A six-goal salvo from the superb Cara Ceruti led South Canberra Swift to a 16-1 demolition of Queanbeyan-Palerang Power in the opening match of Round 2, a result that may kick-start the Swift’s season.
Power were much improved a week on from their debut match in the competition, and even took the lead as the talismanic Maia Cameron, who played with a cork in her right thigh, fired them in front as early as the fifth minute of the encounter.
That poked the bear though and the Swift response was rapid and heavy. Ginger Oliver, making her first appearance in the competition, levelled for the Swift before Isabella Hindmarsh, who had already hit the post twice, finally find the target, her shot entering the net off the inside of the woodwork.
It was then time for the start of the Ceruti show. The Swift star opened her account with the third goal and then scored at will for the remainder of the match, ending with a double-hat-trick and a hugely impressive performance that the Power just could not seem to deal with in any way.
Sofia Palywoda was one of the architects of the triumph, providing a string of assists and scoring twice herself, one an absolute screamer as she cut inside her marker, whilst Sabrina Toufexis also managed two, both her goals coming within seconds of each other.
Skipper Samantha Price, Isabelle Hindmarsh, Kaitlyn Colwill, and Leah Carnegie added to the mounting scoreline as the Swift exercised their domination of the contest with a raft of goals, most of them coming in clutches.
Six-goals were shared in an epic clash between the UC Stars and the North Canberra Fire as the Round 2 encounter played on the Saturday evening ended in a thrilling, and hugely engaging, 3-3 draw.
Both teams went into the match depleted in numbers, but it made little difference to the spectacle, a see-sawing encounter that flowed from end-to-end and featured magnificent performances from every player who took part.
The Fire opened the scoring when Elke Aitolu, on her Fire debut having missed Round 1, struck in the fourth minute, to kick-start a furious bout of shots which goalkeepers Samantha Briggs of the Stars, also playing her first match, and Nicole Jalocha standing in between the post for the Fire, dealt with well.
Tayla Hampson brought the Stars level in the fifteenth minute with a well-taken finish, only for Bessie Reithmuller to restore the Fire lead with her fourth goal of the season just two minutes later.
Stella De Marco deflected a cross-shot into her own net a minute before the break to send the teams into the changing rooms all square at 2-2, but De Marco was to make amends with a gloriously taken equaliser of her own with ten minutes remaining in the contest.
That was needed as the Stars had gone in front for the first time six minutes upon the resumption, as Reilly Yuen found a modicum of space on the right side of the pitch and smashed a low shot inside Jalocha’s near-post, s fine finish that the goalkeeper could do little about.
A truly memorable match ended with both teams pushing for a winner, and yet a draw was a fair ending, the maiden stalemate in the CFL.
West Canberra Lightning lead the way after two rounds following their hard-fought 8-1m win over the ANU Apex in which three early goals set the tone and from which the Apex, despite some great passages, were unable to recover.
Unsurprisingly, it was Brittany Palombi who netted the opener in the third minute for Lightning, and when Amy McLachlan and Dianne Wilson added to that early strike by the sixth minute, the Lightning had a firm grip on proceedings.
Further goals from Krista Hagen and Jamie Berkeley had the Lightning five to the good by the break, but the Apex had shown plenty of spirited signs and, immediately upon the resumption, took the game to their opponents with Grace Davey slotting home at the end of a fast-paced, and incisive attack.
The Lightning recomposed themselves and were able to reassert their strength via goals from Palombi, McLachlan and a first of the season for Rebecca Kiting, but they know they were in a game as the Apex kept goalkeeper Natalie Lacey honest and, but for the solidity of the Lightning number one, may have had further goals to bolster their tally.
Friday 4 November
Queanbeyan-Palerang Power 1 (Cameron 5’) South Canberra Swift 16 (Ceruti 11’, 21’, 22’, 32’, 33’, 40’, Oliver 8’, 19’, Hindmarsh 9’, Colwill 12’, Palywoda 16’, 38’, Price 23’, Toufexis 31’, 32’, Carnegie 35’)
Saturday 5 November
UC Stars 3 (Hampson 15’, S. De Marco 19’ (og), Yuen 26’) North Canberra Fire 3 (Aitolu 4’, Reithmuller 17’, S. De Marco 30’)
Sunday 6 November
ANU Apex 1 (Davey 22’) West Canberra Lightning 8 (Palombi 3’, 25’, McLachlan 5’, 31’, Wilson 6’, Hagen 10’, Berkeley 20’, Kiting 32’)
7 Stella DE MARCO (Fire)
6 Cara CERUTI (Swift)
5 Brittany PALOMBI (Lightning)
4 Nicole JALOCHA (Fire), Bessie REITHMULLER (Fire)
3 Natalie DE MARCO (Fire), Becky RIZZO (Stars), Own GOALS
2 Krista HAGEN (Lightning), Tayla HAMPSON (Stars), Amy MCLACHLAN (Lightning), Ginger OLIVER (Swift), Sofia PALYWODA (Swift), Nikita PERRY (Fire), Samantha PRICE (Swift), Sabrina TOUFEXIS (Swift), Dianne WILSON (Lightning), Reilly YUEN (Stars)
1 Elke AITOLU (Fire), Jamie BERKELEY (Lightning), Maia CAMERON (Power), Leah CARNEGIE (Swift), Kaitlyn COLWILL (Swift), Grace DAVEY (Apex), Isabella HINDMARSH (Swift), Rebecca KITING (Lightning), Stefi LEJINS (Fire), Roxie SWART (Apex), Shayma TAWEEL (Apex)