Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)
A torrential downpour right on kickoff contributed to a crazy but entertaining first half with seven goals scored. Holland Park going on with it in the second half to record a 6-3 win over Redlands to claim Group B at the BLK Silver Boot.
Redlands were the better in taking advantage of the conditions early on putting themselves two goals up inside the first seven minutes.
Nico Bechar contributed to the first goal playing it forward for Graham Fyfe who slotted away at the near post before Igor Sao Jose added a second a minute later as Holland Park gloveman Jono Burrows had a difficult time sighting the ball in the heavy rain.
So too was Brendon White for Redlands at the other end of the park, narrowly avoiding conceding from a Dan Smith free kick.
Holland Park pulled one back with a corner delivered into a crowded six yard box. Jeff Woodward was on hand to backheel into the net from close range.
Marek Madle equalised for the Hawks as he too capitalised on a corner to head home past White.
Andrew MacAskill took advantage of a Jake Kallis cross to give Holland Park the lead for the first time.
Fyfe put Redlands back on level terms with a customary free kick. Burrows dive to his left wasn’t quick enough to stop the bullet-like effort.
Madle and Fyfe exchanged long-range shots until it was Dan Smith’s turn to step up. His dead-ball opportunity found the underside of the crossbar at the junction of the left hand upright and bounced across the line and the Hawks took a 4-3 lead to the break.
Fyfe continued to try valiantly for his side. From outside the box he found the woodwork near to the hour.
From there, Hawks regained the ascendency. Jack Cabassi playing in a wonderful cross met by Madle at the back post who put home.
Ashley Shore got on the scoresheet with a quarter of an hour remaining as he headed home from close range.
Redlands had the opportunity to add a late goal after Burrows transgressed in the box. Shoheel Khan missed the resulting penalty.
Holland Park finish top of Group B after recording two wins and a penalty shootout win from their three group matches. They will play Brisbane Strikers in Thursday week’s first semi-final.
Holland Park 6 (Jeff Woodward 18’, Marek Madle 23’ 63’, Andrew MacAskill 26’, Dan Smith 38’, Ashley Shore 75’) v Redlands 3 (Graham Fyfe 6’, 28, Igor Sao Jose 7’)
Holland Park: Jono Burrows, Mark Rasmussen, Jeff Woodward, Marv Brattan, Phillip Cave, Dan Smith, Dean Briggs, Jake Kallis, Andrew MacAskill, Marek Madle, Sam Roper, Matt Carr, Alistair Pase, Ashley Shore, Manny Garcia, Jack Cabassi.
Redlands: Brendon White, Kai Halliday, Paul O’Brien, Michael Lee, Russell Woodruffe, Nico Bechar, Graham Fyfe, Adam Chandler, Nick Danicic, Doyle Bissett, Igor Sao Jose, Steven Green, Scott Dykman, Sam Langley, Shoheel Khan, James Edgar.