BY ADAM BLUNDEN

ROUND 16 |

FIRST GRADE SCORES –

Kanwal4Woongarrah5
Terrigal4Southern & Ettalong2
Wyoming2Killarney6
East Gosford3Woy Woy2
Avoca3The Entrance2
Umina2Berkeley Vale4

KANWAL WARNERVALE ROVERS FC 4 – WOONGARRAH WILDCATS FC 5

Another well contested local derby took place last Saturday on Field 1 at Pluim Park between Kanwal and Woongarrah. These two sides faced in round one which was also held at Pluim, Woongarrah would come out winners over their rivals on that day with a 5-1 win. Kanwal headed into Saturday’s fixture needing to pick up vital club championship points which they did in Reserve Grade and U21’s to guarantee their safety from relegation and secure a spot in BPL for the year 2021. Kanwal headed into their First Grade game looking to finish the year by taking maximum points against their rivals and the found themselves on the scoresheet first when a long ball over the top found Bradley Mclean who put Kanwal 1-0 ahead. However, their lead would not last long as Woongarrah’s Nathan Chakanetsa levelled the score at 1-1. It wouldn’t take long for the score line to change again as Kanwal’s Nathan Baker found himself unmarked just outside the opposition box where the ball fell to his feet and he would beat the Woongarrah keeper with a tidy finish. The score line would change once again before half time as Nathan Chakanetsa found himself of the end of a pinpoint cross which he finished to give him his second for the night and to take the game into half time at 2-2. Just like the previous 45 minutes the second half would see a tonne of action, Woongarrah took the lead for the first time of the game as Nathan Chakanetsa once again found himself on the scoresheet to give him his hattrick, his first ever in first grade. Woongarrah looked to take their lead out to 2 goals as they continued to make chance after chance, but they would not make the most of it as a Kanwal counterattack saw them awarded with a penalty which Callum Dunkerley successfully took to make the game 3-3. Blake Small almost scored not long after with a magnificent shot from 35 yard’s out that was denied by the opposition goalkeeper. However, he would find himself on the scoresheet moments later after finishing a scramble in Kanwal’s box giving his side the lead once again. With less than 10 minutes to go, Ryan Gusse would get his Kanwal side back in the game with an equaliser that would look like the sides would split the points. With just 1 minute of regular time remaining, Woongarrah’s constant pressure on a tired Kanwal backline paid off with Ben Glachan chipping the goalie to seal Woongarrah the win in a thrilling 5-4 derby match. Despite a 9-goal score line, Woongarrah’s Kane Woolston failed to get his name amongst the other scorers which left him on a total of 15 goals for the year equal with 1st with Daniel Rodger at the time who was still yet to play his match for the round. Woongarrah finished their year in 5th place just missing out on semi-finals while their rivals Kanwal finished in 9th place.  

TERRIGAL UNITED FC 4 – SOUTHERN & ETTALONG UNITED FC 2

There was a lot riding on this game heading into Saturday night between these two sides. Terrigal United entered the game sitting in 2nd place with a win would take them back to equal points with league leaders Killarney District. A win for Terrigal would put all the pressure on Killarney who played the following day. A win for Southern & Ettalong would put them back into fourth spot with a big chance of making finals. These two squads done battle all the way back in round 1 in a tightly contested 3-3 draw. Both teams came into the match-up very attacking minded, in a very free flowing game of football it was Terrigal who opened the scoring when Lachlan Wilkinson fired home a close-range strike which saw his side go up 1-0. Southern’s Michael Tawyer looked to get his side back level as he went on one of his wizardly dribbling runs through Terrigal’s defence before he was fouled in the box. James Lepre stepped up and took his sides penalty, but Terrigal keeper denied him with an excellent save. Lachlan Wilkinson soon later turned provider for his team when his cross found his brother Conor who put his team up by 2 with a very clinical finish. Southern & Ettalong were next to score when a driving shot from Josh Fletcher which ripped into the net from 20+ yards out and would be a goal of the season challenger. Terrigal hit back once again before the half with another right sided attack with a good cross that found Ben Flakus who would take the score line into 3-1 at half time. Southern & Ettalong started the second half brightly, Jacob Lepre played a one-two on the edge of Terrigal’s box as he scored with a great finish to take the game to 3-2. Both teams continued to create chances but great goal keeping from both sides kept the score at 3-2. Southern & Ettalong’s Jack Elwood was dismissed as he received his second yellow card of the game which saw his side reduced to 10 men, Terrigal would take advantage of the extra player as Mark Partridge rifled home from close range to seal the 3 points for Terrigal with a 4-2 win after a great game of football to end the season as Southern & Ettalong missed out on finals as they finished in 7th place for the 2020 season. Unfortunately for Terrigal, Killarney came out winners and League Champions against Wyoming. Terrigal United finished the year in 2nd place for the third year in a row.           

