South Brisbane claimed the 2016 Women’s PUMA F-League premiership following 6-0 and 9-0 demolitions of Bayside and Boomerangs, while Galaxy cemented a top-three finish in their debut season with 3-1 and 2-0 wins against Boomerangs and Pirates.
South Brisbane (32) tops the ladder ahead of Galaxy (27) and Dural (18), while fourth-placed Boomerangs (17) have left themselves open to the Vics (12) and even East Coast (11) can sneak into to the playoffs with some favourable results.
The Golden Boot still has six players within four goals – Galaxy’s Mariel Hecher (17), South Brisbane duo Sarah Amorim (17) and Sofie Persson (16), plus Vipers ace Ceyda Cambaz (16), Boomerangs striker Olivia Gurney (13), and South Brisbane’s Melissa Weckert (13) all in the running.
South Brisbane 6 (Sofie Persson 2, Nicola Eagle, Emma Klos 2, Sarah Amorim) Bayside Pirates 0
Galaxy FC 3 (Mariel Hecher 2, Gabrielle Marzano) Boomerangs FS 1 (Olivia Gurney)
South Brisbane 9 (Sarah Amorim, Melissa Weckert, Sofie Persson 2, Stephanie Latham 2, Kelsey Pifarre, Shannon Tathem, Nicola Eagle) Boomerangs FS 0
Galaxy FC 2 (Gabrielle Marzano, Ashleigh Bucknall) Bayside Pirates 0
South Brisbane batter Bayside
Ladder-toppers South Brisbane were clinical in a 6-0 disposal of Bayside Pirates at Eagle Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Sofie Persson got the ball rolling with a sixth-minute left-foot strike and hit the back of the net again moments later to hand South Brisbane a two-goal buffer, Pirates unable to convert their limited chances with the home side up 2-0 at the changeover.
The second half started with a two-touch mistake from the Pirates keeper, with an unsuccessful South Brisbane penalty goal followed by a set-corner finished off strongly by Nicola Eagle.
Substitute Emma Klos made an immediate impact scoring twice with Sarah Amorim adding another to complete the rout as South Brisbane won 6-0 to hammer home their table-topping stance.
Galaxy cover Boomerangs
Galaxy FC proved too good in beating a brave Boomerangs FS 3-1 at Eagle Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Galaxy were upbeat for the match and asserted themselves early with several shots on goal, but the Boomerangs defence held firm to ensure their goal was never really threatened.
The Boomerangs players sat deep to conserve their energy and absorbed the Galaxy pressure with a very effective compact defensive structure, and against the run of play a counter-attack went rewarded when a surging Olivia Gurney run down the left and sharp left-foot drive to the far side of the goal resulted in a surprise 1-0 lead.
Galaxy continued to press but their frustration led to a number of long-range shots that never really troubled the Boomerangs keeper with the visitors holding their slender advantage to the break.
The home side levelled soon after the restart with a brilliant Mariel Hecher long-shot that sizzled into the back of the net and moments later she also hit the post, finally netting her second with an equally spectacular left-footed power strike to put Galaxy 2-1 in front.
The Queenslanders continued to press high, dominating possession in the Boomerangs’ defensive third, and the weight of possession eventually paid off when a neat Georgina Bridges cross from the right flank provided a simple tap-in for Gabrielle Marzano to make it 3-1.
To their credit Boomerangs attacked with a fifth-man play and managed to create a few close opportunities only thwarted by desperate Galaxy defence, the home team riding out a two-goal victory against a gallant opposition.
Impact-player Hecher has notched up a handy six braces for Galaxy this season, drawing alongside Rebecca Kiting’s high-mark for Capital FC last year (South Brisbane duo Sofie Persson and Sarah Amorim both have five pairs to their name this winter).
South Brisbane crush Boomerangs
South Brisbane pummelled Boomerangs FS 9-zip at Eagle Sports Complex on Sunday morning to be crowned 2016 F-League women’s premiers.
The home team kicked off with Sarah Amorim hitting the net after breaking through the defence in the fourth minute and South Brisbane showed their determination with a follow-up goal to Melissa Weckert showing a delicate touch to round the Boomerangs keeper moments later.
Sofie Persson’s agility and speed proved too hot to handle for the Boomers defence and she netted a third to make it 3-0 inside the opening quarter of the match.
Boomerangs showed tenacity and courage throughout the game with close shots from Olivia Gurney and Michaela Day, but the home side skipped further away with extra goals to Stephanie Latham and a precisely-positioned Kelsey Pifarre who’s far-post tap-in from a Sarah Amorim cross-field pass sent the teams to the changerooms with the northerners up 5-0.
South Brisbane kept their foot on the peddle in the second half and Shannon Tathem scored in front of goal before Nicola Eagle made it 7-nil on the half-hour mark following a well-choreographed set-play.
Swedish international Persson continued her golden boot quest with a second goal in the closing minutes and Latham ended the frenzy with a rebound follow-through against a noticeably-exhausted Boomers defence.
The lopsided scoreline was joint second-highest team score (Vics, East Coast and Dural boasted 11-goal matches last season), joint second-highest winning margin (behind Vipers 11-1 over Capital FC), equal-highest number of team scorers (Scorpions racked up seven against Warriors in 2014) and equal third-highest overall (there were nine scorers in a 7-6 Vipers victory over South Brisbane earlier this winter).
A ninth match unbeaten (Parramatta in 2013 and East Coast in 2015 hold the record with a dozen) and 17th unblemished Queensland outing elevated South Brisbane to a well-deserved premiership title after going close last year (six points behind an undefeated Heat) and also in 2014 (two points off Scorpions).
Club stalwart Sarah Amorim needs special mention after scoring in her 11th winter run to surpass the great Jodie Bain’s 10-game scoring effort for Parramatta way back in the debut 2013 season. Team-mates Sofie Persson and Melissa Weckert have also notched up 10 scoring-matches this year, but Amorim is now just one goal shy of reaching Bain’s league-high 18 goals scored for the Blues in 2013 (Galaxy’s Mariel Hecher is also on 17).
Galaxy repel Pirates
Galaxy FC held off a stubborn Bayside Pirates 2-0 in a tough Sunday matinee at Eagle Sports Complex.
The first half was a real arm-wrestle with neither team able to score, the home side had the best of the possession but the Pirates created the better scoring opportunities after some penetrating counter-attacks forced the Galaxy players to scramble back in defence.
The second half continued in much the same fashion as Bayside regained some momentum with possession shared between the teams, Galaxy keeper Noran Abaza making a number of great saves to deny a Pirates outfit starting to find gaps in the defence.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 28th minute when a back-heel flick-on from a Gabrielle Zgrajewski corner found a prowling Gabrielle Marzano who drilled home Galaxy’s opener, and as the game neared fulltime the home side worked hard to defend their slim lead despite a number of scares following more penetrating Pirates attacks.
The game opened up with play transitioning end-to-end as both teams pressed high, and Galaxy were able to seal victory in the final minute when Marzano turned provider with a neat ball across goal for Ashleigh Bucknall to slot in at the far post and underline their tight 2-0 win.
This week’s games
This weekend’s 2016 Women’s PUMA F-League starts with East Coast Heat against Dural Warriors at Valentine Sports Park on Friday night (6.30pm), with the action heading south as Vic Vipers host North Canberra Untouchables at Hoops 24/7 Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday morning (11am) and Dural at the same venue on Sunday morning (10am); Bayside Pirates are based at Caroline Springs Leisure Centre for fixtures against North Canberra on Saturday night (7pm) followed by the Warriors on Sunday afternoon (2.30pm).