There was no joy for our two representatives at the 2023 FNSW Champion of Champions finals held at Valentine Sports Park on Sunday.
Played in hot and very windy conditions, both the Epping O30 Women’s team and the West Pennant Hills CFC Premier League team were both soundly beaten in their respective finals.
Epping O30 were first up in the early afternoon sun, which at the time of kick-off was 33 degrees. Despite the conditions both teams were keen to attack and it was Forestville Killarney that scored first when their striker was able to break clear and slotted home 10 minutes in.
Epping though were giving as good as they got and created several opportunities to equalise before they eventually did with Amy Scott showing good pace to beat her defender and dink a nice hot over the advancing keeper. Epping continued to press and had numerous chances to go ahead, but found the Forestville goalkeeper in good positions to stop anymore additional goals from going in.
Forestville then took the lead once again a few minutes before half time in a similar fashion when a ball played in behind the defence saw their fast striker again get clear and she made no mistake. This unfortunately became and all too familiar scene in the second half.
The Manly-based team completely dominated the second half and after adding a third goal soon after the break again from their speedy striker up front the floodgates opened, as they complied 6 second half goals against a weary Epping defence.
The only consolation in the second half came from a superbly struck free kick by Fatma Agar midway through the half that gave their keeper no chance.
Meanwhile West Pennant Hills also saw their hopes of taking out the prestigious All Age Men’s title snuffed out by an excellent Pittwater RSL team from the Manly Warringah FA. After a cagey first 15 minutes as both teams tried to get used to the windy conditions, it was Pittwater that most of their first real chance, when a perfectly flighted corner kick caught everyone out except a Pittwater player who headed home from close range.
Pittwater’s confidence grew and they assumed control of the game and pushed WPH back and by the half hour mark they had added a further two goals to sit comfortably 3-0 ahead.
WPH were not about to give up that easily and in the space of several minutes Dash Ritnam had a one-on-one shot saved by the keeper, but he made no mistake with his second chance with a neat finish from just inside the penalty box and they went into the half time break 3-1 down.
Pittwater dashed any hopes of the Lions coming back into the game 15 minutes into the second half when they scored a fourth goal direct from a free kick and then added fifth goal soon after.
Lions captain Andrew Zalunardo pulled a goal back from the penalty spot with about 15 minutes to play, but any hopes of a miraculous comeback were dashed minutes later when Ryan Frank was given a straight red card. The score finishing 5-2 to Pittwater’s favour.