Sunday, July 26, 2009

Clarence reach their first State-wide Cup Final

Clarence United 3-1 Tilford Zebras

Clarence United did one better than last year, when they lost in the semi-finals of this competition, the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy.

They beat Tilford Zebras comfortably, 3-1, to reach the final for the first time. It was their second win over Zebras this season.

They will meet Northern Rangers in the final, Rangers having beaten Somerset 5-3 away in the other semi-final.

Northern Rangers are top of the ladder in the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League, while Zebras are top of the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League.

Clarence are second last in the south, so this victory was quite some achievement.

Zebras were without Ricky Self, who had a groin strain, but Clarence were missing Chris Hunt.

Both sides had some bad misses in the opening minutes, but it was Zebras who took the lead in the 6th minute when Jayden Welch scored at the second attempt from close range and in a crowded goalmouth after a cross from the right.

Sam McIntyre levelled in the 12th minute after Zebras failed to clear a corner and the youngster got the vital touch.

Kurt Engels fired against a post and Dwayne Walsh flicked an effort wide as Zebras continued to press, but Ben Crosswell was having little impact and drifted deeper and deeper in order to find space.

Crosswell did lob one effort into the net, but he was off-side.

Zebras were dealt a blow on the stroke of half-time when midfielder Paul Cairns was sent off. He had collected a yellow card early in the game for a tackle and he then was shown a second after standing over the ball at a Clarence free-kick.

When Clarence took the free-kick quickly and the ball struck Cairns, Mr Jozeljic showed him the yellow card and then the red. Some would argue that because the free-kick had been taken quickly, Cairns was unable to get away from the ball and naturally stuck out a leg.

Ben Hamlett put Clarence in front in the 51st minute with a clinical finish and Zebras seemed dispirited and lacking in fluidity.

They were struggling at the back against the speed of Clarence and, in the 70th minute, Ryan Smith brought down Hamlet in full flight and conceded a penalty, which Hamlett converted with ease to kill off the match.


• Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown, said:

“It’s the first time the club’s ever been there.

“We were very disappointed the way we played last year in the semi-final when we 4-0 down after 20 minutes. Game over.

“So, we were very determined. We’ve actually trained quite well over the last three or four weeks.

“We’ve been on grass again, which makes a difference, and I think the longer the game went, the more you could see we’re getting back to what we were at the beginning of the year.

“We’re still a long way off the finished article.

“But, take nothing away from Tilford Zebras. They didn’t have Ricky Self, but they’re a fantastic football club and I think they’ll probably go on and win the league.

“To beat them twice - we’re the only team to beat them twice - that’s no mean achievement with a bunch of very young and inexperienced players.

“We’re just happy to be there. We’ll enjoy today and worry about Thursday on Thursday.”

• Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:

“Disappointed in the end. I mean, the boys really wanted this one.

“This is the only cup they haven’t won, so we’re disappointed.

“I know you shouldn’t say it, but the refereeing standard left a lot to be desired, for both sides.

“But, congratulations to Clarence. I hope they go on an win it.

“We’ll concentrate on the league.”


Clarence United: Moschogianis - Toghill, Parker, Lewis, L Huigsloot - McMahon, Stevens, S McIntyre (J Huigsloot 91), Hamlett (Barabara 87) - Barron, Cripps (Phillips 87) (Substitute not used: Sweetten)

Booked: Hamlett

Sent-off: Barron

Goals: McIntyre 12, Hamlett 51, 70 pen

Tilford Zebras: Kaden - Fagg, Smith, Telega, Pace (Thorpe 73) - Welch, Fotak, Cairns, K Engels - Walsh, Crosswell (Substitute not used: Connolly)

Booked: Cairns, Fagg, Smith

Sent-off: Cairns

Goals: Welch 6

Att: 100

Ref: I Jozeljic

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