Cup Weekend saw two tough and hard fought clashes, extra time and some key performances for both the A and B Grades. Here is how Cup Round 3 unfolded.
On Saturday the A Grade faced up to what was on paper a huge assignment against reigning Sunday Div 1 Champions Brahma Lodge at the Superdome. From the first whistle though the boys were not overawed by the occasion and took it up to their much fancied opponents. While it was Brahma who were able to control large swathes of play the OISC defence wasn’t to be denied with Julian Sartoretto, James Buccella and Joelon Covino in particular not to be beaten frustrating the opposition who may have somewhat underestimated their opponents. Through the middle OISC were able to push their case forward; Elias Khoury strong and giving those up front opportunities on goal. At the attacking end OISC were denied by a tall Brahma defence who were able to clear the ball out of the air with relative ease. As half time approached the best chance for the half for either side went begging as a cross into the box found a free Julian Titaro whose header clattered into the crossbar and going over to the relief of the Brahma defence. The 0-0 half time scoreline setting up a big second half for both sides. As the second half began it was OISC again who had the better of the chances with Nick Penta having a golden opportunity to put the A’s ahead but not able to take full toll. With little more than 10 minutes on the clock Brahma finally broke through to beat a couple of defenders and open the scoring. OISC continued to fight hard for the deserved equaliser and had some set piece opportunities to do so but again the tall defence for Brahma paid dividends. At the end OISC was able to take it up to the amateur leagues best but it was Brahma who survived a fright and took the victory and passage to the quarter final.
On Sunday the B Grade headed to Para Hills Oval and were faced with a force 5 hurricane, rain and a Para Hills East side sitting second in Sunday Div 1. The first half a scrappy affair with the ball going end to end with not many clear scoring chances for either side. Despite this the OISC defence had to work hard to repel Easts moves forward, James Santillo and Jason Di Benedetto particularly strong. Going forward the midfield were able to control good passages of play with Sholto Broderick and James Blake causing Easts trouble as was Matt Congedi down the left wing; providing much of the service when going forward. The second half began in increasingly slippery conditions as the rain set in, the ball settling early on Easts attacking half, keeper Emerson Ciccarello called upon to make a big save to flick the ball around the post. Taking the ball up the other end OISC had an opportunity to go ahead before Easts did as they converted a penalty. Determined to keep themselves in the match OISC continued to press with Dos finding Curtis close to goal who was able to slot the ball across goal and into the corner to bring the match back on level terms. Neither side was able to create further opportunities seeing the match end regulation time locked at 1-1 forcing it into extra time. The first period of extra time was not able to produce any further goals as OISC began to tire. In the second period of extra time things began to come undone for OISC as Easts scored the key goal prior to OISC being reduced to 10 men. In the closing stages 92 game veteran Daniel Rossi was introduced off the bench for game number 93, a game it has taken since season 2013 to chalk up. OISC had one final opportunity to score with a D Rossi corner whipped in but not able to be converted to see Easts take the match and passage 2-1.
Next week all men’s sides return to action at the Superdome with the A/B/C Grades playing host to Stirling while Southern Breakers make the long trip from the south coast to face the D and E Grades. The Lady Wolves continue in their mid-season break.
President’s Player of the Week
Not to be beaten in the air against a powerful attacking force it goes to Julian Sartoretto.