WYOMING TIGERS FC 2 – KILLARNEY DISTRICT SC 6

Wyoming and Killarney were set to do battle on Wednesday night at Pluim Park after their game got abandoned on Sunday due to bad weather. There was a lot riding on this game, not just for Wyoming and Killarney but also Terrigal and The Entrance. If Wyoming beat Killarney by more than two goals, Terrigal would be your 2020 BPL League Champions and Wyoming would overtake The Entrance securing 4th spot by knocking them out of finals. With high expectations of a thrilling game it would not take long for the game to see its first goal as Tim Knight found himself in behind the opposition defence and with a great finish, he gave his side Killarney a 1-0 lead within the first minute. In a very attacking game from both sides, Wyoming youngster Timothy Hopkins found himself on the end of a pinpoint cross that he put in the back of the net to bring his side level with a brilliant first-time strike. Moments later, Killarney’s Daniel Rodger found himself with the ball outside the opposition box and with an excellent finesse shot he managed to take his side in the lead once again having scored the game’s third goal in just the first 10 minutes. Daniel Rodger would find himself on the scoresheet once again as a Brendan Hall shot was parried by the goalie into the feet of Rodger’s who tapped the ball into an open net to make the game 3-1. On the 25th minute mark, Wyoming would once again get their side back into the game with Jared Mcnee getting his head onto a cross which saw him beat the opposition defender and keeper to find the goal and take the game to 3-2. The game seemed to have settled down a bit, having already seen 5 goals in the first 25 minutes of play. Wyoming looked to get a hold of the match and dictate the game but unfortunately a turnover at the back saw the ball fall to inform Killarney striker Daniel Rodger who made no mistake of punish Wyoming for their error, that goal saw Rodger complete his first half hattrick and take his side into half time up 4-2. The second half saw much of the same as the first as both teams played a very attacking style of football in a great end to end battle. Killarney looked to put the game to bed creating many chances but were unlucky as the found the woodwork twice. A brave Wyoming goalkeeper Tom Coventry kept his side in the game producing multiple great saves against Killarney’s attack. However, Killarney’s continuous pressure would pay off as Daniel Rodger once again found himself through on goal but instead of shooting himself, a smart square ball saw him take the Wyoming goalie out of the picture where substitute Jordan Preston tapped the ball into an open goal to give Killarney a 5-2 lead. Wyoming were handed a golden opportunity to get back into the game when they were awarded a penalty. Wyoming’s Kaelan Burke stepped up but unfortunately was denied by Killarney goalie Andrew Sheldon who produced a fantastic save. Another Wyoming lapse in defensive saw Daniel Rodgers finally get his fourth goal for the night and with that take his side to a 6-2 win to seal Killarney District Soccer Club as your 2020 BPL League Champions for a historic 5 years in a row. Daniel Rodger picked up this year’s 2020 BPL Golden Boot after finishing the year on 19 goals. Wyoming unfortunately missed out on finals by 1 point as they finish the year in 6th place on 23 points. Congratulations to Killarney District who won League Champions in all 3 grades and with that finished 1st in Club Championship. Killarney will face Terrigal in all 3 grades this Saturday at Pluim park to determine who will book their spot in the grand final.

EAST GOSFORD RAMS FC 3 – WOY WOY FC 2

East Gosford hosted Woy Woy this past Sunday at Hylton Moore Oval for the final’s games of their season. With both sides unfortunately relegated it would be a battle for pride and trying to finish their season off on a high. Woy Woy would come out the better of the two teams with a 2-1 when the sided met in round 1 as they brought that confidence into the match when they stared in complete control of the game and looked very dangerous. Woy Woy consistent pressure would pay off as Woy Woy’s striker Jayke Browne was able to find the back of the net and give his side a 1-0 lead. Conceding a goal really brought East Gosford to life as they started to get back into the game with very promising attacks that unfortunately would not lead to any goals, Woy Woy held on to their lead as the half time whistle sounded. During half time the storm that was felt around multiple games on the coast set in at Hylton Moore which made the condition of the second half extremely testing for both sides. The East Gosford squad where inspired by great performances in Reserve Grade and U21’s, and knowing it was their last 45 minutes of the year they took the game to Woy Woy, levelling the score with a well taken Robbie Walton penalty. Shortly after equalising through a penalty, East Gosford gave away one of their own. Trent Butler stepped up and put his team back up 2-1. A stunned East Gosford re grouped and gained control of the game as Jacob Villablanca and Nathan Cowell both found themselves on the scoresheet and took East Gosford 3-2 up and that’s how the game would finish. Woy Woy’s first year in BPL saw them finish on 14 points. That win for East Gosford saw them leap off the bottom of the ladder for the first time this year as they finished on 13 points to end the season.        

