Article and Photos by Michael Shillito

A week of wet weather played havoc with the scheduling for Sydney footy. Two Premier Division games, plus plenty of other games through the divisions, had to be moved to alternate venues. And all grounds felt some effect of the weather, while players in the Saturday games had to deal with wet and slippery conditions which made ball-handling difficult and affected the skill levels on the park.
But although the forecast for Sunday was for more rain, the sun came out and the Sunday games were played in drier conditions. And with Blacktown Olympic Park’s excellent drainage system, conditions were good for the clash between North Shore and Campbelltown. The Bombers came into the game looking to end a 2-match losing streak, while the Blues had an opportunity to move into the top 5.

Racing out of the blocks early, North Shore set themselves up with a dominant first quarter display. In the second minute, Lachlan Pryor capitalised on a defensive turnover and a lucky bounce saw the Bombers record the opening goal. A double to Anthony Lowes, the first after marking a centreing cross from Sam Carruthers and the second after being on the end of a pass from Brendan Fitzgerald after the number 7 made a strong run through the centre. Lachlan Clancy added the fourth as the clock ticked into time-on, and the Bombers were on their way to a 23-point lead at the first change.
The second quarter was a shootout, both sides putting on an exhibition of open, fast-moving and attacking footy. Adrian Harry was on the board after 11 seconds of the start of the quarter, receiving the centre break and bombing the ball long for a goal; and it would set the tone for the quarter. But when North Shore looked like building a lead, the Blues fought back; a run of three goals in a row midway through the quarter cutting the margin back to 16 points. But just when the Blues looked a chance to get back into the contest, another turnover across the half-back line resulted in another Pryor goal. And worse was to come for the Blues when captain Shanan Kershaw found himself banished to the sin bin shortly before half-time. The Bombers scored 6 goals to 5 for the quarter, to lead by 28 points at the long break.

If the Blues were to get back into the contest, they would need to step up and be counted in the premiership quarter. But instead it was an explosive burst by the Bombers that would put the game out of reach. Four goals in the first six minutes of the quarter, three of them coming on the run as the Bombers were backing themselves from long distance after evading any Campbelltown tackling efforts, was a run that virtually sealed the game. Although the Bomber run slowed from there, they still managed a run of 7 goals to 2 for the quarter; and the premiership points were destined to return to Gore Hill.
By the last quarter, the sting had gone out of the game; but the attacking flair was still there in another high-scoring shootout. 6 goals to 5 for the quarter saw the Bombers comfortably take out a 68-point win. And love was in the air, with a marriage proposal appearing on the scoreboard.
North Shore shared the goal-scoring honours around, with 13 Bombers scoring goals for the game. Kerryn Hughes, Ben Attwood and Lachlan Pryor kicked 3 goals apiece, while Hughes, Adrian Harry and Teddy Strudwick were among the Bombers’ best. For Campbelltown, the quick-running Matt Edwins was magnificent with 5 goals, while Chris Jordan and Matt Keys were also key performers for the Blues. The result leaves North Shore with a share of the competition lead, but for the Blues the opportunity to move into the top 5 went begging.

Balmain Dockers finally broke through for their first win of 2010 when they defeated UNSW-ES by 13 points. With Drummoyne Oval closed, the match was transferred to Blacktown No 2 oval, the first Premier Division game to be held on the second Blacktown ground.
The Bulldogs had more scoring shots than the Dockers in the first term, but superior accuracy enabled the Dockers to lead by 9 points at the first change; a lead which extended to 17 at the long break. Holding a lead at half time, the Dockers sensed an opportunity and played their best football for the year in the third term. Confidence was growing as the Dockers seized the momentum, a run of six goals to two putting the game out of UNSW-ES’s reach. And although the Bulldogs fought back in the last term, the damage was done and the premiership points would go to Balmain.
Nick Davis continued his return to form with a bag of 6 goals, while Janis Blums, Nick Todd and Rohan Bates were among their best. Brad Abbott fought gamely for the Bulldogs for a return of 8 goals, while Ben Woods and Tim Garrett were prominent ball-winners. It’s been a forgettable season for Balmain until now, with some floggings dished out and their under 18s forced to withdraw; but at last the Dockers have some good news to report and something that gives them a chance to build some momentum and salvage this season. But it was bad news for the Bulldogs, who find themselves languishing in 8th position and hopes of a finals appearance are in serious danger of fading away.

