Panthers on top
Wednesday, 4th September, 2019
By Callum Marshall
Celtic beat St Joes before West thumped Alma in the penultimate round of local soccer on the weekend.
With St Joes needing both results to go their way in order to take the minor premiership battle to the final round, strong Celtic and West performances on the weekend dented their hopes.
The early game between the Cougars and St Joes was an entertaining one, with both sides controlling passages of play throughout the first half, which ended 1-1.
St Joes’ got off the mark first with prolific goal scorer Daniel Rose putting his side in front.
As the first half went on though Celtic started to get more of the ball with Caleb Craven bringing the scores level with a header from a lovely Jack Stacey cross.
Celtic carried their good play over into the second half when Lachlan Kaye hit a fantastic free kick before Aaron Williams sped past the St Joes backline and slotted home a third.
Alongside goal scorers Craven, Kaye and Williams, Stacey, Dylan Millsteed and Dave Hassard all had good games for Celtic.
Kaye had a particularly strong game for the Cougars as he broke up St Joes plays and set up Celtic attacks to go alongside his goal.
For St Joes, Steve Grillett had another good game while Nic Defranceschi played well at the back along with goalkeeper Cooper Flemming who made several great saves.
The 3-1 result for Celtic has set up an interesting semi-final clash in two weeks’ time between the two sides, with both winning two games against each other this season and drawing the other one.
In the later game, West secured back-to-back minor premierships with an 8-0 win over Alma.
It was a strong Panthers side that took on the Goats, with Jordan Cox, Madden Paul and Zane Kemp among the goal scorers.
Cox scored a hat trick to add to his already impressive tally this season, and Paul scored a brace and Kemp, Bryant Mitchell and Chris West a goal each.
It was always going to be a tough ask for the Goats and, sure enough, the Panthers showed why they’ve been the frontrunner in the competition for several years running.
The result means West’s big game against St Joes next week will be a pre-finals dead rubber, and carrying good form into the finals is set to be the most important aspect of that match.
For a young Alma side, the 8-0 thumping has added to what’s been a difficult season, with the team still only on one point.
There is plenty to be positive about for the future though, with players such as Samuel Harrap, Callum Langdon, Ripley Celotto and EJ Hocking showing plenty of promise.
In B grade, it was the Craven making the difference for Celtic again with Caleb and his father Mark both getting a goal against St Joes, and Nick Devoy scoring for St Joes.
Meanwhile, a strong Alma Bs side beat West 2-1 with a Samuel Harrap strike and an own goal securing the win, while Nash Brown scored for West.
In the women’s games, Celtic bagged the full trifecta of wins with Caitlin Lee scoring the only goal of the game against St Joes and helping secure a finals spot for the side.
In the other game, Alma’s Stephanie Harman and Heaven Celotto, who’s on a great goal scoring run, secured a 2-1 win against West. Sabina Brown scored for the Panthers.