Barkers’ brave battle

By Peter Stephenson

Saturday afternoon at Esther Park saw the Barkers men’s soccer team take on Old Scotch.

The reserves pitted fifth-placed Barkers against the side one place above them, but the hosts went down 0-3 to goals from Rohit Patil and a double from Ryan Martin.

The senior game was remarkable, and proved that when you’re down, luck just doesn’t run your way.

Barkers were sitting second-bottom, while Scotch were top and had only dropped two points all season. Predictably, Barkers gave them an enormous scare on an incredible day at the Kennel.

Scotch captain Sam Shearer gave the visitors an early lead on six minutes, but veteran Barker Brett Tronconi equalised in the twenty-fifth minute.

He set a new men’s Barker record of scoring in 12 different seasons. However, Shearer restored the visitors’ lead three minutes later – half-time Mooroolbark 1, Old Scotch 2.

Nobody could have foreseen what was to come.

In the fifty-first minute, Barkers’ Sean Perrin made it 2-2, but two minutes later, Kaishan Jones made it 3-2 for Scotch.

Barkers just would not lie down, and on 56 minutes, Ross Clark made it 3-3.

Barely a minute later, Jones struck again to put Scotch 4-3 up – which made it four goals in six minutes.

Fully 11 minutes elapsed before Adam Carter finally gave Scotch a 2-goal cushion at 5-3.

Yet again Barkers hit back, with substitute Max Burrows netting his first senior goal five minutes later to make it 5-4 for Scotch.

With the last kick of the game, Barkers had a free-kick. Liam Seaye, who had scored a beauty at North Caulfield last week, put the kick inches wide.

For the first time in their 57-year history, Barkers had scored 4 times and lost.

Barkers remain eleventh, and next week travel to local rivals Knox City (5th) on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon saw the Barkers women, in sixth place, visit Brunswick Zebras.

Lisa Walsh gave the Barkerettes an early lead in the second minute, putting her in equal second place in the all-time Barkerettes goalscorers.

However, Zebras equalised ten minutes later through Liza Stephens.

Amy D’Ortenzio restored Barkerettes’ lead in the twenty-eighth minute, and the half-time score was Brunswick 1, Mooroolbark 2.

The second half was dominated by Barkers. D’Ortenzio made it 3-1 after 47 minutes, then nine minutes later, youngster Isabella Vorpasso scored her first senior goal to make it 4-1.

Two further goals from the lethal D’Ortenzio in the seventy-eighth and eighty-third minutes cemented a comfortable 6-1 win for the Barkerettes.

They rise to fourth, and host the second-bottom side, Ashburton, at Esther Park next Friday night.