It didn’t take long for Wollongong’s hopes of turning their first win of the season into a winning streak to be dashed; after they were jumped at the start by Wests and were never in the contest. The twilight game at Henson Park on Saturday saw the Magpies race out of the blocks, with six unanswered goals in the first quarter and by half time the lead was out to 56 points. And although the goal-scoring rate slowed slightly in the second half, there was never any chance of the Lions getting back into the contest. The final winning margin of 88 points was a reflection of Wests’ dominance.
The Magpies had too many targets up forward, with Daryn Creswell, Matt Eurell and Chris Lees all helping themselves to five goals. Kevin Cochrane, Chris Lees and the Linsen brothers got plenty of possession all day. Daniel McClure kicked 3 of Wollongong’s 5 goals, while Joshua Lewis and Beau Black were among their best. The result gives the Magpies a share of top spot, while the Lions remain stranded on one win for the season to date.

East Coast Eagles held their annual “Back to Baulko Day” at Bruce Purser on Saturday evening, bringing back the old Falcons jumpers for their clash in the Hills derby against Pennant Hills. And it was the Eagles who dominated from start to finish to take the honours by 57 points.
Wet conditions and a stiff breeze made scoring difficult, and although the Eagles clearly had the better of play in the first quarter, it took them time to adapt to the conditions and a return of 3.9 for the quarter prevented them from achieving full reward for effort. But the Eagles’ forwards found their radar in the second term, and even though the Eagles were without Jon and Jamie Vlatko, a return of 6 goals to 1 the margin had blown out to 50 points at the long break. From there, the sting had largely been taken out of the contest and the Eagles cruised home to victory.
Peter Dugmore and Stephen O’Connor kicked 3 goals apiece for the Eagles, who were well served around the ground by Damien Bowles, Daniel Spiteri and Jack Dimery. For the Demons, Matthew Carey and Kieran Wright were among their best. The result sees the Eagles maintain their imposing percentage and keep top spot on the ladder, but the Demons were forced to rely on other results to stay in the top 5.

Sydney Uni No 1 Oval was out of action over the weekend, so Sunday’s match between the Students and St George was transferred to Henson Park. But the loss of home ground advantage didn’t do any harm to the Students’ chances, as they got off to a quick start to set up a lead they would maintain for the remainder of the match. Five goals to one in the opening quarter gave the Students a 27-point advantage; and the Dragons were unable to find any way to get back into the contest.
The Dragons tried hard in the middle two quarters, and restricted the Students to just two goals. But for all their hard work they only managed 4 goals themselves and the margin was still 19 points at the last change. And a 3-goal haul to the Students in the last term dashed any hopes the Dragons may have had of pulling off an unlikely victory.
Alex Lee scored 4 goals and Andrew Kraefft 3 for the Students, solid returns on a day when goals were worth their weight in gold. Glenn Stevens, Tim Barton and Jess McGuirk were among the Students’ best. For the Dragons, Steven Klein and Robert Lombardo worked hard all day. The result ensured Sydney Uni would be in a 4-way tie for top of the ladder; but for St George, the winning streak is over and an opportunity to enter the top 5 for the first time this season was unable to be taken.

North Shore 4.1 10.3 17.9 23.13 (151)
Campbelltown 0.2 5.5 7.6 12.11 (83)
Goals : North Shore –
K Hughes 3, B Attwood 3, L Pryor 3, C MacKinnon 2, A Lowes 2, T Strudwick 2, L Clancy 2, J Houlihan, J Cole, A Harry, K Tangney, S Carruthers, C Murphy. Campbelltown – M Edwins 5, L McWhirter 2, D Chivas 2, R Bottin-Noonan, O Love, J Bottin-Noonan.
Best : North Shore – K Hughes, A Harry, T Strudwick, S Carruthers, R Meldrum, C Murphy. Campbelltown – C Jordan, M Edwins, M Keys, L McWhirter, C Fretwell, R Bottin-Noonan.
At Blacktown Olympic Park, Sunday 30th May 2010.

Balmain Dockers 5.1 9.4 15.5 17.5 (107)
UNSW-ES 3.4 6.5 8.7 14.10 (94)
Goals : Balmain –
N Davis 6, J Blums 3, N Fosdike 2, C Reichman 2, A Azhar, D Brian, C Fletcher, N Todd. UNSW-ES – B Abbott 8, L Lavery 2, B Woods 2, M Collett 2.
Best : Balmain – J Blums, N Todd, R Bates, C Fletcher, J Farrell, R Gordon. UNSW-ES – B Woods, T Garrett, J Kiel, B Abbott, O Sidlo-Jones, E Shaw.
At Blacktown Olympic Park No 2, Saturday 29th May 2010.

Western Suburbs 6.5 11.6 14.11 19.12 (126)
Wollongong 0.1 2.4 3.4 5.8 (38)

Goals : Wests – D Creswell 5, M Eurell 5, C Lees 5, R Lilly, K Cochrane, M Withers, L Roehrig. Wollongong – D McClure 3, M Picken, J Daniher.
Best : Wests – K Cochrane, C Lees, D Linsen, M Linsen, L Roehrig, D Creswell. Wollongong – J Lewis, B Black, J Daniher, S Dowling, K Ewen-Chappell, J Ayre.
At Henson Park, Saturday 29th May 2010.

