Round 9 of the 18/19 Football NSW Premier League 2 competition was a home match, split into two, with the first leg played away in Wollongong – for the Youth Men, Women and Men’s team (on Sunday 18 November) and the remaining competitive matches played on Saturday 24 November at the new Q-One Indoor Sports Centre in Queanbeyan.
(The youth, women and men’s matches were played a week earlier to allow members of those teams – and coaches from across the club – to attend the wedding of the Club President)
Development Squad Matches
South Coast Taipans brought with them an array of junior development teams, allowing ten matches to be scheduled across 11 and 12 girls and 9, 10 and 11 boys. These matches, scheduled earlier in the day before the competitive matches, were keenly contested and apart from the joy and fun it brings the players to play against players representing other regions, it is also a wonderful opportunity to develop their skills, teamwork and understanding of futsal.
The primary aim of the development squads is to prepare players for the competitive age groups and to improve the quality and level of futsal played in Canberra. The increasing numbers of development players over the past couple of seasons is a positive sign, and there is plenty of raw talent that can be further developed.
12 Boys: Boomerangs 3 – 9 Taipans (ht 2 – 3)
After the thumping given by the Taipans to the 12 boys in Round 2, it was very pleasing to see the terrific improvement in performance by the youngest competitive age group. The first half had the boys right in the mix with some solid, confident and skilful play. Unfortunately, they struggled to maintain this level for the entire match and after the halftime break, the Taipans came out firing on all cylinders, scoring three goals in the first three minutes to take the sting out of the match.
The boys have certainly improved – but now they need to take this improvement to forty minutes to bring home some competition points!
Goals to Tomer Doron, Daniel Kenning, AJ Malauulu
Ladder Position: 7th ( – )
13 Girls: Boomerangs 3 – 4 Taipans (ht 0 – 1)
The 13 girls match was an absolute cracker, between two closely matched teams. The second half had the feel of a final about it, with either team in the mix to take the three points, right up until the final whistle.
The girls went into the match showing a lot of respect for a Taipans team that had lost only two matches across the first eight rounds of the season. When they met earlier this year, the Taipans took the match 3-0 with a terrific defensive display. Again, this match had – for the first half at least – some great defensive pressure exerted by both teams, making it challenging to get a shot on target.
The second half saw the match come to life with some terrific futsal, including two Reilly Yuen ‘specials’ – solo goals on the break finished with a cracking shot. The Boomers girls had a chance in the final few minutes to seal a win with a free kick just outside the D, but failed to capitalise, and within a minute the Taipans had made their way up the court to convert the winning goal with just moments remaining on the clock. A fantastic game all round, which probably deserved the points to be split.
Goals to Reilly Yuen (2), Charlotte Cowley
Ladder Position: 5th ( –1 )
14 Boys: Boomerangs 4 – 3 Taipans (ht 2 – 2)
The 14 boys – after the ‘less than successful’ first half of the season (1 win/6 losses), find themselves in a position in this back half of the season where they can cause some upsets and disrupt the competition’s front-runners. And that’s exactly what they did in this match against an unbeaten Taipans.
They put on a scintillating first twenty that saw Ethan Yuen on the end of some nice build-up work to net twice to provide a 2-0 start to the match. At 2-2 after twenty minutes – even though they conceded twice in the back end of the first half – the boys knew they were in with a shot of victory, and they played as such in the second period.
Taipans took the lead for the first time in the match halfway through the second half, but a resultant surge by the home side saw them net twice more in the few minutes soon after. A tight, defensive effort by the lads in the final five minutes saw them hold on to their lead and to secure a massive upset.
Goals to Ethan Yuen (2), Tom Barbatano, Josh Hedditch
Ladder Position: 6th ( – )
15 Girls: Boomerangs 4 – 0 Taipans (ht 1 – 0)
On paper, this should have been a reasonably easy game for the 15 girls to win. Second on the ladder against the second bottom team – but the Boomers 15s were wary, as last time these teams met in Wollongong, they pushed the Boomers to the limit – and they were lucky to get away from that match with a draw.
The girls were very disciplined and focussed on defending strongly across the forty minutes. They started the match with this in mind and looked to score when opportunities presented themselves. One such opportunity did present itself near the end of the first period of play when Teah Hayes muscled through the last line of defence to slot home through a defender and the goalkeeper.
The second half saw the Boomers lift the intensity and running, and as the visitor’s energy started to wane they slotted home three more goals with a second-half double to Elke Aitolu. A great win for the girls and one that lifts them from second on the ladder to top spot.
Goals to Elke Aitolu (2), Jade Brown, Teah Hayes
Ladder Position: 1st ( +1 )
16 Boys: Boomerangs 1 – 2 Taipans (ht 0 – 2)
This match was always going to be the highlight of the round – between the top two 16 boys teams in the league, positioned first and second on the ladder, with only a small goal difference separating them. In the earlier Round 2 match away at the University of Wollongong, the sides could not be separated and a 2-2 draw resulted.
The visitors had the better start to the match scoring twice before the 11-minute mark of the first half. The Boomers managed to slow down their opposition offensive forays, but could not slot a vital goal through the Taipans tight defence before the break.
