KORUMBURRA City played host to Leongatha Knights in an entertaining day on the pitch under nice sunshine.
The senior teams took to the field for the first leg of the Annual Brian Newey Cup.
The local derby saw Korumburra start strong and pressed Leongatha for an opening from the kick-off, however Leongatha were resilient, creating chances of their own.
Korumburra’s breakthrough came from a through ball to Tom Sorrell, whose pace caused trouble for the Gatha defence all afternoon.
Tom ran onto the through ball one on one with the keeper and slotted the ball home for a 1-0 lead.
Burra continued to press however it was Leongatha to strike on the counter attack.
With the majority of Knights players backing up from an earlier match it fell to fresh players Blake Moscript and Fergus Warren to get the reply. When Blake put Jack Bainbridge in the clear down the wing he was able to run deep and cross to Fergus for a goal from the top of the box.
In the second half Burra came out strongly. An unfortunate ankle injury to the Leongatha keeper Charlie Dougherty forced some tactical changes to Gatha’s team and in a dominant spell, Burra scored three goals in three minutes.
Sorrell completing his hat-trick and Liam Cull striking a long range effort into the top corner.
The wind was knocked out of a resilient Gatha team however they showed great character and pushed extra players forward.
In the 70th minute Gatha got their reward as they managed to penetrate the Burra defence and score a second goal, when a free kick from deep in their own defence which cleared the Burra defence allowed Fergus to take his first touch with a header over the Korumburra keeper, taking the score to 4-2.
However any thought of a ‘Collingwood’ comeback was short lived, when a ball was played in behind Gatha’s high defensive line, and Bow Crook managed to sweep in from the left and score.
Aiden Richard put the icing on the cake for Burra with an individual effort that took the final score to a 6 – 2 win for Burra.
Both sides hit the pitch with a drive to win. Always a healthy rivalry, the two clubs came out passionate and fair.
It would take 15 minutes before the first goal would be scored, this came as a bit of a surprise for most as some thought the whistle was blown but Gatha snuck it through. The whistle was miss-heard from the game on the other pitch.
A fast paced forward line from Gatha made Burra’s defence work hard, Nadia Sillars and Bridie Allen outstanding in centre defence clearing the ball on numerous occasions.
Jess Odgers worked extremely hard through the centre with some skilful gathering of the ball.
Some missed opportunities on goal for Burra saw the Gatha leading 0–2 at the half way break.
Youngster Dakota DeCarlo was given the task of sticking to Gatha’s super quick and talented forward Kathy Zachouropoulos, Dakota doing a superb job.
Newcomers in this year’s team Beck King and Rose Hurst showed some pleasing signs, rotating off the bench with fresh legs. It wasn’t to be Burra’s day, ending the match with a 0–5 loss.
Korumburra struggled to make any headway in this match as Leongatha showed some might, taking a convincing 1–8 win.
Ever reliable Harry McNeil slotted Burra’s only goal.
Goalie Michael Smith had plenty of the ball as the Gatha forwards relentlessly attacked.
The Knights, with a full side, continued the passing game that they had worked on over the past 2 weeks.
After Korumburra’s early opener, the Knights had more control of the ball in the centre and forward half.
When Jack Bainbridge took a corner kick it was Brian Gannon in the box who latched onto the cross and used his left foot to good effect in scoring to even the score.
Knights defence of David Simon, John Wilson and Charlie Dougherty – in a rarely seen game out of goal – set plays up from deep in defence.
Ethan Bath and Stu McNaughton scored next for a 3-1 lead.
Jack Bainbridge, who’d set up McNaughton, was on the receiving end of two assists this time and increased the lead further to 5-1 at the break.
Bath and Gannon scored next, each providing the assist for the other.
The final goal came with strong work from Paul Wynne when his pass inside put Brian free and after a bit of a muddle, he scored a birthday hat-trick.
It wasn’t to be Korumburra’s day on the pitch as the Leongatha power house flexed their muscle.
A well drilled side saw Gatha hold a convincing 0–4 lead at the half time break. Joel Findlay worked hard as Korumburra’s goalie.
Leongatha’s goals came from three top aged players and one from a first year under 16 player.
Second half goals to Korumburra’s Riley Olden and super boot Aiden Hall helped make Burra’s scoreboard look respectful.
Curtis Gardner took a knock to the leg and was carried off, a great showing of respect for him as the Gatha side gave him a round of applause.
It was even better to see the same applause when he re-joined the game after a rest on the bench and icing his injury.
It was an excellent showing of sportsmanship from Leongatha.
The Knights found their second wind with goals to Shem Murphy, Malik Phillps, Sean Villasevil, Curtis Rintoule and Adam Watchorn.
Curtis and Malik got there hat-tricks bring Curtis up to his second hat-trick for the season.
Vincent Trease and Cody Cox did well in defence to keep the Korumburra score to two. Jarryd Bongers, Aiden Scott and Phillip Smith stepped up from under 14s.
Korumburra and Leongatha were quite evenly matched in a great display of soccer skills.
Korumburra coach Peter Jacques encouraging his side all the way to the end of the game.
At half time, both sides were in with a chance to take the win, Gatha holding a narrow one goal lead.
A six goal to three second half would see the fitter Leongatha side take the win, 6–10, Aaron Lopez–Freeman pairing up with Riley Olden as outstanding players for the home side.
Riley Olden and Julio Decarlo both netting two goals, Liam Richards and Harrison Clark also sneaking 1 each in.
Korumburra coach Graham Beech was all smiles and full of praise for his side in their 5-3 win.
“We had four different goal scorers with a lot of good passing. “Particularly pleased with Julio DeCarlo who brought the ball down and fed it in to middle as well as scoring a goal himself.
“Harrison Clark put on a solid performance and scored a powerful goal from outside the box.
“Liam Richards dazzled Leongatha with some fancy foot work and Fern Hurst debuting as captain worked hard and provided a solid defence. Overall the team put up a solid game across the board.”
The Knights played well with Lilly McKenzie in defence working hard to cover, Oliver Buckley working super hard in midfield, and Tadgh Gannon and Billy Trotman managing to score a goal each in the first half.
A good forward move saw Kyran Freibe getting on the end of a cross and pulling another one back for the Knights in the second half.
A “friendly” game was arranged after some late withdrawals from Leongatha, the away side having to forfeit due to less than seven players. A win to the home side 7–2.
Korumburra loaned some players to even the sides up so that the girls could have a good run.
Burra came out strong with pacing runs, Fern Hurst booting her first goal for the Under 15s at the one minute mark.
Estelle Rosse would see the match out with an amazing four goal haul, Alana Lopez-Freeman scored her first goal for the Under 15s and Milly Hurst had lots of shots, slotting through 1. Jordan Egan was super strong in defence clearing the ball with precision.
Leongatha’s Montana Kranen was a stand out in her perseverance with the ball, executing some wonderful footwork and eventually scoring her first goal for the team.
Louise Colwill played her first ever game for the club and was magnificent, even scoring her first goal.
A special get well shout out to Knights speedy wing player Emily Wightman who suffered an unfortunate injury during play. The Knights thank Korumburra for hosting a wonderful match.