Round Four of the 2015 F-League competition was played out over the weekend of 29/30/31 May with away matches for both the Boomerangs men and women against Capital FC at the AIS Training Halls on the Friday night, followed by matches against the East Coast Heat at the University of Wollongong on the Saturday afternoon.
The Women kicked off their weekend’s campaign with the derby match against local rivals, Capital FC. The derby matches in season 2014 produced two cracking games with the honors split with a win a piece. The Boomer ladies were determined not to let the new kids on the block get the better of them this time round.
Alas though, their defence was found wanting early in the match and as a result the Capital girls kick off the scoring with a scrappy goal in the first ninety seconds. However, the goal sparked a lift in intensity in the Boomerangs and they evened it up again in the sixth minute with a nice goal by Nat De Marco.
The teams traded blows, without scoring, until the fourteenth minute when Capital scored a second to retake the lead. Again, this spurred the Boomerangs into action, with a nice reply finished off by Mikayla van Deyk within sixty seconds. The half time whistle blew with the teams all square at two goals a piece.
Both teams came out of the break with determination and a sense of purpose, but it was the Boomers, who at the six minute mark of the second half, scored a terrific goal with some great work by Corbett, Spinapolice and neatly finished by van Deyk to give her a second for the match. For the first time in the match, the Boomer ladies held the lead.
And they were very keen not to relinquish that lead – holding firm for the final fourteen minutes of the match which saw no further scores for either team.
A terrific derby win for the team, and a great start to the double-header weekend.
Boomerangs Women 3-2 Capital FC (van Deyk 2, De Marco 1)
Check out photos of the match at http://bit.ly/1cU9sPW
East Coast Heat
The Women’s team travelled down to the University of Wollongong early Saturday morning for their midday clash with one of the league’s hot teams, East Coast Heat. The Heat are considered one of the contenders for the title in 2015, so a strong performance was needed from the Boomer ladies.
The first half was played with great speed and intensity – but with no goals due to spectacular efforts by both Sophie Rolfe for the Boomerangs and Dana Buttigieg between the sticks for the Heat. You could sense that both teams were frustrated by their inability to open their account in the first twenty.
The defensive ‘battle royal’ continued into the second half, until an Erin Clout ‘special’ opened the scoring with twelve minutes to play in the match. As often happens, one goal leads to others as the game opens up, and in the twelfth minute of the second half, Rachael Corbett slotted calmly into the back of the net after a back court mistake from the Heat resulting from high court pressure from the Boomerangs.
With just five minutes to play in the match, Sabrina Spinapolice scored a long-range bomb from deep in the back court as the Heat left the goal unattended to playing a fifth man (fly keeper). Boomerangs by three with just five minutes to play. Despite conceding into an open goal, the Heat continue with the fifth man play and it payed off with Renee Tomkins scoring with a bomb from outside as the fly keeper. The Heat bagged another on the power play with three minutes to play bringing the match back to a single goal affair – and the momentum squarely behind them.
With a minute and a half remaining in the match, on the back of unrelenting pressure, the Heat score their third whilst playing fifth man, tying the match up at 3-3. A frantic last ninety seconds saw opportunities created – but not converted – by both teams leaving the final score, Heat 3-3 Boomerangs.
The girls will definitely see this one as ‘one that got away’ – holding a decent lead with five to play… But to the Heat’s credit, they played their fly keeper power play exceptionally well, with patience and a plan – and were not deterred by conceding one early. We look forward to the replay of this match back at mPowerdome in five weeks time.
Boomerangs Women 3-3 East Coast Heat (Clout, Corbett, Spinapolice)
Check out photos of the match at http://bit.ly/1cU9sPW
The first of the two men’s matches for the weekend saw the Boomerangs play an ‘away’ game at the AIS Training Halls against cross-town rivals Capital FC.
2014 saw two solid victories to the Boomers men in the F-League, but recent good form by the Capital lads meant that the Boomerangs needed to be at their best to ward off any challenge. And to their credit, the Boomer boys brought their A-Game to the local derby.
