Slice of Cheese

South Hobart Smash Warriors To Claim League Cup

South Hobart tore the Olympia Warriors to shreds on route to a comprehensive 7-0 victory in the League Cup Final. After a tight first half with South taking a 1-0 lead into half time break, Nick Morton broke the game open in the second half as he scored twice early to complete a hat-trick to extend the margin to 3-0 after 53 minutes. From there they ran utterly rampant, as the Warriors collapsed and South added four more. Darcy Hall fired home a brace and Jack Turner and Ben Hamlett, whose introduction at half time proved a major factor, also scored in the rout. The win represents the ideal preparation for South Hobart as they prepare to welcome Brisbane Strikers to Darcy Street for their National Finals series game next Sunday.

It was a frenetic opening to the game as both sides spurned early chances to take the lead inside the opening five minutes. First Nick Morton blazed over the bar before Alex Walter lacked conviction with his shot and fired tamely at Cole when played through on goal. Then at the other end Jakub Sklenar, directed an effort wide of the post after a long ball had seemingly unlocked the South defence. It would prove the Warriors best chance of the game as the South defence firmly shackled the Czech striker from that point on.

After 15 minutes of fairly cagey football as the game settled down, South would conjure the next chance from which they took the lead. Alex Walter released Quaile with a perfect through ball. The full backs cross into the six yard box picked out Morton who tapped home from close range to get South off and running.

It would have been 1-1 shortly before the break if not for Kieran Brown who produced a fine save to deny a dipping Undy volley from range. South shaded the contest for the first 45 minutes but given they were playing into a fairly stiff wind it did feel like they had the advantage as the teams headed into the sheds.

And so it proved as South came flying out of the break and had the win all but secured within 8 minutes of the restart. As he so often has been, Nick Morton was the game breaker, scoring twice.

There was more than an element of fortune about the first as Lucas Hill attempted to clear the ball but guided his effort into the leg of Morton who it deflected off and into the corner of the net. The second was just poor defending as Morton had all day to cut inside and stroke it home to make it 3-0 as he completed his hat-trick.

South were in no mood to take the foot off the accelerator though as they took full advantage of a hapless looking Warriors defence and ran up the score.

Darcy Hall fired home a brace, the winger getting on the end of some lovely build up play to make it 4-0 before smashing home an absolute laser from 25 yards out just three minutes later.

Jack Turner then got in on the act in typical fashion, lurking in the box to tap home a rebound from a Cole save after he had denied a fierce hit from the overlapping Quaile.

The rout was not yet complete though and fittingly it was Ben Hamlett who fired home the seventh as he finished off a well worked short corner routine. Hamlett’s introduction after half time was a transformative moment for the South attack, with his extra mobility and pace sewing confusion among the Olympia back four. Whilst the wind was a big factor, it was the introduction of Hamlett that played a big role in turning the game and Ken Morton deserves the plaudits for having made the early switch.

South now head into their National Premier League’s Elimination final with Brisbane Strikers filled with confidence and the standard they are playing at suggests they should have more than a punchers chance against their mainland opposition. Whilst they will undoubtedly be tested more in defence than the languid Warriors managed, the possession and movement they are displaying in attack is as good as any side has produced in Tasmanian Football in some time.

SOUTH HOBART 7 (Morton 22′, 51′,53′, Hall 64′ 67′, Turner 81′, Hamlett 90+1′)

OLYMPIA 0