The quality team that coach Kevin Barber took to Adelaide last weekend scored one of the biggest victories achieved by a Riverland side.
Riverland defeated Collegiate Cup premier Rostrevor College 4-1 with RSA Best And Fairest Player Chris Miller and runner up Marco Mittiga both scoring two goals.
The game was played in a great atmosphere at the impressive Elite Systems Football Centre with its stand, fine change rooms and Astro Turf.
Rostrevor College missed early opportunities to score and this was to prove costly as Mittiga goaled at the 23 minute mark as Riverland lifted its tempo and had its opponent struggling to get the ball against its fast passing game. Mittiga’s second at 38 minutes was followed by Miller’s first three minutes later for 3-0 at half time.
Kevin White had been in commanding form in centre midfield while captain Russell Frankel was rock like in central defence and went on to contest a Best On Ground rating.
Chris Miller scored his second at the 54th minute and the game was all over although Rostrevor dragged one back late to spoil the unblemished record by sensational young Riverland goalkeeper Eric Sialis, who was playing his second game for the day. Young Riley Wallace and Chris Van Royen at left and right midfield ran their opponents ragged, Kenzo Kokeguchi and Frane Radic excelled in the midfield and in defence Eric Sialis was complimented strongly by Yanni Sialis and Tarquin Frahn.
Astute coach Barber also had his eye on the future giving young players a taste of competing at this level in introducing Simon Crouch, Richard Mitchell , Aiden Erceg, Ali Akbari and Rajab Qambari to the game for impressive cameos.
This very good Riverland side did not go unnoticed and there are thoughts of the RSA being included in a major tournament in February/March 2017.
In the curtainraiser Riverland was defeated by an Australian College of Sport team 6-0 in an Under 18 game. But the score was misleading as in actual fact the Riverland side was made up of mainly Under 14 and Under 16 players while the opposition comprised solid Under 18 men. Riverland remained competitive throughout and was unfortunate not to score, hitting the post on several occasions. Eric Sialis started his busy day strongly in goals, Aiden Erceg and Simon Crouch were outstanding in defence and Jasper Hoffmann in the midfield. Three goals in the last 10 minutes by the AC of S made the contest look much more one sided than it was.
Also on Sunday at the Futsal competition Vincent Vu (Renmark) and Harrison Carney (Loxton) performed impressively. Harrison has been named in the State Regional Under 14 team to play in the Nationals in Sydney in January 2017. Whether he takes part or not will depend on other committments.