Had this been a ball game played in a suburban garden the Avondale team would have spent most of the game knocking on the neighbour’s door… “Can we have our ball back please?”. It’s surprising how high a polo ball will bounce if it’s propelled at ‘Bond-like’ velocity. Ball traction was definitely an issue too and some of the usually slick control was absent.
There was disproportionate amount of whinging at the referee. He was a late draft after the designee failed to turn up, but both teams have suffered considerably worse refereeing performances, and as proceedings approached a gentle simmer he had the authority and confidence to cool things down and to silence the mutterings before they became anything more.
While Croydon did not really ever look like winning this game, Avondale failed to convert many of their opportunities and the score remained close throughout. Avondale defended well in the second half, keeping the shots from the arc and Croydon needed to find the corners and they did not have enough quality on their shots to score consistently. In attack the home team failed to keep the width required to allow their hole-man time on the ball. As ever the accurate sniping of Jacobs and the occasional Bond thunderbolt kept the score ticking along and there were a couple of good team efforts on passing breaks. But when all’s said and done it’s just about how many goals you score and Avondale had to hold onto possession in the last two minutes to secure the win. Far from a classic, but a good, close, entertaining match for the modest crowd of 42,377.