FNQ Football Wrap – Round 1

Rose Calvert

Photo credit, Tom Orr Snr.

Photo credit: Tom Orr (Snr)

Premier Men

 

There were no major surprises for the opening round of the Premier Men’s competition except for a few early red cards. Stratford pulled a win back beating Innisfail 1-0 after the two side’s previous FFA Cup clash resulted in a 3-2 loss for the Dolphins during extra time. Star striker Michael Van Hooren started off his 2016 season with a red card which means he will miss next week’s fixture. Not a favourable outcome for the Dolphins who are up against form-winning Edge Hill in round two.

Edge Hill continued their impressive winning streak claiming a 3-1 victory over Marlin Coast, marking their fourth win for the year after progressing through all three rounds of the FFA Cup. The Rangers looked in good form from kick-off with plenty of offensive scares including a belting long range rocket from Brent Powell that curled in convincingly, only to find woodwork. But it didn’t take long for the Tigers to find their winning form with the ever-dangerous Michael Ortiz issuing a beautiful first touch volley from a Patrick L’Orange cross for a 1-0 lead at half time. In emerging fashion for the Tigers who are showing good form in the final third, the final goals of the match came in the second half.

 

It was a good season start all round for Leichhardt who picked up wins across all divisions. The Premier Men claimed their second win over last year’s winners Mareeba with a convincing 4-2 result. In an earlier FFA Cup fixture against the two, the Lions claimed the spoils with a 2-0 win. The Lions found the net first within twenty minutes of play in their first season hit-out. Retired A-League veteran Wayne Srhoj confirmed his inclusion in the Mareeba line-up for another season equalling the score line for a two-all half time result. But shortly into the second half Srhoj was issued his second yellow to join Van Hooren to pick up second-round suspensions. With a man down for the remainder of the second half, the Lions capitalised and put two more goals away to claim the strong win.

 

Leichhardt Lions 4 Mareeba Bulls 2

Stratford Dolphins 1 Innisfail Cutters 0

Marlin Coast Rangers 1 Edge Hill Tigers 3

Southside Comets BYE

 

Premier Reserves

 

After overcoming Mareeba in last year’s grand final to claim the 2015 Premiership, Leichhardt picked up where they left off, claiming a convincing 4-0 win over the travelling Bulls for their first round fixture courtesy of a hat-trick from Adam Sheen. It perhaps the most heated game of the opening round with six yellow cards issued and a second to Mareeba’s Salvatore Girgenti on the 90th minute which will warrant a second-round suspension.

 

Stratford also celebrated strong first-round success with a 7-1 victory over Innisfail with the visitors only goal coming via a penalty. Dale Goodwin and Dale Daleglish kicked off their golden boot campaigns with a hat-trick a piece.

 

 

It was a closely contended match for Marlin Coast and Edge Hill resulting in a two-all draw; the game showing clear signs of both sides finding their first-game form.

 

Leichhardt Lions 4 Mareeba Bulls 0

Stratford Dolphins 8 Innisfail Cutters 1

Marlin Coast Rangers 2 Edge Hill Tigers 2

Southside Comets BYE

 

Premier Women

 

Like the Premier Men there were no real surprises with the Women in their first-round matches. Leichhardt overcame Mareeba 6-1 with braces from skipper Stacey Jones and Emma Fletcher. It was a slow start for the Lions who conceded the first goal after a free kick from the Bulls Patricia Cannon. The Lions put two away to lead 2-1 at half time and found better form in the second half with four more goals. Despite new season hopes for reliable team numbers from player-coach Tamara Srhoj, the travelling Bulls managed to field a squad of just eleven.

 

Stratford’s introduction to the Premier League resulted in an 8-0 dismissal from Innisfail. Despite the score sheet, Stratford was unfortunate to not pull more away from the match with the half time score at 1-0. Key injuries in the second half from Dolphins’ Hayley Bull and Dani Reed proved fatal for the young side with Innisfail pocketing eight goals courtesy of hat tricks from Abbey Hurney and Kaila Musumeci. The score sheet might have told a different story with a few controversial goals from Innisfail that came from seemingly offside plays, but with no-one running the line calls were not made.

 

Of particular interest was the Marlin Coast – Edge Hill clash. The Tigers claimed their first round win 5-2 but as predicted, the Rangers showcased a worthy side and kept the top FNQ side to a one-all score line at half time. Both sides were without regular goal keepers; the Tigers relying on skipper Tamara Ortiz to fill in and the returning Shae Mortimer donned the gloves for Marlin Coast in her first week back. After holding the majority of possession it was ultimately their shooting game that denied the Tigers some early opportunities. The second half saw the defending champions find composure to pocket four goals. It wasn’t without a final fight from the hosts who added to the scorecard last. Former Leichhardt player Laura Jane Williams capitalised on a Tigers communication error stealing the ball top of the box and found the net from a tricky wide angle position.

 

Leichhardt Lions 6 Mareeba Bulls 1

Stratford Dolphins 8 Innisfail Cutters 1

Marlin Coast Rangers 2 Edge Hill Tigers 5

Southside Comets BYE

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