Slice of

McDonald’s® NPL Tasmania: Round 21 Weekend Wash-Up

Welcome to the weekend wash-up for the final day of the McDonald’s NPL Tasmania season. There was no shortage of goals on the final day, with 23 scored across the four games. The most significant change to the final table was South Hobart overtaking Knights into second, before attention then turned to the annual awards night.

Champions Down Knights

The Devonport Strikers concluded their title-winning campaign with a 2-0 win on the road at Glenorchy Knights.

The Knights started the contest brightly and were causing some issues for the Strikers’ defence as Pitt and Undy tested out Smith with early shots on target.

Then it was Jackson Gardner’s turn to be tested, as Bennett then Garrido fired off shots, but the Canadian made a fine pair of saves to keep things level. He’s been outstanding this season for the Knights, and this was just more of it.

Nick Mearns ensured it stayed level into halftime as he saved a Mulraney header off the line, but the Strikers would make their move after the restart.

Luke Bennett weaved his way past a pair of defenders before firing one past Gardner at the near post to start the second half in style.

The Knights had the chance to respond immediately through a pair of Naden chances, but they were fired straight at Smith.

Nick Lanau-Atkinson then hammered home the second goal in the 54th minute after Brody Denehey had picked him out.

It was a lead they never looked like relinquishing, as they saw the game out from there and walked away 2-0 victors.

The match was the first time the Knights have conceded multiple goals at the venue all season long and saw them slip down to third place.

The Strikers meanwhile will have the home-ground advantage next week against the Lions, and in the final should they make it. They would already be considered favourites, but this gives them an enormous opportunity to make it a clean sweep of all four trophies they’ve played for in 2023, having taken out the Summer and Lakoseljac Cups.

Denehey and Lanau-Atkinson celebrate- Solstice Digital

South Held By City But Move to Second

South Hobart were held to a final day draw by Launceston City, but the point was still enough to elevate them to a second-place finish, following Knights’ defeat to the Strikers.

South took the lead in just the third minute of the match when Lachie Clark had a heavy touch in the area, allowing Nick Morton to nip in, rob him of the ball and deposit it into the net.

It didn’t take long for City to get back on terms, drawing level just 20 minutes later through Mason Smith. Joel Stone crafted a fine ball over the top that Smith ran onto before finishing from the angle.

Smith came close to bagging a second early in the second half, as he sharply cut inside to send his marker the wrong way, before fizzing a shot narrowly wide of the post.

South seemed aware of events at KGV and weren’t overly pushing hard for the win, knowing a point was enough for second place, but City almost snuck all three when Stone drew a good save from O’Connell in the 83rd minute. It would remain locked at 1-1 though as the point apiece saw South overtake Knights, whilst City remained in sixth.

Crucially that will see South Hobart earning home ground advantage for their Semi Final against the Knights. With Knights having conceded 11 goals in 2 visits to the ground this season, it’s certainly not a venue that has brought their best football in 2023.

Morton scores the opener and he would soon have even more reason to celebrate later that night- Solstice Digital

Lions Win Goal Fest Over United

The Kingborough Lions scored eight times in their eighth consecutive victory, as they downed Launceston United 8-4 in a wild game at Lightwood Park.

United made a dream start to their final chance at securing a victory, taking a 2-0 lead inside the opening 6 minutes. Joel Digney smashed one home from the top of the box, before the Lions failed to deal with Rigby’s near post corner that somehow squeezed in.

The Lions responded in rapid fashion and had the game squared up after 19 minutes with Alfred Hess laying two assists, the first for Noah Mies and the second for Ahmad Othman.

They would remarkably have a two goal lead by half time, as first Noah Mies blasted home truly from the penalty spot before Keenan Douce bobbed up just before the break.

Again it was United starting a half sharply in the second stanza, as a long range bomb from Jaeden Mercure and classily taken finish from David Owusu squared the game at 4-4 after 49 minutes.

The see-sawing action wasn’t done there though as the Lions would go on to score another four and promptly bury their opposition.

Goals from Hess and Othmnan extended the lead to 6-4 just past the hour mark before a howler from Piper gifted Othman his hat-trick goal.

Declan Taylor then rounded out the scoring from a truly chaotic game, turning one home in stoppage time to see the game end at 8-4 and the Lions storming into finals on an eight game win streak.

The Lions show their thanks to the Lightwood Park faithful post game- Solstice Digital

Zebras Finish With Goal Glut

There was another goal fest taking place over at Wentworth Park as the Clarence Zebras ended their season in style, by smashing Riverside Olympic 5-2.

The Roos got the jump on the Zebras out of the blocks and took an early lead via Nick Pechenyi finishing off a cross from Cook.

The Zebras hit back in the 38th minute as a high defensive line was exposed by Sam Tooze who stormed in behind, waited for the opening and swept his shot between the legs of Nash.

Two minutes later and the Roos restored their lead as Samuel Cook turned scorer with a well taken finish from close range.

The Zebras came out with a purpose in the second half and quickly took the lead as a thumping strike from Curtis Miley and towering header from Xuan Cappellino had them back in front before the hour mark.

Substitute Cade Smith came off the bench and chimed in with a late brace to see the Zebras coast away to a comfortable win, extending the final score out to a comprehensive 5-2.

The victory means the Zebras end the season in fifth place and have won 3 of their final 4 games. Their midseason collapse saw them out of the finals race, but it’s still an improvement of 12 points on the 2022 season.

Riverside meanwhile ends their season in 7th, but salvaged something out of the back half of the season after a torrid opening couple of months. They are the only other side in the league apart from the Zebras who earned more points this season than last.

Morton and Fernandez Garrido Claim Top Honours

Following the final day action, it was over to the Crowne Plaza to hand out the hardware at the annual awards night. South Hobart’s captain Nick Morton claimed the Best and Fairest honours, winning the count from Roberto Fernandez Garrido in second. The Spaniard was not left wanting for trophies though, having sewn up the Golden Boot with his 27-goal season; he was also voted both the Players’ MVP and the Walter Pless Media Award winner.

It was also a good night for the Glenorchy Knights, with James Sherman voted by his fellow coaches as Coach of the Year, youngster Rowan Pitt taking out the Rising Star, whilst Jackson Gardner led the league in clean sheets to take out the Golden Glove. Brenton Kopra was once again voted in as the Referee of the year.

Nick Morton claimed the League Best and Fairest award- Solstice Digital
Roberto Fernandez Garrido won the Walter Pless Media Award and Players’ MVP- Solstice Digital

Round 21 Scores

South Hobart 1 (N.Morton 4”)

Launceston City 1 (M.Smith 22”)


Glenorchy Knights 0

Devonport 2 (L.Bennet 47” N.Lanau-Atkinson 53”)


Kingborough Lions 8 (N.Mies 17” 27” A.Othman 27” 68” 82” K.Douce 43” A.Hess 56” D.Taylor 90+2”)

Launceston United 4 (J.Digney 4” A.Rigby 6” J.Mercure 47” D.Owusu 49”)


Clarence Zebras 5 (S.Tooze 38” C.Miley 53” X.Cappellino 57” C.Smith 79” 90”)

Riverside Olympic 2 (N.Pechenyi 6” H.Cook 39”