Mariners Youth Battle!

CENTRAL Coast Mariners Academy took on Western NSW Mariners FC in a number of youth matches at Pluim Park on Saturday.

Photo: (c) John Dewberry / Central Coast Mariners

IT was a busy weekend for all Central Coast Mariners Academy teams with both home and away games played including a number of catch-up games.

Western NSW Mariners Boys teams travelled to Pluim Park on Saturday for Round 20 of the Boys Super Youth League. Both clubs shared the points from the day with the Central Coast Mariners securing two wins and two draws whilst Western took home one win and two draws.

The Grade 13 Boys Academy team secured a 3-1 win while the 14s had a 1-1 draw against their Western counterparts. Western NSW Mariners took the points in the Grade 15 Boys with a 1-0 win over the Academy Boys.

The Grade 16 Boys Academy team continued their recent unbeaten run with two goals to the local team winning 2-0 over Western. In the Grade 18 Boys, both teams had to be content with a 1-1 draw.

Western-s younger boys teams were also in action against the Mariners Academy teams with the Grade 11 and 12 Boys playing games that were washed out some months ago.

It was also a busy weekend for the younger 9s and 10s boys members of the Academy playing two games on Saturday against Manly and Western NSW and then returning on Sunday to again play Western.

The Academy Girls and Women welcomed Manly FC to Pluim Park on Sunday. Manly were able to take home most of the points from the day securing 3 wins. There were also draws in both the Grade 14 and Grade 16 Girls.

The two Grade 16 teams again meet on Tuesday to play a previously abandoned game. The match this time will be played at Manly-s home ground on the new artificial surface at Cromer Park. Both teams will be trying to better their Sunday result with the Girls Central Coast Academy 16s team sitting in second position on the table immediately behind Illawarra Stingrays with Manly sitting in third.

Sunday afternoon was also busy again for all Boys Super Youth League Academy Teams having to travel to Bankstown to play the Berries in a series of previously washed out fixtures. Although it was a busy weekend for the boys, all Academy teams came away with wins in all grades.

The Academy teams showed consistency in their scores throughout the day having won by 2 goals in all games with the scores being 2-0 (13 Boys), 2-0 (14 Boys), 4-2 (15 Boys), 2-0 (16 Boys) and 2-0 (18 Boys).

A highlight of the day was a hat-trick to Matt Bennett of the Grade 15 Boys to secure his team-s 4-2 victory and the clean sheets maintained by the Grade 13, 14, 15 and 18 Boys.

The encouraging results of the day sees all the Boys Academy teams heading in to the 2012 Finals Series on or near the top of their respective ladders and also strongly in contention for the Boys Super Youth League Club Championship. With only two games remaining of the regular season for the Boys teams, away to Granville and at home to Sydney University, the teams are hoping to continue their form and results from Sunday and finish with positive results across all grades.

Donna Slater


Western NSW Mariners FC found some tough matches against the Central Coast Mariners Academy.

The 13 Boys were fighting for their season and needed a win but the opening period by CCMA to lead 2-0 made the task difficult. A Connor Crain goal made the game come to life but CCMA lifted for their third goal.

The 14 Boys were under pressure early by CCMA and Kobe Rapley gave the Western NSW Mariners a deserved share of the points with an equaliser.

The 15 Boys for Western NSW continued their recent run of form with a hard-fought 1-0 win from Jeremy Judge-s opportunistic goal. The Western squad defended well to maintain a clean sheet against the competition leaders.

The CCMA 16 Boys in the end proved too strong for Western NSW but not after a gutsy performance.

The final clash of the day was a cracker. Western NSW led after a great team goal finished by Nick Rutherford, before CCMA stunned the visitors with an equaliser in the second half. The Western NSW squad tried everything possible to find the winner but were thwarted by strong defence and goalkeeping from CCMA plus a missed penalty.

Andrew Fearnley