Bulli are the only team to have secured their passage through to the final eight of the Fraternity Club Cup with a round still to play in the pool stage.
Julio Miranda’s side beat fellow top-flight heavyweights Wollongong Olympic in an intense affair at the PCYC on Saturday where the visitors raced out to a 3-0 first-half lead. Olympic stemmed the flow but Bulli would run out 4-2 winners with Ben McDonald netting twice. Olympic play Corrimal in a third-round dead rubber.
The first match of round two on the Premier League side of the draw came at Macedonia Park on Wednesday night with Wollongong United taking on the Albion Park White Eagles. Dinko Terzic scored for United but the Terry Reserve club netted through Kyle Senior and Scott Bridge to win 2-1. United remain ahead of Albion Park, with Rob Birkin’s team needing to avoid defeat against South Coast United on Saturday to progress from Pool G.
On Thursday night, Port Kembla hosted Tarrawanna and they were quick out of the blocks to lead 2-0 inside five minutes. The Blueys steadied the ship and pulled a goal back with 10 minutes remaining but Dylan Nikolovski scored two minutes later to seal a 3-1 win. Port host Coniston on Wednesday and Stuart Beedie’s side will go through as long as they don’t lose by more than a goal.
The final match in the Premier League conference saw Woonona edge Bellambi 4-2 in a penalty shootout after a goalless draw at the PCYC. Woonona need to beat Cringila in round three to displace Bellambi in first place while a Cringila win by three goals or more would see the Lions go through.
In the District and Community League side of the tournament, the standout result came in Pool D with Albion Park City becoming the first third-tier side to beat a District League club in regular time. City edged Warilla 2-1 at King Mickey Park with an own goal and a Luke Boersma penalty securing the historic result.
Thirroul remain on top of Pool D after beating Balgownie 4-2 in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw. This leaves the Thunder two clear of Albion Park with a final round point against Warilla likely to be enough to see the side through to the quarter-finals.
Helensburgh are all but through to the next round after thumping Picton 4-0 at Unanderra Oval with Kade Kinsella scored a match-defining hat-trick. The other match in Pool C saw Oak Flats beat Dandaloo 5-1. The only way Helensburgh don’t progress is if they lose to Dandaloo, the Falcons beat Picton, and there is an 11-goal swing against the Thistle.
Shell Cove took control of Pool A with a 3-1 win against University at Macedonia Park on Wednesday evening with Nirary Kanoun scoring all three goals for the victors. In the other match in Pool A, Unanderra made light work of Port Pumas, winning 4-0. Shell Cove are a point ahead of Rod Williams’ Hearts and they will be favourites to progress with a final-round matchup against Community League Pumas.
Pool B is evenly poised with Fernhill and Kiama both on four points. The Foxes overcame Gerringong 3-1 while the Quarriers beat Berkeley 2-0. Fernhill and Kiama meet at Crehan Park on Friday night with the winner going through to the final eight.
By Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela
Photo by Graham Brown