The Queensland threat stayed top of an exciting 2016 Women’s PUMA F-League as Galaxy versus South Brisbane finished 4-4, Dural did it tough north with a brave 3-3 draw against Galaxy before falling 1-3 to South Brisbane, the ACT-derby also finishing deadlocked 2-2, while East Coast fell out of the playoff picture following a 6-2 defeat of Boomerangs and 3-5 loss to North Canberra.
The ladder shows South Brisbane (26) ahead of Galaxy (21), Dural (18) and Boomerangs (17), with a lurking Vics (12) having played three less games than fourth-placed Boomerangs and one less than Warriors who they meet in a fortnight’s time in Victoria.
The Golden Boot race tightened with four goals separating six players – Vipers ace Ceyda Cambaz (16), Galaxy’s Mariel Hecher (15), South Brisbane’s Sarah Amorim (15), Boomerangs striker Olivia Gurney (12), plus South Brisbane duo Melissa Weckert (12) and Sofie Persson (12) all in the running.
North Canberra Untouchables 2 (Alice Churchill, Madelyn Whittall) Boomerangs FS 2 (Michaela Day, Natalie De Marco)
Boomerangs FS 2 (Michael Day, Olivia Gurney) East Coast Heat 6 (Alexia Guerinoni 3, Caitlin Campbell 2, Hannah Charak)
South Brisbane 4 (Sofie Persson, Melissa Weckert, Sarah Amorim 2) Galaxy FC 4 (Mariel Hecher 2, Jessica Dillon, Lorena Maggio)
North Canberra Untouchables 5 (Ashleigh Palombi, Erika Pennyfield, Alice Churchill, Jennifer Bisset) East Coast Heat 3 (Jacqueline Anyon-Smith, Alexia Guerinoni, Sarah Roger)
Galaxy FC 3 (Georgina Bridges, Ashleigh Bucknall, Jo Burgess) Dural Warriors 3 (Jessica Elliot, Sarah Yatim, Bethany Gordon)
South Brisbane 3 (Sofie Persson, Sarah Amorim 2) Dural Warriors 1 (Rachel Perrins)
Untouchables, Boomerangs stalemate
North Canberra Untouchables rose to the occasion with an excellent 2-2 draw versus cross-town rivals Boomerangs FS at the AIS Training Halls on Friday night.
Fourth-placed Boomerangs were looking to claim some much-needed points to stay in the top-four race against a Untouchables side picking up their season and looking dangerous against every team they face; they were also keen for a local victory having gone down in a close encounter (1-3) in the first Territory showdown a fortnight ago.
After a great deal of possession and chances for North Canberra it was Boomerangs who struck first blood through captain Michaela Day as she slipped her way through the defence and calmly slotted away the opening goal.
It was the wake up call Untouchables needed as they fired one back several minutes later through an Alice Churchill finish to level the match at 1-1, and with time winding down to halftime pocket-rocket Maddy Whittall also struck to take North Canberra into the sheds with a 2-1 lead.
The second half played out very differently with both teams struggling to find attacking opportunities to break the game open, but with six minutes left skilful Boomerangs player Nat De Marco found herself in space, taking on the Untouchables defence and calmly finishing a very nice shot to tie the game up at 2-2.
Neither side could find that desperate final goal needed to take all three points and the final whistle sounded with the scoreline even.
East Coast down Boomerangs
East Coast rediscovered some form in beating Boomerangs FS 6-2 at the AIS Training Halls on Saturday morning, Heat’s Alexia Guerinoni finishing with a hat-trick and Caitlin Campbell bagging a double.
There was no Saturday morning slow-start for these closely-matched rivals as they both came out firing, two goals inside the first two minutes setting the tone for an upbeat fast-paced opening to a full day of F-League matches being held at Canberra’s AIS Training Halls.
Boomerangs captain Day slammed the first into the back of the net with an immediate East Coast response through Caitlin Campbell before the game settled, both teams displaying patience in their build-up play and solidity in their defensive efforts.
