It was always highly likely the Casuals would not qualify for the knockout stages of the Bowl trophy and in the end other results went against them and they didn’t quite make the cut - but this result showed why they are the best team not to have won a trophy in Whanganui local league.
With Ben Murphy and Brady O’Connor drafted into the side – and the only two subs – it was going to be a tough day at the office for the orange machine.
However, the new signing of Dan “Matt 2.0” Roberts provided the side had absolute searing pace up top and the Casuals took full advantage of that. With Cameron Dale’s loan to Ringastinga Rovers in the Indian Premier league not completed the younger Roberts played a lone striker role to effect.
Without shame the Casuals twice in the first half played the ball directly to the speedy Roberts who beat the keeper on both occasions.
Before half time Thirsties brought on their heavy artillery in Tevita and immediately drew one back. And midway through the second half their increasing pressure saw them equalise.
Normally in this situation the Casuals would be hanging in for grim death, but substitute Brady O’Connor found the ball 30 yards out and drilled one over the keeper for an absolute stunning winner as it tuned out.
Casuals weren’t severely tested after that – Buck Buchanan made sure of that in goal.
So that’s 2016 over for Marist Casuals. Some lows but plenty of highs. A more cohesive team unit and new players Mickey Fold and Paul Geezer Miller settled in marvellously. Too many injuries made things hard but when the going gets tough the Casuals get tougher. Fact. See you in 2017.