NPL review: Wilkshire’s Wolves end 31-year Premiership drought

Former Caltex Socceroos great Luke Wilkshire has steered Wollongong Wolves to their first Premiership win since 1988.

The South Coast powerhouse were crowned NPL New South Wales Premiers on Sunday after edging Rockdale City Suns 2-1 at Ilinden Sports Centre.

Defender Nicholas Littler and star Englishman Thomas James scored for the Wolves

“We’re a group of winners and we want to do the same next week and beyond," Wilkshire told Football NSW post-match.

Elsewhere, APIA Leichhardt cemented second spot with a 1-0 win against Manly United, while Sydney Olympic kept their finals hopes intact thanks to a 2-1 victory over Sydney United 58.

  • Lead image courtesy of Football NSW

CLICK HERE to visit the NPL NSW home page.

APIA secured a hard fought win at Cromer Park. Pic thanks to Football NSW

Western Australia

Floreat Athena kept the NPL WA title race open with a frenetic 2-1 win over reigning champions Perth SC.

Athena’s Ludovic Boi and Chris Saldaris helped the trim the margin to the leaders to five points with four games remaining.

Meanwhile, Rockingham City boosted their bid to avoid relegation thanks to a 91st-minute winner from Michael Farmer in a 1-0 win over Cockburn City.

CLICK HERE to visit the NPL WA home page.

Floreat v Bayswater

Victoria

Dandenong City secured their top-flight status with a superb 3-2 win over league heavyweights Bentleigh Greens.

The Endeavour Hills-based club were dead last with just four points from their opening 11 matches but – with the aid of ex-Hyundai A-League trio Brendan Santalab, Carl Valeri and Adrian Leijer – have picked up 25 points from their next 13 fixtures.

Leaders Avondale moved another step closer to the tile following their 2-0 win over Altona Magic, while second-place Heidelberg United edged Port Melbourne Sharks.

CLICK HERE to visit the NPL Victoria home page.

Brendon Santalab

South Australia

Campbelltown City bounced back from their midweek FFA Cup defeat to Melbourne City and moved closer to securing back to back NPL SA Premierships with a hard-fought 1-0 win over West Adelaide.

Adam Piscioneri’s first-half strike proved decisive for City, who are five points ahead of second-place Raiders with two matches to go and can likely seal the Premiership against Adelaide Comets next weekend.

CLICK HERE to visit the NPL SA home page.

Campbelltown City

Australian Capital Territory

Canberra FC gave rivals Canberra Olympic a huge favour by blowing the ACT title race wide open after beating leaders Tigers FC 1-0, with Matthew Waters scoring the game’s only goal.

That result put Canberra in fourth spot and gives Olympic – who beat Woden-Weston 4-0 – a one-point gap to make up with two rounds remaining.

The Premiership fight appears destined to go down to the final day, where Olympic and Tigers face off.

CLICK HERE to visit the NPL Capital Football page.

Tasmania

A brace from Matthew Pace ensured the Hobart Zebras defeated Olympia 4-1 to all but end the Warriors’ title hopes.

Despite falling behind to an early Joffrey Nkoso goal, the Zebras produced one of their best performances of the campaign to blow Olympia away, with Mathew Sanders and Nicky Edwards also on the scoresheet.

Elsewhere, Devonport moved six points clear at the top with a 2-1 win over Kingborough, while Riverside won the Launceston derby 2-1 over City.

CLICK HERE to visit the NPL Tasmania home page.

Action from Devonport's clash with Hobart Zebras last weekend

Queensland

There is a new leader in Queensland after Peninsula Power slumped to a shock 3-1 loss at home against Redlands United.

The Power’s defeat, coupled with Lions FC’s 7-0 drubbing of Magpies Crusaders, means the men in Orange have moved to the summit, ahead by a point with a game in hand.

Joe Duckworth was the star for Lions FC, scoring a hat trick.

In other results, Olympic FC were held to a 2-2 draw by Eastern Suburbs and Brisbane Strikers were too good for Brisbane Roar winning 4-1.

CLICK HERE to visit the NPL Queensland home page.

LionsFCCC

Northern NSW

The title race in the Hunter is set for a thrilling conclusion with just three points separating the top four teams heading into the final couple of rounds.

Edgeworth Eagles remain at the top of the ladder for now despite a 3-1 loss to Valentine over the weekend.

Weston Workers missed the chance to go top after being held to a 2-2 draw by Charlestown City Blues, while third-place Maitland – who have two games in hand on the teams above them – beat Hamilton Olympic 3-0.

CLICK HERE to visit the NPL NNSW home page