East Coast Eagles 3.9 9.10 13.14 15.15 (105)
Pennant Hills 1.0 2.2 4.2 7.6 (48)
Goals : East Coast –
P Dugmore 3, S O’Connor 3, B Rogers 2, D Bowles 2, D Spiteri 2, R Silvester, M Beardsley, P Vlatko. Pennant Hills – N Bills 2, B Jack, J Mobbs, D De Looze, L Bilbe, N Wright.
Best : East Coast – D Bowles, D Spiteri, J Dimery, S O’Connor, M Beardsley, S Ryan. Pennant Hills – M Carey, K Wright, J Trestrail, A Goodall, J Low, M McCamey.
At Bruce Purser Oval, Saturday 29th May 2010.

Sydney University 5.5 6.7 7.10 10.15 (75)
St George 1.2 3.3 5.3 7.5 (47)
Goals : Sydney Uni –
A Lee 4, A Kraefft 3, A McConnochie, T Barton, T Elkington. St George – T Cole 2, D Rixon 2, J Shineberg 2, B Addison.
Best : Sydney Uni – G Stevens, T Barton, J McGuirk, A Lee, A McConnochie, B Mankarious. St George – S Klein, R Lombardo, R Talbot, T Cole, J Whyte, D Ryan.
At Henson Park, Sunday 30th May 2010.

East Coast Eagles
North Shore
Western Suburbs
Sydney University
Pennant Hills
St George

First Division:
Western Suburbs 10.11 (71) d Wollongong 6.9 (45)
East Coast Eagles 10.5 (65) d Pennant Hills 7.12 (54)
Manly-Warringah v UNSW-ES – postponed
UTS 15.16 (106) d North Shore 4.6 (30)
Macquarie Uni 14.10 (94) d Sydney Uni 7.3 (45)
Ladder (Match Ratio) – Manly-Warringah (100, 194.61%), UTS (87.5, 261.15%), Sydney Uni (75, 151.26%), Macquarie Uni (75, 150.57%), North Shore (50, 120.55%), East Coast (37.5, 96.95%), Pennant Hills (37.5, 72.48%), Wests (25, 48.04%), Wollongong (12.5, 54.99%), UNSW-ES (0, 42.33%).

Second Division:
Balmain Dockers 15.13 (103) d UNSW-ES 9.6 (60)
Holroyd-Parramatta 14.11 (95) d NorWest Jets 12.9 (81)
Southern Power 12.16 (88) d UTS 5.3 (33)
Manly-Warringah v Camden – postponed
Sydney Uni 7.9 (51) d St George 3.13 (31)
Ladder (Match Ratio) – Southern Power (100, 273.29%), UTS (87.5, 189.13%), Holroyd-Parramatta (75, 142.70%), Sydney Uni (62.5, 121.83%), Camden (42.86, 64.22%), NorWest (37.5, 103.61%), Balmain (37.5, 61.42%), Manly-Warringah (28.57, 66.39%), St George (12.5, 69.54%), UNSW-ES (12.5, 55.17%).

Third Division:
Southern Power 11.5 (71) d UTS 6.11 (47)
East Coast 9.9 (63) d Pennant Hills 6.9 (45)
Penrith 18.15 (123) d Campbelltown 6.4 (40)
Moorebank Sports 16.18 (114) d Holroyd-Parramatta 3.4 (22)
Macquarie Uni 13.12 (90) d Sydney Uni 6.10 (46)
Ladder (Match Ratio) – Moorebank Sports (87.5, 282.25%), Penrith (75, 197.41%), UTS (62.5, 157.08%), Macquarie Uni (62.5, 124.31%), Southern Power (62.5, 110.00%), East Coast (57.14, 134.56%), Campbelltown (37.5, 62.67%), Holroyd-Parramatta (25, 40.12%), Sydney Uni (14.29, 43.76%), Pennant Hills (12.5, 46.60%).

