The finals weekend for the FNSW PL2 competition has come and gone – all too quickly. And for the Boomerangs club, the weekend was not as successful as was hoped, with only two Grand Finals appearances from the six semi-finalists and no Championship trophies brought back to the Territory.
After a very solid season in the FNSW PL2 competition, six of the nine competitive teams finished in the top four of their respective divisions and had earned their places in the finals series.
Of the six teams to make finals, the 13 girls finished fourth, the
15 girls, 16 boys and 18 women all finished in second place and the 19 men and open age women finished as Premiers as the best team in their age group across the season. Five top-two finishes out of nine competitive age groups was a tremendous return for the season’s effort.
However, a refreshed finals series saw the ‘double chance’ removed for the teams finishing in the top two and all teams faced a single elimination final on Saturday in order to qualify for Sunday’s Grand Final. On Saturday, the fourth-placed teams took on competition table toppers and second took on third place getters.
It’s fair to say that the new finals format and timing did not do the club any favours, especially with the finals series being held just a week after the FFA Futsal Nationals finals in which Boomerangs players comprised around half of the ACT representation – with some playing up to eight games in five days.
SEMI FINAL Saturday
Boomerangs 0 – 5 SD Raiders (
The 13 girls, having finished fourth this season, took on premiers, SD Raiders. Whilst the Boomers 13 girls did not record a win against this team during the season, they were able to muster a draw and a single goal loss. SD Raiders finished the season with a single loss only and one draw (to the Boomers) to go with their 12 wins. They are a high quality team with strength across the court.
The Boomers girls started the match tentatively and struggled to get any cohesion and go-forward momentum. Their defence looked relatively good, but they could not find many ways to threaten the opposition goals. It didn’t take long for the SD Raiders team to increase in confidence and start putting the ball into the back of the net. And once the Boomers girls were behind it looked like an uphill battle to get back into the match.
The SD Raiders team deservedly went through to the next round and went on to win the Grand Final on Sunday against the Taipans (5-1).
Boomerangs 1 – 2 Sydney City Eagles (ht 0 – 1)
The second-placed 15s took on third-placed Sydney City Eagles in this semi-final with both teams looking to book a spot in the Grand Final. The 15s defeated the Eagles in both encounters this season, so they knew they had what it takes to defeat this team.
Much like the 13 girls though, the 15s looked tentative from the outset and struggled to maintain constant possession and offensive pressure on their opposition. The match was a tight one throughout, with the Eagles scoring the solitary goal in the first half.
The second half saw the Boomers improve their offensive structures and they managed to find a goal, but it was not enough as the Eagles also bagged a second-half goal.
A disappointing end to the season for these girls who looked solid all year and were comfortably one of the best two teams across the regular 14-match season.
Sydney City Eagles went on to be defeated in the Grand Final by Premiers, Raiders Futsal.
Boomerangs 7 – 1 Raiders Futsal (ht 6 – 1)
The second-placed 16 boys took on a strong Raiders Futsal outfit – a team that finished just a single win behind them on the end-of-season ladder. The season results between these two teams were split, with each team winning on the road.
Like the earlier matches, one team started the match confidently and with go-forward momentum, whilst the other was tentative and seemingly lacking some confidence. Fortunately, it was the Boomerangs boys in this instance that were able to hit the court running and score goal after goal in the
The boys played some tremendous futsal in the first period that just could not be matched by their opposition. The goals were high quality and the team was absolutely in sync.
The second half gave plenty of time to run most of the bench and rest the starting five for the Grand Final, and for the few, participating in the Youth men’s match a little later in the day.
The comfortable win saw them progress to the Grand Final on Sunday to take on Phoenix, who had defeated ladder-toppers Taipans in their semi (3-2).
Boomerangs 0 – 2 SD Raiders (ht 0 – 1)
The 18 Women’s team were up against SD Raiders, a team they had yet to defeat in the two earlier matches this season – both losses by a single goal margin. In fact, SD Raiders accounted for half of the Boomers four losses this season.
Much like the younger girls age groups, the 18s were slow to get going and looked a little tentative, especially in the first half where they conceded without bothering the scorer themselves.
The second half saw them put up a stronger showing, and at times looked like they might be able to claw their way back into the match. However, they could not breach the opposition’s strong defensive structures and again conceded just the solitary goal to increase the already difficult task – which in the end was unachievable.
As the final whistle blew, the ladies knew it was season over. SD Raiders progressed to the Grand Final and endured a nail-biter of a clash with arch rivals, Raiders Futsal, which they won in a penalty shootout after regular time and extra time could not separate the two teams.
Boomerangs 5 – 2 Phoenix (ht 1 – 1)
The youth men’s match was another excitement-filled and close encounter. Prior to this match, Phoenix had not tasted victory against the strong Boomers 19s outfit across the regular season, with a 2-2 draw on their home court, followed by a 5-2 defeat to the Boomers in the return fixture at the AIS.
The first half was an arm wrestle, with both sides trying to stamp their authority on the clash and to take a lead into the second period of play. A single goal to each team was all that the strong defences allowed, and the lads came out of the break with it all to do in the second half.
The Boomerangs youth came out of the half-time break the stronger and more determined of the two sides and looked intent of taking the game to earn their right to play in the decider. And that they did – a solid second half saw them dominate play and regularly knock home goals to take the lead out to 5-1. A consolation to Phoenix in the dying minutes had the final score at 5-2.
The win booked them a Grand Final appearance against SD raiders – who had earned their appearance by knocking off Raiders Futsal 5-1.
