Without the injured Danny Ireland, Jacob Bailey and Daniel Bird and in front of a bumper crowd at Darling St Oval, Hamilton Olympic began the game aggressively against a very compact Broadmeadow Magic team which was protecting a 3-1 lead from the first leg match.
The first 45 minutes were a tight physical encounter by both teams with no clear cut goal scoring opportunities for either side. Magic played with every player behind the ball and tried to catch Olympic on the break. Knowing that if Magic scored first, Olympic would have to find 4 goals to get to the grand-final, the boys in blue played with intensity and caution.
The second half was as tight and compact as the first and it appeared that only a flash of brilliance from a player would break the deadlock.
In the 56th minute a lapse in concentration by the Magic defence on the edge of the box enabled Kane Goodchild to dummy a ball to Simon Mooney who found enough time for a snap shot at the Magic goal and for the score to become 1-0!
The Olympic players begin to buzz as the tie is there for the taking. Suddenly they are now finding space to move despite Magic continuing to play a compact game. They pepper the Magic goal with a series of half chances as they hunt for a second goal and a place in the grand-final.
In the 65th minute the hearts of the Olympic faithful temporarily stopped when Kale Bradbury took off on the left with only Cody Lucas in pursuit! The young Olympic defender slipped, Bradbury lined up to shoot, only for Kyle Hodges to save the day!
This was a warning sign of the dangers this game had from the outset. As Olympic push forward, they need to be disciplined not to concede from the speedy Broadmeadow Magic counter-attacks.
Despite this, they continue to dominate possession and force play inside the Broadmeadow Magic final third.
In the 70th minute an innocent long lob ball by Cody Lucas from defense landed inside the Magic box and as no one cleared, Matthew Swan pounced on the ball and blasted it into the back of the net but the goal was disallowed for offside!
Olympic continue to press forward and Magic continue to defend in numbers.
With 5 minutes to go desperation is evident in the play of both teams as Olympic try to get their second while a goal from Magic, at this point in the game, would put the tie beyond reach.
Olympic win a corner with 90 seconds of normal time on the clock and pour all their players forward in a do-or-die effort to score.
From the ensuing corner Magic send Kale Bradbury on a breakaway run and despite being closed down by Cody Lucas, he is able to rifle the ball into the net and 1-1 is the order of the day!
At this point the tie ended and Broadmeadow Magic qualified to play in the grand-final with Edgeworth Eagles.
A poor back pass by Grant Brown in injury time enabled James Virgili to complete formalities with a second goal to Magic for a final 2-1 scoreline.
Under 22s Olympic vs Emerging Jets 0-5
Under 19s Magic vs Olympic 3-1
NPL Youth Semi Final Results
Under 17s Olympic vs Adamstown 0-0 (7-6 pens)
Under 13s Olympic vs Mid Nth Coast 2-1
Congratulations to our Under 17s & 13s on progressing to next week’s Grand Final, played this Saturday at Darling St Oval.
Zone League 2 Semi Final 1st Leg
1st Grade Olympic vs Wallsend 4-3
2nd Grade Uni Mens vs Olympic 2-2
source: Tom Tsamouras