Two minutes to halftime the visitors’ Alexia Guerinoni finished off a nice offence slotting past Boomerangs keeper Jess Giovinazzo to give Heat a slender 2-1 lead at the changeover.
East Coast came out of the break with more intent and soon after Guerinoni grabbed her second to double the Heat advantage before the match entered a period of momentum swings as both sides positioned themselves for a strong drive through to the closing moments.
The home team grabbed the initiative with Olivia Gurney slotting home with plenty of time remaining to bridge the now single-goal deficit.
Heat had other plans though and responded swiftly to restore their two-goal buffer and break the Boomerangs back, the visitors powering home with a further two goals in the final few minutes – the 6-2 scoreline sweet revenge for East Coast’s 1-2 loss to the Territorians in Sydney.
Queensland derby draw
South Brisbane and Galaxy FC fought out a battle royale in the second-ever all-Queensland affair held at Eagle Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon, the scores locked at 4-4 when the dust finally settled.
Galaxy were first to put the ball in the net with a ninth-minute Mariel Hecher goal and a number of unfortunate South Brisbane misses resulted in the scoreline remaining unchanged to the interval.
FC continued their fight with Jess Dillon scoring a cracker of a goal to double the margin before Sofie Persson finally put South Brisbane on the board using her speed and agility to net and halve the deficit; but Galaxy were determined to overturn a recent loss to their cross-town rivals with Lorena Maggio scoring to make it 3-1 on the half-hour mark.
South Brisbane re-set and began to play their own game with Mel Weckert and Sarah Amorim both hitting the target within minutes to level proceedings up at 3-3, a second Hecher goal for Galaxy cancelled out by Amorim’s South Brisbane response to make it a salivating 4-4 score in the 34th minute.
The closing minutes were a feisty fight to the end from both teams – a share of the points maintaining Queensland’s top-two standing.
North Canberra stun Heat
A first-half blitz helped North Canberra Untouchables overcome East Coast Heat 5-3 at the AIS Training Halls on Saturday afternoon.
It was 4-zip at the break as the home side ran amok in the first term, East Coast turning up the second-half heat but unable to bridge the gap as North Canberra picked up their second win of the season and effectively end the defending premiers’ finals hopes in the process.
Warriors, Galaxy level
Nothing separated Galaxy FC and Dural Warriors at Logan Metro Sports Centre on Sunday morning, a ding-dong match locked 1-1 at halftime and 3-3 at the final whistle.
South Brisbane defeat Dural
South Brisbane downed Dural Warriors in a terrific contest at Logan Metro Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon.
The home side started strong with Sofie Persson scoring in the ninth minute with a beautiful finish after a strong transition from defence, the half was littered with mistakes from both teams as South Brisbane held their 1-0 lead to the break.
Dural came back from the rest-period fiery and ready to do what was needed to get the ball in the net, Rachel Perrins scoring on the half-hour to level proceedings at 1-1; but South Brisbane Sarah Amorim steadied the ship with a powerdrive to retake the lead moments later and, as Warriors played fifth-man, she added another to make it 3-1 to the Queenslanders at fulltime.
The result took South Brisbane to 62 goals for the winter, a new women’s seasonal record after overtaking the 59 scored by Parramatta Blues in 2013. East Coast won last year’s premiership with 56 goals.
Amorim’s fifth winter double is one shy of Rebecca Kiting’s top-mark for Capital last year (Galaxy’s Mariel Hecher also has five this season), and the South Brisbane leader and team-mate Melissa Weckert have both scored in nine of their team’s 11 outings – the record is held by Jodie Bain who scored in 10 Parramatta games in 2013.
This week’s games
The 2016 Women’s PUMA F-League moves north this weekend with all games at Eagle Sports Complex; South Brisbane versus Bayside Pirates on Saturday afternoon (3pm) followed by Galaxy FC against Boomerangs FS (4.45pm). On Sunday South Brisbane tackle Boomerangs in the morning (9am) before Galaxy play Pirates near lunchtime (12.30pm)