PL Match Reports v Greensborough - 7 April (with photos)

April 08, 2018 at 2:30 PM

Our Premier League teams got off to a terrific start to 2018 with Donny victories all round: Men & Women, Premier League & Premier League Reserves all won on Saturday and scored plenty, a great start to the season.

The following match reports have also been published in the online version of the Manningham Leader.

Tough on the pitch but comfortable on the scoreboard                                      Men

First round matches can often see teams very rusty, well short of their best.  But Doncaster’s Premier League Hockey Men stepped into a strong rhythm early on Saturday and went on beat the old enemy, Greensborough, 4-2.  The Round 1 match also saw the official launch of Doncaster’s new surface with members of the Manningham Council there to open the new surface.

With just four minutes played Doncaster’s Jay Randhawa quickly played a long ball from outside the 25 metre line directly into the scoring circle to an unmarked Captain Russell Ford.  Ford’s deflection flew straight passed the Borough keeper and Doncaster were on the board.  While early, Ford’s goal did reflect Doncaster strong structure that was building pressure.

Borough took time to settle in their routine but when they did, the match was fought out in the mid field.  Doncaster’s backline ensured no openings. Jarrod McBride, Lachlan McGowan and Randhawa turned Borough’s forward thrusts away.

Although general play grew into an arm wrestle, Doncaster’s structure created more genuine attacks, more often penetrating the scoring circle than the Borough.  As the half wore on Doncaster appeared to be knocking on the scoreboard door.

With just seven minutes until the break, Ford intercepted the ball on the defensive 25 metre line and simply sprinted forward in a race to open Doncaster’s net.  Ford was well backed up by Kiran Arunasalam who took control of Ford’s pass and beat the Borough keeper to slot Doncaster’s second goal.


Russell Ford intercepted and headed forward, Kiran Arunasalam finished off beating Borough's last line for Doncaster's second goal

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Borough didn’t allow the scoreboard to distract them and the second half was again a mid field wrestle.  But at the six minute mark Daniel McBride intercepted a defensive Borough pass just outside Doncaster’s scoring circle.  McBride went straight into the circle and his tomahawk shot found the net, Doncaster were now 3-0 in front in a match that had not been one sided.  To Doncaster’s credit, they worked hard to create opportunities and made the most of those opportunities.


Andrew Scheele was one of Doncaster's best on Saturday backed up by Daniel McBride (great to see him back)

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

As the wrestle continued, Doncaster’s polished structure saw them building pressure on Borough’s last line.  At the other end, when Borough pushed forward, Doncaster’s defenders offered no easy possessions and few genuine scoring opportunities.

At the fifteen minute mark Zac Meaden tossed a long ball to Bevan Fernandes who pushed straight into the circle with the ball catching a Borough foot, resulting in short corner.  Former Australian Olympic player Joel Carroll, playing his first game for Doncaster, hit a powerful shot passed the Borough defensive battery and Doncaster went 4-0 in front.

Typical of the Borough, the scoreboard was ignored and the Borough continued to push forward.  With less than six minutes remaining to play, Borough peppered away at their goal and scored two late goals.  However, Doncaster had capitalised most when it counted, coming away winners 4-2.

Doncaster 4 defeated Greensborough 2

Goals: Russell Ford, Kiran Arunasalam, Daniel McBride, Joel Carroll

Best players: Andrew Scheele, Calvin Martinz, Daniel McBride

Premier League Men Reserves:

Doncaster 5 defeated Greensborough 3

Strong win hits off Doncaster’s season                                                                 Women

Doncaster’s Premier League Women were quickly into the new season in the Round 1 match on Saturday against Greensborough.  While there is still some polish to be done, Doncaster’s structure and system showed they were the standout beating the Borough 4-1.  The Round 1 match also saw the official launch of Doncaster’s new surface with members of the Manningham Council there to open the new surface.

Both teams went into the season opener with no cobwebs, the ball was contested hard and fast between the 25 metre lines for some time.  But at the eight minute mark Doncaster had pushed deep into attack and a strong save by the Borough keeper was too high and Doncaster went to a short corner.  A very powerful drag flick by Captain Sam Snow found the bottom left hand corner of the net and the Dons were on the board.

The mid field contest continued however, it was Doncaster’s structure with well executed passes and players able to find space that saw the Dons threaten more than the Borough.  Borough certainly pushed forward but the Doncaster defenders were clear winners.  Snow set a standard down back and was well supported by Chloe Burns and Erin Jones.

With just 12 minutes until the break, Shae Jones intercepted a defensive Borough pass just outside Doncaster’s scoring circle.  Jones quickly pushed into the circle and passed to the unmarked Manisha Arunasalam who slotted Doncaster’s second goal and the youngster’s first ever Premier League goal.  Given Arunasalam’s positioning, this won’t be her last.


Manisha Arunasalam scored two goals in her first full Premier League match

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Doncaster’s structure stood out against Borough’s and the Don’s pressure all over the ground meant Borough struggled to hold possessions for long periods.  The second half got under way with the tough mid field contest continuing but it was Doncaster with the two goals and looking more likely to score the next.

At the 15 minute mark Snow turned defence into attack with a long accurate pass to Hayley Padget who headed straight for the circle.  Padget’s shot was brilliantly saved but the ball remained alive and Arunasalam pounced.  Arunasalam went straight back into the circle, won a contest with a Borough defender and scored her second and the Don’s third.


Hayley Padget on her way back from injury and still very a handful for defenders

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Borough ignored the scoreboard and continued to push forward.  At the 19 minute mark a Doncaster foot in the Borough circle resulted in the Borough’s short corner.  A strong shot was enough the beat the Doncaster battery and the Borough were at last on the board.

Time was ticking and the two goal gap meant Borough had too much to do and a defence that gave them very little all day.  In fact, with just five minutes remaining to play another long, accurate ball from Snow, on this occasion to Nicola Hogan inside the circle, saw Hogan deflect the ball perfectly into the net, Doncaster’s fourth goal.

Doncaster 4 defeated Greensborough 1

Goals: Manisha Arunasalam 2, Samantha Snow, Nicola Hogan

Best Players: Samantha Snow, Shae Jones, Manish Arunasalam

Premier League Women Reserves:

Doncaster 4 defeated Greensborough 2