AVOCA FC 3 – THE ENTRANCE FC 2

Avoca hosted The Entrance this weekend at Mingara Oval, in a game that could have had massive repercussions on the league and The Entrance’s finals hope. Avoca came into the game on a high after securing their spot in BPL for the 2021 season after beating Berkeley Vale 1-0 while The Entrance were coming of their best win of the season beating league leaders at the time Terrigal in a 2-0 win. The Entrance won 3-1 over Avoca when the two sides clashed earlier this year. Avoca got off to a tremendous start after Avoca winger Jesse Parnell’s cross took a deflection off an Entrance defender that crept past an off balanced goalkeeper to open the scoring for Avoca. A dominate Avoca squad picked up their second of the match after another Entrance turnover saw Shaun Izzard in on goal which he put past The Entrance goalie to make it 2-0. It would be a day to forget for The Entrance goalkeeper Brad Sheen as Avoca Midfielder Matt Caisley’s shot should have been a straightforward pick up for the goalie as it dribbled along the ground but a lapse of concentration saw the ball roll through his legs and into the back of the net which saw Avoca up 3-0. The Entrance started to get going as they looked to play their way into the game and where unlucky after a great stretch of passes found Entrance’s Dante Paolicchi who’s strike rattled the post. Avoca’s midfield dominated the first half as the score stayed 3-0 after the first 45 minutes. With their season on the line The Entrance started the second half a lot better as they were a lot more creative going forward. A through ball from Entrance defender Adam Blunden put his teammate Dante Paolicchi 1on1 as he calmly chipped the Avoca goalie who tried to make a save. Not long after the goal, terrible weather conditions set in which made it very hard for either team to play good football as the rain looked to get heavier and heavier. A cross from Zac Anastas found The Entrances Matt Kenny who tapped the ball in to make it 3-2. Both teams had chances, but Avoca goalie Phillip Anderson would stand out for Avoca as he consistently denied The Entrance to level the game with multiple world class saves. Despite many chances and opportunities, the game would stay 3-2. Fortunately for The Entrance results would go their way and despite losing they would remain in the top 4 and play finals football. Avoca finished their year in 8th spot on 18 points. The Entrance will now face Berkeley Vale Saturday night in an elimination final.

UMINA UNITED FC 2 – BERKERLEY VALE SC 4

Umina’s last game of the year saw them host Berkeley vale at home this weekend as they looked to cap of the season with a win. Umina came of a great 2-1 win against their peninsular rivals Southern & Ettalong the previous weekend while their opponents Berkeley Vale fell short to Avoca in a 1-0 loss. Berkeley headed into the game in 3rd position on the ladder but could of fell out of a spot in finals with a loss and if other results did not go their way. When these two teams met earlier in round 8 Berkeley came out victor with an emphatic 5-0 win. Umina started the game the better of the two sides, the opening goal of the game came to Ben Brooker of Umina who slipped in behind the defence to score the opener on his first-grade debut. Umina would find themselves up 2-0 within the first 10 minutes as Michael Payne rocketed a shot from outside the box to give his Umina side a bigger lead. In a game that had very tough conditions for both teams, Berkeley slowly clawed their way back when a well-produced team play was finished off with John Griffin finding the back of the net to make it 2-1. Not long after Berkeley would level the game through a set piece by Mick Dalton. Berkeley thought they would be heading into halftime with the lead, but a Joey Liddle goal was disallowed for handball. The game would remain level 2-2 heading into the second half. During half time is was uncertain if the game would return to play due to the storm that most teams played through on Sunday, luckily as the second half got underway the storm had cleared but conditions were still not ideal for playing football. Both teams would still go on to create chances, but Berkley Vale would take their chances with goals from Jai Kelly and Nathan Cooper that saw Berkeley coming out 4-2 winners and cementing their finals spot as the finish in 3rd place on 28 points. After being with the club for the last 4 years, Umina coach Steve Frame has told the club that he will not be returning for the 2021 season. Steve has been a vital part of Umina since joining the club and getting Umina back into the BPL.