Mixed outcomes for Balclutha football teams
The Balclutha men’s first eleven moved to the top of Otago’s 2nd division on Saturday with a 4-3 win over Dunedin Technical at De Carle Park in Dunedin.
It looked like Balclutha was going to make light work of the division leaders when Jack Barraclough bagged a goal from a penalty and then added another in the first 30 minutes.
The men in red soon lost the 2-0 advantage. With a fightback, Technical scored two in five minutes with a curling shot from outside of the area and a penalty of their own to go into the sheds level at halftime.
Technical took the lead just after the break. Up stepped man of the match, Jack Barraclough, with another two goals, thanks to great assists from Danny Simmonds.
Balclutha captain Matt Morahan described the win as proof that champion teams do not fold at the first setback.
Coach Pete Honnan was a little more circumspect, and recognised the huge target that leading the division puts on their backs and the hard work needed from here to retain the title.
Meanwhile, the second XI went close in a performance that continues to give the club and coach, Dave Hunter, a lot of hope for the season.
With the scores tied nil-all at halftime the opposition, Green Island, opened the scoring but the result was soon level again when Jesse Maher hit the back of the net.
With Clutha having chances to take the lead, tragedy struck with two minutes left, when Green Island scrambled a last- minute winner.
Man of the match for Clutha was the goalkeeper Marty Hayward.
The women’s team had their second loss of the season.
With a number of players unavailable or unwell, it was a gutsy performance but it was always going to be a tough ask against a very good Northern side.
The Gardens ground is rumoured to be New Zealand’s steepest football pitch, and playing uphill is always difficult, so we were three nil down at halftime.
Despite dominating the second half, we conceded again.
Two late goals from Victoria de Filippi added some respectability, and the game finished at 4-2.
Player of the match was Louise Deverson.
‘‘Champion teams do not fold at the first setback.’’
Balclutha’s Victoria de Filippi showed her class against a tough northern side, with two late goals.