After the break the defensive effort of the Boomerangs boys lifted and they were successful in securing their back-court for the entire second period. However, the few opportunities they did create in the front-court were not converted – and for this, they paid the price. A game that could have been won, and probably should have been if they have serious aspirations for the Premiership and a Grand Final victory at season’s end.
Goal to Leon Michl
Ladder Position: 2nd ( – )
18 Women: Boomerangs 2 – 1 Taipans (ht 2 – 0)
The 18 women’s match was also expected to be a very close encounter with both teams sitting in the top four on very similar results – and it didn’t disappoint. The home side was strong in the first half with a secure defence and good options going forward. They met their objectives of a first-half clean sheet and managed to slot home two goals from their offensive forays.
The Taipans roster is full of quality players and they lifted their work rate in the second period – but this was matched by a Boomerangs team determined to not let their defensive efforts wain. A goal to Taipans (and former Boomer) Liv Riddel, gave the visitors some hope, and they piled on the pressure. But the home side stood their ground, and not only did they shore up their defences, they also created a few opportunities to score themselves.
However, the match ended with no more goals scored and a 2-1 victory to the home team. A terrific game to finish the day’s proceedings at the Q-One Sports Centre in Queanbeyan.
Goals to Stella De Marco, Ellen Brown
Ladder Position: 3rd ( +1 )
The Youth, Women’s and Men’s matches were played on Sunday morning 18 November in Wollongong.
Youth Men: Boomerangs 3 – 0 Taipans (ht 1 – 0)
The Boomerangs youth kicked off the day travelling to Wollongong for this rescheduled (home) fixture against the Taipans – with both teams sitting in the top four battling it out for a finals position and potentially a premiership. Traffic issues (being stuck in a no-doubt worthy charity truck convoy) meant that half the squad didn’t arrive for kick off and the team was required to start with their five only team members (including two goalkeepers – one playing on the court) for the first few minutes. They held their own against the Taipans until the reinforcements arrived and they could start their usual rotation of players.
It was a closely fought first half with only one converted opportunity when Nic Felizzi launched a powerful shot from distance to beat the Taipans keeper. Despite the efforts of both teams, there was no further scoring in the first stanza.
The second half saw the Boomerangs lift their effort and start to penetrate more effectively past the Taipans defence. Two second-half goals, to Jayde James-Ward and Parsa Tabatabaei and a tight defensive structure – that withstood five minutes of Taipans fifth-man power play – meant they took the match 3-0. A super effort for the lads given the circumstances of the match.
Goals to Nic Felizzi, Jayde James-Ward, Parsa Tabatabaei
Ladder Position: 2nd ( +1 )
Open Women: Boomerangs 4 – 3 Taipans (ht 3 – 1)
The Boomerangs women have continued on their high-flying ways with their seven wins from eight matches prior to this round’s fixture. However, their only loss of the season, was to the Taipans at their University of Wollongong home court (1-3), so the ladies were looking to atone for that defensive slip up.
One challenge though, that due to this match having to be rescheduled to a Sunday morning – and away in Wollongong rather than at home – not many of the regular women’s squad were available. So the makeshift (small) squad of a few women’s players with some 18s playing up, made the trip full of hope and full of confidence that they could indeed overturn this season’s earlier result.
They started the match strongly crafting three goals in the first quarter of the match to take early control. A reply from the home side just before the break gave them some hope for a second-half turnaround. Some early second-half inspiration from the home team saw them edge to within a goal just after the break but a determined defensive effort by the travelling Boomerangs saw them hold out the Taipans. The Boomers notched up their fourth goal in the 40th minute and the Taipans – playing without a keeper for the final six minutes – slotted their third with just three minutes remaining, and not enough time to get back to even par and a share of the competition points.
Goals to Ellen Brown, Ella Brown, Miki Day, Bronte Pyke
Ladder Position: 1st ( – )
Open Men: Boomerangs 5 – 3 Taipans (ht 1 – 1)
The men went into this match with happy memories of the earlier round match that saw them comprehensively outplay their Taipans opposition. Unlike the women’s team, the men came with a full complement of players and were ready to put in a solid shift, and that they did.
The first half was fairly evenly matched with both teams’ defensive work getting the better of the opposition’s offence. The second half though was a different story, The Boomers men came out of the huddle more determined and ratcheted up the pressure across the whole court. They slotted home four second-half goals to two – with the Taipans scoring their final goal in the final minute on the back of a sustained period of fifth-man power play.
A terrific result for the men’s team that lifts them back into the top four, but with a series of tough games coming up, there is no time for complacency if they want to remain in the hunt to play finals this season.
Goals to Ben Basser-Silk (2), Nick Rathjen (2), Nic Dahl
Ladder Position: 4th ( +2 )
Next week the club plays a double-header – with Round 10 matches at home on Saturday against Sydney Futsal and Round 11 matches away taking on Sydney City Eagles on Sunday.
After the Round 9 matches, the Boomerangs club has slightly increased its advantage at the top of the PL2 Club Championship and the race for promotion to PL1 potentially reduced to four after this weeks’ round of matches (although six can still top the championship with a solid run home).