Shell Cove 5 (Tommy Markovski 14’ 64’ 82’, Mimi Yaldo 32’, Daniel Krkovski 81’) Fernhill 3 (Daniel Djukic 18’ 87’, Will Roberts 85’)
Shell Cove proved too strong for Fernhill as they played out an eight-goal thriller at Barrack Heights Sportsfield on Saturday afternoon.
The Cove were looking to keep the pressure on league leaders Unanderra and Fernhill entered the top five following back-to-back wins.
Tommy Markovski opened the scoring for the home side within 14 minutes before the Foxes replied immediately with Daniel Djukic netting four minutes later.
Mimi Yaldo capped off his return with a goal soon after to give the home side the advantage at the break.
The hosts continued to show why they have the best attack in the competition with Markovski scoring in the 64th minute before rounding out his hat-trick in the 82nd minute to take his goal-scoring tally out to 14.
Daniel Krkovski added his side’s fifth before Dale White’s men scored two consolation goals in the dying stages through Djukic and substitute Will Roberts.
Still with a game in hand, Shell Cove sit four points behind Unanderra and five points adrift the chasing pack.
They host Oak Flats next weekend who are the only side to beat the Cove in 2021.
The loss sees Fernhill slip out of the top five following the Falcons win over Berkeley.
The Foxes have the chance to re-enter when they travel to University next Saturday.
Fernhill took out both games in the earlier fixtures, 2-1 in second grade and 7-2 in youth grade.
Oak Flats snuck their way back into the top five when they battled their way past Berkeley in a 2-0 victory on Saturday afternoon.
The Falcons were looking to build on some recent form and Berkeley were aiming not to fall to a sixth straight defeat.
The opening half-hour was all the way of the Falcons, they were then rewarded with a goal courtesy of Berkeley’s Hayden Till.
Oak Flats’ Alex Bausch was given his marching orders with just under 30 minutes to play, setting up a frantic final half-hour.
Although Oak Flats proved too strong in the end as Daniel Munilla netted 12 minutes from time to confirm the three points for the visitors.
It’s now seven points from the last three games for the Falcons, now sitting in fifth spot, two points in front of Fernhill.
They have a big task ahead of them next week as they host Shell Cove in a local rivalry.
It’s now six losses on the trot for the Goats, however, they travel to Thirroul next weekend who are just one of two teams they have beaten this season.
In second grade, the two sides played out a three-all draw as Oak Flats won youth grade 3-2.
Picton Rangers 3 Balgownie Rangers 1
Picton and Balgownie played in the battle of the Rangers as Picton came out 3-1 winners at Hume Oval.
The Bushpigs were agonisingly close to nabbing a point off Unanderra as Balgownie fell to third straight defeat at the hands of University.
The win for Picton sees them jump their opponents into ninth on the ladder, on goal difference.
Picton are at home again next weekend as they welcome Warilla as for Balgownie, they travel to winless Kiama.
In the earlier games, Picton won 5-2 in youth grade before Balgownie second grade won 3-2.
Kiama Quarriers 2 (Austin Blencowe 7’ 49’) Unanderra Hearts 6 (Mark Picciolini 9’ 19’ 45’, Sunny Chang 43’, Christian Plakias 74’, Shin Takahashi 79’)
Unanderra rounded out the first half of the season with a comprehensive 6-2 win over strugglers Kiama, continuing their undefeated run in the competition.
The Hearts had a slight scare against Picton last time out but were able to rally and get the three points as Kiama fell 4-0 to Helensburgh before going down 3-2 to University on Tuesday night in the round seven catch-up game.
It was a shock start to the league leaders as Austen Blencowe put the Quarriers inside the opening seven minutes.
However, it didn’t take them long to equalise and push in front when Mark Picciolini netted twice within the space of 10 minutes.
Sunny Chang added the Hearts third just before half-time before Picciolini rounded off a first-half hat-trick to take his season’s goal tally out to 16 goals in just seven games.
Blencowe then gave his side some hope in the second half, scoring his second of the day in the 49th minute.
Goals to Christian Plakias and Shin Takahashi ensured there would be no late comeback as the Hearts cruised their way to their 11th straight game undefeated.
The Hearts will be focused on next week’s fixture immediately, taking on Helensburgh at Rex Jackson Park.
Kiama’s halfway mark of the season will be one to be forgotten, picking up just one point in their opening 11 games. They are back at the Quarry with a match-up against Balgownie.
In the earlier fixtures, Unanderra thumped Kiama 12-2 in second grade, which was preceded by a tighter 4-3 win for the Hearts in youth grade.
University 2 (Josh Crapis 7’, Ryan Sinclair 14’) Warilla Wanderers 1 (Stuart Robertson 2’)
A 10-man University side scraped past fellow finals contenders Warilla 2-1 at Kooloobong Oval on Saturday afternoon.
University picked up some momentum after consecutive wins in a matter of days, downing Balgownie on Saturday and Kiama on Tuesday night.
Warilla came into the contest on the back of a 3-1 defeat to Shell Cove but would fire into the lead early on when Stuart Robertson netted in just the second minute to open up the Wanderers account on the day.
The Students didn’t need too much time to draw themselves level when new signing Josh Crapis scored just five minutes later.
Ryan Sinclair then turned the game around for his side, netting in the 14th minute as the hosts took the lead.
Another big moment in the match came in the 19th minute when Mattias Passlack was sent from the field, forcing his side to play a man down for 70 minutes.
This didn’t seem to worry Scott Regent and his side too much as they battled out with a man down for the remainder of the game and held on for a crucial three points.
Three wins in a row now sees University plant themselves into fourth position, one point ahead of Oak Flats and three points ahead of Fernhill.
University play both of these sides in the next two weeks as they look to cement themselves in contention for finals football come season’s end.
The result sees Warilla fall down to seventh, three points adrift the top five.
They are on the road again in round 13, travelling up the mountain to take on Picton.
The Students also got the better of Warilla in second grade, winning 4-3 after the youth grade fixture ended two-all.
Helensburgh Thistle 3 (Kade Kinsella 54’, Liam Unicomb 76’, Joel Mucci 90+1’) Thirroul Thunder 0
Helensburgh finished as 3-0 victors over local rivals Thirroul to keep within touching distance of top spot.
The Burgh made light work of Kiama last round as the Thunder had to settle for a draw following a late equaliser against Oak Flats.
Three second-half goals was the difference in the contest as Kade Kinsella netted in the 54th minute before Liam Unicomb added another 15 minutes from.
The hosts ended the game with 10-men when Kinsella was given his marching orders before Joel Mucci scored at the death to confirm the win.
Helensburgh still sit four points behind Unanderra in third and Thirroul remain in eighth.
Back to the round one fixture for next weekend, Helensburgh have a top of the table clash against Unanderra and Thirroul host Berkeley.
The Thistle got the clean sweep on the day, winning 2-0 in youth grade and 4-2 in second grade.
Review by Nathan Turner, on Twitter @nathanturner23_
Photo by Graham Brown