Senior Men's Div.1 Wrap Up for Rd.13 - 1st August 2015

How close were the games during this round?

In a marvellous exhibition of attacking play by both teams, Blackstone United won 6-5 away to Whitehill. There would have to have been some spectacular goals!
Logan Metro continued their remarkable climb up the ladder (after an inglorious start to the season) and they had an excellent 3-1 win at home against the Latin Golden Boys.
Westminster Warriors pipped home side, Mansfield Eagles, 3-2, and retained 3rd place. The Eagles have had some impressive results lately but fell short of toppling the exciting young players of Westminster.
Equal ladder leaders, Brisbane Athletic and St Pauls continued to win their games, albeit by narrow margins. Athletic defeated a very tricky outfit in Sunnybank Saints at home, whilst St Pauls also won 2-1, but on the road against North Pine Baptist.

Whilst the top three teams have three more games to sort out the final places and order of finals play, there is an interesting battle brewing for 4th position (& finals football!) Mansfield Eagles hold on to 4th placing on 23 points, but the chasing pack include: Logan Metro (22), Sunnybank Saints (20) and Blackstone United (18) with still a remote chance.

St Pauls vs Logan Metro, Sunnybank Saints vs Mansfield Eagles and Blackstone United vs Brisbane Athletic are three crucial games this week that could determine positions 1st to 7th - depending on the results of these games.

Senior Women's Div.1 Wrap Up for Rd.13 - 1st August 2015
Blackstone United maintained their impressive form with a 7-0 home win against Logan Metro. To their credit, the visitors improved from their 1-11 loss earlier in the season and must take heart in their improvement.
Raceview had an excellent 3-0 away win over an always difficult proposition in Logan Uniting. Some interesting times for Raceview as they have a catch up game at home against Rosewood United midweek (after their game was abandoned a couple of weeks back with Rosewood 2-1 ahead at the time). 
Salisbury Baptist continued their improvement with a tough 1-0 win against a gallant Brisbane Valley. It took a sensational effort from 25 metres out by the exciting striker, Jenna Sewell, to win it for the home team. Brisbane Valley continue to give it their best week in-week out, and whilst they have only won one game for the season, there have been countless games where they have lost by one goal, including a 1-0 loss to the extremely talented  West End team last week. Keep battling girls.
Rosewood United and North Pine Baptist fought out a tough 2-2 draw as they are neck and neck in the race for 4th position and finals football. Raceview and Rosewood United played out a 1-1 draw in their mid-week catch up game.
In the final game (see Match of the Day below), West End and Westminster turned on a show in the first half with 3 goals apiece. The 2nd half became a master class as West End turned on the magic with some sublime goals, especially by Grace O'Connor. 
From this result, West End (33 points) are in a strong position to finish as runner's up to Blackstone United (39) and continue their rivalry in the finals, as they did in Div.2 last season.
Westminster cling on to 3rd place on 29 points but hold on precariously with challenges coming from North Pine Baptist (26), Rosewood United (26) and Raceview (22). Some interesting times in the next few weeks with only two of these 4 teams occupying the final two places in the top 4 and finals football.
There's no guessing as to which game will be the Match of the Day for Rd. 14 ..... Blackstone United vs West End @ 5.00pm on Sat. 8th August.

