Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Devonport Strikers win Lakoseljac Cup for third year in succession

Photo:  Roberto Fernandez Garrido raises his arms to the heavens after scoring the only goal of the cup final. [PlessPix] 

Who is going to stop Devoport Strikers?

On Saturday night they won the Lakoseljac Cup for the third season in a row and they are in the box seat to retain their NPL Tasmania league title.

A league and cup double for the North-West Coast side is certainly on the cards.

They beat South Hobart 1-0 in the cup final in what was a close encounter.

Photo:  South Hobart's Iskander Van Doorne (right) tries to speed past Devonport's Brody Denehey, who had a great game in attack but who also helped out in defence. [PlessPix] 

Devonport suffered a huge blow when left-winger Ali Dulleh was forced off with an ankle injury after just 12 minutes following a tackle by Tobias Herweynen.

He was replaced by Max Reissig, who was himself replaced by Mitchell Burley early in the second half.

Chances for both sides were few and far between and the two goalkeepers  -  South Hobart’s Nick O’Connell and Devonport’s Keegan Smith  -  were on high alert but rarely called into action.

O’Connell did well to thwart Roberto Garrido in the first half, while Smith prevented his side from falling behind when he tipped Jaden Fidra’s stinging, rising shot from the right over the bar.

Photo:  Devonport's Dominic Smith (right) gets the better of Nick Morton.  Smith is having a fine season for the North-West Coast side in the centre of defence instead of at fullback. [PlessPix] 

Nick Morton found the going tough for South Hobart and he was well marshalled by Devonport’s central defender, captain Kieran Mulraney, who was ultimately voted man-of-the-match, and Dominic Smith.

South’s Iskander Van Doorne missed a wonderful chance late in the game when put through on goal, but he seemed to stumble at the last second and mis-hit his tame effort.

The goal came in the 80th minute, just as extra-time seemed a real possibility.

A through-ball with the outside of the foot by Luke Bennett put Garrido away down the inside-left channel and before Jack Bowman could tackle, the Spaniard drove a low shot inside the far post for the winner.

Photo:  Devonport captain and man-of-the-match Kieran Mulraney cleans up at the back. [PlessPix] 

South Hobart immediately brought on Gus Higgins for Eduardo Casteneda, who had surprisingly replaced him in the starting line-up, but it proved too late.

Miles Barnard came on for Devonport with only minutes to go, but his talismanic qualities in terms of producing some magic to win games were not needed as Devonport hung on to collect the silverware.

South Hobart have virtually no hope of catching Devonport in the title race, and this loss in the Lakoseljac Cup Final means it looks like an average season for them and one in which a top-four place is the best that can be hoped for.

Photo:  South Hobart's Eduardo Castaneda, who was preferred to the excellent Gus Higgins at the start, under pressure form Devonport's Taylor Last and Dominic Smith. [PlessPix] 

As for Devonport, they will now wait expectantly to see who they draw in the Australia Cup.

Last year it was against A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix at home at Valley Road.

Could it be another big fish this year?

Photo:  Devonport's Luke Bennett (right) pursued by South Hobart's Tobias Herwynen. [PlessPix]


Anonymous said...

Great report Walter and even better that you got everyone’s names right, wouldn’t expect anything less, unlike the Mercury (insert eye roll).
I know the Mercury don’t particularly like covering the biggest participant sport in the state but at least they could get the names right when writing one of those rare reports that goes to print.

Anonymous said...

Some players at South , who should know better , try to do too much when in possession. They should be looking for team mates more often.
You can’t win the ball on half way and expect to beat every opponent that challenges you every time you get the ball.. It’s a team game for a reason.
South may do much better if other team mates are utilised . Surely coaches see this ?????
Just an observation……

Anonymous said...

Just heard the Dev coach having a sook on the news about the South players being too rough on his players. I’ve heard it all now. That’s more than mildly humorous coming from the Dev coach given their antics and their diving to persuade referees.

Anonymous said...

Oh haters are back. Missed you guys. Was thinking maybe you were on holiday and out of mobile data range for a minute

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting Dulleh dived in the seventh minute when Herweynen tried to kick his leg off?

Anonymous said...

I just read the article in The Mercury Sport with Ballantyne having a whinge. What an embarrassment. Not a humble bone in his body. I feel sorry for the players, it’s takes the shine off their win.

Anonymous said...

I am suggesting Dulleh got a kick from Toby that deserved a free kick. But the injury was a result of Dulleh getting his foot caught on the ground and rolling it, as mentioned by Dulleh himself.
I also recall 2 Devonport player cleaning up young Jayden in the first minute of the match.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who was close to the Devenport bench on Saturday would have heard Ballantyne in the assistant referee and linesman's ear after just about every challenge in their half. Unnecessary whingeing and pressure on officials. In fact he was shown a yellow card after abusive comments. Entirely detrimental to a good team.

Anonymous said...

Hope you are having a great day

Nigel said...

Walter, you alluded to it twice but how on earth does #8 higgins not start that match? has been superb since finally getting a consistent run of games, was good against zebs yet got taken off when there were players very obviously not up to standard on the field. grand finals are to be won on the day, harsh but simply the result shows it was the wrong decision.

Anonymous said...

Sleep well tonight please

Anonymous said...

Who is the dick making the one line comments of concern for others. OMG!!! (Roll of eyes)

Anonymous said...

Please get your eyes checked if they roll. Regards, Richard

Anonymous said...

Devonport weren't that great, but deserved the win. More efficient in possession & a good finish by the Spanish kiddie. South didn't use the ball well, too little composure playing out from the back under pressure, too much aimless hoofing up the park, a couple of their midfielders. kinda drift through games. Every one of their many crosses from out wide went high over the bar or straight to the keeper. Too many high balls at the Devonport defence and they found it easy pickings. Disappointing.

Anonymous said...

1211. The dev coach is just like that. Not a good look. Especially on Saturdays final
. Dev are so used to getting decisions there way (especially at valley road)that when they get a decision against them they carry on Ike spoilt children believing they should continue to get preferential treatment cause they are the number 1 team at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Ahh the Dev haters are back!

Trust me, don't feel sorry for the players. They are all laughing at you jealous haters LOL.

Anonymous said...

You are creating enough reason for me to turn on Devonport and I’m a supporter.

Anonymous said...

Do Devonport players get preferential private health treatment?

Anonymous said...

Half of these comments would just be any random person posing as someone else let’s face it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a New Town Eagles supporter.

I find the hate towards Dev hilarious.

Objectively, they have dominated for years.

Subjectively, sooks on here complain about all sorts of excuses as to why they win.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Devonport supporter I agree with the Eagles supporter. Eagles are the wanna be Devonport

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Being a Uni player I love reading people whinge about Devonport. Gives me a free laugh. It happens when you are successful so good on them.