Tough days for the E’s, B’s and A’s, a hard earned point for the D’s, and good wins for the C’s and Lady Wolves. Here is how a mixed weekend of results unfolded.
The Div 4 sides made the long journey up the freeway to face Murray Bridge sides who were looking to continue their push for titles. In a testing week for player availability, numbers were shorter than normal, and the windy pitch with a slope similar to Lords gave the home side an advantage. In the E Grade Martin Radcliffe in goals was an imposing figure. Frank Maio put the E’s a goal up using the blustery conditions to his advantage with a wonderful curling shot into the top corner from 25 yards. An unlucky clearance and some ricochet’s allowed Murray Bridge to equalise before half time. Out of the blocks from the second half, Murray Bridge used the substantial width of the pitch well, quickly scoring 2 goals to put them 3-2 up. Will Ventura had a penalty saved, but Neo Yao reacted the quickest to tap in the rebound. Alas, it was not enough, with Murray Bridge sealing a 4-2 win.
The D Grade were looking to make amends from the reverse fixture earlier in the year, when Murray Bridge ran out comfortable winners. Without coach Ciano to inspire the team, Emerson Ciccarello took the side, and demanded commitment and teamwork. In the first minute Michael Pannunzio put a challenge in Renzo Rigano would have been proud of, and was lucky to escape without a caution. Murray Bridge dominated possession on their home turf, and without a couple of fantastic saves by Dieter Georg the game may have been over by half time. Emerson Ciccarello and Andrew Talbot moved the ball around well to create a number of opportunities, with Iordan Kostadinov putting a free header wide. Being only 1-0 at the break was a positive, and things soon got better for the D grade with significant better spells of possession and attacking threat. Emerson Ciccarello had a header from a corner disallowed. Murray Bridge were soon reduced to 10 and the D’s pushed on, and Murray Bridge should have been down to 9 players when Iordan got studs across his chest. From the resulting free-kick, OISC won a penalty for a clear handball in the box, which PenCiccarello dispatched confidently. The game finished 1-1, an excellent team effort.
The C Grade started well against Wanderers and got straight on the board, the goal coming from an Adam Kangas cross to Trent Spinelli hot off his four goal haul who headed it into the top right corner. Things then took a dramatic turn as Ryan Dew found his way forward and in trying to cross the ball into the box he confused the keeper and everyone else the result was the ball going into the back of the net for the second. OISC continued to dominate, picking up another goal before the break. After the break the Cooke brothers took centre stage with both Jack and Lewis scoring to make the lead 5 before the Wanderers brought one back. Despite the comfortable scoreline the game took a heated turn with some ugly tackles unsettling the OISC side who took their eye off the ball and let their opposition back in the match as they scored three quick goals to bring the scoreline back to 5-4. Fearing a totally unnecessary loss of points the boys settled and Dewy again popped up putting in his second and giving the opposition a gentle reminder that OISC were going to take the points with a 6-4 victory.
The B Grade started well against a Wanderers side they convincingly defeated in Round 2 and it was the almost move that got them on the board early as Tim Otten put the ball across to Blakey and Tim Pears who sent it back in to Raf Ceravolo whose shot was saved by the keeper. As the half continued both sides had chances to open the scoring, OISC having two good free kicks but both were unable to be converted on the scoreboard. OISC were on the back foot straight out of the break as Wanderers went one ahead which was soon two as a keeping error allowed them to double the advantage. OISC were not playing at their fullest potential but were still creating chances to score but continued to be hampered by a lack of finishing. With 10 to play OISC had a chance to get on the board and the opportunity to take something from the match as Shaun George converted from the spot. However rather than continue to build momentum, poor defending saw OISC concede a third for a disappointing 3-1 defeat.
Similarly the A Grade hoped to repeat their convincing Round 2 victory and were all over Wanderers early; Elias Khoury having an early shot saved. Once again OISC was peppering the goal with relative ease against a hapless Wanderers defence, Nick Penta, Julian Titaro and Adrian Parrella all having more than one chance to get on the board. A penalty shout for handball on a Wanderers defender was also waved away keeping the match level. Frustrated Wanderers were turning their focus from game to player and this allowed OISC to seize the moment as a Titaro free found its way to Gary Dal Broi whose header over the top of the defence put OISC ahead. As the break approached confusion reigned for both sides as Wanderers were awarded a free against keeper Nick Dichiera for 6 seconds, the shot and re-take going not much further than the wall. Straight after another keeper free, this time against the Wanderers keeper for straying outside his box, again OISC were unable to convert. Straight up the other end again Wanderers had a second free and chance to score right before the break but were unable to get any accuracy on their kick. Coming out of the break with a 1-0 lead, OISC seemed to forget that there was 45 minutes still to go as they almost immediately conceded leaving the last defender isolated and helpless to a long kick over the top by the Wanderers keeper to their striker. They could have soon been one up had a goal not been ruled offside. OISC remaining under huge pressure against a Wanderers side who were all over them in every way. Yet again a lack of finishing prohibited OISC from getting back in the match and allowed Wanderers to score twice more to see the A’s slump to a very disappointing 1-3 loss.
On Sunday history was made as Natalia Rossi and Enya Malbon became the first women in OISC history to play 100 games for the club. The early kick-off and heavy conditions against BOSA didn’t seem to affect the girls early on as the ball settled in OISC’s attacking half and scarcely moved out. The opener coming as Eliza Sims rolled the ball to a waiting Christine D’Onofrio at the back post. Shortly after Eliza make the lead two and then Christine soon extended it to three as she put in a Sophie Hlipala corner. After the frenetic opening 15 minutes the game settled down, the ball remaining in OISC’s attacking half but a lack of killer instinct and finishing prohibited the lead from growing any further. In took until the shadows of half time for the fourth goal to come as Tess Keenan put in her first. Much like the first half OISC got the better of the early play in the second; Gabby Parente firing the ball into the box, the ricochet from a BOSA defender landing in the net. Tess was fouled in the box giving OISC a chance to extend their lead, Enya Malbon stepping up in game 100 hoping to avenge her miss from the spot against BOSA earlier in the year but alas the curse was to continue as the shot went wide. Once again the lead had countless opportunities to grow but a lack of finishing again kept the math alive. The sixth goal finally coming as Laura Zanin put the ball into the box; the BOSA keeper who had been outstanding in denying OISC countless opportunities making an error; Eliza there to pick up the goal. In the final minutes Sophie Panousakis was rewarded for another strong performance with her first goal in the 7-0 victory.
Next week the Cup rolls around again with only the A’s and B’s in action. The A Grade are at home on Saturday as they host reigning Sunday Div 1 champions Brahma Lodge (kick-off 2:45pm). On Sunday the B Grade are on the road against Sunday Div 1 leaders Para Hills East from 12:30pm.
President’s Player of the Week
Saving a point in goals for the D Grade against a title contending side, player of the week is Dieter Georg.