Soccer season starts
Monday, 5th May, 2014
By Ethan James
A hat-trick to Jamie Berg helped Celtic to a 3-1 win over Alma in the opening round of the Community Credit Union Premier League yesterday.
His first came just before the halftime break, while the second two were back-to-back midway through the second half.
Goal number two came by a fortuitous kick from a pack of players before he was put into space and finished in style off the ensuing kickoff.
Celtic coach Dave Deacon said he hoped the treble would act as a confidence boost.
“He didn’t play A Grade last year, maybe one or two games, because basically he didn’t think he was good enough to do it,” he revealed.
“But he definitely is and hopefully he can do something like that every week.”
Celtic finished with more running than their opposition and Deacon was impressed with the way his side gelled in their first match of the season.
“We were really consistent the whole way through,” he said.
“We nullified their midfield quite well... a lot of our guys haven’t played together a great deal so to come together like that, I was quite happy.
“I think our fitness helped out a lot too, in the end.
“It could have been more but their goalkeeper Bailey Miller pulled off some pretty good saves.”
Celtic took a 1-nil lead when the team changed ends and quickly broke the spirit of Alma with back-to-back goals.
The Goats registered a consolation goal about five minutes from fulltime when new signing Terry Delbridge sent a header in off a nicely timed cross.
“I think both sides have improved from last year which is a great sign for the competition,” Deacon said.
In the second A Grade match, St. Joseph’s scored a narrow 2-1 win over West in a rematch of last year’s grand final.
It was 1-all at the break but the second half was all Joeys as the created numerous chances and shots on goal.
Rylie McInnes’ leg speed saw him get clear of the West defence early in the half but his shot grazed the wrong side of the left post.
Liam King was another to launch multiple shots but none were on target.
West’s Zac Gilmour was their most dangerous player - he made a break midway through the half but it was shut down well by a scrambling Joey’s side.
Keta Balchin finally turned pressure into a deadlock breaker when he found the back of the net for St. Josephs.
West had a late chance to equalise with a corner moments before fulltime.
Community Credit Union Premier League - Round One.
Celtic 3 def. Alma 1.
St Joseph’s 2 def. West 1.