It was a winning round for the Mariners Academy teams this past weekend, with strong results across all games on Sunday on a special day at Pluim Park.
The day celebrated the life of Archie King, with NPL Men’s, NPL Women’s and NPL Youth all playing at Pluim, with a tribute held before the two first grade games kicked off.
Nick Montgomery’s NPL Men’s side started well against Mounties Wanderers but could not make early chances count, and the game appeared to be headed for a goalless stalemate before Jing Reec popped up eight minutes from time with his seventh goal of the season to break the deadlock.
The victory put the NPL Men’s team back in touch with the top four, and Monty said it was an important game for his side to win.
“[Very] happy with the win,” he said.
“It has been a rough few weeks and we have been low on players but it’s been a great opportunity for some of the younger players to taste first grade and put themselves in the frame.”
With nine rounds left of the season the Mariners are sixth, only four points out of the four, and Monty is confident the team can make a concerted push for finals in the home stretch of the campaign.
“After a tough first half of the season for many reasons we are on track, knowing It’s a tight league and we know we can come home strong in the second half of the season.”
With players registered in the A-League squad, they can bolster us once the A-League season is over, and we are confident with home form we can compete for a top four spot.”
On the second field at Pluim, the Mariners NPL Women’s side kicked off at the same time, and got off to the perfect start when Emily Diaz scored just three minutes in, and then doubled the advantage eight minutes later.
The goals were her eighth and ninth of the season, and Dan Barrett’s side pushed on to record their fourth victory of the campaign and move within three points of SD Raiders in fourth spot.
With a bye ahead this weekend and the top five heading to finals, Barrett said he was pleased with the performance and pointed to next week’s catchup game with Marconi as an important outing.
“Extremely happy with the way we went about our football,” he said.
“We were definitely not ay full strength and had to battle against a defensively well organised Inter side.
“Special mention to Lily McMahon who made her first grade starting debut and absolutely made the most of it having a great game.”
“We’re in touching distance of the five with a crucial midweek catch up against 5th placed Marconi,” he said.”
“I am still planning a big back end and more consistent round two to bring us to our fifth straight final appearance. I have every confidence we are in the right track.”
NPL2 Men’s v Mounties Wanderers
First Grade: 1-0 win (Jing Reec 82’)
U/20’s: 3-0 win (Zac Waddell (2), Gerang Kuol)
NPL2 Women’s v Inter Lions
First Grade: 2-0 win (Emily Diaz 3’, 11’)
Reserves: 2-0 win (Annalise Brewster, Candice Phelan)
U17’s: 2-1 loss (Isabella De Meyer)
U/15’s: 6-0 win (Natalie Davis (3), Jacinta Coleman, Claire Denning, Savannah Lalor)
U/14’s: 3-0 win (Alexia Karas Claire Denning, Imogen Tanti)
NPL Youth v Manly United
U/18’s: 3-1 win (Bret Sibanda (2), Seth Hedley)
U/16’s: 3-0 loss
U/15’s: 3-2 win (Cayan Law (2), Kurtis White)
U/14’s: 1-0 win (Kirby Wilding)
U/13’s: 2-1 win (Harrison Jablonski, Fynn Sadler)