Talking Points: Round 3











By Declan Payne


Maitland run riot on Good Friday, Adamstown to do some soul searching

After a smash and grab against Weston and a narrow loss to Charlestown, no one would have predicted Maitland coming out and smacking nine, yes NINE, goals through Adamstown in ninety minutes. 

Matt Thompson proved that class is eternal, while Matt Comerford reminded the league just how explosive he can be and James Thompson showed how much promise he has after a stellar performance from the 19-year-old. 

It was coach Mick Bolch’s first match in the dugout for Maitland after he served a two-game touchline ban at the beginning of the season, and he’ll be delighted with the way his boys stepped up. 

Adamstown was shell-shocked after finding themselves down by three goals just six minutes in, and never really got back into the match despite a rocket from Judd Duncan midway through the first half giving them a little hope. 

They showed such promising signs in the opening two weeks and surely this match is just a horrific blip on the radar rather than a sign of things to come – expect a big reaction against Lakes this weekend.

 

Hamilton denied a goal, Valentine let the lead slip

A fight-back from two goals down at half-time to take a point away would usually be a result which any coach would be happy with, but Olympic’s Peter McGuinness may be aggrieved not to have taken the three points. 

His side was denied a goal in the 67th minute when a Jake McGuinness rocket into the back of the net wasn’t counted thanks to the referee calling back the play for a foul on the edge of the area. 

Rhys Cooper made sure there was a share of the points but did so nearly twenty minutes later. Had they had that time to go forward with the momentum behind them, in search of a winner rather than an equaliser, it may have been a different result. 

For the visitors, Joel Wood stepped up in the opening stanza to give Valentine a strong lead, and they’ll be disappointed not to go on with it and secure their first three points of the season. 

Regardless Phoenix still took a point away while producing (alongside Hamilton) some of the most entertaining football seen at this early stage of the season, which will hold them in good stead as they improve the more the season wears on.

 

Lakes looking better, Charlestown consistent

After two disappointing results in the opening two results, many were tipping Lakes to be in for a similarly tough time against a rampant Charlestown side on Good Friday. 

Despite going down by a goal, it was an improved performance from Nick Webb’s side who had their share of the chances but ultimately were unable to convert. They may fancy their chances against Adamstown next weekend. 

Three from three for Charlestown has ensured they’re two points clear at the top of the table at the end of the third round action, but the win didn’t come without a cost. 

Consistency has been key so far for the Blues early on this season, and they started last Friday’s match against Lakes with the same starting line up for the third week in a row. 

However, they lost key striker Kane Goodchild to an apparent hamstring complaint early in the first half and should he be out for an extended period then the spotlight will be on the Blues’ depth, and whether they can step up and carry on winning.

 

No Wheelhouse no problem for Lambton

After two of the toughest assignments in the competition in the opening rounds of the competition, Lambton proved they can take on any type of challenge after rolling the Bears over 4-1 on Saturday. 

Jobe Wheelhouse was a notable spectator to the right of the Jaffas bench, and he would’ve watched on with some interest as Ben Hay and Bren Hammel dominated the midfield. 

It was two former Jets men which did the damage though, with Ryan Griffiths teed up twice by brother Joel in the first half, and then returning the favour in the second half to secure the points. 

Weston former Jets man, Kew Jaliens, remained out with injury troubles but the Bears have signed former Central Coast Mariners Youth defender Callum Bower and extended on their depth in the back four. 

For the Bears, it was the first of three big matches – in the next fortnight they’ll also take on Edgeworth, then Charlestown and if they’re to take points from either of these matches then they’ll have to improve on last Saturday’s performance.

 

Magic men mighty but falter, Edgeworth prove they’re not to be written off just yet

Despite being dominated for much of the match for the second weekend running, Broadmeadow scored twice and will feel devastatingly unlucky not to take three points away from Sunday’s clash with Edgeworth. 

There is an extremely attractive brand of football coming of age at Broadmeadow under Ruben Zadkovich, and it comes from the wide men – James Virgili and Kale Bradbury bombing down the wings, supported by the fullbacks in Luke Virgili and Matt Hoole. 

They’ve dominated against Lakes and put in extremely good showings against two of the league’s top teams. If Broadmeadow can continue to improve and build, then they will be in the mix come season’s end. 

A last-gasp loss to Lambton and a poor Heritage Cup had many wondering whether or not Edgeworth’s perennial grip on the competition was coming to an end, but they proved the doubters wrong last weekend. 

The Eagles dominated much of the match against a side who will harbour similar premiership ambitions this seasons, and while it took a late own goal to take the three points it was a performance worthy of premiers.

 




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