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The Rock-itt : August 2011
minutes later Colin Iley got a second from a delightful Balderstone through ball. The presence of former Sydney FC and Mari- ners forward Sash Pe- trovski couldn’t save the South Coasters and they were on the ropes as half time arrived. It did take until the hour for Manly to make it 3-1, Michael Daly squeezing in from close range. Justin Hayward laid on a short pass so Robbie Cattenach could tap in for the fourth on 79 minutes and the game was won, we were off to the Final!!! Coach Craig Midgley said; ““I thought we got off to a terrible start because it took us four hours to get here from Sydney! The boys started fine and got out of the traps really early. From minute one they were superb tonight; I can’t fault any one of them as they all put a massive amount of effort in. It could have been four or five goals by half time if it weren’t for the crossbar and the post, but I’m just so happy to see a bunch of young lads go out play like that tonight.” Craig was asked about Waratah Cup Final opponents giant-killers Mounties Wanderers and he said; “I do know they don’t stop winning, we’ve been keeping an eye on their results, and they’re scoring goals without con- ceding many. Obviously with our boys in the final we’ll be the favour- ites because they are a division lower, but we won’t underestimate them.” Before United could get to the Final it was back to League football and another huge game against runa- way League leaders Sydney Olym- pic at their Belmore stadium. W e thought the game against the Stal- lions was the game of the season little did we foresee what was to happen at Belmore. Manly signalled their intentions in the first five minutes with a couple of near miss- es. Olympic got frustrated because they couldn’t hold on to possession and in the 24th minute Robbie Cat- tenach latched on to a ball that had evaded Olympic defender Jerry Ka- louris and volleyed United ahead. The si- lence was deafening, the Olympic support- ers couldn’t believe that their team was being held out to dry. They had worse to come when on 34 minutes Matt Sim went on a mazy run through the Olympic de- fence finishing up with a 20 yard screamer into the back of the Olympic net. Goal of the season??? I think so! Olympic came out stronger in the second half but Manly kept their composure except when defender Jimmy Oates tried to head a ball out for a corner only to see it lope over Dylan Mitchell’s despairing arms and into the net for a 67th minute own goal. This brought Olympic to life but their challenge was finally blunted when their midfielder Phil Makrys was sent off with six minutes to go for a reckless challenge. It was a win no one had expected, Olympic manager Peter Tsekenis said; “The opportunity was there for us to kick ahead (in the competition) and I think because of that luxury the guys, in the first-half especially just did enough to stay in the game, we copped a soft goal from a huge mistake and for the second one the guy (Sim) walked through us and scored a bomb, top corner.’’ So, Sunday afternoon 10th July on neutral ground at Bonnyrigg Manly United took on State League 1 side Mounties Wanderers in the Final of the Waratah Cup. This com- petition is Football NSW’s FA Cup equiva- lent. Previously called the Tiger Turf Cup, then the McDonald’s Cup it was Manly’s first chance at sil- verware since 1995! Manly had gone without the services of midfield general David Dodd for the last few games and whilst almost back fit he was still at the game in a supporting ca- pacity. Mounties had a great cup run; claiming three Premier League scalps on the way to the Final and they gave Manly a solid examination in the first half. Manly always looked the most likely to go ahead but that has been the norm for most of this season, we’ve been the bridesmaids too often. The second half was a different matter and when Scotty Balderson launched a rock- et from the left wing a mi- nute into the second half that hit the oppo- site goal post but carried on into the net we were on the way. Adam Foti converted a penalty in the 60th minute after he had been fouled in the box. Shortly afterwards Mounties had Joel Rodden-Ward sent off for a “last man” tackle on Scott Balderson and the game was won. Jordon Edwards and Justin Hayward put a more realistic score on the board, the 4-0 win a fair reflection of Manly’s domi- nance in the second half. The Cup was raised by our Cap- tain Mic Richards; Scotty Balder- son got the “Man Of The Match” award. Our supporters, who were many, were merciless in their taunting of Mounties goalkeeper Ali Akbal. We would have hated the same being meted out to Dyl- an Mitchell but it wasn’t abusive. Unfortunately one of our mob turned prat and lit a flare, the only downside on a brilliantly success- ful day. The excesses of the Cup took its toll in the next two games though. A rather disappointing 1-1 draw on the mud at Rockdale City Suns after Adam Foti had put us ahead on Sunday 24th July was followed by a disastrous first half at home to Sydney United on Wednesday 27th . The Sydney United game was a catch up game but it was Sydney who caught up with a de- pleted Manly team. Three nil down at half time to two errors and an Elsid Barkhousir screamer, Manly sorted things out a little in the second half Scotty Balderson pulling one back. Sydney have a strong, deep squad. W e lack that same depth but it could have been worse on the night but for Manly’s undeniable tenacity in their convic- tion. Sydney United moved into second place and we are still a shout for the play offs. Bonnyrigg White Eagles away next! We had a visit from Sydney FC’s Terry McFlynn and Nathan Sherlock, they helped present awards and signed autographs at the Club’s Holiday camp. Matt Sim “death stares” the ball and shows off our new shirt sponsors against Sydney United!