FNSW PL2 17/18 Finals Series Week 2

Week 2 of the FNSW PL2 17/18 finals series saw five of the nine competitive Boomerangs teams play in elimination qualifying finals. Week one of finals saw one team drop out of contention for Grand Final glory, and week two a second, leaving four teams booking their place in Grand Finals on 24 February.

It was a  terrific day of results, with four hard-fought wins and just the one loss, with the three remaining female teams going through to the ultimate match of 2017/2018 and the youth men’s team joining them as the sole male representative from Boomerangs FS.

To check out the photos of this round head to the Boomerangs photo site.

15 Girls: Boomerangs 4 – 1 Hakoah (ht 2 – 1)
The 15 girls were back to their dominating best in this do or die match against Hakoah; even though it took some time for them to register their first goal of the match. Hakoah opened the scoring halfway through the first period via a rare free kick to beat goalkeeper Sally James, usually a 100% stopper of set pieces, after the Boomers had looked to be the stronger team in the opening period. The goal by Hakoah spurred the girls into action and terrific replies from Alex McKenzie and Caity Listar made sure they headed into the break with a lead, albeit a narrow one.

The second half saw a confident Boomerangs team return to their solid defensive mode to not allow Hakoah any real goal scoring opportunities, and for the half chances to be easily cleaned up by James between the sticks. Further goals to Stella De Marco and Lily Martens were the result of long periods of sustained pressure, some terrific teamwork, and great individual persistence.

So the girls head to the Grand Final – appropriately against Raiders Futsal – a team they defeated twice during the regular season and lost to in the qualifying semi-final. It will be a cracker of a match between clearly the best two teams in the competition this season.
Goals to Stella De Marco, Caity Listar, Lily Martens, Alex McKenzie

18 Girls: Boomerangs 3 – 2 Phoenix (ht 2 – 1)
The 18s started the match in the best possible fashion with a terrific goal by Jacqui Alferink in the first minute of the match. This advantage didn’t last long with Phoenix grabbing one back not five minutes later.  An arm wrestle ensued for the rest of the first stanza with attacking forays by both teams repelled by strong defensive efforts – until with ninety seconds remaining in the period, Lefty Meuronen hit a trademark smash from outside the ‘D’ to ram home a single goal advantage.

The arm wrestle continued in the second half with no goals until Phoenix converted a ten-metre penalty with just five minutes on the clock to level it up at 2-2.  An inspired solo display of courage and persistence saw Maddy Perceval knock home the winner in the dying moments of the match – ensuring a second team through to the Grand Final match!

Like the 15s, the 18s will also take on Raiders in the Grand Final and will be looking to atone for the qualifying final loss last week. The 18s split the regular season matches with Raiders this season, with both winning their home match by a single goal, in high scoring affairs. The Grand Final will no doubt be close (but unlikely high scoring)!
Goals to Jacqui Alferink, Alicia Meuronen, Maddy Perceval

Youth Men: Boomerangs 3 – 2 (ft 2 – 2) Central Coast (ht 1 – 0)
After winning last week’s elimination semi-final, the youth men were ready for this second elimination final in as many weeks and started the match looking strong. A goal to Jade James-Ward in the fifth minute took advantage of the strong start and was to be the only goal scored in the first half as both teams put in a huge defensive effort.

The second half saw the intensity lift a notch with the Central Coast team the first to score to level it up at 1-1. The Boomerangs retook the lead with four minutes to play through a Johnny O’Gorman goal but then allowed Central Coast back in the game when they tied it up at 2-2 soon after. The scores remained level as the final whistle blew. In this finals series, a drawn match after regulation time goes to two periods of five minutes in extra time, and then if the teams remain level, a penalty shoot-out ensues.

The extra time was notable for the tension between the natural instinct of each team to go forward hard in order to score, and the over-riding sense that defence was the number one priority. Jayde James-Ward made a significant statement by slotting home his second late in the first period of extra time. The second half of extra time saw both teams throw everything in to ensure this wasn’t to be their last match of the season. The final difference potentially a couple of fantastic efforts in goal by Boomerangs’ Jamie-Lee Guo keeping the youth men in the match and defusing the strong offensive efforts of Central Coast. As the final whistle blew it remained 3-2 to the Boomerangs youth and sees the third team win their preliminary final and book themselves a Grand Final spot.

