The 2020 Bonnie Lassie Cup returns to action this Sunday, 5th July, marking almost four months since it kicked off. On Sunday, 15th March, 24 teams from the Illawarra, South Coast and Southern Highlands played out a fast-paced round of robin style tournament at Ian McLennan Park. The teams have now been split into a plate and cup competition for a long anticipated return this weekend.
The Bonnie Lassie Cup started in 1978 and consisted of 20 local teams. Since then, a numerous amount of clubs and sides have entered the competition as it now enters its 42nd year. Last year, Albion Park took out the cup as Wollongong United won the plate.
How It Works:
The teams are split into six pools of four and play each team once on the first day. All teams qualified for the finals on Sunday. The top two from each pool will play for the Cup, and the bottom two, the plate. The top four sides in those respective positions will advance straight to the Quarter Finals whilst the other eight will play in the Elimination Finals. This will be a knockout stage, with the losing side being eliminated from the competition. Finals are 15 minute halves and if the game ends level a penalty shootout will determine the winner.
In 2020, there are 24 teams from 23 clubs taking part in the tournament, ranging from Helensburgh in the north, to Gerringong in the South. The teams include: Albion Park, Berkeley, Bulli, Coledale, Coniston, Corrimal, Dapto Phoenix, Fernhill FC, Figtree, Gerringong Breakers, Helensburgh, Jamberoo, Kiama, Moss Vale, Oak Flats, Oak Flats ASC, Russell Vale, Shellharbour, Tarrawanna, Thirroul, University x2, Warilla, Wollongong United and Woonona.
Recap from Day 1 (March 15):
The day began with Division One Grand Finalists University taking on newcomers Warilla in Pool B, whilst on the other field, Woonona played Division Two Premiers Figtree in Pool C.
Both games ended with Division One sides Woonona and University take out 1-0 wins as they finished their days undefeated to advance to the cup Qualifying finals. Woonona will have to play in an elimination final, finishing on seven points. Warilla took up second spot in Pool B as Corrimal and Gerringong will play for the plate. Pool C saw an underdog in Shellharbour take out second spot as Figtree and University will play out in the plate following draws.
Pool A saw no surprises with reigning champions Albion Park cruising to three straight wins. Wollongong United showed their worth with two other dominant displays as Dapto’s early win over Oak Flats saw them finish third. There were close results in Pool D as Kiama were the last team to take out the final Qualifying Final spot with their seven-point day. A draw against the Quarriers wasn’t enough for Helensburgh as they fell 1-0 to Bulli who took out second spot. Tarrawanna also went down in close games as they lost 1-0 to both Bulli and Helensburgh.
Thirroul prevailed in Pool E with three straight wins, including a 6-0 win over Jamberoo. Moss Vale’s 4-0 wins over Berkeley and Jamberoo saw them take out the final spot for the cup in Pool E as Berkeley nabbed three points early on to take out third. Pool F was another close group as Russell Vale’s 1-0 win over Coledale at the end of the day saw them take out top spot. Fernhill’s scoreless draw with Coniston was enough to see them qualify into the Cup Qualifying Final as Coniston and Coledale will play for the plate.
After an eventful nine hours of football, 12 teams will play for the cup and 12 will battle it for the plate next Sunday.
Cup Qualifying Finals: Albion Park (A), University (B), Kiama (D) & Thirroul (E).
Cup Elimination Finals: Wollongong United (A), Warilla (B), Woonona (C), Shellharbour (C), Bulli (D), Moss Vale (E), Russell Vale (F) & Fernhill (F).
Plate Qualifying Finals: Dapto (A), Helensburgh (D), Berkeley (E) & Coniston (F).
Plate Elimination Finals: Oak Flats (A), Gerringong (B), Corrimal (B), University (C), Figtree (C), Tarrawanna (D), Jamberoo (E) & Coledale (F).
Summary and Review by Nathan Turner, on Twitter @nathanturner23_