball and struck into the top right corner. The CYMS keeper could only watch as the ball sailed into the back of the net.
Barnies knew that a draw wouldn’t be enough to maintain 3rd spot and pushed for the win. Nigel Hobden found some space down the right wing and majestically floated the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net from distance, securing the win and a spot in the semis.
Barnies United will now take on Millthorpe in next week's minor semi final.Tigers go into the game full of confidence after a 10-0 win over Kinross.
The Cowra and Blayney teams were unlucky not to make the top flight semis, with only 2 competition points separating 3rd and 6th spots.
Cowra will now play Blayney in the Division Two major semi.
Cowra warmed up with a 4-0 win over Brighouse.
Blayney showed their class with a 5-1 win over Denley who forgot how to pass, showing the impact of :
their injury-depleted ranks
badly-timed family holidays interstate
A-Grade United's determination to swipe its keeper
sore bones at the end of the season, and
Blayney not having an A or B grade side and therefore cramming so many, many young and fast players into the C-grade comp who could turn on a dime and then slot a neat rocket behind keeper Pat Driver before he could blink, in an otherwise good performance. And, yes Blayney have beaten both United and Denley in recent weeks.
Denley will take on CYMS Gold in the Division Two minor semi.
The winner of that game (or the next) will still have to figure out a way of beating Blayney..... Chainsaws? Cholera? Favourable evidence at parole hearings?
Brighouse will play Tahs Mariners in the Division Three semi.