Tuesday, March 7, 2023

NPL Summer Cup first trophy of 2023 for Devonport

Photo:  Devonport coach Tom Ballantyne with the Summer Cup trophy. [PlessPix]

NPL Tasmania Summer Cup Final (Windsor Park, Launceston, Saturday, 4 March 2023)

Devonport Strikers 2 (R Garrido 33, A Dulleh 36)

South Hobart 1 (J Lancaster 47)

HT:  2-0   Ref:  S Plomaritis

Devonport Strikers:  K Smith  -  D Smith, K Mulraney, T Barton  -  F Moradi, M Reissig, C Bidwell, Van Neutegem  -  Dulleh, Garrido, Denehey  (Subs:  Last, Lyall, Sturzaker, Wilson)

South Hobart:  O’Connell  -  Herweynen, R Morton, J Lancaster, Semmler  -  Higgins, N Morton, Dent  -  Van Doorne, Lakoseljac, Berezansky  (Subs:  Bowman, Brown, Hayers, Schofiled, Sloan)

Photo:  Devonport's Roberto Garrido trapes the ball with his chest despite being under intense pressure. [PlessPix] 

This final was closer than expected.  Devonport led 2-0 later in the first half, but once South Hobart pulled a goal back just after the resumption, it was game on.

South Hobart had much the better of the second half but could not find that second goal.  Nick Morton had had an effort ruled out for off-side just after Devonport took the lead.  If that had been allowed, it could have changed things.

Devonport had star midfielder Charles Bidwell sent off with 15 minutes to go, but South still could not take advantage of playing against 10 men to score and take the game into extra-time.

Photo:  A dejected Charles Bidwell takes the long walk after being sent off. [PlessPix] 

The message that came out of this game is that Devonport probably aren’t invincible.  They won all three group games to get to the final and they scored 21 goals without reply in the process.  Perhaps this says something about their northern opponents rather than their own strength and some of the southern clubs may give them a run for their money when it comes to the league.

Roberto Garrido opened the scoring for Devonport in the 33rd minute after brilliant skill in midfield by Bidwell, who released Ali Dulleh down the right.  His low ball into the box eluded Lachlan Van Neutegem and, with the South defence caught ball watching, carried to the far post, where Garrido slotted home.

Morton had an effort disallowed shortly after. He had also been thwarted by an excellent save by Devonport keeper Keegan Smith before that.

Photo:  South Hobart's Josh Schofield battles with Devonport's Lachlan Van Neutegem. [PlessPix]

South Hobart were still coming to terms with the disallowed goal when Dulleh smacked home a second to give his side a 2-0 lead at half-time.

South Hobart looked as if they meant business in the second half, which was only 2 minutes old when Devonport failed to deal with a corner and after some to and fro inside the penalty area, South Hobart centre-back Jacob Lancaster prodded the ball into the net to make it a goal the difference.

Try as they might, South Hobart could not find an equaliser.

Photo:  Jacob Lancaster pulls a goal back for South Hobart. [PlessPix] 

Bidwell was shown a second yellow card and the mandatory red after a foul on goalkeeper Nick O’Connell with 15 minutes remaining.

South Hobart were unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority, however, and Devonport hung on to collect the trophy.

Photo:  Devonport keeper Keegan Smith outjumps South Hobart's Nick Morton. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Devonport's Toby Barton was walking on egg shells after receiving a yellow card after only 4 minutes. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Devonport skipper Kieran Mulraney contorts himself in mid air to win a header. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Devonport's Roberto Garrido in a heading contest with a South Hobart opponent. [PlessPix] 

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