These are two teams who seriously dislike each other. There’s a fair bit of history – including the 2013 Grand Final – but the regular movement of players from one club to the other just serves to inflame matters.

Am I right Ziggy Gordon? The crowd booed his every touch, he was hit really hard, twice, in opening exchanges, and Matt Simon made his feelings fairly clear to his ex-colleague, lying on the ground towards the end of the half.

As for Monsieur Simon, he was lucky still to be on the park at halftime. I’m a major Simon fan, but I’d have sent him off – even wearing my Mariners kit – after his swipe at Baccus on 36 minutes.  

This was a really high quality match. After watching Australia v India in the cricket, I switched straight over to yet another epic encounter. Wow!

In fact, I thought the Mariners were the better team over 90 minutes but that’s football. Being the better team doesn’t mean you’ll win, which has been the Mariners bane for a few years. Domination of possession, field position and chances doesn’t translate to victory if you don’t have the organisation at one end and the cutting edge at the other.

Still, I see improvement.

The Mariners have numerous good new players, but it was Danny de Silva who really shone tonight. I was shouting at the telly when he was taken off.

Kye Rowles had another excellent game, as did Tongyik, but Nisbet is the one really having a breakout year.

I’ve actually invented a new drinking game. Every time the commentators refer to Nisbet’s stature, you have to scull. (A pint if they say "pint sized".)

There were several mentions this game. On 35 minutes, Brenton Speed referred to the “jockey sized” player. This happened again on 44 minutes, then Robbie Slater mentioned his size at half time. Speed then referred to his low centre of gravity on 48 minutes, then Slater mentioned his disadvantage size-wise against Aquilina at the 55th.

Seriously?

Josh Nisbet is a really outstanding player and it’s getting a bit boring to hear commentators constantly referring to his size. The greatest player in the history of football was Maradona (by some distance) and he was what … five foot four?

In the end though, this was a gripping football match – really high quality and very watchable.

For me the two MOTM were De Silva for CCM and Keanu Baccus for WSW. Honourable mention to Nikolai Muller who is a really good player.

Well done to all concerned.


Adrian's books can be purchased at any good bookstore or through ebook alchemy. His new novel, Welcome to Ord City, is now available.