Thirroul Thunder play Elimination Finals matches in First Grade and Reserve Grade this Saturday at JJ Kelly Park after both teams surrendered half time leads and conceded a late goal to lose their Qualifying Final matches to Warilla last Saturday.
The Thunder face Helensburgh Thistle at 2.30pm in First Grade and Oak Flats Falcons at 12.15pm in Reserve Grade.
Thirroul went undefeated against the Thistle in First Grade during the regular season, with the Thunder running out 2-0 winners at home in round 7 and picking up a point in a 1-1 draw at Helensburgh in round 18.
However, Helensburgh are coming off a 3-0 defeat of Oak Flats last Saturday, while the Falcons won Reserve Grade 1-0 in extra time.
Here is a match report from the FSC website.
WANDERERS STRIKE LATE TO STEAL THIRROUL'S THUNDER
Warilla Wanderers played host to Thirroul Thunder in the Qualifying Final of the WGC Cranes District League with the winner booking a game against Fernhill to play-off for the chance at securing the first spot in this season’s Grand Final. The Wanderers had finished second on the table, with 47 points after their 22 matches, as well as one of the strongest attacking records in the league, with 61 goals to their name. The Thunder on the other hand, have one of the strongest defensive records in the league, with only 18 goals conceded in their 22 matches, which helped them to finish third, only two points behind Warilla. However, it was Warilla who held the bragging rights over the course of the season, with the Wanderers running out winners (3-2 and 2-1) both times the sides faced each other during the regular season.
Warilla begun the game with a real statement of intent, pushing forward with an attacking style of play and securing several corners in the opening minutes, but many of these chances were defended well by the Thunder, who ensured that Warilla would not secure an early lead. The Wanderers came close to breaking through the Thirroul defence in the 17th minute, but a final shot from Kaine Good fell directly into the path of Thirroul keeper Joshua Williams.
After some early Warilla dominance, Thirroul begun to acclimatize themselves to the match and the Thunder begun to push back and create some attacking movements of their own, however their long-ball passes were quickly snuffled out in the early stages of the match thanks to some fantastic rushing by Warilla keeper Valon Rizvani. But it was the Wanderers who would come agonizingly close once again to opening the scoring at the 24-minute mark, with some fantastic physical play from Bojan Caric allowing him to get past Thirroul’s Todd Davidson and fire off a shot at Williams, which the Thunder keeper fumbled and almost knocked into his own net, but he was able to get control of it before the ball crossed the line.
Thirroul finally got their first real chance of the match just five minutes later, with a great volley from Daniel Arthur from outside the box, but his chance went wide of the post. However, as the half begun to draw towards its close, the Thunder found themselves creating more and more attacking chances and they were rewarded on the stroke of half time. After some strong play down the right-hand side, Thirroul’s Nathan Mucci played a fantastic ball to Matthew Kellond, who in turn used a fabulous piece of individual skill to sneak past the Warilla backline, before slotting his shot past Rizvani to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead.
Warilla Wanderers FC – 2 (Ovando 71’, Everingham 87’)
Thirroul Thunder FC – 1 (Kellond 45’)
Saturday, 2 September 2017 at King Mickey Park
Warilla Wanderers FC – Valon Rizvani, Jordan Nolan, Jamie Young, Martin Castelli, Jason Goldsmith, Luke Everingham, Kaine Good, Adam White, Bojan Caric, Javier Ovando, Jeremy Lopez
Subs – Daniel Atkins, Stewart Robertson, Adrian Montalbano, Mark Marinelli (on for Caric), Ken Nguyen
Coach – Barney King
Thirroul Thunder FC – Joshua Williams, Daniel Bond, Adam Ward, Shayne Mulholland, Joel Mucci, Matthew Kellond, Todd Davidson, Corey Haines-Grose, Nathan Mucci, Daniel Arthur
Subs – Tyler Snelgrove, Bradley Strudwick (on for Mulholland), Marcus Rusbourne, Scott Woods, Cooper Brindle
Coach – Garth Bowley
Referee – Bobby Mazevski
Assistant Referees – Atesh Maharaj, Gareth Jenkins
Report by Cal Behrendt, on Twitter @CalBehrendt
Photo courtesy of Pickles Photography