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Balgownie came through with a two-nil win on Sunday, fending off an aggressive Warilla outfit.
The hot conditions at Elizabeth Park made for a war of attrition between the sides, neither of who were able to find the net in the first half.
Warilla came out firing from the first ten minutes, with a couple of early strikes only just missing their mark. The Warilla defenders attacked the ball with gusto, and their forwards were able to find space and momentum as a result of the work done at the back, particularly by Adam Martin who left the Balgownie forwards with very few options in the first quarter.
While Warilla made numerous attacking runs in the later stages of the first half, Balgownie were much more patient, choosing to move the ball up the wing and sound out the Warilla defence before retreating to mid-field.
With the score at half-time resting at nil-all, Warilla looked as if they might score at any moment when they came on the second half and resumed their all-out attack on the Balgownie goal.
Balgownie remained steady despite the onslaught, defending well and only playing the ball forward when given enough space by the relentless Warilla defence.
But as the game wore on, Warilla began to wear out in the heat, and while they kept up their aggression admirably, their precision suffered and their forwards found themselves giving away more and more free-kicks.
Balgownie’s opportunity came around the 50th minute, when a careless tackle handed them a penalty directly in front of Warilla’s goal. Mitch Hoswell did the honours and put Balgownie one-nil up.
With their attacking strategy failing to produce results, and the conditions taking their toll, the offensive strength of Warilla began to fray, especially when Luke Greathead found himself with his third yellow-card and was sent off.
With ten minutes remaining, Balgownie looked to simply remain composed and see their narrow lead out to final whistle. Their patience in the first half left them a little more in the tank than Warilla, whose attempts at goal, while close, were becoming more and more disjointed.
Balgownie on the other hand, looked to be growing in confidence, right up until the final minutes of the match when, thanks to some stellar footwork, Jake Boyle put the ball past Warilla’s keeper to leave the score two-nil at the final whistle.
Balgownie – 2 (Hoswell, Boyle)
Warilla – 0
Sunday 6th of March, 2016
Referee – Blake Hebert
Assistants – Emma Hayes, Nathan Wotton
Balgownie - Westman, Dubb, Timpano, Veney, Keaton, Dummett, Hoswell, Katsoudas, D. Vardareff, Saverino, A. Vardareff (Boyle, McAuley, Dorahy)
Warilla – Hunter, Goldsmith, Martin, Greathead, Haggnaar, Everingham, Gaffney, Keating, Jankvolski, Butcher, Montalbano (Lee, Inskip, Anastonski, McIntosh)
Photo and story by Oliver Chaseling