Rivalry Round sees gap narrowed at the top

Balcatta cut Bayswater City’s lead to just two points at the top of the National Premier Leagues WA during an intense Rivalry Round weekend.

Balcatta’s 2-0 win over Inglewood United combined with Bayswater’s 1-1 draw with Perth SC brought sharp focus to the top of the table.

Perth had been handed the lead when Mark Doninger converted a penalty in the 35th minute but Steve Burton brought Bayswater back into the game. Bayswater’s hopes of a win were snuffed out when Chris Saldaris was sent off in the 55th minute.

Balcatta’s Benny Kouakou wasted no time giving his team the lead with a goal in the third minute. Inglewood created plenty of chances but could not finish and their efforts were eventually deflated by a 59th-minute own goal.

Another own goal, five yellow cards and a series of goal-line clearances made for the most thrilling game of the round as Sorrento held ECU Joondalup to a 1-1 draw.

Sorrento’s Todd Harnwell opened the scoring in the 42nd minute but their lead looked shaky when James Morgan was sent off. After close calls at both ends, Joondalup equalised through Harnwell’s own goal. Sorrento looked to have reclaimed the lead three minutes later but the goal was ruled offside. Sorrento missed the opportunity to climb into third place.

Thrills were also plentiful at E&D Litis Stadium where Floreat Athena overcame rivals Stirling Lions 2-1.

Floreat’s Tom Dixon pulled off a number of stunning saves to keep a frustrated Stirling at bay and his work was rewarded when Lewis McMahon scored the opener. Stirling’s Daniel Micevski equalised in the 78th minute only for Jamie Eames to reclaim Floreat’s lead just 60 seconds later.

Cockburn City scored a convincing 2-0 victory over Armadale with Feizel Zaw opening the scoring in the 20th minute and Matt Barlow sealing the win.

Subiaco extended their unbeaten run to three games with a 4-1 win over Perth Glory. Subiaco’s lead came in just two minutes through George Tchami but there was hope for Glory when Joe Knowles equalised just 10 minutes later. Josh Booysen won back the lead and goals from Jordan Rhodes and Rory Feely made the points safe for Subiaco.

Click here for a comprehensive wrap up of each of the weekend's games.