NEWCASTLE OLYMPIC 6-0 THORNTON REDBACKS
Jemma House led the way for Newcastle Olympic against cellar dwellers Thornton on Sunday.
The competition’s leading goal scorer found the back of the net on three occasions as the women from Darling Street cruised to another important win.
House’s three goals take her season tally to 24, while Jacinta Johnston, Tulia Palozzi, and Laura Hall also found the back of the net.
“Scoring wasn’t really our focus on Sunday. We wanted to keep a clean sheet and we did that. We really wanted to focus on our defence,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said.
“We had a couple of injuries so we really had to be creative in our formation.”
Without Georgia Little, Georgia Amess and Sophie O’Brien, Olympic struggled to take full advantage in the first half with the score at the break 1-0.
“We just knew we had to be more patient and just work the ball a little bit more rather than forcing that forward ball,” Attwill said.
“For us, consistently we play better in the second half so it is really important for the girls to build their confidence, to know that regardless of what happens in the first half, once we regroup and have a bit of a chat and everyone checks back in with their role, we always seem to turn it around.”
With Merewether now third on the table the race for the minor premiership returns to a tight battle between Olympic and Broadmeadow Magic. The two sides, who sit equal on points on the table, play at Magic Park next week.
“For us, [the minor premiership] is never the focus. We’ll take this game [against Thornton] onboard and sit down and make sure that everything we have been working towards this year and each week we can try and put together a bit more consistently against Magic,” Attwill said.
It was another tough day for Thornton who managed to hold their own in the opening half before Olympic turned the game in their favour after the break.
“We were great for 78 minutes. [We] just could not handle Olympic’s opening 12 minutes in the second half and conceded four goals,” Thornton coach Al Primmer said.
Anais Moore and Jaz Hughes both copped heavy knocks and will be in doubt for next weekend, while goalkeeper Danielle Redding drew strong praise from Primmer.
“She was superb in goals. [It was] close to her best performance for the Redbacks,” he said.
Thornton face New Lambton next Sunday in what will be the last Herald Women’s Premier League game played at the home of the Redbacks, Thornton Park.
WARNERS BAY 6-4 NEW LAMBTON
There were goals aplenty at John Street Oval as Warners Bay and New Lambton played out a 10-goal, end-to-end spectacle on Sunday.
Jen Hoy led the way for the home side with three goals, while Adriana Jones bagged a double for the Eagles in a game which six different women found the scoresheet.
“Three points at this time of the year is pretty crucial for us. It may not have been the prettiest win, but we’ll take it,” Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins said.
Annika D’Amico, Sian Keating and Georgia Cook also found the back of the net.
“I’m always encouraging Sian and Georgia to get forward. Georgia’s goal was an absolute bomb and Sian was dangerous and put some really dangerous balls across throughout the game,” Atkins said.
“We created a number of chances. It’s about putting them away. We’re still creating the chances but this time of year we need to be really clinical.
“With the finals coming up and Merewether next week we really need to be taking those chances.”
Warners Bay are fourth on the table with a margin of just two points over Mid Coast FC, with the Panthers next assignment the now third-placed Merewether.
“When you play Merewether, you know it is going to be massive. We need to be in their face, we can’t give them an inch. It is always a decent battle when it is a Warners Bay-Merewether battle,” Atkins said.
Despite not walking away with points, interim New Lambton coach Cas Wright said there were plenty of positives in her side’s performance, including the showing of mid-season signing Adriana Jones.
Jones scored the side’s opening goal, before Tahlia Gossner netted a contender for goal of the year. Jones was again back in the action late in the match as she claimed her second, before Taylah Bryde found the side’s fourth goal.
It was only the second time this season New Lambton have scored four goals in a match. The last time came against Thornton in round six.
“For us, that’s such a big positive. We didn’t have a starting 11 but what we did do with what we had I think it was pretty solid,” Wright said.
New Lambton round out the regular season with matches against Thornton and Newcastle Olympic.
