Slice of Cheese

McDonald’s NPL Weekend Wash-Up: R20

Welcome to the Weekend Wash-up for another week as we recap all of the action from the penultimate round of the McDonalds NPL Tasmania. 

It was a weekend that began with a bit of a surprise, as Olympia downed the Glenorchy Knights 3-1 on the Friday Night before regular programming resumed on Saturday with the Strikers downing Riverside 4-0 to extend their winning streak. The Lions produced a fine display to score a thumping 3-0 win over Launceston City which temporarily moved them into second, but they were displaced on Sunday by South Hobart, who fought hard to overcome a valiant Clarence Zebras 3-2. 

Warriors Down Knights

On Friday Night at Empire Couriers Park the Olympia Warriors produced their best performance of the season, as they accounted for the Glenorchy Knights 3-1. Having demonstrated steady improvement as the year has worn on, the Warriors brought it all together and scored some quality goals to down the Knights and claim their 3rd win of the season.

The Warriors took the lead 15 minutes into the contest via Antony Mamic, who stylishly hammered home a volley after the Knights tried to head the ball clear defensively only to find the young striker lurking.

The lead didn’t last long however as Eli Luttmer was presented with the chance to square the game from the penalty spot just minutes later when Austin Yost was cut down in the area. Luttmer made no mistake and the Knights were back on terms.

The Knights had their chances to take the lead but squandered them and then midway through the second half Samuel Cummins restored the Warriors advantage as he won a key one on one duel with Bowman before picking out the bottom corner from the top of the box. 

The game was iced by Mamic who faked a shot, before letting fly for real and rocketing a stunning effort from outside the box that blew by the keeper. It was a goal of pure quality and wrapped things up for the Warriors as they ran out 3-1 victors for their third win of the season, and first against a side above them on the table.

Strikers Extend Winning Streak

The Devonport Strikers extended their unbeaten streak to 18 games as they downed Riverside Olympic 4-0 at Valley Road. Spaniard Roberto Fernandez-Garrido took a stranglehold on the Golden Boot race, scoring a hat-trick to take his season tally to 23 and extend his lead over Noah Mies to 4 goals with just 1 round to play.

Fernandez-Garrido wasted no time in getting going in this one, scoring his first of the afternoon from the penalty spot in just the fourth minute of the match after Yasin Mohhamadi had been brought down in the box.

His second arrived shortly after time with a perfectly finessed effort from the edge of the area that expertly curled into the bottom corner. It was the type of finish that has typified his year and made to look so easy by the Spanish marksman. 

Connor Parke extended the lead in the 75 minute as he turned in a close range effort from a corner, before Fernandez-Garrido put the cherry on top in the 95th minute.

Picking the ball up outside the box, the Spaniard completed his treble with a deft chipped finish over the keeper that oozed class and should be enough to see him clinching the Golden Boot.

The result means the Strikers remain unbeaten in their past 18 NPL games and with a win next week over the Clarence Zebras the Strikers will match their own NPL TAS record for highest win % in a single season. 

Lions Roar on the Road

The Kingborough Lions scored one of their most impressive wins of the season as they comfortably accounted for Launceston City 3-0 at Buckby Motors Park. Facing a potentially tough road trip, the Lions brushed City aside to secure a comfortable win and in the process guarantee themselves a top 3 finish. 

The Lions jumped into an early lead via Kobe Kemp, who continued his strong goal scoring form this season by firing in a thumping header from a Vilar corner in just the second minute of the match.

Just past the half hour mark the Lions doubled their advantage as Mies scored on return to his former haunt. A free kick was not held cleanly by Lachie Clark and and waiting on the doorstep was Mies to prod home his 19th of the season. 

Romero Vilar then Iced the game 10 minutes from time as he finished off a nice passing move that led to him finding some space on the left hand side of box where he made no mistake.

The 3-0 win sees the Lions cross the 40 point threshold for the first time in an NPL season and ensures they will finish ahead of Knights regardless of the result when they play next week. To finish second they will need to win that and hope for Riverside to at least hold South Hobart to a draw.

South Rally To Reclaim Second Spot

South Hobart reclaimed its grip on second place on the table by fighting back to defeat the Clarence Zebras 3-2 at Darcy Street. After falling behind to an early Riley Dillon strike, South steadied to rally back and secure a win that leaves them in the box seat for a runner up finish to the Strikers.

Dillon had the Zebras ahead in the 18th minute as he finished classily from the angle after he was played in behind the defence by a super ball over the top from a former South player in Samuel Tooze. 

The lead would hold till early in the second half when a long range Semmler set piece was headed home by Jacob Lancaster.

The goal clearly stunned the Zebras as a minute later they conceded another from another set piece, once again to Lancaster. This time a scrap in the area saw the defender flicking home a shot from close range and South suddenly had two goals in a minute to turn the game on its head.

Some scintillating wide play from Bradley Lakoseljac led to South’s third of the afternoon, beating his marker with skill and speed on the left before crossing and putting one on a platter for Josh Divin to prod home.

The Zebras maintained the fight and Tooze then pulled one back 15 minutes from time to make it 3-2 when he took advantage of Hayers whiffing on a cross into the box to allow him to head into the empty net.

It gave the Zebras some late hope of finding a leveller, but a late red card to Dillon, who will now miss next week’s final game as a result, was a blow in that regard and they ultimately came up short as it ended 3-2 in favour of the hosts.

The victory leaves South Hobart a point ahead of the Lions heading into Round 21, and provided they don’t falter against Riverside for a second time this season, it will ensure a second placed finish. 

The post McDonald’s NPL Weekend Wash-Up: R20 first appeared on Football Tasmania.