NPL Wrap: Men triumph, women bow out

Another weekend of high stakes football has seen the women’s academy eliminated from the finals after a 2-0 defeat to Gladesville Ravens whilst the men kept their season alive with a 1-0 win at Pluim Park. Congratulations to the U17s girl’s academy side who have progressed to the preliminary final.

Central Coast Mariners Academy 1 (Vinci) Blacktown Spartans 0

Nerves were high on Sunday afternoon as the men’s Academy knew anything other than a win would mean their season was over.

The first half saw Nick Montgomery’s men run into a very strong wind which helped the away side sit back and soak up many of the attacks. There was a lot of intent from the young Yellow and Navy side however, Spartans remained solid and were able to keep it even at the break.

Frustration began to grow in the second half with time starting to run out for the home side as they sought the elusive goal. It took until the 63rd minute for the Mariners to break the deadlock when captain Alec Vinci stormed through the away defence and coolly slotted away his finish. The home side were able to see their slender lead through to the full time whistle, claiming their third win in a row.

It all comes down to the final day for the Mariners, as they travel to play Northern Tigers who sit in sixth spot, just two points above the yellow and navy in eighth.

Earlier Results:

  • U18s WON 4-1
  • U20s WON 5-0

Gladesville Ravens 2 Central Coast Mariners Academy 0

It was another must win game for Dan Barrett’s girls who were only just two wins away from back to back grand final appearances.

Both teams showed a lot of desire to play attacking football during the first half, but it would be the Ravens who struck first with Carlie Ikonomou giving the hosts the lead after just 19 minutes. The girls struggled to find the attacking threat they carried with them during the season and were held scoreless at the break.

The women were in for a big second half display but were dealt a massive blow as Emily Diaz doubled Gladesville’s advantage in the 57th minute. The Yellow and Navy gave it everything they had but just could not get anything pass a stubborn Ravens defence.

The defeat sees the women’s first team eliminated from the finals, but it would be a season to remember and one Dan Barrett will hope to improve upon come next year.

Earlier Results:

  • U15s: LOST 3-1
  • U17s: WON 3-1
  • Reserve Grade: LOST 5-0