The opening round of the 2021 Fraternity Club Cup was contested over the last week with four Community League teams making their debuts in the competition. However, it was title-holders Wollongong United and Helensburgh who picked up the biggest wins during the round with both clubs recording 6-1 victories.
Wollongong United faced South Coast United across the way at Ian McLennan Park in a Pool H match up on Thursday night with Japanese Mitsuo Yamada starring with a hat-trick.
The Thistle’s win came at the same venue two days later with Andrew Paine’s side running rampant against District League rivals Oak Flats with six different players making it on to the scoresheet including last year’s top scorer Kade Kinsella.
Helensburgh’s win put them on top of Pool C with Community League side Dandaloo occupying second spot after a hard-fought result against Picton. The Lions held their higher-ranked opponents to a goalless draw before picking up the extra point in a 5-4 penalty shootout win.
The competition began on Wednesday evening at JJ Kelly Park with Thirroul securing a solid 3-0 win against third-tier Albion Park City and they finished the round in pole position in Pool D after Warilla and Balgownie drew 1-1 before the Wanderers won the penalty shootout.
It’s evenly poised in Pool B with both matches going to a shootout. Gerringong drew 0-0 with Kiama in the first competitive meeting between the two South Coast sides within Football South competition, before the Breakers got up 4-1 in the shootout. Berkeley drew 2-2 with Fernhill before winning the penalty shootout 5-4 to sit in first.
There was no such luck for the fourth Community League side Port Pumas in Pool A with the side well accounted for by University with the Students winning 5-1 at Barrack Heights Sportsfield on Saturday with talisman Doug Woodiwiss netting a brace. The following match saw Shell Cove edge Unanderra 5-3 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.
Along with Wollongong United, Tarrawanna, Bellambi and Bulli where the other winners on the Premier League side of the draw with Wollongong Olympic, Woonona and the Albion Park White Eagles having byes.
The Blueys beat Coniston 4-1 on Wednesday night at JJ Kelly Park with Nic Tomasiello, Kyle Kirkland, Tyson Black and Cody Jones scoring for Peter Willis’s side while Anthony Krsteski was scored for the hosts.
Bellambi had a 2-1 win over Cringila under the Friday night lights of Crehan Park with new recruits Jordan Grinham and Angelo Hajittofi scoring.
Bulli showed they’ll be tough opponents in 2021 with a 4-0 win against Corrimal at Ian McLennan Park on Saturday. Marksman Ben McDonald scored a first-half double with a penalty and free kick while new recruit Sam Adnum netted twice in the second period.
Review by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela
Photo by Dana Walker