PHOTO: VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Warners Bay 4 (Nadja Squires, Brooke Miller, Jenna Kingsley, Cassidy Davis) defeated Mid North Coast 2 (Courtney Anderson 2) at Taree Zone Field on Saturday. Half-time: Warners Bay led 3-0.
Defending champions Warners Bay will take a comfortable 4-2 lead into the second leg of their home-and-away semi-final against Mid North Coast after winning in Taree on Saturday.
Warners Bay led 3-0 at the break after goals to captain Nadja Squires, defender Brooke Miller and striker Jenna Kingsley.
Player-coach Cassidy Davis extended the lead to 4-0 early in the second period before the hosts hit back with two goals of their own through Courtney Anderson.
Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis was happy with the result but said there was plenty of room for improvement as they eyed back-to-back championships.
“We were good in patches and in some patches we weren’t,” Davis said.
“It was still one of those games where we weren’t good enough all the time.
“The effort and enthusiasm were improved on last week but we’ve got to keep getting better and there are little things we just need to be a little bit smarter with.”
Mid North coast coach Mick Day said “Warners Bay were just too good today”.
“We have struggled to field an uninjured eleven players the past few months and today was no different, so this week’s training will solely be recovery in preparation for next Sunday,” Day said.
Merewether 2 (Tayla Braithwaite, Grace Macintyre) defeated Adamstown 1 (Isobel Cootes) at Adamstown Oval on Sunday. Half-time: 1-1.
Adamstown coach Lou D’Amico plans to send his charges into the second leg of their home-and-away semi-finals with all guns blazing after going down 2-1 to Merewether yesterday.
The game was locked at one-all at the break after United midfielder Tayla Braithwaite scored with a header off a corner in the 15th minute then Adamstown’s Isobel Cootes chipped opposition keeper Alison Logue in the 34th minute.
Merewether regained the lead in the 62nd minute when Grace Macintyre scored from close range off a Jamee Ellis free kick.
Adamstown shot-stopper Olivia Sneddon fell to the ground during the goalmouth scramble and was concussed. The game was delayed for 20 minutes while an ambulance was called and Sneddon was sidelined for the remainder of the game.
Both teams had their chances to score when the game resumed and D’Amico was disappointed not to come away with a draw and said they would go out with an attacking mindset for the second leg at Myamblah Oval on August 12.
“Now we’ve got to go out and attack and we’ll be going for the win,” D’Amico said.
Merewether coach Cassie Koppen said “it wasn’t pretty but a win’s a win”.
“Obviously we’re going into the second leg with a head start but we’re going to have to be better at finishing and we need to start a lot faster,” Koppen said.
“I thought we dominated in the second half but we need to do that from the start.”
Second Leg Semi-finals
August 12, 2.15pm: Merewether play Adamstown at Myamblah Oval;
August 13, 2.15pm: Warners Bay play Mid North Coast at John Street Oval.
Winners over two legs progress to the Grand Final on August 20.