PHOTO: VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Match of the Round
Warners Bay 8 (Jenna Kingsley 4, Cassidy Davis 3, Lily Jane Babic) defeated Wallsend 0 at The Gardens. Half-time: Warners Bay led 6-0.
Sunday, May 8, 2.15pm
While Merewether were putting on a masterclass at Adamstown Oval, defending champions Warners Bay were producing their own near-perfect display in an 8-0 win over Wallsend at The Gardens.
On a day where Westfield W-League players shone, Jenna Kingsley bagged four goals and Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis scored a hat-trick.
The final goal came through young gun Lily Jane Babic, who played 15 minutes of first grade after scoring three goals in a full game of 16s then two goals in a 60-minute performance for the 18s.
“That was the best we’ve played yet, in the first half,” Davis said.
“Out ball movement was good and moving off the ball was awesome.
“Brooke [Miller] really stepped up at the back, Georgia [Minors] and Najda [Squires] really controlled the midfield and Jenna got in behind all of the time.
“But everyone played well and it was a really good team effort.”
Davis was especially pleased with the way Warners Bay responded to her request to start games with more intensity after they had trailed early in most of their outings this season.
She was also happy to keep a clean sheet.
“Everyone just turned up from the start,” she said.
“Winning first and second balls and 50-50 tackles are a big thing in this league, and we did that.”
The game was just four minutes old when Kingsley slipped beyond the Wallsend defence to meet a through ball and score,
She scored another four minutes later from a tap-in.
Davis scored with a free kick around the 30-minute mark before Kingsley scored from another through ball.
They both scored again before half time for a 6-0 lead at the break.
Davis completed her hat-trick early in the second half then Babic scored around the 60-minute mark in a goalmouth scramble.
Wallsend assistant coach Strat Kapalos said they paid the price for a slow start and had trouble getting to ball into the final third.
“You can’t let Warners Bay get off to a flying start,” Kapalos said.
“They are a good football team and they deserved the win. We just couldn’t deal with them today and get into the game
“Finding the front third was disappointing and that limited our scoring opportunities.”
Merewether 9 (Rhali Dobson 3, Sarah Halvorsen 2, Grace Macintyre 2, Jaimee Ellis, Hannah Sunasky) defeated Adamstown 1 (Elodie Dagg) at Adamstown Oval. Half-time: Merewether led 6-0.
Sunday, May 8, 2.15pm
Merewether continued their unbeaten start to the 2017 Herald Women’s Premier League with a clinical and lethal performance in a 9-1 win over Adamstown at Adamstown Oval.
Adamstown coach Lou D’Amico described their opponents’ first-half football as “faultless”.
The game was barely started when W-League Jets player Rhali Dobson, who produced a masterclass yesterday, set up Sarah Halvorsen for an easy tap-in goal and a 1-0 lead.
Dobson then scored the first of her match hat-trick around the 25-minute mark to start a flood of goals which had Merewether 6-0 at the break.
Jets teammate Grace Macintyre scored the third goal when she got on the end of a cross from wide.
Jaimee Ellis again proved lethal from the set piece with a superbly taken left-footed free kick from 40 metres out which made the score 4-0.
Halvorsen and Dobson both found the back of the net again before half-time.
D’Amico said it was not that Adamstown played poorly but Merewether were just a class above in the opening period.
But the hosts came out with some fire in their belly and a never-say-die attitude after the break and midfielder Elodie Dagg unleashed a bullet from just outside the 18-yard box which had United shot-stopper Alison Logue beat inside the first minute of the second half.
But moments later Merewether continued the onslaught when Macintyre scored to take it to 7-1.
Hannah Sunasky had virtually just stepped onto the pitch when she found herself charging into the box with the ball at her feet before firing off a rocket that Rosebud goalkeeper Bec Miller could not stop.
Dobson completed her match treble when she scored from a corner. The ball curled towards the near post and Miller got her hand to it but was unable to wrap up the ball and it spun into the net between her and the post.
It pretty much summed up the day – everything Merewether touched turned to gold.
But Adamstown fought until the end, earning praise from D’Amico. They had the better of the latter stages of the match and showed plenty of promising signs for the rest of the season.
“In the first half Merewether played perfect football, and they couldn’t miss, everything went into the back of the net,” D’Amico said.
“The girls tried hard but couldn’t stop the assault.
“In the second half, we came out and played like Adamstown. Elodie scored within the first minute with a great strike from 20 yards.
“It was a little bit disappointing they got away to such a big lead because we matched them in sections. But they’re the benchmark.”
Merewether assistant coach Pete Withers said they were “lethal in front of goal”.
“We played some good football and had some good finishing today,” Withers said.
“Rhali had a standout game against her former club. She not only scored three goals but she set up two tap-ins for Sarah Halvorsen.
“She was pretty hungry, going up against her former club, and the players fed off that.
“But we won’t be getting too far ahead of ourselves. We’ve got our feet firmly on the ground. At this time last season Adamstown were undefeated but they never got through the semi-finals.”
Adamstown back up against Thornton at Thornton on Wednesday night before rounding out a tough eight days by hosting South Wallsend on Sunday.
South Wallsend 3 (Stacey Day 2, Gemma Pearce) defeated Mid North Coast 1 (Courtney Anderson) at Walker Fields. Half-time: South Wallsend led 3-1.
Sunday, May 8, 2.15pm
South Wallsend bounced back from a 5-1 loss to Mid North Coast on Saturday to turn the tables on their opponents in a 3-1 victory at Walker Field yesterday.
An understrength Wolves travelled to Taree on Saturday for the first match of a weekend double-header and coach Gary Wilson was forced to call on several 18s players.
But, with a raft of fresh first-team players back on deck yesterday, they proved too strong for a gallant Mid North Coast.
Stacey Day scored a double early for the hosts yesterday to give them a 2-0 lead but Courtney Anderson replied with a goal midway through the half for Mid North Coast.
Gemma Pearce gave the hosts a two-goal advantage again going to the break and the score did not change in the second half.
The win was just the second for South Wallsend this season and elevated them to seven points and fourth place on the competition ladder, just three points adrift of third-placed Mid North Coast.
South Wallsend captain Laura Byrnes said it was an important win yesterday.
“It was good to get the win, we’ve needed to get a result,” Byrnes said.
“It’s always tough playing a double-header and the girls responded well with the win.
“It was quite a physical match and I thought we controlled most of the game.”
Mid North Coast coach Mick Day was full of praise for his support staff and sports trainers who “rebuilt some very broken girls to compete again”.
“I’m very proud of the girls over the weekend double-header,” Day said.
“Saturday we only had one sub and we won 5-1 playing very composed football, but we sustained a few injuries.
“Sunday most of the girls were pretty broken and a couple under 18s, Molly Gamblin and Eloise Pepper, stepped up and played great.
“The girls will wear their battle scars with pride and be stronger for it. I was also really happy with the discipline of our players.”
Points table: Merewether 24, Warners Bay 21, Mid North Coast 10, South Wallsend 7, Wallsend 5, Adamstown 5, Thornton 0.