That?s what I love about football; you can never be sure what?s going to happen next.
The big match of the weekend was certainly the Western NSW Panthers FC v Inter Lions in Bathurst. The two sides came into the match undefeated, though Inter Lions wore the favouritism tag through two sizeable wins at their most recent outings. The Panthers are never to be underestimated however and this proved an absorbing match.
Whilst the scoreline read 0-0 at half time The Lions had dominated the game territorially. Unfortunately this doesn?t necessarily guarantee you dominance on the scoreboard. Inter paid for their wasteful habits in the 52nd minute when Panthers Captain, Gillian Rosconi, opened the scoring. To their credit The Lions hit straight back, scoring just two minutes later through Natalie Spirovski.
The game developed into an arm wrestle from there with both sides giving it everything they had. Western NSW proved last season that they are very good arm wrestlers and it appears that nothing has changed in 2009. In the 87th minute up bobbed Shannon Waine to score the winner for the home team, something that ensure her ?favoured daughter? status with Coach Paul Waine for at least the rest of this week.
Frankly, on what I?d seen of these two sides so far in 2009, I?d not have predicted this result. But, The Panthers are a gutsy team. Paul Waine seems to be able to extract special performances from his charges when required and this was yet another example.
Whilst Inter Coach Joe Baldacci won?t be lighting up a cigar this week he may be feeling that this was a loss his girls had to have. How they rebound from this will show exactly what sort of team this new Lions outfit are.
Western NSW Panthers FC 2 (G.Rosconi 52m, S.Waine 87m)
Inter Lions 1 (N.Spirovski 54m)
At Francis Park a tight encounter between The Spartans and the Lady Hawks was decided by a 58th minute goal from PCYC?s Kelder.
The PCYC Lady Hawks now sit with a two from two record; something that they?d only have dreamt of a few weeks back. They?ve certainly shown plenty of heart in their two wins so far.
Blacktown Spartans hoped to continue their winning run after a 1-0 success over Northern Tigers in a mid week catch up game. However, as gallant as they were in defeat, their second win of 2009 will have to wait just a little longer to see the light of day.
Blacktown Spartans 0
PCYC Lady Hawks 1 (A.Kelder 58m)
Down at Ison Park in Nowra the Southern NSW FC girls got serious with a 6-2 drubbing of the Northern Tigers.
Emma Cobb opened the scoring for the locals after just four minutes before the Tigers levelled up through Rachael Lewis in the 26th minute. The teams went to the break locked at 1-1 before The Tigers snatched the lead in the 56th minute after a nice goal by Melanie Baird. At this point The Tigers looked like they could be heading for their first win of the season. However, in an extraordinary ten minutes of play between the 70th and 80th minutes Southern NSW scored five unanswered goals to snare an incredible win.
Louise Lloyd-Jones slotted away a personal hat trick in the 70th, 72nd and 77th minutes before Katie French added two of her own in the 75th and 80th minutes. Thanks Katie, I knew you wouldn?t let me down. How come Sportsbet don?t bet on goalscorers in the Arrive Alive women?s Super League?
For the most part, this was a very competitive effort from the Northern Tigers youngsters. However Southern NSW were just too good in the end. Maybe they?ve picked the right time to find form with a tough match against Sydney Tigers looming next week at Lambert Park.
Southern NSW FC 7 (E.Cobb 4m, L.Lloyd-Jones 70m/72m/77m, K. French 75m/80m)
Northern Tigers 2 (R.Lewis 26m, M.Baird 56m)
The Sydney Tigers failed to impress their coach but still came away with the points in beating St George FC 2-0 at Lambert Park.
Coach Tarek Madani was disappointed with his team?s effort which was highlighted by a goal in each half; one to Lisa Gilbert, the other to Janet Kingsley. The good sign for The Tigers is that their winning without displaying their best form. They may need to lift that standard though with some tough games still ahead.
St George FC, with two defeats, a wash out and a postponement have little to show for their season so far. They?ll be hoping to find some form for their clash with Gladesville Ravens at St George Stadium next weekend.
Sydney Tigers 2 (L.Gilbert, J.Kingsley)
St George FC 0
Our final game for review in Round 4 was the game between Gladesville Ravens and Central Coast Lightning.
The Ravens started 2009 with a win but have done little since. Central Coast, on the other hand, have shown some promising signs. The Lightning grabbed the ascendancy in this game, moving to a 2-0 lead by half time with goals by Tatum in the 20th minute and Keane in the 40th minute. They then snuffed out whatever chance The Ravens had of a comeback with a 63rd minute goal to Hedge.
Central Coast welcome the Blacktown Spartans to Pluim Park next weekend whilst Gladesville travel to St George Stadium seeking a turn around in fortunes against St George FC.
Gladesville Ravens 0
Central Coast Lightning 3 (J.Tatum 20m, R.Keane 40m, J.Hedges 63m)
So week four of the 2009 Arrive Alive Women?s Super League ends with a new name atop the ladder. The Panthers know all about the scenery from that lofty spot after last season?s successes. Can they keep their momentum going or will someone emerge from the pack to bring them back down to earth? Next week it starts all over again as our ten teams do battle in the Arrive Alive Women?s Super League.
-By Ross Anderson