Belrose Terrey Hills Raiders hosted the Transplant Australia Football Club in the ‘Thanks for Life’ Charity match for the second year in a row on Saturday night with the Transplant Team eager to even the slate after last year’s 1-0 loss.
The transplant team arrived at Cromer Park with a new look line-up that included some additional quality players in Lincoln Greaves and Trent Mulley. Their hopes were dashed when Sydney first grader and star of last year’s game, Daniel Braggs, bingled his car on the way to the game.
For BTH, Tim Bowland, himself a living donor, made it to the starting line-up after sitting out last year’s game. BTH also gave five of its best women players an opportunity to shine while Lindsey Renfrey pulled on the boots for the transplant team.
The match was moved to Cromer One after a deluge of rain for the week leading up to the game closed all Sydney suburban grounds. A big thank you to Jeremy Toivonen and the Manly Warringah Football Association for allowing access to Cromer One for this special charity match.
The match was played in good spirit, officiated by Rob Brennan, President of the Manly Warringah Football Referees Association who volunteered his time.
BTH went one-up with a goal by Tim Bowland only for the transplant team to level soon after with Matty Hempstalk finishing off a great 1-2 from Lincoln Greaves. Matty hit the goalie, Mark French twice before slotting it into the top right corner. This was only after the transplant goalie, Rob Mihalic, saved a number of shots by getting airborne across the goals. Iain MacLeod from BTH sent the home side ahead 2-1 with a great pass and finish before Trent Mulley got a beautiful run through the centre to slot it home past the keeper. 2-all at half time.
In the second half, a few injuries to the transplant team started to take their toll. Tim Bowland for BTH scored his second after a scrappy contest in front of the goals. BTH loaned a few players to help out. The rain came down before a tired transplant defence allowed a 1-2 to produce the final goal.
The match is fast becoming a regular between the two clubs and we look forward to playing it again as part of the BTH gala day.
Transplant player of the game was goalie, Robert Mihalic as selected by BTH captain, Andy Saunders. Iain MacLeod was selected as the best BTH player by Transplant captain, Luke Rose.
BTH 4 – TAFC 2
T Bowland 2 M Hempstalk 1
I MacLeod 1 T Mulley 1
C Thomas 1
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