The match started cautiously enough with the teams feeling each other out, being cautious, and erring on the defensive. After Jono Ciminelli knocked in the first goal of the match in the eighth minute, the game opened up and became more free flowing. Ciminelli slotted home his second soon after, finishing off a perfect lay off after a strong determined run by Michael Reeve up the centre of the court. The Boomers began dominating play as the half progressed resulting in a third through Jake Wilsener.
After being brought down heavily in the front court with less than a minute until half time, Cal Smith knocked home the fourth from a rebound from the ensuing free kick. The Boomerangs men were up by four at half time and looking comfortable.
The break gave Capital a chance to re group and they held their own for the first period of the second stanza leading to a goal in the sixth minute. However, the Boomerangs would not allow them to settle any further and Smith scored a second – a smash from the narrowest of angles – in the eighth minute.
With six minutes left in the match Smith was given the opportunity to bag a hat trick when he converted a ten metre penalty – awarded due to Capital accumulating their sixth foul for the half.
Ciminelli picked up his hat-trick scoring into a keeper-less net as Capital resorted to fly keeper. As the game wound down, Kristian Collins bagged his first for the season, also into an empty net.
Another solid win for the Boomers men, keeping their unbeaten run against Capital in the F-League intact.
Boomerangs Men 8-1 Capital FC (C. Smith 3, Ciminelli 3, Collins, Wilsener)
East Coast Heat
The second match of the weekend for the Boomerangs men was an early afternoon match at the University of Wollongong against the strong East Coast Heat. Games against strong opposition like the Heat are what the team measures itself against, and in this case, the team fell short.
A smaller travelling bench, injuries to key players (Ciminelli and Reeve) and only one ‘keeper meant that it was going to be a tough match. The first half was disappointing as the Heat were allowed to run rampant (6-1); however, in the second half the team showed a great deal of resolve and stamina – with less player rotations possible – to see out the second stanza 2-2.
Although the Boomerangs got off to the best possible start bagging a goal in the first ninety seconds (own goal), the Heat showed their intent levelling it up not two minutes later. A penalty shot – resulting from an infringement in the ‘D’, was saved by keeper van Aalst, but this only delayed the first half Heat juggernaut. They scored five unanswered in the remaining fifteen minutes of the first half, whilst the Boomers men – no matter how hard they tried – could not hold possession for any length of time, nor bother the scorer, even though they did create a few more scoring opportunities.
Ciminelli and Reeve played little part in the first half on the back of injuries sustained a week earlier, and aggravated in the Friday night game. Neither took the court in the second half, which makes the second period of play by the Boomers all the more impressive.
The half-time break allowed the boys to regroup somewhat and they managed to maintain a degree of control, indeed scoring first at the five minute mark with a tap in by Wilsener after some lovely lead up play.
The Heat replied soon after converting a set play from just outside the D. The Boomers countered once more with young Ben Basser scoring – a reward for putting in a huge effort running to all corners of the court.
The Heat scored for a final time to tie up the second half, 2-2, but after the first half deficit of five goals, an 8-3 final score was not good enough to take the points on the day.
Boomerangs Men 3-8 East Coast Heat (Wilsener , Basser-Silk, OG)
Check photos of the match at http://bit.ly/1F6E4c6
Across the F-League
In other matches…
A fairly quiet weekend in the men’s division this weekend, with the Victorian teams given a break. Dural Warriors travelled up to Queensland and came home with a win (South Brisbane) and a draw (Galaxy). And like the Boomerangs, Capital FC travelled on the Saturday (to Sydney), and were defeated by the powerful Magic.
The men’s competition ladder is starting to take real shape as the season hits its straps. Top four positions are filled by Vipers, Dural, Magic and Heat with the Boomers sitting in fifth.
The women’s division of the F-League also had a quiet weekend, with Capital FC being defeated by Magic in Sydney after their Friday night home derby match, and the Dural Warriors going down by a single goal to South Brisbane.
The women’s ladder has yet to take real shape as there remains a great disparity in the number of games each team has played over the first four rounds of the 2015 competition.