The win will also see the youth men take on Raiders in the Grand Final – a team they split their regular season results – like the 18 girls, in high scoring single goal wins, but with the away team victorious in each instance. No doubt it will be yet another cracker of a match.
Goals to Jayde James-Ward (2), Johnny O’Gorman

Open Women: Boomerangs 1 – 0 Phoenix (ht 0 – 0)
The open age women’s preliminary final was a tough assignment against the consistent Phoenix team, a team that had won their elimination semi-final against Sydney Futsal Club by a solitary goal.  The Boomerangs women had not defeated Phoenix during the regular season with a single goal loss at home and a draw away.

The first half saw the Boomerangs ladies play a strong and assertive game with multiple forays into the offensive half and a number of shots on goal stopped by the very effective Phoenix keeper.

The second half saw the game continue along the same vein, with both teams’ defences dominant over the attack, and with lots of quality futsal on display. It took another fine display of persistence and effort by Maddy Perceval to score her second of the day (a goal earlier in the 18s), to lock in a single goal advantage to the Boomerangs.

Both defences held firm under sustained pressure for the final ten minutes to see the Boomerangs women through to the Grand Final – giving them a second chance to defeat Hakoah in this finals series.
Goal to Maddy Perceval

Open Men: Boomerangs 1 – 3 Phoenix (ht 1 – 1)
The crazy end-of-season for the open men’s team continued into the second round of finals. After only being advised that the team had moved from fifth to first on the ladder the day before semi-finals, the Boomerangs men assembled a team of available players to take on Sydney City Eagles in the qualifying semi-finals. Unfortunately, a player playing in that match was ineligible to play, and the game won on the court, was overturned to see Eagles progress to the Grand Final and the Boomerangs men needing to sit a further tough examination against Phoenix in the qualifying final.

With the unavailability of a number of players, including some suffering long-term injury, the Boomerangs put together a men’s team they thought could challenge Phoenix. The first half was evenly balanced and saw a cheeky free-kick move by Daniel Fulton and Glenn Smith result in the first goal of the match to the Boomers. However, the lead did not last long as the Phoenix side levelled up with just six minutes left to play on the first half clock.

The two teams were evenly matched in the second half and the forward offensive efforts were well stymied by the defences. The Boomerangs men created a raft of quality opportunities on goal but failed to convert the final shot, or pass on multiple occasions. And like the first half, with six minutes to play, Phoenix again scored to take a match-winning, single-goal lead. Even with a lift in intensity, effort and shots on goal, the Boomers could not penetrate the Phoenix defences. Throwing caution to the wind they implemented a fifth-man powerplay, which created several more scoring opportunities that were not finished. A goal to Phoenix in the dying few seconds of the match into an unprotected net clinched the match.

So we know for sure now that this is the end of the season for the men’s team…  A team that after fourteen weeks of home and away competition were out of the top four, were provided with two further matches to test their mettle against other top four teams. The lads look forward to next season and improving on their results of 17/18.
Goal to Glenn Smith

Grand Final day is held at Valentine Park and will see the ultimate quest for glory for each of the nine competitive age groups. The Boomerangs club, with four teams competing in finals, has equal top representation on the day alongside Raiders. Hakoah and Phoenix each have three teams represented, and Sydney Futsal and Sydney City Eagles have two teams in Grand Finals. Central Coast and Mt Druitt are not represented on Grand Final day.

Boomerangs FS 15 girls take on Raiders Futsal at noon
Boomerangs FS 18 girls take on Raiders Futsal at 2pm
Boomerangs FS Youth Men take on Raiders Futsal at 4pm
Boomerangs FS Women take on Easter Suburbs Hakoah at 5pm

To check out the photos of this round head to the Boomerangs photo site.