NSW Premier League Match Day 3 report from the Taipans
Match Day 3 saw us welcome league leaders Inner West All Stars to Wollongong. Buoyed by their performance the previous week which saw them take 24 points off of last year’s champions, City Sydney Eagles, it would take a monumental effort from the Taipans to get anything out of the day. But it’s early days in our quest to stay in the Premiere League and we are not going to write the season off just yet.
Following a very entertaining display given by the two side’s academy teams it was time for the 12 Boys to get started. Unfortunately our local Football Association had decided to hold SAP trials at the same time as we were due to play, and although exemptions were given to Taipan players, they did not all trust this. So once again we started the day without a full squad. Having said that, both teams set about playing some fast incisive futsal. An evenly fought first half had the boys all equal at 1-1. More nip and tuck in the second half and this game really could have gone any way, unfortunately for the south coast boys it was a solitary goal from Inner West that gave the All Stars the points in a close 1-2 victory. The Taipan scorer was Joel King.
Given both teams previous results the 12’s Girls was a non-contest with Inner West sitting firmly at the top of the table averaging 10 goals a game, whilst the young South Coast girls are sitting at the opposite end of the table and still looking for their fist point. As the teams took to the court, as with many of our games so far in the Premier League, it became apparent that there must be growth hormones in the water in Sydney. The Inner West girls are big, quick and skilful, but the Taipans did not lie down. Down 1-5 at halftime, some much improved defending saw a much closer second half with the girls finally succumbing 2-8. Finding the net for the Taipans was Taylor Hardgrave and Danika Matos.
Both 14’s Boys sides went into this encounter undefeated and the Taipans were hoping that this would be chance for us to pick up some valuable championship points in our fight for survival in this division. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as once again we were out-fought by a bigger, stronger and experienced side. At this level we are fast discovering that chances have to be taken and every mistake will be punished. The later was the tale of this game as the All Stars capitalised on Taipan indecision. A score of 0-5 at halftime turned to 0-8 at fulltime as our boys could find no answer to the All Stars performance.
The Taipan 14’s Girls, like a lot of our sides, are still trying to come to terms with the pace of the Premier League and the phisical strength required. As with the 12’s Girls, the Inner West 14’s sit proudly at the top of the league and previous to today have only conceded one goal, whilst the Taipans are still looking for their first win. And so the game panned out as the experiened All Star side set about their business. A lead of 1-4 at halftime became a 1-6 victory at fulltime for the quality Inner West side. A very good allround performance was capped off with a goal for Courtney Riordan.
It was second plays eighth in the 16 Boys with only goal difference keeping the All Stars off of top spot, and they were obviously out to address that little issue today. It’s at this age group where the speed, physicality and difference in Premier League experience really comes to the fore, and although there is no doubting the individual football ability of Russell Crighton’s team, the club knows that it will take a little longer than three rounds for the side to compete at this level. 0-4 at halftime became 2-9 at fulltime, but to the Taipans credit they gave it their all and did not let their heads go down. They know they played a very good side. The Taipan scorers were Nathan Sutcliffe and Sam Chamberlain.
Taipan’s 16 Girls are improving each week and coach Craig Chapman knows it’s only a matter of time before it all clicks into place for he’s young side. An excellent display from both sides led to a very entertaining game with the only difference between the sides being three Inner West goals that the unfortunate South Coast girls seemed to have a hand in all. 0-2 at halftime became 0-3 after an extremely close second half. It was a good performance from the girls and one from which they go forward with confidence.
In the Youth Men Inner West really are the All Stars as they sit confidently at the top of the league, but our boys know on their day they can give anyone a run for their money and hopefully a chance to display how good they are against the star studded All Stars is just what they need to kick start their season. And so it transpired as the Taipans finally found the sought of form that saw them do so well in the Super League last year. Matching their illustrious opponents blow for blow it was two cases of clinical finishing that separated the sides at halftime 0-2. The second half saw more of the same as both sides managed to find the back of the net with the final score 1-3. The Taipans scorer was Nathan Scicchitano. Coach April Van Woerkom will now look to add to the squad with the news that last year’s captain, Sam Davies, is out for the season with a knee injury.
Colin Van Woerkom was back in charge of Taipan Women as they also looked to take on a star studded side from Inner West. Once again experience at this level shone through as the All Stars took control of the game in front of the WIN TV cameras. To the credit of the South Coast girls they kept going and gave a good account of themselves. Still unable to field a full squad, once again they called on the services of the sixteen girls.
And so to the Open Mens game and the sigings of Alvin Cecoli and Ricky Zucco certainly had the desired effect off the court as the WIN TV cameras and a large crowd of spectators arrived to see how the Premier League stars would handle the top level of futsal along side seasoned players like Peter Gaffney. The Taipans got off to just the start they wanted as a low left foot strike from Gaffney found the back of the net quickly followed by a great effort from Ceccoli made it two nil to the home side. Some indefferent defending allowed the All Sars back in the game to go in 2-1 at halftime. Soon into the second half the All Stars found the equaliser and it was game on. The new Taipans always looked threatening up front and got the lead back when Gaffney again put away his chance. Unfortunately the boys inexperience was exposed as some controversial refereeing desicions appeared to break their concentration allowing the All Stars to capitalise. Inner West running out final winners 3-5. The signs were promising for April and the lads and with Sammy Mehrkavari still to return, she can be confident in turning things around.
Congratulations to Inner West, their capture of all 27 points highlights the gulf in experience between the two sides, but we will and are getting better. Next week sees us travelling off to Dural to take on the mighty Warriors where we hope to see some of these improved performances turned into points.
Following today’s games the Taipans returned to the City Diggers club in Wollongong for a get together and present player of the month awards. A great evening was had by all those that attended and the winners were:
- Academy Toby Drain
- 12 Boys Nathan Maljonovski
- 12 Girls Danika Matos
- 14 Boys Mitch Evans
- 14 Girls Keely Dodd
- 16 Boys James Brodnik
- 16 Girls Natalie Rajnsz
- Youth Men Mitch Del Turco
- Women Elyse Finlayson
- Men Peter Gaffney
Next Award evening Saturday November 12th 07:00 City Diggers.