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The soccer’s hotting up

Friday, 22nd July, 2011

SOCCER’S BACK: After a two week break the soccer competition resumes this weekend. SOCCER’S BACK: After a two week break the soccer competition resumes this weekend.

By Two-touch

After nine rounds of local soccer 963 goals have been scored across all the competing grades (under 12s to A grade). 

When you add the hundreds of goals scored in the small-sided games from under 6s to under 10s it is no wonder that soccer in Broken Hill is thriving with player numbers significantly up on the 2010 season.

IN THE UNDER 12s St Josephs are dominating with Tyler McInnes, Folu Komolafe and Luca Napoli all scoring heavily. Rourke Turner has been a great recruit to soccer in 2011 and Tyler Zammit continues to improve as a goalie. Celtic Green is still in contention with Jasmine Simmons and Lachy Gepp their dominant strikers and Sam Spain a hard working defender.

West and St Josephs Sky are equal third after nine rounds and has some players in great form. For West Jordan Cox, Sharnie Hann and Logan Steele have played well whilst for the younger St Joes team Kyle Lister, Kane Dwyer and Hamish Robertson have all been very impressive.

IN THE 14s Division the Blues are undefeated after nine rounds and appear to have mortgage on the silverware. Led by Elijah McCann, Bailey Stubing, Sam Simmons and Ethan Smith the team plays an attractive passing game and numerous players find the goal scorers list each week. 

West are running second and have some strong players in Lucas Gray, Louis Hann and Bryce Royle, whilst Cox also scores goals in the under 14 competition.

THE 17s is a much closer competition with St Josephs six point clear but having played one more game than Celtic Green. The two teams have met twice with St Joes winning the first encounter due to a ‘card error’ before losing the second meeting 0-3. West also loom as a serious contender based on their last round win over Celtic Green.

St Josephs have Rylie McInnes in red hot form, Isabella Morris and Cameron Arthur scoring goals and Liam King and Rodrik Jones marshalling a very tight defence.

Celtic also has a very quick team with Chris Marks unbeatable in defence whilst Alex and Frank Nieman and Edward McInnes score plenty of goals. Josh Sheargold, Thomas Rogers and Jake Spain provide plenty of mid field options and Zac Borlace is a quality keeper. West have Zac Gilmour dominating in defence and also pushing forward to score. The availability of Jack Roberts, Chris Varcoe and Nathan Ali often determines how competitive the West team is each week.

Add the talented female trio of Jess Roberts, Jess Cox and Taylor McAvaney and West will take some beating come the finals.

IN THE LADIES division St Josephs already have a KO Cup in their keeping and an 11 point buffer on the premiership table. Nikki Phillips is back from a year in Canada, and leads all goal scorers with 19, followed by team mates Cassie Robinson (15), Ashton McInnes (10) and Isabella Morris (9). West juniors Taylor McAvaney and Jessica Cox both have eight goals for the year with Celtic’s Elle Gepp scoring seven goals thus far.

Both West and Celtic will improve as the season approaches the finals so the St Josephs girls will need to remain fit and focussed to add to the trophy cabinet. Already they have injury issues with stand out Goalie Katie Patison sustaining a potentially season ending ankle injury.

IN THE MEN’S B grade Division West have a one point lead over St Josephs after nine rounds. Players doubling up are dominating the goal scoring in this division with West’s Matt Lihou (11), Matt Ali (8) and Bryant Mitchell (6) and St Josephs Jimmy Wilkins (7) all likely to be unavailable when the finals arrive.

The fight is on for third spot with Alma just a mere point ahead of Celtic. Whichever team finishes third will have a real chance of making the final so the last two meetings of these teams will be sudden death finals games. Celtic have certainly improved in recent weeks and with their As probably no chance of making a semi final the B grade silverware may well become their focus.

Alma’s Dale Dowling continues to be their spark with seven goals whilst Paul Nicholas is their midfield general.

IN A GRADE the premiership race is locked at 22 points each for West Panthers and St Josephs. West have a far superior goal difference however rounds 11 and 14 will probably be the rounds that decide the minor premiership race (and with it direct passage to the grand final). West’s Johnny Bugeja (13) has scored in six of the first nine rounds, whilst teammates Matt Ali and Shane Hayward both have 11. For the Blues, Jyh Stubing leads the way with seven, with Nathan Gageler (6) and Bryce Bessell (6) both doing well in their new midfield roles.  Player availability, yellow cards suspensions and injury will challenge both Clubs over the next six weeks. Alma can afford to sit back and work patiently towards a semi final spot, ensuring all players are fit and qualified for the semi finals on Sunday September 11. Mark Khan leads the way with four goals with Keradyn Turley and Thomas Lyle on three.

Round 10 this week pits St Josephs and Alma in the early 2pm timeslot; whilst West and Celtic clash at 4pm. Form would lead to wins for St Joes and West but after a two week break expect both games to be very competitive.

IN THE LADIES division Celtic and West will continue to push for 2nd spot and a physiological advantage come the finals. West have a six point buffer and another win should seal second spot.

St Josephs tackle the quickly improving Alma ladies team. In round nine Alma lost 2-0 to West with the first goal being a corner kick that dodged all the players and the second goal had ‘offside’ written all over it. 

Alma’s junior U/16 rep players, Tayla Daniele, Kirsten Craig, and Vika Pagano will be out to impress in the lead up to the Country Carnival. St Joes to win, but the margin gets smaller each round. 

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