Monday, May 31, 2021

Devonport and Knights to meet in Lakoseljac Cup Final

Photo:  Devonport's Joel Stone shapes up for a striker at goal. [PlessPix] 

Devonport Strikers qualified for the Lakoseljac Cup final with an 8-0 win away against Taroona at Kelvedon Park on Saturday.

The match started like a house on fire.

Taroona were like a human chain with buckets trying to douse the flames, while Devonport were like the fire, with flames licking here, licking there, and eventually licking everywhere.

The fire took time to overwhelm the bucket brigade, who fought hard and valiantly and benefited from the energy and experience of Matt Lewis and Jackson Marsh, but after 36 minutes, the flames enveloped everything.

It was 9 minutes from half-time when a move down the left by Eddie Bidwell led to the breakthrough.  His cross was touched on by Joel Stone and the marauding fullback Connor Parke fired home to give the visitors the lead.

Photo:  Connor Parke wheels away after scoring Devonport's opening goal against Taroona. [PlessPix]  

Five minutes later, Brody Denehey’s right-wing cross picked out Daniel Syson, who dived low to head home off the left-hand post and make it 2-0.

The smouldering ruins were there for all to see when Eddie Bidwell made it 3-0 with a low drive from range in the 42nd minute.

Taroona had battled bravely in the first half, but their only chance fell to Philip Gale, who was denied by the diving Nathan Pitchford.

Devonport, on the other hand, had several chances, but poor finishing and frenzied defence by the home side denied them.

Photo:  Daniel Syson (third from right) is congratulated by his Devonport team-mates after scoring his side's second goal. [PlessPix]  

Devonport piled on five more goals in the second half to match their biggest-ever win against Taroona in a cup match back on 15 May 1977.

Miles Barnard made it 4-0 seven minutes after the resumption, while Tony Barton tapped home the fifth in the 55th minute.

Barton’s pass set up Denehey for Devonport’s sixth in the 66th minute before a brilliant header from the edge of the box by Barnard in the 83rd minute gave him his brace and Devonport their seventh.

Photo:  Taroona's Dominic Easton pursued by Devonport's Joel Stone. [PlessPix]  

Charles Bidwell completed the scoring in the final minute with a rocket from range that almost lifted the net off the stanchions.

The excellent crowd that attended this match at the picturesque Kelvedon Park was left to slowly wend their way home as the cold breeze fanned the smouldering ruins.  I am speaking only figuratively, of course, as the recent upgrade of the facilities has left Taroona with a venue of which to be proud.  And, the cup of tea that a Taroona fan generously shouted me to was the best I’ve ever had at a football venue and warmed me up considerably.

Photo:  Taroona's Llewyn Tubb gets to the ball ahead of Devonport's Brody Denehey. [PlessPix]  

Glenorchy Knights qualified for the final with a laborious 1-0 away win in extra-time against Launceston City at Buckby Motors Park in Launceston.

The goal came from Nick Naden in the 97th minute.

Photo:  Taroona's Phil Gale surrounded by Devonport's Joel Stone, Daniel Syson and Toby Barton. [PlessPix]  

Photo:  Taroona's Hugh Foley and Devonport's Eddie Bidwell about to do battle. [PlessPix] 

 Launceston United made it through to the Women’s State-wide Cup Final with a last-minute 3-2 win over Kingborough Lions United at Lightwood Park on Saturday.

After a goalless opening half, Lions led 2-0 shortly after the resumption when Danielle Kannegiesser netted twice in as many minutes, the second from a penalty awarded for a foul on Amy Ollington.

But, the plucky Launceston United stuck to the task and pulled a goal back in the 49th minute through Danielle Gunton.

Three goals in three minutes in the opening five minutes of the second half certainly warmed up the spectators at Lightwood.

Photo:  Launceston United's Jessica Robinson (left) is tackled by Kingborough's Airlee Lawson. [PlessPix]  

Jessica Robinson made it 2-2 on the hour and the Lions looked liked like a spent force as the visitors searched for a winner.

That came in the final minute through Robinson.

The lions clapped their supporters at the end, but they must surely have been demoralised after throwing away a 2-0 lead.

Credit to Launceston United.  They are a bold attacking side who never surrender and are worth their place in the final, where they will meet Olympia Warriors.

Photo:  Kingborough's Laura Davis (No.10) in a race for the ball. [PlessPix]  

The Warriors were somewhat fortunate to beat Clarence Zebras 1-0 at home at Warrior Park on Sunday through a Madison Chambers goal just before the interval.

Clarence Zebras must still be wondering how they lost this one.  They had the better of the play and more chances, but they just couldn’t score.

The Warriors battled valiantly and were ultimately rewarded with a goal, and it’s goals that win matches, not possession or chances.

Photo:  Clarence Zebras' Taylor Rand holds up Olympia's Madison Chambers. [PlessPix]  

Photo:  Clarence Zebras' Georgia Stalker (right) puts pressure on Olympia's Madison Chambers. [PlessPix]

The Men’s Under-20s Cup Final will be between Ulverstone and South Hobart.

