QCSA 2015 Preliminary Finals  
What an intriguing round of football in the QCSA in the penultimate weekend leading up to the grand finale. Many of those who played on the weekend were reminded that, whether they won or lost on the scoreboard, they actually got to play at least two more games on top of the fixture season, compared with teams finishing 5th or below. So in some ways it was a bonus!  

In a surprising statistic, all three senior women’s teams, division 1-4 senior men’s teams, 15/16 boys and girls, and in divisions 14.1 and 11.1 already had the premiers advance to the G/F last week, yet, it was the runners-up in SM5, SM6, SM7 & U.17/18 boys that did so. The premiers in these last 4 divisions did not make it to the G/F – indicating the closeness of the competition.  

One of the leading and largest clubs in the QCSA, Westminster Warriors FC, had 4 senior men’s and ladies’ teams represented at Yandina Park on Saturday. Unfortunately, all four teams were on the wrong end of the score-line, yet, often humble in victory they were gracious in defeat, as they are well aware that in some years it was the other way round. This typifies the wonderful club culture that has existed at the club for numerous years and the selfless work of the wonderful volunteers the club, headed by club president, Sue Peacock..  

Congratulations are also extended to all the U.9 and U.10 teams who played their Grand Finals last weekend. Hope you all enjoyed the atmosphere – for some it was the very first time!  

Now for some of the results highlighting the large number of clubs represented in the finals and the G/F next week, spanning the length and breadth of south-east Qld.  

SW1 – Premiers Blackstone United await West End after their narrow 1-0 win over Westminster. [see report below]  

SW2 – Premiers Whitehill meet Sunnybank Saints who played one of their best games of the season against the young and exciting Silkstone Baptist Pink team, getting home 4-1. Under the guidance of experienced coach, Terry Crimston, the Saints were well prepared for this one and hope that they save their best for next week!  

SW3 – Premiers Beaudesert await Northside Christian who survived a lengthy penalty shoot-out versus St Catherine’s in one of the matches of the day. Both g/k’s were outstanding as the shoot-out went to at least double figures, yet the winning score ended up 4-3. Congratulations to both teams for putting on a fantastic spectacle!  

SM1 – Premiers Brisbane Athletic and St Pauls meet again in the decider, with both teams deserving this position after going neck-and-neck in the premiership. St Pauls defeated the exciting Westminster Warriors, 5-0, but it was refreshing to see the youngsters make the step up from division 2 last season and play magnificently throughout the season. Along with 4th placed Sunnybank Saints, these lads brought speed, flair and imagination each week and are a credit to their club, to their coach, Nick Coker, and their experienced club director of coaching, John Oliver. [see report below]  

SM2 – Premiers Whitehill take on Raceview Purple who accounted for Northside Christian 4-1.  

SM3 – Premiers West End come up against Raceview who accounted for Westminster 4-1 in another exciting match. Can 4th placed Raceview account for their unbeaten counterparts?  

SM4 – Premiers Brisbane Valley had the week off and await Mansfield Eagles who produced some classic strikes in their 4-1 win over West End.  

SM5 – Runners-Up Silkstone Baptist will play 4th placed Blackstone United, who upset premiers Westminster 2-1, in a game in which fortunes favoured the brave!  

SM6 – Runners-Up Logan Uniting meet 4th placed St Pauls after they accounted for premiers Mansfield Eagles 3-2 in a thriller!  

SM7 – In almost identical circumstances, runners-up St Cat’s, meet St Pauls who also won 3-2 against premiers Rosewood United.  

U.17/18 Boys – Runners-up Logan Metro had a week off as they await St Cat’s in the G/F after they won 5-3 vs premiers Beaudesert.  

U.15/16 Girls – Premiers Silkstone Baptist will take on Boonah once again, after they held off St Pauls 2-0.  

U.15/16 Boys – Premiers St Cat’s will play against Brisbane Valley who accounted for North Lakes by the same 2-0 margin.  

U.14.1 – Premiers Raceview will take on Sunnybank Saints again, after the Saints had a gripping 5-4 win over the talented and exciting North Lakes outfit. You could throw a blanket over these three teams as they are so close in ability, team support, great coaching and sportsmanship. Everyone associated with these three teams should take a bow as you all demonstrate something far more important – recognising how junior football (or sport for that matter) should be treated, through the game of football.  

U.13.1 – Runners-up North Pine Baptist will take on premiers North Lakes who edged out a gallant Logan Uniting team, 2-1.  

U.12.1 – Runners-up Mansfield Eagles will play against Sunnybank Saints once more after their thrilling 5-3 win over St Cat’s.  

U.11.1 – The exciting play of premiers Sunnybank Saints will be on show again against Brisbane Valley who also played out a high-scoring shoot-out against Mansfield Eagles.  

