The mother of all thunderstorms descended on south western Sydney about 4-30pm, no doubt just at the right moment to put off anybody who may have been tempted to come back and witness the Marconi revival.
However, the 'official' crowd figure of 2040, I find, well interesting..as being a long standing crowd counter at Marconi, I reckon there were at LEAST 3000 people inside the stadium.
But enough of that, and the bugger up they made by sending the sole beer operator to the wrong site...on to the match.
And a fine match it was too, which saw us stay behind to applaud the Marconi side off the park for a spirited and entertaining display.
Chad Gibson had a steady game in the middle of defence along with the ever superb Angelo Costanzo (what's he still playing here for?) and with an in form Michael Turnbull repelling the early Parra pressure, Marconi started to look good going forward.
At least three times Clint Bolton seemed to do his impression of an amateur juggler on Red Faces, and dropped the ball, resulting in what resembled scrums, such was the intensity of the activity, as Marconi tried to poke it in, and desperate yellow shirted bodies tried to keep it out..in fact during one such stramash only the post prevented Marconi from taking the lead.
Mr Bolton was not having one of his better nights!
And he should have been red carded and a penalty awarded against him during that first half, when he and Joe Spiteri went one on one for a through ball.
The ball was free and Joe was perfectly entitled to challenge for it, and perhaps there may have been contact, but with ball in hand, Bolton ran over to Spiteri and pushed him...
The usual Marconi Melee that we have come to expect developed, and the ref waved his hands about, but did NOT stop play...an astounding decision!
I quite like Perry Mur, but he was far too lenient early on, and the harvest of this leniency was still to come.
Parra are no slouches though, and were putting together a few good moves (in between Bolton's fumbles that is) and it was no shock when a cut back from the left caught the Stallions defence square and the dwarf with the hard to spell name sidefooted home from 6 yards after half an hour or so.
There was a little bit of frustration up front for Marconi, as every time Spiteri went for a ball, the ref would give a foul against him.
Most of the time I was unsure as to why.
I didn't see the tackle but Brad Maloney was red carded just before half time as a Parra player writhed about on the ground and was stretchered off, but unbiased feedback was that while it was an untidy challenge, it was not seen as a deliberate tackle of mass destruction.
Unfortunately the Power player apparently has a broken leg, and Bugsy took an early bath just before half time.
Now, we are so used to playing a man down these days, that I almost think JP designs his tactics around this, seeing the eleventh man as an unexpected bonus of indefinite duration.
Coming back from the club at half time, after a mandatory beer with GKW, I was just in time to peek through the open gate to see Vaseline Man Bolton once more drop a ball, and Eric Anabalon hit it home form close range for the equaliser.
Marconi played doggedly during the second half, with again some strange offside decisions against them, but this Parramatta side are a very good one, let me acknowledge that straight away, and it was unlikely that 10 men were going to hold out against them.
However, when they did get their winner circa 75 minutes through a header from Thompson, it really was bad defending which left him unmarked at the back post, and could and should have been prevented.
Perhaps if Longo had played he would have prevented it..who knows.
Not to worry, we were beaten by a very good side, and fought until the very last.
We can ask no more than they do their best, and the commitment shown this season bears no comparison to that displayed under Rale Rasic.
We won't be minor premiers, but we'll be close to there at the death.
What we have now, unlike last year, are players who play with pride for the Marconi jersey, and as long as they keep that up..then that'll do me nicely.