MATCH OF THE ROUND

Wyoming 0 – Kanwal 1

BPL Round 8 Match of the Round saw Kanwal take maximum club championship points away from Wyoming as the Bulls are out of the relegation zone for the first time this year.

A game that had important moments, desperation, luck, and lots of desire, both teams entered the contest needing a win to obtain crucial club championship points. It was a game with very few chances for either side, as both Wyoming and Kanwal set up with well-structured defences that made it difficult for the opposition to break down. Wyoming had a golden chance to take the lead approaching halftime but was turned away by a great save by the Kanwal keeper, Jack Arigho. This served as a turning point for the Bulls, as Kanwal would get their own chance late into added time in the first half. With halftime looming, a Kanwal free-kick was played into the box which allowed striker Jason Cozens to head home to give Kanwal a 1-0 lead which they carried into the break.

The second half was almost identical to the first with both team’s defences limiting any chances and a great display of goalkeeping at both ends. Wyoming threw more players forward in the hopes of finding an equalizer in front of their home crowd, this allowed the game to become an up and down, open match-up. Any chance that Wyoming came across was constantly denied by a strong defensive display by Kanwal. Both teams had a number of chances in the second half, but Kanwal would remain strong and walk away with a win in all 3 grades, taking maximum Club Championship points on offer.

“Kanwal came with a game plan and stuck to it and deserved the win. Well done to Ryan and his players on winning all three grades,” voiced Wyoming coach Ian McAndrew when reflecting on the match.

Kanwal’s Ryan Walker stated post-match. “I am extremely proud of my boys, it was a great day not only for first grade but the squad as a whole, winning in all three grades. The confidence we have gained over the last few weeks has given us some good momentum and I am hoping we can keep it going for the remainder of the season.”

Terrigal 3 – Southern & Ettalong 1

Terrigal stretch their unbeaten run to 8 with a convincing second-half performance from the O’lads at Duffy’s Oval saw Marty Griffith’s men come out 3-1 victors. 

The game started very evenly with both teams trying to gain the upper hand as both teams had chances to take the lead in the opening 30 mins with quick counter-attacking football but neither side could provide the clinical finish to put their team ahead. The deadlock was broken 15 minutes before the half when Conor Wilkinson fed Stuart Adam’s on the edge of the box as he finished in magical style curling the ball into the top right-hand corner of the goal. Southern captain Todd Balneaves had his hand in getting his side level after his long throw-in found Jack Elwood who headed his team back level as the score remained 1-1 at the interval.

It did not take long for Terrigal to put themselves back in front after the break ended when it was Terrigal’s captain this time producing a long throw-in that found teammate Mark Partridge who did well to flick home his effort and restore Terrigal’s lead. Any chance Southern had of pushing for an equalizer became substantially harder when Jack Elwood received a red card midway through the second half. Terrigal controlled the majority of the second half with Jacob Melling being at the centre of most of their attacking raids. Southern’s goalkeeper Alex Wardle was in fine form to keep Terrigal at bay making some outstanding saves in the SEU goal to keep his side in the contest. Terrigal sealed the game in the last 5 minutes when the Terrigal skipper was left unmarked at the far post and Jai McNamara was able to tap the ball in to make the final score 3-1.

“As I said, this match was always going to tell us where we are at this time of the season. We showed character and fight but at this stage, Terrigal can maintain the intensity required for a longer time in the game, but it has given us a goal to work towards and a standard to aim for,” stated Southern’s Dale Eggleton after full-time. 

 Terrigal’s Martyn Griffiths commented “It was a really pleasing second-half performance from us. We didn’t really pass the ball quick enough in the first half and Southern did well to close us down very quickly. They are a well-drilled side under Dale and will be in the finals come the end of the season no doubt. We move onto another tough encounter with Killarney next Saturday night”.

Killarney 1 – Woongarrah 1

In a rematch of the 2019 BPL Grand Final, neither side could get the best of their opponents this time as Killarney and Woongarrah split the points in their round 8 battle.

Killarney started the better of the two sides as Woongarrah came out flat and struggled to get out of their own half when in possession of the ball. Killarney continued to dominate into the later stages of the first half but were only limited to half chances as the defence of Woongarrah scrambled well to stuff out any real opportunities. It took a great through ball from Killarney’s veteran defender Nathan Stephenson who played the ball from his own backline which found teammate Blake Silvers 1-on-1 with the Woongarrah keeper as Silver’s did not waste the opportunity and finished well to give his side a 1-0 lead. Killarney continued to dominate as they searched for another goal before halftime in the hopes of doubling their lead but could not do so as the match remained 1-0 at halftime.

Woongarrah came out a much better side in the second 45 minutes, playing with more confidence and therefore getting themselves into better field positions. 20 minutes into the second half, Jamie Bartlett did well to turn his defender and put the ball through to Karl Gavin who took a few touches before slotting the ball past the keeper and put his side back level at 1-1. With 10 minutes to go, Woongarrah would lose their captain Chris Gavin to a second yellow card which will see him miss out on next week’s game against The Entrance. Having the advantage, Killarney would send waves of attack at the Woongarrah backline, but the Wildcats defence stood firm as they remained 1-1 at full time.

