Olympia FC Warriors are looming as the team to beat in 2015, with their 5-3 victory seeing them on top of the table after the first round of matches in the PlayStation 4 Victory League, but it was the two Launceston teams that produced big results in Round 7.
This week saw the last fixtures in the opening round, meaning every team has now played each other once and the table is starting to take shape.
It was an outstanding weekend for the two Launceston teams, with Northern Rangers jumping up to fourth position with a come from behind win over Kingborough Lions down at the den and Launceston City pinching a point off title hopefuls Hobart JEEP Zebras.
Just two weeks ago Northern Rangers were on the foot of the table and in a lightning change of fortunes they are now inside the top four with two second half goals seeing them down the in-form Lions.
In the eighth minute, the hosts converted a penalty through Danny Cowen, a lead they held until the 68th minute, when Danish striker Schalde Anderson finished off a fine cross from Adam Edwards. Rangers swiftly made it 2-1 with Kenta Yamane curling a right footed drive inside the post.
Launceston City drew 1-1 with a wasteful Hobart JEEP Zebras, continuing their stark improvement in 2015.
Both goals were scored from the spot with Zebras’ Adam McKeown 76th minute penalty goal cancelled out with a last gasp effort from Nathan Bartlett, finishing off a penalty to see the sister clubs share points at KGV.
Olympia FC Warriors continued their rich vein of form, surviving a Michael Holden inspired comeback to win 5-3 at Warrior Park.
Olympia exploded out of the blocks in front of a home crowd and it was Luke Eyles who opened the scoring for the hosts in the fifth minute following some sparkling work from their new signing Gavin Hoy.
Olympia then kicked it up a notch with a cross from Warren Wadawu from the right taking a deflection and falling just inside the 18 yard box where Emmanuel Tsakiris latched onto it after reading it best, smashing home a volley expertly to make it 2-0.
After making the difficult look simply, Tsakiris did the reverse in 37th minute, missing an absolute sitter with the goalkeeper away from his goal. The Warriors sharpshooter made amends shortly after, adding his second goal in the 41st minute, finishing off an outstanding Hoy run with a clumsy finish with the assistance of the post.
Michael Holden was the shining light for Devonport in the first half but in the second half the Devonport sharpshooter hit another level, almost single handedly giving the Strikers a shot at an unlikely fight back.
The second half kicked off and looked to be heading the same way as the first when Harry Woolley finished off in the 52nd minute.
Just as the life seemed to drain out of the game, Holden brought it back from the dead with an incredible 35 minutes of play, sparking his Strikers into action. He had an incredible volley that seemed destined for the top right denied by a diving Paradisis in the 65th minute. A minute later Olympia conceded a penalty which was duly despatched by Beau Blizzard to make it 4-1. He then netted in the 68th minute to breath life into the comeback.
In the 73rd minute, Nick Meredith appeared to end Devonport’s hope before Holden struck again to draw them within two goals but unfortunately for the Strikers that is where it ended for the north west club.
In the last match of the round, South Hobart jumped to second place on the Victory League ladder with a crushing 8-0 demolition of Glenorchy Knights at KGV on Sunday.
South controlled the game from start to finish, and could have won by even more had it not been for some poor finishing and superb goalkeeping by Knights ‘keeper Alex Woodham.
Brayden Mann was the chief destroyer for South Hobart, slotting four including a first half hat trick.
Click here for the full details from all of the matches.