Perth SC clinch NPLWA title

Perth SC were crowned NPLWA – Men’s Champions for the fourth time in six years on Saturday afternoon.

The Azzurri’s 1-0 win at Rockingham City paired with Floreat's defeat at Sorrento by a similar scoreline ensured the title returned to Dorrien Gardens.

Michael Domfeh scored the winner for Perth three minutes before half-time. And as news filtered through of Sorrento taking the lead at Percy Doyle Reserve, it was clear where the league trophy would be heading.

Defeat for Rockingham, meanwhile, confirmed their relegation to State League Division One after three seasons in the top flight. They will be replaced by Men’s State League Division One champions Stirling Macedonia in 2022.

This latest title win was the result of a remarkable turnaround for Ramon Falzon's side, who clawed back a 10-point deficit on Floreat mid-season.

“I’m enormously proud of the boys,” Falzon said.

“We’ve seen several times just how one loss (can affect a team’s momentum) … then we were lucky that as soon as they lost their first game, we played them the next week and beat them as well.

“We kept persisting because until you have crossed the finished line, doesn’t matter.”

Both Perth and Floreat have been affected by injuries and Falzon praised the contribution from youngsters such as Jayden Gorman and Will Gordon, especially in the second half of the season.

“Injuries are a part of football but I have never seen it before, what has happened to us this year, when for two months from my list I was having 10 players out.

“The youngsters were keen to get an opportunity and their performances have been superb,” Falzon added.

“The experienced players had to dig a little bit deeper and the youngsters had to rise to the occasion, and it makes me enormously proud that no matter the challenges, we always showed the resilience to overcome them.”

The breakthrough at SarfeRad Stadium came on 42 minutes when Calvin Whitney threaded a well-weighted pass through Rockingham's defence and Domfeh lifted the ball over Bradley Stout with the outside of his right foot.

“It feels unbelievable (to be champions), to score the winner even better,” Domfeh said.

The striker began the season in a partnership with new recruit Cameron Teece, whose stay at the club ended quickly as he moved to Victoria.

“Cam’s a fantastic striker, I learned a lot playing with him. When he left, I knew I had to step up and take more responsibility.”

Alex Silla then lashed over early in the second period and Yagoub Mustafa rolled wide of the post later in the half. Rockingham's best chance to level came when Dylan Rogers slid beyond the upright as Perth kept a fourth clean sheet in a row.

The day's other key result saw Sorrento lock away their Top Four Cup spot following a 1-0 win over Floreat.

The game's decisive goal came on the hour mark as Ollie Annis ghosted in from midfield to net his first of the season and give the Gulls a perfect response to last week's loss at Perth.

With matters at the top and bottom of the table confirmed, the last spot in the Top Four Cup is up for grabs next week as Perth Glory and Inglewood face off on the final day in a winner takes all clash at Hartfield Park.

Both sides are locked on 34 points with Glory currently holding fourth spot on goal difference despite conceding a 93rd minute equaliser in a 3-3 draw at Balcatta on Saturday.

Joshua Anasmo followed in Charlie Leech's effort for his 11th of the season before Hristijan Jankuloski netted for a second straight week from a corner.

Charlie Leech volleyed home his first goal since Round Four, but Glory were pegged back by the hosts early in the second half when the ball broke for Michael Scafetta to score.

Tyler Vecchio crashed Glory into a third lead 17 minutes from time with his first senior NPL goal, but once again Balcatta answered as referee Julian Serra spotted a handball at a set-piece and Amir Ajan converted the spot-kick at the death.

Inglewood United were able to draw level on points with Ruben Zadkovich's side thanks to a 1-0 win over Gwelup Croatia, whose status in the NPL next season was confirmed by Rockingham's loss.

Scott Blackmore headed in the winner from a long free-kick 20 minutes from time. His first goal since March's Night Series Final helped Andres Oliveira's side stretch their unbeaten run to four.

Elsewhere, two late free-kicks from substitute Ellis Healing gave ECU Joondalup a 4-2 win over Bayswater City. The win was not enough for Kenny Lowe's side though, with results elsewhere meaning they are out of finals contention.

ECU striker Danny Hodgson's opener from close range pulled him within two goals of Inglewood’s Golden Boot leader Steve Sokol.

Bayswater had won three in a row prior to Saturday's game and levelled through Albert Fullard's drive, before ex-City forward Daryl Nicol's brilliant strike restored the Jacks’ advantage.

Ndumba Makeche levelled for City again a minute after the restart but that was as good as it got for the visitors. Healing curled home from the dead ball for his first goal since returning from injury, before picking out the other corner with another free-kick in stoppage time.

Finally, Armadale gave their fans some late season cheer with a 3-0 win over Cockburn City in their final home game of 2021.

Cockburn skipper Euen Grant was dismissed on 28 minutes for a foul as the last man and Armadale capitalised a minute before half-time when Angel Andres fired in against his former club.

Pieter Jacobz bundled in a second on 47 minutes before Chad Nilson tapped in a late third for John O'Reilly's side.


Armadale 3-0 Cockburn City
Balcatta 3-3 Perth Glory
ECU Joondalup 4-2 Bayswater City
Inglewood United 1-0 Gwelup Croatia
Rockingham City 0-1 Perth SC
Sorrento 1-0 Floreat Athena