** Note, there are many other grand-finals in lower divisions on Saturday (and of course in the O.30s/40s divisions on Friday night) so there will be many more clubs being represented.  

---      ----    -----

I encourage you to give your very best as a player, coach, manager, referee or supporter and praise the effort of all the players from both teams. Bring all the glitz and glitter and make it a special day for all concerned – regardless of whether you win or lose. {Remember, there can only be two teams in the G/F out of the 8 to 10 teams in every division!}  

For some adults on the sidelines, remember that it is NOT about you, so don’t make a goose of yourselves. The kids are doing their best, as are the referees and coaches. Instead of looking for bad calls/decisions by the ref, count the number of positive things that your players do whilst in possession of the ball and also off the ball (for example making runs or looking to make space to receive passes) which is over 90% of the game!!!  

SW1 Preliminary Final 

West End 1  vs Westminster Warriors 0 

This was definitely an example of both coaches doing their homework and preventing the opposing threats taking charge. It was dour and pressure-packed with both defensive lines impregnable. The wonderful short-passing game of Westminster was a joy to behold but it was the defence of Sarah Gough, Nyomi Paczkowski, Marissa Maitland and Nicky Dovey (& g/k – Maddisson Fitzgerald) who held out the unpredictable, yet classy ball players from West End. In the same way, Karen Snowling, Danielle Hofstetter, Amy Schrotter, Sarah Smith and g/k, Jamie Lee Cosgrove, denied the Westminster strike-force from scoring.  

Yet, there had to be a winner and it came as a result of a swathe of West End passes involving all the midfielders and strikers. The ball eventually was passed to Amanda Nesmith on the edge of the 18 yard box, as she was facing the goal. After evading a tackle, she placed the ball superbly into the bottom left corner of the net, giving the Westminster g/k no chance!  

West End’s captain, Grace O’Connor, was pleased with the effort of her teammates, and also happy for those sidelined through injury, who may get the opportunity to play next week. O’Connor, as always, was full of praise for the opposing team players, coaches and supporters, for their great competitive nature on the park and their gracious attitude off the park. She singled out the two defensive lines (i.e. both teams) as the most valuable players on the park in a season where the strikers and goal-scorers have got most of the accolades!  

Well, who would have thought at the beginning of the season …… that … the SW2 grand-finalists would be playing one another in the SW1 G/F the following year? Has the decade long reign of Westminster and Raceview come to an end, or is it just a temporary hiccup?  

Finally, can Blackstone win the double again, or has West End got something up their sleeve to deny them???  

SM1 Preliminary Final  

St Pauls 5  vs Westminster Warriors 0  

St Pauls had stumbled into the finals with a number of injury concerns which may have denied them the premiership and were up against a confident Westminster team who had scored 16 goals in their previous two games. Could the experience, structure and organisation of St Pauls hold out the youth, skill, speed and excitement of the green and whites?  

It didn’t take long for St Pauls to take charge and they hit the lead early in the game. A free-kick, 25 yards out slightly to the right of centre, found the bottom left corner of the net, expertly taken by St Paul’s coach, Dale McConnell.  

The game became end-to-end, but, St Pauls held out and struck again on the counter, via a corner. Tony Yeung whipped over a wonderful cross to the back post where Dan Gatto ghosted in with a powerful header to make it 2-0.  

From then on, Westminster pushed forward in numbers putting St Pauls under constant pressure until half-time. Yet again, St Pauls weathered the attacking forays and held out with solid structure and good communication.  

The opening of the 2nd half was far more open and in the 55th min St Pauls got their third goal. Dan Gatto picked up the ball near edge of the 18 yard area, and with a reverse pass to Dave Ward, saw him taken out in a 50-50 challenge in the box. In an instant, the referee blew the whistle and the result was a penalty. Dale McConnell stepped up and hammered the shot up the middle as g/k dived to his right – almost getting a toe to the ball!   

A long goal-kick from Nick Chin found Paul Eigl (coming back from injury) who outmuscled his opponents and held of the defenders with his strength and size. He then turned quickly and deceived them with his pace to get clear and then slotting coolly into the bottom right hand corner of net to make the score 4-0.  

Finally, Ringo Chang made a penetrating run down the right flank, to see his cross flicked on by Chris Gatto at the near post to the evergreen Wes Hodson, lurking at the back-post.  A quick toe-poke was all it needed and the score finished at 5-0. Whilst the score-line seemed emphatic, the actual game was much closer and the tactics by Westminster to push forward to get back in to the game was the correct decision. Unfortunately, experience won out in this one and it is no surprise that the two most experienced teams in the competition should meet in the Grand final next week!  

Captain Dan Gatto said afterwards, “As they do in every game, the Westminster team battled to the very end. We congratulate them on a great season after coming up from Div.2 at the beginning of the season.”