East Maitland Bowling Club Match of the Round
Maitland FC 2-1 Edgeworth Eagles
Maitland boosted their chances of finishing in the top five with two late goals to earn an unforgettable 2-1 victory over Edgeworth at Cooks Square park on Saturday.
The 2019 grand finalists produced one of the games of the season with the Magpies spoiling the Eagles’ premiership chance for at least another week.
Edgeworth appeared on track when player-coach Josh Rose fired in a rocket in the 12th minute to put his side in the lead.
The Eagles look destined to hold on and win the premiership until the 89th minute when Maitland were handed a lifeline having been awarded a penalty.
Braedyn Crowley made no mistake from the spot to equalise before getting on the end of a Ryan Clarke cross to score the winner in added time.
The win lifts the defending premiers to third and bolsters their chances of playing finals football. The Magpies have one game left to play in their season and will look to wrap up a spot in the finals when they play Valentine next round.
Edgeworth will have to play the waiting game to win the premiership. If Broadmeadow Magic were to fail to win next round, the Eagles would be crowned premiers.
Maitland will look to build on their remarkable comeback heading into the final game of their regular season while coach Mick Bolch said the last five minutes were incredible.
“The win was a massive result for the lads,” Bolch said.
“Our season was all but over after 88 minutes. So for the boys to finish with two late goals in the 90th and 95th minutes against the competition leaders will be a great confidence boost.
“[Edgeworth] were very good out of the blocks and dominated the early exchanges and took a deserved lead inside the first 15 minutes from a great Rose strike. But we changed our shape a bit and stuck to our task and the boys were rewarded for their work rate late in the game.
“The win leaves it on our own hands now with one match to go against [Valentine]. A win could see us finish as high as third, so we turn our attention towards that game now.”
Lambton Jaffas 3-0 Lake Macquarie City
Lambton moved into fourth place with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Lake Macquarie City at Arthur Edden Oval on Saturday.
Kale Bradbery struck first for the home side after a swift counterattack in the 21st minute found the attacker in the box.
Mitch Oxborrow doubled the lead in the 78th minute with another special free kick on the edge of the area.
The Jaffas would round out a clinical performance when Bradbery scored his second in the 89th minute to cap off a needed victory for the home side in their pursuit of finals football.
The result lifts the Jaffas to fourth but they will have the week off next week before playing Broadmeadow in the final round.
Lake Macquarie have taken another hit in the battle to avoid last spot with their seventh loss in a row. They will take on a hungry Weston Bears outfit next round.
Adamstown Rosebud 2-2 Valentine FC
Adamstown Rosebud scored a late goal to settle a 2-2 draw against Valentine at Adamstown Oval on Saturday.
Valentine hit the lead early through Ben Hay after the attacker won the ball back high and curled an effort into the corner to open the scoring.
The Rosebuds quickly responded with Tallan Martin scoring a header to level the scores in a frantic opening 10 minutes.
The Phoenix looked on their way to earning victory when Kaleb Pearson scored in the 82nd minute to give the Phoenix the lead heading into the final stages.
But Adamstown would hit-back again, this time in stoppage time through James Lowe with the midfielder hitting a low drive into the bottom corner to gain a point for the Rosebuds.
Valentine’s quest for finals football appears to be over with the draw, although still remain a mathematical chance with two games to play. But they will need results to go in their favour. The Phoenix sit in eighth with 12 points, five points adrift from the finals places.
Valentine play Maitland at home and will aim to keep their season alive.
Adamstown has now moved above Lake Macquarie in the battle to avoid a last-placed finish, moving onto five points with the draw.
Charlestown Azzurri 1-0 Weston Workers
Charlestown Azzurri scored an important victory in their efforts to make the top five with a gutsy 1-0 win over Weston at Lisle Carr Oval on Sunday.
Another late Rene Ferguson goal sealed the valuable points for Azzurri to keep the side in the frame for finals contention.
Azzurri kept another clean sheet in the victory which is their third in four games to keep a hold of their strong defensive record.
Charlestown lost captain Matt Tull 10 minutes before full-time after he was sent off, receiving a second yellow card following an altercation with Weston’s Nathan Morris. Azzurri will be without their skipper for the next game.
Charlestown are now level with Newcastle Olympic on 17 points but are behind on goal difference. Azzurri will face Broadmeadow Magic next round.
The result leaves Weston two points away from the top five with one game left to play before having the bye in the final round. The Bears will take on Lake Macquarie in a do-or-die game.