“It was a game where we had the majority of possession again but couldn’t score that extra goal to kill off the game. Disappointed to not keep a clean sheet once again but we now look forward to a big game this week against the in-form side of the competition in Terrigal so it should be an easy match for the boys to get motivated for,” added Chris Ackerley from Killarney.

Woongarrah coach Luke Rogers was “The boy’s confidence was down after the way we played at Southern, and it showed in the first half, we need to build off that second half now. Killarney knows how to win matches so to come away with a point after going down to 10 men is a good result away from home.”

Berkeley Vale 3 – Kariong 1

Berkeley Vale turns around their poor results in recent weeks with a compelling 3-1 win over the last place Kariong side.

After a slow attacking start to the game from Berkeley Vale, the Wombats slowly started to work themselves into the game after controlling the majority of the possession for the first 20 minutes but struggled to break down a stubborn Kariong defence who set up well from the kick-off. Berkeley eventually found their breakthrough with a goal from Jake Brownlow in his second game for the club. This allowed Berkeley Vale to move up through the gears and start to find their tempo and not long before half time Berkeley doubled their lead after a great build-up play was finished off by veteran Troy Mumford. Berkeley Vale entered the break with a 2-0 lead.

The second half saw more of a tighter contest and a goal against the run of play through Keiran Montaser allowed Kariong to pull one back against the 2nd placed side. Kariong’s goal made the contest a lot more interesting as the Cougars were desperate for another goal in the hope of picking up their first point of the season. Berkeley Vale had a string of opportunities to put the game to bed, but their sealing goal would not come until the final 10 minutes. Liam Odell got the Wombats final goal and his first goal for the club as Berkeley saw the rest of the game out and got back to winning ways.

After the game, Berkeley Vale coach Mark Pratt credited the opposition. “Kariong played a strong game and will continue to cause problems for many teams throughout the season.”

Avoca 2 – The Entrance 2

The Entrance could not hold onto their lead over Avoca as the two teams shared the points at Pluim Park on Sunday. 

The Entrance started the game strongly, moving the ball around quickly and keeping possession well whilst managing to carve out some decent attacking plays. The Entrance good start to the game was rewarded in the 15th minute after some great work down the left flank, new recruit Josh Schumann fired a long, low pass over to Brad Thoseby on the far post who met the ball with a crisp strike to beat the Avoca goalkeeper. After continuing to control the 10 minutes after scoring, a momentary lapse in concentration allowed an Avoca winger to get in behind the Entrance defence and square the ball to Nathan Baker whose initial shot was saved by Steven Grimmitt, but the rebound fell back to the feet of Baker who poked home the equaliser for Avoca. That goal brought Avoca into the game more as both sides looked to find the next goal to put their team ahead before the break. 5 minutes before halftime, The Entrance were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Avoca box. Captain Nathan Blunden stepped up and stroked the ball with brilliant precision into the top left-hand corner to restore the Reddies lead at halftime.

The Entrance almost scored directly from the kick-off to start the second half, after some neat passing found Thoseby who had the opportunity to score from a similar spot to his first goal but this time the goalkeeper denied his efforts with a great save. Avoca was having a lot more success in the second stanza as they searched once again for that goal to bring them back on level terms. After another defence mistake from The Entrance, Avoca was able to dink the ball in behind the Entrance backline which left Jesse Parnell 1-on-1 with the opposition keeper, Grimmitt once again saved the first attempt well, but the ball fell back to Parnell who slotted the ball into the corner of the net, sending the Avoca crowd wild. With the game level once again at 2-2, the remainder of the match saw both teams have multiple opportunities to get a winner, but both goalkeepers were outstanding in protecting their respective goals. Avoca and The Entrance were made to share the spoils after a very hard-fought contest.

“It was a highly entertaining game with both sides keen to attack. Overall a draw was probably a fair result, with the match being a great advert for fast and very competitive BPL football! Both teams deserve credit for their performances” stated Neal Hide from Avoca.

The Entrance coach Matt Page was a little let down not picking up the 3 points but gives his kudos to a tough Avoca side. “We were better than we were last week, but the result was a little disappointing considering how many scoring chances we had. In saying that though, if it wasn’t for our keeper Steven Grimmitt in the last 15 minutes, we might have walked away with nothing. Credit to Avoca who kept playing for the full 90 minutes.”

BPL Leading Goal Scorers –

8Ethan Hall (Killarney)
7Daniel Bird (Terrigal), Stuart Adams (Terrigal)
6Keith Gumbs (Southern), Michael Tawyer (Southern)
5Bailey Garland (Berkeley Vale), Jesse Parnell (Avoca)

BPL Points Table –

BPL Club Championship –

BPL Round 9 Fixtures –

Division 1

Round 8 Results –

Division 1 Points Table –

Division 1 Club Championship –

Written by Adam Blunden.