This could prove to be a defining round in the race for club championship honors. We travelled to Fairfield to take on league leaders SD Raiders. As expected, games were tightly contested, and it was great to see us get on the positive end of some of these close games.
We kicked off the day with the Development Boys and Girls teams in what was an early morning start. Both games were played in the right spirit as teams were evenly matched.
As the court was adjusted for the graded games, our 12 Boys hit the court against a nifty SD Raiders side that seemed to be a little more clinical than our boys. A 0-3 half time deficit could not be hauled back as the second placed home side recorded a solid 0-4 win. The loss sees our boys remain in fourth spot despite being held scoreless for the first time this season.
The 13 Girls were 5 from 5 going into this match and had the opportunity to take a stranglehold on the league championship as they faced third placed SD Raiders. They found themselves down early and were left ruing their missed chances as they headed to the break 1-4 down. It was a better second half which saw out girls finding their feet however they could not overcome the deficit as they succumbed 3-5 in their first loss of the season. In fact, this is the first time this season, our 12B and 13G have both lost on the same day. The loss sees the girls slip to second (on goal difference) in what is a close competition.
Our 14 Boys have been one of our shining lights this year as they took on fellow league leaders in a top of the table clash. After a tense opening quarter, Taipans hit the lead and further consolidated their lead into half time ahead 3-0. They did not let up in the second half as they put the home side to the sword with a comprehensive 7-2 win. The win sees them sit outright leaders heading into Round 7. One of the pleasing stats to come from this game was the fact that we had six different scorers.
Over to the 15 Girls who have not had much luck so far this season having lost more than half their games by a solitary goal. It was sadly the same story this week as they succumbed 2-3 in a fiery contest that literally could have gone either way. With the Taipans hitting the lead early, the home side responded to level the scores at the break and despite a late barrage of attack from the Taipans late in the game, the girls were unable to rescue a point.
League leaders Taipans 16 Boys continued their good run of form with a sound 4-1 win over SD Raiders. The boys took control early and never really gave the opposition a sniff despite them hanging in for much of the game. Alex Bonetig helping himself to a brace whilst the hard-working Josh Montgomery also found the scoresheet along with Giovanni Panuccio.
The 18 Girls were coming off a last start loss and were looking to get their season back on track. The game end to end with neither side able to find the ascendancy throughout the first half as teams went into the break locked at 1-1. It was the Taipans through Rilee Wagner that got the breakthrough and looked to have built a game winning lead only for SD Raiders to come back late in the game. It was too little, too late as the Taipans held on for a narrow 4-3 win.
The Youth Men have had to battle it out all season with close games just about every week. This week was no different. Playing the league leaders, the Taipans hit the lead through Nick Tomasiello however the home side responded with two goals to take a 2-1 lead at the break. The Taipans levelled the scores again through Tomasiello before a late strike saw the SD Raiders again take the lead. With the final seconds ticking away, the Taipans launched another raid and it was Tomasiello again (hattrick) who managed to scramble the ball over the line with effectively the last kick of the game to earn the Taipans a valuable 3-3 draw.
The Women’s game had further drama to what was already an exciting day of futsal. The Taipans hit the lead through their top scorer in Danielle Wise and despite a glutton of possession, the ladies had to be content with a 1-0 lead at the break. SD Raiders however drew level mid-way through the second half before having had one of their players sent off for violent conduct. The Taipans could not capitalize on their advantage and they were made to pay for it with a goal late in the game that saw the SD Raiders take a 2-1 lead fundamentally against the run of play. The Taipans pushed hard in the dying seconds and a wonderful strike from Danika Matos right on the hooter saw the Taipans salvage a point although missed chances saw the ladies perhaps drop two points.
The Taipans Men’s team has been ravaged by injury over recent weeks however the guys have battled hard without luck. They have showed glimpses of what they are capable however just haven’t been able to put it together for 50 minutes (until Saturday). They took on second placed SD Raiders who are considered a chance at the title and some strong defence was rewarded with a goal to Cody Waller. It was veteran Nick Carle who equalized for the home side before a cracking Matt Mazevski finish saw the Taipans take a 2-1 lead into half time. The second half was much the same and despite some good possession from SD Raiders, they were finding it difficult to penetrate what was a much more disciplined defensive display. It took a piece of magic from Carle to restore parity midway through the half but minutes later, Kyle Del was left open on the far post to put the Taipans ahead again. End to end futsal ensued however no further score was added as the Taipans held on for their first points of the campaign and perhaps this may kick start their season.
In further news, the men’s team travelled to Valentine Sports Park to play the partially deferred Futsal Cup game against Mountain Majik. With scores at 1-1 and a full half to play, it was backs to the wall stuff for a Taipans side that had several players unavailable for that match through work and injury.
As expected, Majik had most of the possession however the guys continued their strong defensive work ethic. It took Majik 12 minutes to break down the Taipans and it looked like that goal may be enough however the Taipans were not ready to lie down and after going into power play deep into the game, Kyle Del managed to scramble home an equalizer to send the game to overtime. With no further score added, it came down to penalties and the Taipans held their nerve best to record a memorable win which sees them through to the Quarter Finals of the futsal cup.
This coming week, the Taipans are on the road again in Redfern taking on Sydney Futsal Club.