2021 Herald Women’s Premier League Round 16 Review

July 26th, 2021

 Jack Antcliff

 Sproule Sports Focus

Match of the Round

Broadmeadow Magic 5-1 Newcastle Olympic

Broadmeadow Magic moved into the box seat in the premiership race on Friday with a potentially season-defining 5-1 win over cross-town rivals, and now second-placed, Newcastle Olympic.

Two goals to Lucy Kell laid the foundation for the women in red at Magic Park, who put in a performance coach Jake Curley described as one where “the entire squad was outstanding.”

“I think this is a rare occasion as a coach where it’s nearly impossible to identify any standout players,” Curley said.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic for Magic, who were forced to come from behind early.

“Overall, I thought the performance was really good. I was really happy with the girls’ attitude after conceding the first goal and our ability to be composed throughout the game,” Curley said.

Goals to Nadja Squires, Kalista Hunter and Lucy Jerram complimented Kell’s brace as Magic delivered on a simple approach.

“Our game plan was fairly simple. We just wanted to play the game in their half either with or without the ball,” Curley said.

“I think the key for us is for the girls to maintain the attitude and desire they have shown over the last few rounds.”

Magic would now seem on track for silverware, one point clear of Olympic at the top of the table. The two sides will not meet again until finals football.

“I think the three points was important. Now the girls just need to refocus and ensure we continue to get positive results,” Curley said.

At the other end, it was a tough loss to take for the Olympic faithful, with Magic in control for the majority of the match.

“We were unable to sustain the intensity necessary to be effective against them on the night,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill said.

Olympic held the ascendancy early thanks to Georgia Amess, though struggled to wrestle back the momentum as Magic turned clinical.

“The critical part for me was that we didn’t give up and kept searching for a goal despite the score line,” Attwill said.

“We just had one of those nights where we couldn’t maintain possession and that made it very difficult to gain momentum.

“Broadmeadow played a great game. They were in control and we gave them too much time on the ball and made critical errors which they capitalised upon.”

Charlestown Azzurri 1-5 Maitland FC

Charlestown Azzurri’s slim hopes of finals football took a horror blow on Saturday with a four-goal defeat at the hands of Maitland.

The 5-1 loss leaves Charlestown six points outside the final four calculations, with the odds of featuring in September seemingly diminished by the day.

Maitland led by 4-0 at the break, with Magpie’s coach Keelan Hamilton impressed by his side’s ability to capitalise early, despite the torrid conditions.

“We started the game well and completely dominated the first half,” Hamilton said.

“The conditions were difficult but I thought we managed the game well.”

The side escaped injury free in what will be a crucial few weeks on the injury front with just five rounds of the regular season remaining. Maitland also has a catch up game against Mid Coast.

“It was important as it gives us a little gap to Charlestown now but we still have a lot of work to do to get to the level we want to be at,” Hamilton said.

“The key is as always just focusing on our football and what we can control. We will work to keep improving where we can. Finals are a long way away.”

Strong performances from Mercedes McNabb, Bronte Peel and Lisa Cochrane laid a platform for the win, though it would be hard to not acknowledge the complete team performance.

“We talked about a couple of specific things that we needed to execute and for the majority of the match we implemented those things well which was very pleasing,” Hamilton said.

Maitland face Adamstown next weekend in another crucial match in the context of finals football while Azzurri play Broadmeadow Magic on Friday night.

Adamstown Rosebud JFC 10-0 Mid Coast FC

Kimmy Trappett ran riot as Adamstown Rosebud drove home a crushing win over Mid Coast on Saturday night.

The Buds’ leading goal scorer slotted six past the Middies defence while Kiarra Lewis buried a hat-trick on the way to a 10-0 thumping. Ellen Hughes scored the side’s other goal.

The win ensured the Buds remain clear of Maitland in third place on the table. Rosebud remain well shy of second-placed Olympic in what appears a dramatic race in the battle for third and fourth spot.

Fourth-placed Maitland are two points clear of fifth-placed Warners Bay, who have a game in hand against Mid Coast to be played on Saturday.

It was a tough day at the office for Mid Coast who were left to scramble as injuries proved another hurdle on a night to forget at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility.

“A couple of players were withdrawn during the match with injury but we’re still waiting to see the full extent of their issues,” Mid Coast coach Mick Grass said.

As for what went wrong, Grass noted Adamstown’s energetic approach which saw his side run out of legs in the second half.

“They’re an energetic side and we weren’t able to match their intensity and effort, especially the longer the match went,” Grass said.

Down 3-0 at half-time, Mid Coast’s defensive performance was tough to watch for even the most ardent supporters.

“I thought our effort in possession was quite good during the first half but our commitment to the defensive aspects of the game was questionable at best,” Grass said.

“Moving forward we obviously need to focus on our defensive attitude if we are to get more positive results.”

Mid Coast host Warners Bay at Taree Zone Field next week.

Warners Bay FC 5-1 New Lambton FC

Warners Bay remain well in the hunt for finals football after a four-goal win over struggling New Lambton on Sunday afternoon.

The Panthers remain fifth on the table, though importantly lay within striking distance of fourth-placed Maitland. Warners Bay have a game in hand over Maitland.

The Panthers will have the chance to move ahead of the Magpies with a double-header weekend against Mid Coast.

On Saturday, the two teams will play their rescheduled round three match at Taree, before Sunday’s round 17 clash.

A maximum six points would at a minimum see the Panthers move into fourth place, one point clear of Maitland, and equal on points with Adamstown.

At the other end, New Lambton could not match the intensity of the Panthers who found form after a tough few weeks on the road.

The Eagles were far from disgraced at John Street Oval with Jenna Kingsley and Macy Anthony proving a tough task for the Panthers defence. The loss came after New Lambton scored their first win of the season against Charlestown on Wednesday night.

Season 2021 does not get any easier with the Eagles’ next assignment against second-placed Newcastle Olympic, who will be looking to bounce back from a tough loss to Magic.


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