Slice of

McDonald’s® NPL Tasmania: Semi Final Wash-Up

Welcome to the Weekend Wash-up for Semi Final Weekend of the McDonald’s NPL Tasmania season. The day got underway with South Hobart downing the Glenorchy Knights 2-0 at Darcy Street, before the Strikers punched their ticket to the decider with a last-minute 2-1 victory over the Kingborough Lions. That means it will be Devonport up against South Hobart next weekend in the final, the third Cup final between the pair this year, having previously met in the Summer Cup and Lakoseljac Cups.

South Sink Knights

South Hobart advanced to the Final with a 2-0 victory over the Glenorchy Knights in an early kick-off at Darcy Street. South looked the more dangerous team throughout and were good value for their victory.

The hosts had the better of the early going and took the lead 18 minutes into the game via Jaden Fidra, as he placed home a composed finish after some quality build-up play between Bradley Lakoseljac and Toby Herweynen down the right flank.

Nick Morton came close to doubling the lead soon after but found his finessed shot spectacularly saved by a full-stretch Jackson Gardner.

His effort was matched by an equally fine stop at the other end, as Nicholas O’Connell got across to keep out fantastically struck free kick from Nick Mearns, which he got over the wall and under the bar, but not past the South goalie.

Morton had an early chance in the second half but found the side netting as South pushed hard to double their lead, dialling up the pressure on the Knights defence in a dominant first 15 minutes of the half. It led to another great chance with Fidra directing a header on target that Gardner once again denied with a stunning stop.

As the game reached the hour mark the Knights started to ask some questions back the other way, as Naden narrowly pulled a shot wide of the post after sneaking in behind, before Undy squandered a good look when he was unable to convert on his non-preferred left after doing well to find some space in the box.

South got back on top after that lull though but it remained 1-0 as Gardner continued his strong performance, sliding out to deny another chance for Fidra, whose pace was causing the Knights defence all manner of problems.

Luttmer and the Knights defence dug in, but Lakoseljac would break their resistance- Solstice Digital

The game was essentially sealed in the 71st minute when Van Doorne’s pass was deflected straight into the path of Bradley Lakoseljac off the boot of an unfortunate Adam Gorrie, leaving him all alone 6 yards out and able to tap home past Gardner.

The Knights never looked like finding two goals in the remaining time, they had run out of steam and if anything South appeared likely to get a third. They would’ve done so if not for some more Gardner heroics in net, making two more quality saves. If that is the last we see of the Canadian in Tasmania, it would be a fitting end for him, as he’s been incredible all season long.  

The final whistle rang out confirming South Hobart’s 2-0 victory, meaning they will take on the Strikers at Valley Road next Saturday in the final. Whilst the Strikers have bested them twice in Cup Finals this season, South Hobart remains the only team to have beaten the Strikers at the Portress this year, when they claimed a 3-1 victory back in Round 13.

Gardner finished the season as he started, with a series of stunning saves- Solstice Digital

Ice Cold Garrido Sends Strikers Through

The Devonport Strikers left it late, but eventually snuck past the Kingborough Lions 2-1 at Valley Road in the second semi final, with a last gasp winner snapping the Lions winning streak and sending the Strikers to the Final.

Unfortunately, as anyone who went to tune into Saturday’s planned Live Stream would realise, there were some camera problems at Valley Road. On that front, a special shout out to Tanner Coad who upon hearing of the camera problem went above and beyond in trying to help wrangle a camera, unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, but that certainly wasn’t due to a lack of effort.

The game got underway and it was a tightly fought contest with Brody Denehey handing the Strikers the lead just past the half-hour mark. He has had a super season, Denehey, his best season in the NPL in my opinion, finding a new level of consistency and providing a fine foil for Fernandez Garrido to form a lethal attack.

The Lions have plenty of firepower themselves though and were always a threat to score and get back into the match. They eventually did so midway through the second half as Alfred Hess squared the game at 1-1 in the 65th minute.

With no extra time in this competition, a penalty shootout appeared to be looming but then in the final minute of regulation time, the Strikers won a penalty, giving Roberto Fernandez Garrido the chance to win the match from the spot.

He made no mistake, showing he has ice in his veins by opting to chip a Panenka down the middle to send the Strikers through to the decider. The sheer chutzpah of the man to go for the Panenka in that situation is extraordinary. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, that man is simply different gravy. He has made his mark in these past 2 years and will go down as one of the most talented players the league has ever seen. It’s been an absolute joy to watch him, and I hope we see him again next year, even if he does appear destined for bigger things.

The win sends the Strikers through to the final where they will take on South Hobart, a side they have already defeated in Summer and Lakoseljac Cup’s already this season. A win next Saturday would make it a clean sweep of all four trophies on offer in 2023.


Devonport Strikers 2 (B.Denehey 32″ R.Garrido 90″)
Kingborough Lions 1 (A.Hess 65″)

South Hobart  2 (J.Fidra 18″ B.Lakoseljac 71″)
Glenorchy Knights 0