ILLAROO goalkeeper Paul Maiolo produced a great effort on Saturday at Culburra Oval, according to two opposing coaches.
Both Andrew Timbs (Illaroo) and Tony Gauci (Culburra) were impressed with the dynamic keeper.
Timbs put Maiolo’s name forward for man of the match honours and Gauci agreed.
“Paul had an absolute blinder for them,” Gauci said.
“He saved at least five certain goals that other keepers would let in.
“Paul does it to us all time and he played well.”
Timbs said he was happy with the draw, but added he thought his team deserved to win.
“They scored with the last play of the game, which was bit of a sucker punch,” Timbs said.
“It was nil-all at halftime and I would describe the game as a good physical battle.”
Evan Leedham, at centre midfield, scored Illaroo’s goal.
“It (the goal) went in from a deflection so it had a bit of luck about it,” Timbs said.
“We have not had much luck this season so it was good some luck finally went our way.”
Timbs said his midfield was dominant and the backline players were strong.
Gauci, despite the fact his team went in as favourite, was not too upset with the result.
“I thought my guys were a bit rusty and we always have a tough match against those guys,” he said
“Yes we were favourites but we have only played one game in a couple of weeks and it showed.”
Gauci said credit must to be given to Illaroo
“They [Illaroo] and all the others teams have improved,” he said.
“There will be no easy games for the rest of the season and kidding yourself if you there will be an easy game.”
Culburra’s late goal came via Keiran Witt’s boot.
“He (Witt) has kicked about eight goals this season but will miss the next three weeks,” Gauci said.
“The good news is the club in general is strong and we have some good young blokes coming through the ranks.”
Gauci nominated Blair Sutherland, Jack Miller and Scott Merivale as his best players.
He also reflected on some positive and negative aspects of the match.
“We finished strong, kept on looking for goals and we never gave up,” he said
“However, we did some tackles which we would normally make.”