Ulverstone downed Launceston City 4-0 at home on Saturday, while South Hobart put Olympia Warriors to the sword 6-2 at South Hobart Oval on Sunday.

Olympia went ahead within the opening minute through Bilal Ait Maamar, but South Hobart then launched a ferocious onslaught that saw them lead 5-2 at the break.

Photo:  South Hobart's Tae Evans heads clear a corner as Olympia turn up the pressure. [PlessPix]  

Josh Divin, Thomas Walpole and Mason Attfield were sensational for the home side and their speed destroyed Olympia, especially down the right wing.

The most dangerous pass in the game is the cut-back from the byeline, and South Hobart produced this move repeatedly and finished clinically.

After the shock of conceding in the opening minute, South drew level in the 3rd minute when Olympia’s Curtis Miley deflected a corner into his own net.

Thomas Walpole was first to the ball after it came back off the crossbar in the 13th minute and he headed home from close-range to give South Hobart a 2-1 lead.

Photo:  South Hobart goalkeeper Michael Hurd punches a corner clear to thwart another Olympia attack. [PlessPix]  

In the 19th minute, a cross from the right found Attfield, who steered the ball inside the far right-hand post to make it 3-1 for the home side.

Goals by Divin and Attfield made it 5-1 for South Hobart with just half an hour gone, but they then seemed to take their foot off the pedal and Ait Maamar pulled a goal back for Olympia on the stroke of half-time to give the visitors the faintest glimmer of hope.

Photo:  South Hobart's Josh Divin (left) finds a way past Olympia's Alex Tween down the right flank. [PlessPix]  

That was snuffed out in the 57th minute by Divin, who made it 6-2, and that was the ball game.  Divin went off injured before the end.

To Olympia’s credit, they did not surrender and began to create a succession of chances as the game wore on.

Only some excellent goalkeeping by South’s Michael Hurd kept the score at 6-2.  The custodian was fearless in snuffing our Olympia attacks, and he demonstrated his agility with at least three full-length dives to turn shots wide when  goals seemed certain.

The final promises to be a classic if this match is anything to go by.

Photo:  South Hobart keeper Michael Hurd dives to his right to turn an Olympia shot wide. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Michael Hurd dives and turns another Olympia effort wide. [PlessPix]

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sunday cup semi-final results - 30 May 2021

Photo:  Thomas Walpole heads home for South Hobart against Olympia Warriors. [PlessPix] 

Women's State-wide Cup semi-final (Warrior Park)

Olympia Warriors 1 (M Chambers 42) beat Clarence Zebras 0

[Olympia Warriors  will meet Launceston United in the final.]

Photo:  Madison Chambers (No.7) scores the only goal of the game against Clarence Zebras to put Olympia Warriors into the final. [PlessPix]  

Men's Under-20 State-wide Cup (South Hobart Oval)

South Hobart 6 (J Divin 2, 26, 57, T Walpole 13, M Attfield 19, 29) beat Olympia Warriors 2 (B Ait Maamar 1, 44) [HT:  5-1]

[South Hobart will meet Ulverstone in the final.]

Photo:  South Hobart's Josh Divin scores against Olympia. [PlessPix]

 Photo:  Another goal for South Hobart against Olympia Warriors. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Clarence Zebras' Taylor Rand (left) under pressure from Olympia's Mia Cane. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Olympia's Charlotte Chambers (Right) harassing Clarence Zebras' Selina Steventon. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Olympia's Bilal Ait Maamar (third from left) is congratulated by team-mates after scoring against South Hobart inside the opening minute. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Three South Hobart players all go for the same header. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Referee Thomas Mace watches as Clarence Zebras' Taylor Rand and Olympia's Madison Chambers battle for possession. [PlessPix]

Photo:  South Hobart goalkeeper Michael Hurd was brilliant in the second half, saving several good chances that came Olympia's way. [PlessPix]

South Hobart's latest recruit arrives in Hobart today

Kye Stopka, an 18-year-old midfielder from Queensland, arrives in Hobart at 3pm today to join South Hobart.

The deal has been brokered by former professional player and currently a songwriter and musician, Dane Sharp.

Sharp’s son, Indigo, is on loan to Metro from South Hobart.

Stopka’s promising European career came to an end recently through injury and the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw him return to Australia from Germany.

Stopka left Australia aged 11 and went to Spain for 4 years, where he played in the Catalan Honour Division at Under-14 and Under-16 La Liga levels.

When he turned 16, he moved to Germany and played in the Under-17 Bundesliga West competition with FC Hennef 05, a club linked to Schalke 04.

Two stress fractures in his spine and the outbreak of the Covid pandemic convinced him to return to Australia.

He is also tech savvy and is the founder of an online individual training programme for young players called Nexlevel Soccer.

Dane Sharp is also involved in this programme.

It will be interesting to see if Stopka makes his debut for South Hobart away to Launceston City next weekend in the NPL Tasmania competition.