Monday, August 24, 2020

Olympia's female Warriors down South Hobart in a thriller

Photo:  Olympia's Leah Gubb has a shot as South Hobart's Eve Swain can only watch [PlessPix]

(Women’s Super League, South Hobart Oval, Sunday, 23 August 2020)

South Hobart 0
Olympia Warriors 3 (B Davies 20, 41, O Bomford 23)

HT:  0-3   Att:  100   Ref:  A Cooke

South Hobart:  McMullen  -  Batchelor, Berrell, E Moutsatsos, Cooling  -  Ingram, Choi, Roberts, Swain  -  Fader, N Moutsatsos  (Subs:  Booth, Coy, Declerck, Kidd, Westwood)

Olympia Warriors:  Farrow  -  C Chambers, Black, Leszczynski  -  Gubb, Roberts, Bomford, Michael  -  M Cane, Davies, M Chambers  (Subs:  I Cane, Johnson, Russell, Teale)

Photo:  Olympia's Madison Chambers races past the South Hobart bench pursued by South Hobart's Bridie Cooling [PlessPix]

This was an excellent and exciting game to watch and both sides can be proud of their performance in very wet and slippery conditions.

There was top-class technique and skill on view and although Olympia deserved their win, South Hobart have improved dramatically over last season, so coach Craig Westwood must be doing something right.  South Hobart have recruited well, but it’s more than just that.  The team combines individual skill with marvellous team play and this side is a credit to the club.

Both teams strung together more than three passes at a time, something that is often lacking in local men’s football, and the thought that went into moves was clearly evident.  Ball control was good, and players passed with the inside and the outside of the foot to great effect.

Photo:  South Hobart's Eleni Moutsatsos tackles Olympia's Bonnie Davies [PlessPix]

Every single player from both sides did well, especially in the difficult conditions, and it was heartening to see, for example, the confidence of a player such as South Hobart’s right-fullback, Bridie Cooling, who at one stage dribbled past an opponent inside her own penalty area before releasing a forward pass.  The alternative was to boot the ball upfield, but she showed tremendous composure and confidence and it was delight to watch.

Many coaches would frown on such cheeky play inside the penalty area, but it is just such confident and skilful play that attracts spectators to the game and makes football exciting.

Olympia’s opening goal in the 20th minute was perfectly executed.  A long clearance by goalkeeper Jenna Farrow found Bonnie Davies in midfield.  She played a one-two with Olivia Bomford and the speedy Davies  outpaced Eleni Moutsatsos and rounded the advancing goalkeeper Georgia McMullen and slotted the ball into the net.  This was the sort of goal any side would be proud of.

Photo:  Olympia's Caitlin Roberts and South Hobart's Isabella Declerck do battle in front of the Olympia bench [PlessPix]

It was 2-0 in the 23rd minute when McMullen blocked a shot from close range by Mia Cane and the ball rebounded to the edge of the box, where Bomford expertly chipped the ball into the net.

Four minutes before the break, Davies took advantage of an error in midfield to gain possession and she accelerated past two opponents before driving home a low shot from 15 metres to make it 3-0.

There were no more goals in the second half, although Olympia should have increased their lead.  But, it was a credit to the never-say-die attitude of South Hobart that Olympia didn’t add more goals.

I needed to see a game of this quality to be re-inspired by football as I sometimes find the men’s game drab and predictable.  Men’s football is certainly more physical and faster, but this women’s game showed players who think about what they are doing and who are creative and adventurous.  I can hardly wait to watch these two teams in action again.

Photo:  Both teams ready themselves for a cross [PlessPix]

South Hobart coach, Craig Westwood, said:

“Overall, I was quite pleased with our progress and it’s great playing a quality side like Olympia, where both sides strive to play positive possession football.

“I thought the standard of the match was very good and, considering the conditions, the football played was a credit to both sides.

“We have a number of young players who have adapted superbly to senior football, playing only their first or second season at this level.  Lucy Booth was another first-year player who made her debut yesterday.

“Georgia McMullen had an outstanding game for us in goals as she continues her impressive season.”

Photo:  Olympia goalkeeper Jenna Farrow scoops the ball up in the slippery conditions [PlessPix]

Olympia Warriors coach, Alastair Russell, said:

“It was a good all-round performance in difficult conditions against fast-improving opponents.

“I challenged the team first and foremost to keep our run of clean sheets going and I was delighted we were able to do that.

“We are now able to play different ways in different conditions against different styles of opponents and that is very satisfying for us as a team and a big step forward from last year.

“We had high level performances from players right through the team and our bench is now very strong and able to contribute very positively as well.

“I’m pleased where we are, but we have a lot of room for improvement, too.

“A big few weeks coming up, but we are ready for the challenge.”

Photo:  Olympia's Maddie Black looks to her keeper before passing back [PlessPix]

Photo:  Olympia's Olivia Bomford uses the outside of her foot to dribble through the congestion [PlessPix]

Photo:  Olympia's Charlotte Chambers has moved into the attack for a corner and is about to receive the ball in a crowded South Hobart goalmouth as the rain teems down at South Hobart Oval [PlessPix]


Alastair Russell said...

Thanks for the write-up and your continued support of women's football Walter. It was an excellent game.

Anonymous said...

I watched this game on the live feed and thought both teams were extremely good in the awful conditions. Both coaches are the be commended in the skill of their players and the passing game that they play. The wet weather did not seem to affect them much at all. Well done to both the Olympia and South Hobart women, and their coaching teams.