Fourth Division:
Auburn 12.15 (87) d Sydney Uni 6.10 (46)
UNSW-ES 6.12 (48) d Southern Power 6.6 (42)
Mac Uni Kookas 8.5 (53) d UTS 7.7 (49)
NorWest Jets 8.5 (53) d Mac Uni Warriors 7.10 (52)
Penrith 5.9 (39) d Saints AFC 4.4 (28)
Manly-Warringah v Camden - postponed
Moorebank Sports 21.10 (146) d Holroyd-Parramatta 0.0 (0)
Ladder (Match Ratio) – Auburn (100, 365.45%), Mac Uni Warriors (75, 321.01%), Penrith (75, 101.09%), Manly-Warringah (71.43, 179.60%), Saints AFC (62.5, 206.81%), Moorebank Sports (62.5, 200.85%), UTS (57.14, 183.62%), Sydney Uni (50, 100.36%), NorWest (37.5, 58.45%), Mac Uni Kookas (33.33, 37.54%), Southern Power (28.57, 69.89%), UNSW-ES (25, 43.54%), Camden (14.29, 45.33%), Holroyd-Parramatta (0, 11.57%)

Under 18s Premier:
East Coast Eagles 13.8 (86) d Pennant Hills 8.6 (54)
UNSW-ES d Campbelltown – forfeit
St Ignatius Riverview 5.10 (40) d North Shore 5.8 (38)
Western Suburbs 11.11 (77) d Wollongong 8.7 (55)
Sydney University 17.12 (114) d St George 9.3 (57)
Ladder (Match Ratio) – North Shore (80, 173.77%), Pennant Hills (71.43, 179.02%), Sydney Uni (66.67, 202.07%), St George (66.67, 108.21%), East Coast (60, 181.45%), St Ignatius Riverview (57.14, 134.77%), UNSW-ES (42.86, 83.18%), Wollongong (40, 88.36%), Wests (28.57, 65.44%), Campbelltown (0, 8.91%).

Under 18s Challenge:
Penrith 16.16 (112) d East Coast 3.3 (21)
Moorebank Sports 10.9 (69) d Holroyd-Parramatta 8.8 (56)
Manly-Warringah v Macquarie Uni – postponed
Ladder (Match Ratio) – Penrith (100, 953.70%), Southern Power (66.67, 138.18%), Holroyd-Parramatta (50, 117.99%), Manly-Warringah (50, 97.41%), Macquarie Uni (40, 46.23%), Moorebank Sports (28.57, 85.94%), East Coast (28.57, 42.44%).

NEXT WEEK’S FIXTURES (Lurker’s Kiss of Death in bold):
Saturday 5th June
Blacktown Olympic Park – Pennant Hills v North Shore (2:10pm)
Monarch Oval – Campbelltown v Sydney University (2:10pm)
Olds Park – St George v Balmain Dockers (2:10pm)
Village Green – UNSW-ES v Western Suburbs (2:30pm)
North Dalton Oval – Wollongong v East Coast Eagles (6:10pm)

First Division
Saturday 5th June
Blacktown Olympic Park – Pennant Hills v North Shore (12pm)
Village Green – UNSW-ES v Western Suburbs (12:30pm)
Trumper Park – UTS v Sydney Uni (2:10pm)
North Dalton Oval – Wollongong v East Coast Eagles (4pm)
University Oval – Macquarie Uni v Manly-Warringah (5:10pm)

Second Division
Saturday 5th June
Village Green - UNSW-ES v NorWest Jets (10:30am)
Olds Park – St George v Balmain Dockers (12pm)
Trumper Park – UTS v Sydney University (12pm)
Harrington Park – Camden v Southern Power (2:10pm)
Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v Manly-Warringah (2:30pm)

Third Division
Saturday 5th June
Trumper Park – UTS v Sydney Uni (10am)
Monarch Oval – Campbelltown v Southern Power (12pm)
Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v East Coast (12:30pm)
Greygums Oval – Penrith v Moorebank Sports (2:10pm)
University Oval – Macquarie Uni v Pennant Hills (3pm)

Fourth Division
Friday 4th June
University Oval – Auburn v Mac Uni Kookas (7:15pm)
Saturday 5th June
Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v Manly-Warringah (10:30am)
Greygums Oval – Penrith v Moorebank Sports (12pm)
Harrington Park – Camden v Southern Power (12pm)
University Oval – Mac Uni Warriors v UTS (1pm)
St Pauls Oval – Sydney Uni v NorWest Jets (2pm)
Pioneers Park – Saints AFC v UNSW-ES (2:10pm)

Under 18s Premier
Saturday 5th June
Village Green – UNSW-ES v Western Suburbs (8:30am)
Blacktown Olympic Park – Pennant Hills v North Shore (10am)
Monarch Oval – Campbelltown v Sydney University (10am)
North Dalton Oval – Wollongong v East Coast Eagles (2pm)
St George and St Ignatius Riverview have the bye.

Under 18s Challenge
Saturday 5th June
Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v Manly-Warringah (8:30am)
Greygums Oval – Penrith v Moorebank Sports (10am)
Sunday 6th June
Bruce Purser Oval – East Coast Eagles v Southern Power (3pm)
Macquarie Uni has the bye.