A swaggering second half display gave Belconnen United a second 5-1 win of the season in the Women’s National Premier League as they came from a goal-down to sweep aside Gungahlin United at McKellar Park.
The visiting side had taken the lead just prior to the interval at the home of the Blue Devils as long-serving midfielder Erika Pennyfield put the Gunners ahead in what was a tense and tight opening forty-minutes, both teams offering a goal-threat, but with the match very much in the balance.
That was all to change in a stunning eighteen minute spell during the second stanza. Olivia Bomford had enjoyed her usual quality game up front, bringing others into play and orchestrating Blue Devils attacks, and she got the goal her performance deserved to kick-start proceedings in the 51st minute.
Ten minutes later Keira Bobbin, fresh off a hat-trick in Round 1, turned the game on its head to put Belconnen ahead and, when Bomford made it three some eight minutes later, the turnaround was complete. Bobbin netted her second, and fifth of the campaign, late on and there was still time for teen substitute Tatum Mazis to score her first goal at this level ins stoppage time.
A solitary goal proved enough for West Canberra Wanderers to edge out the Canberra United Academy in an enthralling match at Melrose Synthetic. That goal came in added time at the end of the first half as young striker Hattie Cram bagged her first ever senior NPL goal at a crucial time of the match. latching onto a sublime pass from Tara Cannon to strike.
Both these outfits featured a plethora of young talent who entertained on the artificial turf with chances coming throughout the course of ninety minutes. But the Wanderers goal proved the difference and gave Rey Castro and his team a maiden victory in their first outing of 2022.
Canberra Olympic continued their winning streak in the 2022 season with a routine victory over Tuggeranong United at O’Connor Enclosed, seeing off the challenge from the Southsiders to record a 6-0 win writes Matt Williams.
Both sides started strongly with Olympic dominating the first half-hour and finding themselves 2-0 up with goals from Anna Vandenbroucke and Michaela Thornton. Tuggeranong responded immediately off both kick-offs but would go into halftime needing a big second half.
Olympic started the second half with the same dominance, picking up two goals in the first ten minutes, both within sixty seconds of each other. Nicole Jalocha scored her first after fifty minutes, and an own goal from Tuggeranong’s Lara Mustaine, less than a minute later put the game out of reach.
Things would go from bad to worse for Tuggeranong as Ashleigh Sykes, introduced off the substitute’s bench, made it three goals in seven minutes with her first goal of the season. Vandenbroucke scored her second in the 68th minute to round out the scoring and, despite chances for United, Olympic would keep their clean sheet.
Canberra Croatia lined-up with a somewhat experimental squad, without the likes of Brittany Palombi, Rebecca Kiting, Alice Churchill, and Grace Gill against Wagga City Wanderers at Deakin Stadium, but it made little difference as they steamrollered their youthful opponents winning 16-0, reports Jeremy Magan.
The hosts opened the score within the first three minutes, and dominated head and shoulders from there on. Without Palombi, Krista Hagen stole the show with five goals and is now tied with Bobbin at the top of the early goal-scoring ladder. Hat-tricks from Jennifer Bisset, Mia Giorgi and Isabella Barac, and a goal each from Sienna Birnie and Jamie Berkeley tallied up the result.
The team for the Riverina have faced arguably the two best squads in the competition to start their season and will have a couple of weeks to learn from the heavy defeats. Despite the result, the performance of their captain Bella Palmero, as well as left back Marwa Suleiman and goalkeeper Ebony Warner is to be commended. Sam Gray and his troops have some work to do but these are good foundations to build upon, before travelling back to the capital after the Easter break.
Saturday 9 April
Belconnen United 5 (Bomford 51’, 69’, Bobbin 61’, 84’, Mazis 90+2’) Gungahlin United 1 (Pennyfield 44’)
Sunday 10 April
West Canberra Wanderers 1 (Cram 45’) Canberra United Academy 0
Canberra Olympic 6 (Vandenbroucke 20’, 68’, Thornton 37’, Jalocha 50’, Mustaine 51’ (og)) Sykes 57’) Tuggeranong United 0
Canberra Croatia 16 (Giorgi 2’, 47’, 77’, Bisset 20’, 28’, 53’, Birnie 31’, Hagen 38’, 39’, 68’, 79’, 81’, Barac 41’, 57’, 60’, Berkely 54’) Wagga City Wanderers 0