HUNTER SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Match of the Round
New Lambton 1 (Georgia Thomson) defeated by Merewether 3 (Rhali Dobson, Leah Giuffre 2) at Alder Park on Saturday. Half-time: Merewether led 2-1.
New Lambton and Merewether both played well under-strength teams on Saturday but it was United who walked away with the three points with a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the Eagles.
The visitors led 2-1 at the break after Rhali Dobson found the back of the net following some great build-up work by Rebekah Stuart, and Leah Giuffre slotted one in the top right corner.
The Eagles found an equaliser midway through the first half when Georgia Thomson had a cracking shot from out wide, but it wasn’t enough, with United’s Leah Giuffre completing her double in the second half to put the game to bed.
New Lambton coach Keelan Hamilton said it was Merewether’s experience that proved the difference in a game where seven of the Eagles’ starting players were under 18 years old.
“I was really disappointed for the girls because they played really well considering the number of players we had out,” Hamilton said.
“To push a team like Merewether, who were at full-strength apart from Jamee Ellis and Alison Logue, was really pleasing but it’s obviously disappointing to still lose.
“We created more chances than Merewether and I think we deserved to get something out of the game but we just lacked a little bit of polish in either box.
“We defended a little bit sloppy on a few occasions and when we had opportunities to score, we didn’t take advantage of it unfortunately.
“I would be very surprised if any team in the competition has put out a younger squad than we did yesterday which makes me even more proud of the girls because the style of football they played was fantastic.”
Merewether coach Cass Koppen was pleased with her sides performance considering they lost shot-stopper Alison Logue in the warm up and were still without key players.
“I know both teams had a number of starting players out, but we knew it was going to be a challenge,” Koppen said.
“I was really happy with how well we adapted to our squad changes and obviously losing Alison wasn’t ideal, but credit to our U/17’s keeper Taylah Gray who made her 1st Grade debut and played the second half for us.
“Our U/20’s also did really well because they had already played a full 90 minutes so it was great for us to get the win today.”
Warners Bay 4 (Cassidy Davis 2, Gaby Deacon, own goal) defeated Wallsend 0 at John Street Oval on Sunday. Half-time: Warners Bay led 2-0.
Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis put on a masterclass to help her side secure the Premiership with a 4-0 win over Wallsend on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts opened the scoring late in the first half when a pinpoint corner from Jenna Kingsley found an unmarked Davis in the box who sent it over the keeper and into the back of the net.
Panthers’ captain Nadja Squires is known for her free kicks and looked certain to add her name to the scoresheet when she sent an absolute pearler sailing towards the goals, but Devil’s keeper Danielle Redding made a spectacular save to deny Squires.
The Bay scored their second just before half-time, when fleet-footed striker Jenna Kingsley passed the ball into the box for Gaby Deacon who slammed it home for a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
In the second half, an own goal from Wallsend and a classy header from Davis put the game beyond all doubt and handed the Panthers back-to-back Premierships.
Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis was proud of her sides performance to secure the Premiership but said there is a lot of hard work to be done before finals.
“Obviously it’s great for us because we have been working towards this all year,” Davis said.
“Wallsend are a quality side who always play good football and after coming off a great win in the State Cup, we knew they would come out ready to play and we were prepared for it.
“Even though we were missing a few players, we worked really well as a team which makes me really proud as a coach and a player.
“We still have bits and pieces we need to work on and with finals coming up. The competition goes to another level and anything can happen so we need to be ready.”
Wallsend coach Marc Hingston said it didn’t feel like a 4-0 game and credited his side for not giving up.
“Warners Bay are the type of team that are so clinical and take every chance they get which makes them a really tough opponent,” Hingston said.
“We spoke about limiting their chances and not making mistakes during the week and I take my hat off to the girls because they put in a huge effort and were absolutely buggered after the game.
“It was a really good performance from us, especially in the first half when we held them at bay for about 35 minutes, but it seems to be a case of being so close yet so far.
“In terms of football, we probably had the most amount of chances off good build-up but Warners Bay are very difficult to break down and they will be hard to beat when finals come around.
“I think in 12 months time, we will be a completely different side and I look forward to seeing us grow as a team.”
U20’s 17’s 14’s Results:
20s: Merewether 1 beat New Lambton 0, Wallsend 3 beat Warners Bay 0, Mid North Coast 2 drew Adamstown 2, Thornton 5 beat South Wallsend 0.
17s: New Lambton 2 beat Merewether 1, Wallsend 3 beat Warners Bay 1, Mid North Coast 2 beat Adamstown 1, Thornton 6 beat South Wallsend 0.
14s: Merewether 3 beat New Lambton 0, Warners Bay 3 beat Wallsend 0, Mid North Coast 2 beat Adamstown 1, Thornton 2 beat South Wallsend 0.