SW1 Match of the Day - Sat. 1st August @ Davies Pk, West End
West End 7 vs Westminster 3  (H/T: 3-3)
As the referees David De Ryck (central), Andrew Walsh and Ben Walsh were preparing to walk out into the middle, both coaches - Jorge Cabrera and Paul Janson - were trying to get their run on teams in order as players were scrambling to put their gear on after coming to the venue from other appointments. This may have caught the visitors a little on the hop, As within the first 5 minutes, the West End girls were 2-0, but it could have been 4!!! Firstly, Grace O'Connor glided past three Westminster players in the middle and released a wonderful diagonal ball behind the two central defenders which allowed the irrepressible Toni Turnbull to run at the gk and slot the ball low into the bottom corner of the net for the opening goal. Not to be outdone, Grace O'Connor received a square pass from Elena Peirano, and after dancing past two defenders, she found herself in a one vs one with the gk, and the ball was smashed into the net for West End's 2nd goal. Toni Turnbull had chances either side of these goals as her exquisite ball control and speed created havoc for the Westminster girls.
West End's complete dominance in the first ten minutes of the game finally turned around as the determination of the visitors began a purple-patch of opportunities for the next half hour of  the game. Westminster's midfield and defence began to take a stranglehold on the middle of the park and the eventual goals were bound to came. Firstly, a long defensive clearance by captain, Emily Smith in the 24th minute, eluded the defensive line of West End, and the speedy Nyomi Paczkowski ran on to be upended just inside the penalty box. She got up and duly converted the penalty by placing it into the bottom left hand corner of the net and reduce the deficit to 2-1.
A few minutes, from a corner by April Rustichelli, the West End girls made a meal of the clearance and as the ball bounced out to Emily Smith on the edge of the box, she calmly placed the ball into the top left hand corner and the score was back to 2-2. 
In the 36th minute Westminster added another goal and it was a beauty! Lauren Kreis and Angie Sullivan scythed through the middle of West End's midfield and defence with speed and short-passing, before Kreis hit a screamer from 20 metres out that rocked into the net for the visitors to hit the lead 3-2. Whilst the defence held tight, the blistering speed of April Rustichelli out wide on the flanks, added to the pace and strength of Angie Sullivan, Gemma Blake and Nyomi Paczkowski, plus the dominance of Marissa Maitland in the central defensive position, it was one-way action as the green and white's were in total control. But, you cannot take anything for granted as football is a funny game!
In the latter stages of the first half, West End did equalise against the run of play and it would require something special!?! A move that began in their own half by Toni Turnbull, saw the ball move from Turnbull to Grace O'Connor, over to Amy Schroter and a sublime return pass to O'Connor. After an excellent first touch, the second touch powered high and handsome into the roof of the net to end the first half at 3-3. What a wonderful exhibition of football!!!
Whatever was said by West End's coach, Jorge Cabrera, at half-time, certainly did the trick as his team played champagne football in the 2nd half.
In the 49th minute, a determined Florence Chen put enough pressure on the Westminster defenders with the ensuing rebound falling to an ever-grateful Aleisha Dunn on the edge of the box and her volley looped over the gk into the top right corner of the net to put the home team in front, 4-3. A few minutes later, Toni Turnbull combined with Grace O'Connor (for the umpteenth time!!!) and after some slick ball work past to or three defenders, O'Connor hit a wonderful long-range missile into the net and extend West End's lead to 5-a and bring up her hat-trick at the same time. 

For the next 20-25 minutes, Westminster tried valiantly to peg back the deficit, but the West End girls were determined to hold out and were well led by central defenders Karen Snowling and Victoria Gadd, and full backs Danielle Hofstetter and Elena Peirano, who nullified Westminster's speed out wide.
In the 80th minute, another piece of magic from the MVP for the game, Grace O'Connor. Another square pass from Toni Turnbull found Grace O'Connor about 30 metres from goal. Her first touch was to flick the ball up and the 2nd touch saw her volley the ball into the top corner of the net in a flash of brilliance. O'Connor's 4th goal extended the home team's lead to 6-3.
In the 87th minute, the versatile Amy Schroter got onto the scoresheet after fending off three challengers as she ran towards goal, and then with exquisite placement into the bottom corner of the net made it 7-3 and game-set-and-match!!!
It was an extra-ordinary game with the game ebbing and flowing, but, the big difference was West End's ability to conjure up some brilliant plays. This makes them the only real chance to stop ladder leader's Blackstone United from winning the Premiership/Championship double this year.
Congratulations to all the players for their fantastic effort through out the game and the excellent work by the men in black - David, Andrew And Ben - to allow the game to flow and make it a great spectacle.
A special mention of the two gk's, Jamie Lee Cosgrove (WE) and Kylie Sorahan (WW). Both played very well and showed class in their work. Unfortunately, there were 10 goals scored that wouldn't have made a difference if you would have Nadine Angerer (Germany) or Hope Solo (US) or Lydia Williams (Matildas) in goals - as they were of the highest quality and precision.