Arrive Alive Women?s Premier League Round 12 Review


Sunday provided us with a glimpse of what might be a turning point in the hopes of one title contender whilst another game brought plenty of relief for a team that?s endured a horror season.
At Cromer Park a Manly United FC side minus their Captain, Gill Foster, took on the visiting Inter Lions.
The Lions have started to show that long awaited spark in recent weeks and there was plenty of interest in whether or not they could maintain their improvement against one of the league?s leading sides.
The early exchanges were keenly contested but it was evident that Inter had come to play. Manly struggled to open the Inter defence in the same they had in the earlier round at Concord Oval. In fact it was Inter Lions who appeared to make the running.
Some Catherine Cannuli magic in the 16th minute opened the way for former Manly star Caitlain Jarvie to score a classy goal. This was certainly as much as The Lions deserved.
The 1-0 advantage was one that the visitors maintained into the half time break though Jarvie in particular had had one or two golden opportunities to extend the lead.
Manly tried hard to fight their way back into the contest in the second half but Inter Lions were able to handle everything the home side threw at them. Manly couldn?t find the space or create the chances they?ve become used to in 2010. Inter?s impressive squad seem to finally be playing somewhere near their potential and were able to run out convincing winners.
This loss put a severe dent in Manly?s premiership chances. Conversely, the win gave Inter?s title surge some new impetus. A top two spot would require a lot of things to go Inter?s way but this success and results elsewhere certainly give the girls from Concord some much needed breathing space in the lower end of the top four.
INTER LIONS            1 (C.Jarvie 16m)
At ELS Hall Park the NWS Koalas met competition front runners the Illawarra Stingrays.
Despite the loss of their Captain, Michelle Carney, The Stingrays started brightly. It was no surprise when, in the 14th minute, Trudy Camilleri bobbed up to open the scoring for the visitors.
That lead was doubled in the 37th minute when Sam Muscat added to her recent goal scoring exploits with a well taken opportunity. A 2-0 half time lead seemed ominous for The Koalas but, after the break, a 62nd minute goal by Anna McLean gave the home team renewed hope.
However, try as they might, The Koalas were unable to bridge the gap and Illawarra extended their lead atop the ladder with an important win.
The Stingrays continued on their winning way whilst The Koalas recent improved form was evident in their effort here.
NWS KOALAS                    1 (A.McLean 62m)
ILLAWARRA STINGRAYS 2 (T.Camilleri 14m, S.Muscat 37m)
At Lynwood Park an early brace from ?Deadly? Stephanie Haim gave the Macarthur Rams a 2-0 break over Sutherland Sharks by half time.
After the break Macarthur added goals in the 54th minute to Sigrid Manty and 61st minute to Linda Dudek to complete a comprehensive victory over the disappointing Sharks.
The Rams win keeps them in third place on the ladder with Manly?s slip up against Inter Lions possibly renewing Macarthur?s hopes of a top two finish.
Sutherland? Gee, I want to give the girls a wrap but they aren?t making it easy for me. It?s been another year of negative results for The Sharks in what must be a frustrating time for both coach and players.
MACARTHUR RAMS     4 (S.Haim 13m/15m, S.Manty 54m, L.Dudek 61m)
At Sydney University Oval the Sydney University side hosted the Western NSW Panthers.
The University girls served it up to the visitors from the kick off. It was no surprise when, in the 20th minute, Olivia Kennedy was on hand to give the home side the lead.
The battle continued keenly until half time with the University side going to the sheds holding their 1-0 advantage. Six minutes after the break University?s Monika Holmwood took her side to a 2-0 lead with a quality strike.
It was now a long way back for The Panthers and, try as they might, they couldn?t find a way to counter the Sydney University game. Carlie Ikonomou?s injury plagued season found a silver lining as the young 2010 recruit slammed in a 74th minute goal which clinched all three points for Sydney University.
Sydney University?s climb back up the ladder continues whilst The Panthers seem to be heading in the opposite direction.
SYDNEY UNIVERSITY            3 (O.Kennedy 20m, M.Holmwood 51m, C.Ikonomou 74m)
I?ve saved the best moment of the weekend until last. Yes, Marconi Stallions supporters won?t feel as thrilled by the result as many others but Sunday broke the drought for the long suffering Southern Branch side as they grabbed victory at South Nowra.
The Stallions were expected to come to town, turn on some football and walk away with the points. However, even the best planned scripts often hold a twist in plot.
Marconi may well have dominated the scoreless first half but their play was characterised by one out football that was totally foreign to what they?ve become known for in 2010. It seems that they failed to respect their opponents and, despite a goal three minutes after the break by Brooke Slaughter, the writing may well have been on the wall for the visitors.
Whilst Marconi might have thought that this would open the floodgates it did exactly the opposite. The Southern Branch girls dug deep and The Stallions were made to pay for their wastefulness. In the 65th minute Southern drew level with a goal from Battin. It may not have dawned on the Marconi youngsters that they were suddenly in trouble but they were about to find out the worst of it. Rather than the visitors find that late face saving goal it was the home side that came to the fore with Robertson pouncing in the 87th minute to give Southern Branch their first win of the season!
Players and team officials alike were as excited as if they?d scored a Grand Final win as all the season?s hard times were forgotten in an instant. Well done Southern Branch.
This may have been yet another case of the youthful Marconi side learning a hard lesson. Football is a team game and one should never just assume that victory is a matter of showing up. Southern Branch showed great spirit and it?s hoped that this win may inspire them to some more success in the coming weeks. Look out Sutherland Sharks next Sunday!
SOUTHERN BRANCH   2 (E.Battin 65m, L.Roberston 87m)
MARCONI STALLIONS 1 (B.Slaughter 48m)
Football is a game than can never be taken for granted. It?s a game where everyone needs to contribute for a team to be successful. Things don?t always go as planned and this weekend was certainly a reflection of that. Ah, it?s a wonderful game that keeps us coming back for more every week.
See you all next weekend.
-By Ross Anderson