A first-grade debut for young gun, Tyler Ball, was instrumental in Thirroul Thunder securing a 2-1 triumph over Warilla Wanderers in the District League first grade fixture. The debutant had his footprints all over the match, having a hand in both goals including scoring one himself, capping off a dream debut.
Both sides entered the meeting in a significant win drought, where despite having multiple draws, they both were winless this season. With both sides struggling to climb the ladder, this match served as a massive opportunity to regain form.
The Thunder men weren’t waiting for an invitation, and within just two minutes of action the match had seen its first goal.
With spectators still finding their seats, Thirroul’s debutant striker, Tyler Ball, placed himself on the right side of a well delivered corner and found the back of the net with powerful header.
This set the trend for the next few minutes, as Warilla responded with an aggressive mindset of their own and were unlucky not to capitalise.
In the 4th minute, Warilla front-man, Adrian Montalbano, sent a powerful long shot at goal, only to be denied by an incredible diving effort from Liam Harris.
Just minutes later, the glove work of Harris bailed out Thunder once more, saving a header from short range.
The match was halted in the 18th minute as a heavy collision on the touchline had Thirroul’s Cameron Hogan down for several minutes.
The action continued just minutes later, where in the 23rd minute, Thunder captain, Daniel Arthur’s glancing header shaved the outside of the post in what would’ve been an astonishing finish.
Arthur’s contribution to the contest was obvious even to an untrained eye. He was seemingly always where the ball was, making effective plays at both ends of the paddock.
Arthur, in combination with young Tyler Ball, dominated the left flank for most of the half, however weren’t able to facilitate a second goal. The score remained 1-0 to the visitors at the half.
Momentum quickly turned upon commencing the second stanza, as an attacking free kick from Warilla drew a penalty just two minutes in. Montalbano stepped up to mark and slotted the equalizer for the Wanderers.
The game really began to level out from this point onwards, with both sides playing fast-paced yet focused football. Neither side was able to penetrate the opposing defensive line and goal-scoring opportunities were suddenly scarce.
The next real opportunity came in the 82nd minute for the Wanderers. Montalbano as at the forefront of this impetus once again, however was still unable to pass the gloves of Harris. With Harris making the deflection, Stewart Robertson had a chance on the volley, only for it to be skied by the midfielder.
This proved to be a costly miss for the Wanderers, as a minute later a run from Tyler Ball changed the game. After showing great skill to beat two defenders, Ball was then cut down on his way into the box, drawing a penalty for the Thunder.
A man who’d worked tirelessly throughout the match, Joshua Hutton, took on the assignment and netted the go-ahead goal for Thirroul.
Warilla had one last sniff in the final minutes of play, as a long throw in bounced favourably for Robertson in the box, where he again had difficulty finding his balance and executing the shot on the volley.
The final scorecard read 2-1 to the visitors, Thirroul Thunder, in an enthralling 90 minutes of play that saw them achieve their first win of the season.
With their first win, the Thunder move up one position on the ladder, however, they will be given the heavy task of taking on the competition leaders, Picton Rangers, at Hume this Saturday.
Warilla Wanderers find themselves in a similar predicament, facing up against Oak Flats Falcons who are on equal points to Picton and currently riding a five-game win streak.
Sunday 13th of September at King Mickey Park
The People Care District League (FG) – Round 8
Warilla Wanderers: 1 (MONTALBANO 48’)
Thirroul Thunder: 2 (BALL 2’, HUTTON 84’)
Warilla Wanderers: Blake PUSSELL, Drew SHAW, Nick EDWARDS, Jack FLOWER, Brenton GERIBO, Stewart ROBERTSON, Reece MCINTOSH, Martin CASTELL, Adrian MONTALBANO, Chad KEATING, Nick TORTRELLA
Subs: Chris WALLER, Tate ANDERSON, Dylan DI CESAR, Ryan NORONHA
Thirroul Thunder: Liam HARRIS, Daniel BOND, Daniel ARTHUR, James HUTTON, Cameron LOGAN, Angus NICOL, Joshua HUTTON, Todd DAVIDSON, Tyler BALL, Nathan MUCCI, Sohei OTO
Subs: Jordan COX, Ryan LATINI, James TOWNSEND, Jonathon DE LYALL, Tyler ADAMS
Report by Fletcher Winning
Photo courtesy of Noel Wynn