Boomerangs 1 – 5 Taipans (ht 1 – 2)
The Boomerangs Open Women’s team had been the dominant open age female team in the competition this season. This
The only defeat suffered by the women this season was to the Taipans early in the season and they have relatively comfortably handled all comers across the remaining 13 rounds of regular season competition.
The ladies knew this would be a tough encounter, but with little to no futsal for them all between the final round of the regular season in December, and now, they looked a little on the sluggish side as the match started.
They did warm up to the task, but for majority of the game they lacked the regular fire they have displayed all season and their combinations just weren’t working as they had been previously.
The game was still up for grabs early in the second half, but a third goal by Taipans, and no successful response by the Boomers ladies saw them needing to resort to fifth man power play as the minutes ticked down. Power play either works, or it doesn’t, and in this case, the Taipans defence held up well against a five man attack from the Boomers and they took the opportunity themselves to score on the counter against a weakended defensive structure of the Boomers.
In the end, the ladies just could not score the goals required and were knocked out of the finals race at the first hurdle. Taipans went on to defeat Raiders Futsal in the decider in a nail-biter 3-2.
GRAND FINAL Sunday
There were nine Grand Finals contested on the Sunday (excluding the AWD – in which Boomerangs don’t compete).
SD Raiders – in their first season in the PL2 competition
Raiders Futsal and Taipans both qualified for three Grand Finals and came away with a trophy each. Sydney City Eagles contested two and grabbed a 50% return for their efforts. Phoenix were contesting a solitary Grand Final – and they took home that trophy. Boomerangs contested two Grand Finals for nil return and West City Crusaders had one team in finals and were only just defeated by SD Raiders men.
The following reports are from Justin Davies for FNSW
It was the rise of the Phoenix FC, as they had a stirring comeback against Boomerangs FS, to claim the SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 16 Boys Championship.
In a tense opening to the contest, the two sides aimed to gain control of the midfield. Boomerangs FS held much of the possession but some dogged defense from Phoenix continued to deny them. Bailey Sorenson did find a way through in the 11th minute to make it 1-nil.
Just before the break, Boomerangs remained patient in their play, switched the ball across the court before they ended up with Oliver Mccarthy free at the far post, the poacher tapped home and made it 2-nil Boomerangs.
Phoenix did find themselves a route back into the contest through an accumulation of fouls that gave Jordan Metcalfe the chance from the spot. The youngster made no mistake, stroked home and the deficit was halved, 2-1, at the buzzer.
If the first half belonged to Boomerangs FS, the second was all Phoenix. Nicholas Scardilli whistled home a free-kick from the left side to bring them back to 2-2 then as coach James Brunacci preached patience, his side flicked the switch.
Jeremy Bradekji combined well with James Fussell to complete the comeback and hand Phoenix FC the lead. Fussell angled the kick-in to Bradekji, shaped well into the area then poked the ball home, 3-2 and a surge from Phoenix.
The team from Hornsby weren’t done though, Bradekji was hungry for goals. He pounced on an error from the Boomerangs, then he comfortably slotted home, for a two-goal cushion for Phoenix FC, 4-2 as they had a hand on the trophy.
Phoenix FC did have to sweat through the final stages of the contest, as Boomerangs FS poured wave after wave of pressure on their goal but they were bailed out by some fantastic saves from their custodian as it secured Phoenix’s first Championship of the day.
Phoenix Futsal Club 4 (Bradekji 2, Metcalfe, Scardilli)
Boomerangs FS 2 (Mccarthy, Sorenson)
SD Raiders FC survived a spirited comeback from Boomerangs FS, recording a 5-4 success in a wonderful exhibition of futsal that saw SD Raiders crowned SELECT Futsal Premier League 2 19 Mens Champions.
The action came thick and fast in the opening five minutes, Declan Cotter was in the mood early, as he was released free but skewed his chance wide.
Adrian Monge was clinical with his chance, the attacker thrashed the ball home for the opening goal, as SD Raiders FC started to find the advantage. The opener was followed by a trio of chances from Monge, Matthew Barkho and Luis Ferreira.
Cotter found himself on the scoresheet in the 11th minute, a sweeping team movement saw them prise open the Boomerangs FS defence, like open heart surgery which left Cotter the final touch to make it 2-nil to the jubilant SD Raiders FC.
The team from the capital weren’t going down without a fight. The ‘rangs went Boom Boom as Jayde James-Ward firstly flicked home at the far post in the 17th then he rolled home to suddenly, make it 2-2 in an electric final.
SD Raiders FC had the final laugh in the half, Ferreira cut inside smoothly before the attacker slotted home calmly, handed the Raiders the lead back, 3-2 headed into the team talks.
Looking to spring back into the contest, Andrew Aitchison carved out a wonderful chance for Boomerangs FS but it was equaled by a superb stop from SD Raiders ‘keeper Daniel Ibrahim to keep the margin at one.
The rest of the half ebbed and flowed between two sides, Cotter got himself a brace when he touched home well to make it 4-2. Boomerangs FS responded immediately as Nicholas Felizzi rocketed home a free-kick for 4-3.
Jack Koutrodimos, again restored SD Raiders FC’s two-goal cushion, when he turned home the fifth goal for the team from the South West. Again though, Boomerangs clawed their way back – James-Ward completed his hat-trick when he slide home, 5-4.
As Boomerangs FS pushed forward, bringing on the extra attacker, they created the chance they wanted. William Manalo broke free from his defender at the far post and was found with an angled ball, but Manalo couldn’t direct the chance so SD Raiders collected another Championship.
Boomerangs FS 4 (James-Ward 3, Felizzi)
SD Raiders FC 5 (Cotter 2, Ferreira, Monge, Koutrodimos)