BROADMEADOW MAGIC 2-0 ADAMSTOWN ROSEBUD
Broadmeadow Magic climbed level at the top of the Herald Women’s Premier League table after a dramatic weekend following their 2-0 win over Adamstown Rosebud at Magic Park.
Maggie Quinn and Alice Munro found the back of the net for the home side, who now turn their attention to next weekend’s top of the table clash with Newcastle Olympic.
“We were pretty good. We just couldn’t finish in the final third. Similar to the game against Merewether, we got in behind a lot,” Magic coach Jake Curley said.
It was another strong team performance for Magic who find themselves second on the table, equal on points with Olympic but well behind on goal difference.
“Kobie Ferguson was really good. Gemma Harrison, Alice Munroe and Erin Wilson were all good. We just defend well when we’re going backwards. Kalista [Hunter] is a really good player and so is Laura Rapley,” Curley said.
Next weekend’s top-of-the-table clash will likely decide the minor premiership, with the Magic mentor grateful his side will get another shot at claiming top spot.
“I thought against Merewether we were by far the better team and it is good that the girls get another go at [the minor premiership],” Curley said.
“We sort of just play our way essentially. We’ll just train the same way, we’re going to work on a bit of defensive stuff and combination play but nothing we will really change.”
The loss ended Adamstown’s hopes of playing finals football in 2020 with the Buds now eight points behind fourth-placed Warners Bay.
Leia Puxty was sent off in what was a tough day for the Buds, who meet Mid Coast FC at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility next week. Rosebud round out the season proper against Warners Bay at Adamstown Oval.
MEREWETHER UNITED 1-1 MID COAST FC (SUNDAY)
MID COAST FC 3-2 MEREWETHER UNITED (SATURDAY)
Mid Coast FC scored arguably the biggest upset of the season on Saturday when they edged out Merewether in the first of two games between the sides.
Middies then backed up Saturday’s win with a nail-biting 1-1 draw against the Llamas on Sunday.
At home in the first of the weekend’s two matches, Mid Coast went to the break 2-0 up thanks to a masterclass from former Merewether player Courtney Anderson.
Missing Jamee Ellis and with Shani Vazey ruled out late due to illness, the Llamas battled to find their way back into the contest. Goals to Lori Depczynski and Rhali Dobson had the visitors back level late in the second half.
The match-winner came late for the home side, as Evie Bobilak put the final touch on a rebound from a penalty.
Sunday saw another tight tussle between the two sides, with Merewether holding the majority of the early chances. Rebekah Stuart went close, while a pinpoint strike from Rhali Dobson thundered into the posts.
The deadlock was eventually broken when Layni Fens found the back of the net for Middies before Lori Depczynski found the equaliser.
Despite taking a knock mid-way through the match, Mid Coast keeper Xanthe Parsons was impressive in goal as she held out countless attacking raids from the home side.
Her sublime performance was likely to be a defining moment in the race for fourth spot on the table. Middies now sit fifth, two points behind Warners Bay.
“[Xanthe Parsons] was fantastic. We didn’t even have to vote for players’ player today. It was just unanimous, everyone called it out straight away. Playing under that level of duress and getting the job done was pretty impressive stuff,” Mid Coast coach Mick Grass said.
“We were under the pump for a long time in that first half and to come out the way we did in the second and play some pretty decent football I was really happy with the performance.
“I think the results give us a lot of confidence. A lot of belief in what we can achieve. On our best days, we now know we can compete with the best teams in the competition.
“We’ve given ourselves as good a shot as we have ever had to go into finals [in first grade] for a few years.”
The weekend’s results dramatically shift the landscape when it comes to the race for the minor premiership. Prior to the weekend, Merewether looked all but certain to lift the silverware but now find themselves in third place on the table.
“It was a pretty intense effort from the team on Sunday. To come back from a disappointing day on Saturday and absolutely [leave] everything out on the field,” Merewether coach Scott Ellis said post game on Sunday.
“They did everything they possibly could and still couldn’t quite get over the line but it wasn’t through lack of effort.”