#1. New Lambton are good…really good
Sunday afternoon saw a mouth-watering top of the table Herald WPL clash between New Lambton FC and Warners Bay and although they have been the in-form side of the competition so far, the Panthers may have been considered the favourites considering that the Eagles’ star forward Tara Andrews wasn’t featuring.
That certainly wasn’t the case though as New Lambton ran out 4-2 victors. Warners Bay did well to come back after being down 2-0 early on, but the fact that the Eagles successfully knocked in four goals from sources that weren’t Tara Andrews proving they aren’t reliant on her which can only be frightening news for opposition teams.
If Warners Bay had taken all their chances it could have quite easily been a different story, but as it stands at the moment, New Lambton are most definitely the team to beat in the Herald WPL this year.
#2. Adamstown finally get their deserved win
After going down in their first four matches of the NPL NNSW season despite putting in some strong performances, finally, having not won a league match for 269 days, the Rosebuds got their win and one that was deserved.
Charlestown entered Round 5 with a bit of form under their belts but it seemed the week off did them no favours as Adamstown took their first-half opportunities to gain an early lead before youngster Liam Ryan put the finishing touches on the game in the second half with his first goal.
If Rosebud has lost that match, it would have been the first time that a side had lost the first five matches to start the NPL NNSW, so that victory will give the club a sigh of relief, and potentially might give the young team confidence to push on.
#3. Wallsend down the Champions
Having won back-to-back championships, Merewether United have had a stumbling start to the season after being beaten by New Lambton, a close-call against Adamstown, and now also falling to Wallsend in what could be considered as one of the biggest surprises so far this year.
Rhali Dobson gave the Llamas the half-time lead, but goals to Laura Hall, Libby Copus-Brown and Olivia Kennedy ultimately spelled victory the Red Devils and after coming close against Warners Bay and New Lambton, it’s a result that potentially had been coming for a while.
At the beginning of the season, many pundits considered the top four to already be settled and Wallsend were not a part of it, but given their early season form, including that result on Sunday, they have a strong claim to feature in 2019 semi-finals if they can continue it.
Another special mention needs to be made for both clubs though as the match and day also served as a Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness celebration and fundraiser that by all reports was well received and enjoyed and both parties should be commended.
#4. Almost perfect start for Cooks Hill
For NEWFM Northern League One fans, Cooks Hill’s dominance in first-grade is well known and documented, but what people might not know, is that the whole club, from 13s to First Grade, it’s been one incredible and so far, undefeated start to 2019.
Out of the 32 games that have been played by the club overall, they’ve encountered 31 wins and 1 draw, and sit on top of the table in all grades – a remarkable achievement and record to have and one that probably has never been done before across any league in the region.
With the restructuring of the NPL NNSW just around the corner it’s a nice time for the Cookers to taste such great, early success, but whether they can continue that strong start to the year right across the club, is a whole other question.
#5. Late, great drama at Weston
What a finish this was that took place at Rockwell Automation Park on Sunday afternoon!
Everyone loves an exciting end to a game and that’s exactly what fans got as Weston and Valentine both scored late goals to leave with a point each.
In the 88th minute of a really back-and-forth match, Weston’s Jackson Burston ran onto a great ball before lofting it over the Valentine goalkeeper, but seven minutes later, in the dying seconds, Valentine did the exact same. A slicing ball from Riley Russell found Ben Hay who knocked it over the goalkeeper and in their celebrations, the final whistle sounded.
It’s matches like this that make us love local football and it’ll be interesting to see how both team’s move onto next week after that thrilling end.