PL Finals Match Reports 1 September

September 02, 2018 at 4:03 PM

The following reports have also been published in this week's online version of the Manningham Leader newspaper.  Sport is on page 68.

So close all day but Doncaster in front at the end                                               Men

Doncaster’s Premier League Men finished the season in second place and faced Southern United (3rd) in the first Qualifying Final on Saturday.  Doncaster and Southern had played just the one home and away match resulting in a 3-3 draw, Saturday set up a cracker.  And what a match the Final produced, nothing in it all day and Doncaster had to come from behind to score two goals in the last two minutes of the match to win 4-3.

Doncaster settled into their rhythm early and the opening ten minutes were played largely in the Doncaster forward line.  Southern were never thrown and set up a barrier across their defensive 25 metre line that made deep Doncaster attacks difficult.

Doncaster’s defenders had little time to rally with Southern’s rapid push forward but Tim Snow, Hayden Currie and Lachlan McGowan hit the Southern brakes.  On the occasions Southern pushed into the scoring circle, Adam Truepenny was a rock.

At the 11 minute mark it was a long and quick ball from Doncaster Captain, Russell Ford that opened the door for Bevan Fernandes in the circle and a high defensive ball from Southern resulted in the first short corner of the match.  Currie’s drag flick was too powerful for the Southern battery and the ball went in the top right hand corner of the net.

The goal lifted Southern and the battle was moved into the mid-field.  Southern did not lose track of their fast attacking style and when they took possession the ball was sent forward very quickly.  Doncaster’s defenders continued to dictate terms as the Dons pushed forward and built pressure.  Genuine scoring opportunities were hard to find.

Just two minutes into the second half and another Southern fast break had the ball in their circle where Truepenny saved a powerful shot but a Doncaster foot set up a Southern short corner.  Truepenny dived and got a glove to the ball but it still hit the net.  Scores level.

At the seven minute mark Jarrod McBride intercepted a Southern pass and pushed from the half way line passing to Ford just outside the circle.  Ford was happy to take on two Southern defenders and his cross to the front of the net was finished off by Fernandes, Doncaster back in front.

Seven minutes later and Southern are again in their circle and a Doncaster foot sets up another short corner.  Truepenny saves the initial shot but the ball falls to the control of the Southern striker and scores are once again level.  General play also remains level, the battle continues in the mid-field.

A quick play the ball by Southern pushes the ball into their circle and a deflection on the right hand corner of the net has Southern now in front for the first time in this extremely tight tussle.

The clock ticked and Doncaster moved the ball with more speed and aggression, mid-field battles weren’t building scoring opportunities.  Zac Meaden and Jay Randhawa threw caution to the wind as attack became the focus.  With just two minutes left to play Ford pushed into the circle and the contest that followed resulted in a Southern foot.  Randhawa’s drag flick was all the Dons needed, into the left hand corner of the net a scores were level, a shoot out was looming.

But with just a minute till full time Randhawa’s long ball to Fernandes in the circle saw another contest and another Southern foot.  Randhawa repeated his drag flick into the left hand corner of the net and Doncaster put their nose in front.

Doncaster 4 defeated Southern United 3

Goals: Jay Randhawa 2, Hayden Currie, Bevan Fernandes

Best Players: Adam Truepenny, Zac Meaden, Hayden Currie

Win or bust and Doncaster wins                                                                            Women

Doncaster’s Premier League Women were up against Essendon in the Elimination Final on Saturday having lost to the Bombers in both the home and away matches.  A loss meant season over so both sides when into this match with all guns blazing.  In a tight match that saw little between them in general play, Doncaster capitalised on their opportunities just a little better coming away with a 3-2 win.

With just three minutes played Essendon pushed into their scoring circle for the very first time and made the most of that entry, a tomahawk put the Bombers on the board.  Apart from the early goal the match was fought out between the 25 metre lines.  Both sides held possession at times and built forward pressure.  But both defences closed ranks and deep penetration was hard to come by.

At the 17 minute mark Doncaster’s Chloe Burns pushed out of defence and gave Mariona Serrahima the room she needed. Serrahima passed to Ellie Tait who was keen to push into the circle.  Tait’s cross to Izzy Peskett was all she needed and Doncaster were now on the board.

Doncaster’s defenders continued to hold the Bombers out with Sam Snow, Burns and Tess Jackson in the net keeping the Essendon forwards at bay.  The other end of the pitch followed suit with Doncaster’s attacks well defended.

With just a minute until the break Burns combined with Hayley Padget and Serrahima pushing the ball into the Doncaster circle.  The initial shot was well saved but Padget pounced on the live ball and slotted Doncaster’s second goal.

In less than 30 seconds Serrahima was once again pushing into the circle where Sarah Down was one on one against the keeper.  The keeper saved Down’s first shot but she backed up and her second shot did go in the back of the net.  While Essendon may have held more than 50 percent of play, Doncaster were now two goals in front.

Four minutes into the second half and a quick play the ball from half way had the Bombers in an open circle and a striker’s shot edges Essendon closer with their second goal.

The second half then progressed to the 50:50 wrestle in the mid-field where much of the first half was battled.  First Essendon, then Doncaster would hold possession and push forward but last lines were outstanding and deep opportunities were scarce.

As the clock ticked Essendon had to create those deep opportunities; very quick and long passes were employed to open the door in attack.  Doncaster’s defenders were on the ropes but with forwards helping as backup, Doncaster’s last line won most contests.  Essendon would line up for three short corners in the last five minutes of play only to see Doncaster’s battery win the day.

The Bombers season is now shelved and Doncaster play Mentone next week in another elimination final.

Doncaster 3 defeated Essendon 2

Goals: Izzy Peskett, Hayley Padget, Sarah Down

Best Players: Sam Snow, Hayley Padget, Izzy Peskett