On a cold week night fixture when NSW were taking on QLD in a potential Origin winner we could have been excused for being short of numbers, but once again the togetherness of this Barnestoneworth team showed as we all grouped together to try and claw our way back into contention for the league title.
Barnstoneworth United hosted Sydney Uni at Paine Reserve on Sunday with both teams looking for their first win of the season. New manager Nick Keiran was feeling the pressure and decided to mix things up with the starting 11 in a bid to get the 3 points.
A sunny winter Sunday at Paine Reserve was the setting for Barnestoneworth AA1’s final match of the first round of fixtures of the season against a Maccabi team down on their luck and without a win to their name this season. With the lack of rain an onlooker could be forgiven in thinking this game was a summer fixture with the brown grass stretching across Paine’s usually immaculate green surface.
Normally an away game against Queens Park is played on the beautiful, expansive synthetic pitch at Moore Park. It was a substantial downgrade to see we had patchy clumps of grass scattered over the pitch and remnants of Bondi Beach along the by-line. To make matters worse, they made us play in construction workers singlets to avoid the “clash” of colours; the sun was annoyingly low in the sky; there was a strong headwind; and the match ball was a balloon. So anyone could be forgiven for thinking this lot were a bunch of clowns.
Today the Barny AA2s travelled to Heffron Park to take on the Hawks on their own turf. Like Barny, they had a slower start to the campaign and both teams looking for all three points. It was a glorious winter morning and the sun was blazing, along with the hangovers. The Gaffer seemed to go with a more attacking midfield with Stevey and Dean holding the centre mid and the sorely missed captain back in the shape Davey to stretch his legs down the left.
After winning 6-1 in our last match confidence was high going into this week’s away game against Coogee B. We had a good turn out with Martin and Danny back from their camping trip, Joe Newman returned from the UK and Dave Shannon had served his suspension. It’s hard to change a winning team so Simba started with most of the 11 that beat Mascot Kings. The only change was Joe Newman in at CB for the injured Dave Thompson.
It was a beauty of an afternoon in Centennial park where we were to face off against the Maccabi seconds. Our team looked strong and with a bench full of talent and experience there were high hopes for a good result. Nick stuck with the new 3-5-2 formation which worked well in the previous game.
Not a great start to the day, we all turned up to L’Estrange Park for the early kick off and there was no sign of the other team. Eddie was on the blower and we figured it had moved to JJ Cahill High School. We finally make it to the pitch with 20 mins to kick off and after a short and sharp warm up it was down to business.
What is normally the biggest game of every season came early this year as Coogee United were the visitors at the house of Paine. The team that have won the league the last 4 years in a row always present a tough challenge.