Broadmeadow Magic sent Hamilton Olympic out of the finals on a dramatic night, two late goals from James Virgili and Kale Bradbury extinguishing Olympic’s hope of a second Grand Final appearance in as many years.
Broadmeadow Magic 2 (Bradbury 90’, Virgili 90+4’) defeated Hamilton Olympic 1 (Mooney 57’) at Darling Street Oval, Saturday 27thAugust 6.30pm
Hamilton came into the match down 3-1 on aggregate and needed a two-goal victory at least to make it through to next weekend.
The first half was a tight affair, James Virgili fizzing his early shot to the left of goal inside the opening ten minutes. Olympic had a couple of half-chances, but neither side could break the deadlock, and went in at 0-0.
After the break, Hamilton needed a goal and needed one quickly. Tommy Spencer played a low cross to Kane Goodchild who touched onto Simon Mooney. Mooney smashed his shot into the roof of the net and the battle was back on. Minutes later Tommy Spencer had a great chance to break the deadlock, but couldn’t do so.
Then the controversial chapter of the evening’s proceedings was written when Cody Lucas played a long ball from inside his own half, against the sideline on the right side. It bounced over the head of Kane Goodchild, and Matt Swan thundered the volley into the roof of the net to send Hamilton fans into delirium, only for the lineswomen to raise her flag for offside.
Olympic kept fighting though, as they pushed forward for the goal which would send them to the Grand Final. But, on the break with limited numbers in defence, Magic struck, as Kale Bradbury went one-on-one with Hamilton keeper Tom Pullin and all but ended Olympic’s hopes of a Grand Final appearance, when he thumped his shot home. It was a cruel blow, but not as cruel as the one to come…
Edgeworth Eagles 2 (Hammel 14’, Moriyasu 90+3’) defeated Maitland Magpies 1 (Martin 19’) at Jack McLaughlan Oval, Saturday 27thAugust 2pm
The Edgeworth Eagles will go through to their second Grand Final, after a nail-biting 2-1 victory over the Maitland Magpies on Saturday afternoon at Jack McLaughlan Oval. They will aim to be the first side since Highfields Azzurri in 1993/94 to be back to back Premiers and Grand Final Champions in a Northern NSW competition.
The Eagles were made to work for it though, with a goal late in stoppage time from Japanese sensation Keigo Moriyasu.
It was the Eagles though who opened the scoring when Bren Hammel whipped a lovely free-kick over the wall and into the top left corner, as the home side took the lead inside 15 minutes.
However, as they have proved over the two legs, the Magpies were fighters, and they fought hard, when Ryan Clarke surged down the left-hand edge, cutting into the box and delivering a pinpoint cross onto the head of striker Ben Martin for his third, and most important goal of the season.
That was when the match tightened up, with both sides having limited opportunities before half-time and going in locked up, a one a piece.
CLICK HERE for a full review from both matches.