Tuesday, 15th May, 2012
By Darrin Manuel
West have brought Celtic crashing back to earth with a 13-0 drubbing at the weekend.
The green and whites were riding high after a morale-boosting victory over reigning premier St Joes last weekend, but went into their clash against West with several key players missing.
The Panthers took full advantage of their weakened opponents, jumping out to a six goal lead at half time before adding another seven in the second half.
West coach George Bugeja said the win was a marked improvement on last weekend’s effort which saw the Panthers defeat Alma 4-1.
“The boys played the way I asked them to this week which was good because last weekend I was pretty angry with them, even though we won,” he said.
“They didn’t play the way I wanted them to, they were playing around with the ball, they had too many touches.
“They weren’t playing as a team they were playing as individuals.
“This week they played as a team, nobody was greedy and trying to score all the goals, they were pushing the ball around like they’re supposed to.”
West had winners all over the ground, but it was Wade Gepp who shone the brightest with six goals, while Dave Lehman chipped in with two.
Despite Gepp’s impressive effort Bugeja said his focus remained on ensuring the team makes an even contribution across the board.
“Wade Gepp and Dave Lehman were great, but they also had a lot of quality ball fed to them,” he said.
“With me it doesn’t matter who scores, it’s a team effort. There’s no star, it’s as much about the other blokes who they’ve got behind them.”
In the late game Alma rejoined the winners’ list with a hard-fought win over St Joes.
The Goats skipped away to an early lead thanks to two goals from Kofi Sarpong, before Patrick Nash got Joeys on the board.
Alma replied with another goal from Laurence Hebbard to take a comfortable 3-1 lead into half time, and seemed to have the game all sewn up.
St Joes had other ideas however, and emerged from the break with renewed vigour.
“At half time we looked well in the game and like we were going to win, but the Joeys lost a man at the start of the second half and that seemed to fire them up,” said Alma coach Will Hebbard.
Tristan Symonds scored again for Alma before St Joes surged back into the game with two goals from Daniel Timperio.
Time and injuries began to count against the Joeys however, and at the final whistle the scoreline was 4-3 in Alma’s favour
“They could have easily drawn with us but they lost another player again,” said Hebbard.
“I have to really give the Joeys a pat on the back for the way they came back at us.”
Although Alma conceded late goals, Hebbard said he was pleased with his team’s application throughout what he described as a “fiery” contest.
“It was a good game, we passed well and our finishing was a lot better than last week.
“We were better in the midfield, they all worked together well this week, and we all kept our cool.”
MEN’S A GRADE
West 13 def Celtic 0
West: W Gepp 7, D Lehman 2, C West 1, S Howard 1, J Bugeja 1, M Shorrock 1
Alma 4 def St Joseph 3
Alma: K Sarpong 2, T Symonds 1, L Hebbard 1
St Joseph: D Timperio 2, P Nash 1
West 1 draw Celtic 1
Goals: J Cox (West), M Casserly (Celtic)
St Joseph 10 def Alma 0
St Joseph: I Morris 5, P McInnes 4, S Bennett 1
MEN’S B GRADE
West 2 def Celtic 1
Goals: West: Z Gilmour 1, OG 1
Celtic: M Spencer 1
St Joseph 4 def Alma 2
Goals: St Joseph: E McCann 2, N Brown 1, S Curyer 1, Alma: M Kiddle 2