Belconnen United wrapped up their fifth win of the season in preparation for the Federation Cup Final as they defeated Tuggeranong United, Scott Conlon’s players scoring six times in the first 28 minutes of the game, happily managing their advance for the following hour.
Tatum Mazis kicked off the festivities after four minutes following a scramble in the box. Her technique was on display, with a quick control and shot ending in the bottom left corner. Seven minutes later, a selfless Keira Bobbin served Olivia Bomford on a platter to beat Sammy Emms from close range.
Mazis’ second of the day was a real poacher’s goal, following a shot from the edge of the box from Bomford that Emms could only parry away towards the winger. Belconnen would then score three times in five minutes thanks to their killer “B’s”.
A header from Talia Backhouse on a corner kick, a duel won by Bobbin and a powerful shot from point blank range by Bomford sealed the fate on the game. Tuggeranong, praised for their defensive efforts since the beginning of the season, had been picked cold and ran over by the Belconnen goal scoring machine. Karen Milewska, the Tuggies’ most lethal weapon this season, did add one to her tally just before the hour mark.
At Melrose Synthetic West Canberra Wanderers eased past Gungahlin United as they cemented their top four place. As so often for the Wanderers, the first goal came from Hattie Cram. The pocket striker used her pace to follow up on Sarah Corbett’s misjudgement and tapped the ball in the empty net.
Almost as often, West Canberra can count on their deep lying playmaker, Tara Cannon, to arm a missile from long range. Sunday was no different, and the second goal was one for the season highlights. 35 meters away, Cannon’s right footed effort dipped perfectly under the crossbar.
Sharon Chao just before the half hour mark answered for the Gunners with her own effort from range. From the corner of the box, she placed her ball perfectly out of reach of her former teammate, Ally Hinson, back in the Wanderers goals after a finger injury.
Cram secured the three points with 8 minutes left to play, thanks to another great run. In the six-yard box, she saw Corbett anticipating the cut back and threaded the ball between the keeper and her near post. The Wanderers keep their remarkable run in 2022 and remain in the top three, two points behind Olympic.
Canberra Olympic had the points sewn up early against Wagga City Wanderers at O’Connor Enclosed with the young players of the Riverina battling stoically but finding themselves down and out at half-time.
Michaela Thornton completed a hat-trick before the break, starting with a corner-kick tapped into her own net by Ebony Warner after five minutes. The skippers’ two other goals were scored from short range.
Between Thornton’s goals, Tiana Miro found the back of the net from 35 meters out, and Nicole Jalocha picked Meg Roden in the middle of the box, to offer an in-form player another place on the scoresheet.
The second half started like the first, with a goal from a corner kick early on. This time it was played short and quick, and Roden from the edge of the box armed a perfect shot that ended under the crossbar.
Olympic would not reiterate their season-opening performance, but still added a last goal in the last ten minutes by Brittany Fiorese. An uncharacteristic defensive mistake by the home team finally offered Megan Castle her second goal of the season to give the Wanderers something to smile about.
The reigning champions, Canberra Croatia, put a comfortable cushion between them and their opponents, Canberra United Academy, within the first half hour as they claimed another three points at Hawker Football Centre.
Like in week one, the Academy were punished by Croatia’s high press. Jamie Berkeley stole the ball and shot with one touch ten minutes in, putting the ball out of reach of Chloe Lincoln.
A hat trick for Jenny Bisset followed, bringing her tally to 11 for the season. If all 3 goals were scored from close range, they displayed the midfielder’s ease ball to feet. Grace Gill’s scored one of the most forgettable goals of her successful career, deflecting a shot from Isabella Barac just before the half hour mark.
A change in tactics and intensity allowed the Academy to show a better side after the break. Jaya Bowman’s brace was matched by one each from Diane Wilson and Sienna Birnie, cutting short hopes of a miraculous comeback.
Croatia could have scored more if it wasn’t for some defensive heroics by the home team and Lincoln’s post. The champions are comfortable on the front seat, and never doubted against the only team able to beat them in the NPLW in the last two seasons.
Saturday 28 May
Belconnen United 6 (Mazis 4’, 15’, Bomford 11’, 27’, Backhouse 23’, Bobbin 25’) Tuggeranong United 1 (Milewska 57’)
Sunday 29 May
West Canberra Wanderers 3 (Cram 9’, 82’, Cannon 16’) Gungahlin United 1 (Chao 29’)
Canberra Olympic 7 (Thornton 5’, 28’, 44’, Miro 22’, Roden 30’, 48’, Fiorese 83’) Wagga City Wanderers 1 (Castle 86’)
Canberra United Academy 2 (Bowman 50’, 66’) Canberra Croatia 7 (Berkeley 10’, Bisset 14’, 23’, 36’, Gill 28’, Birnie 58’, Wilson 80’)
|3||West Canberra Wanderers||8||6||0||2||0||18|
|5||Canberra United Academy||7||2||0||5||-8||6|
|8||Wagga City Wanderers||8||0||0||8||-59||0|
Words: Jeremy Magan