On 26 July 2012, NSW Bar FC played Ausgrid, currently placed second on the leader-board and anxious to maintain that position in the run-up to the finals.
Free made good on his (repeated) promises and provided much-needed backbone to the mid-section and in attack. He was ably complemented by the skills of season debutante Afshar. NSW Bar FC also welcomed back this week Patch who, in his first game of the season, staked a claim for the Golden Boot award.
First blood was drawn by Mahony, who, in steadfast defence of her line made inadvertent but nevertheless punishing contact with the nose of an opponent which saw him limping from the field of play.
Notwithstanding the relative youth and vitality of our opponents, it was a fairly even contest with Ausgrid scoring first, two thirds into the first term from, on any view of it (and certainly the view of this correspondent, who was superbly placed to judge), an offside position. NSW Bar FC responded quickly and decisively minutes later, with Patch (lurking with intent) converting from a brilliant pass delivered with pinpoint accuracy by Free across the goal face.
With the score at 1-1 leading into the second half, uncharacteristic confusion between Jackson and Kuklik (in goal) as to whether a ball constituted an intentional back-pass saw Ausgrid scoring the softest of goals to take the lead at about the midpoint of the second term. Undeterred, NSW Bar FC made repeated incursions into Ausgrid territory to be cruelly denied time and again. Persistence however, was justly rewarded with Free awarded (an aptly named) free-kick well within striking distance. Free brilliantly converted, beating a wall of stunned defenders to find the top left corner of the back of the net in a scene reminiscent of âBend it like Beckhamâ to even up the tally.
Inspired by the equaliser, Afshar had one final tilt with seconds to go with a punishing hit unfortunately making contact with the near upright.
Special mention should be made of Fordham playing uncharacteristically on the left wing causing all manner of grief (as only he can) to unsuspecting defenders, Philips, who had his usual solid performance as sweeper and McCarthy, who was dogged in defence.
The result, a respectable to 2-2 draw but with NSW Bar FC, on balance, having the edge.
Next game v Corrs
Our next game is against fifth placed Corrs on Thursday, 2 August 2012 at 1.15 pm.
With only 4 games left in the seasonï¿½Bar FCï¿½need every win ifï¿½they are to retain any prospect of a semi-finals berth.
27 July 2012