After weeks of rain-induced delays, the Albion Park White Eagles finally kicked off their Premier League season, downing Tarrawanna 2-1 in the final stages of the last match of Super Saturday at Ian McLennan Park.

The Blueys had a great chance to open the scoring five minutes in with Stefano Di Marino playing a lobbed through ball into Nic Tomasiello to go one-on-one with Nikodin Matic in the White Eagles’ goal, but the attacking midfielder scuffed his shot wide.

Cameron Morgan had two good first-half chances for Albion Park with the first coming in the 18th minute when he latched on to a long ball before pirouetting and knocking his effort to the left.

With six minutes left in the half, Kotaro Katsuta ran along the byline before cutting the ball back to Morgan who should have done better as he struck his shot against the crossbar.

Takumi Ofuka made a positive impact off the bench for Tarrawanna with the Japanese jinking past Brendan Fordham in the 72nd before blasting his shot straight at Matic.

The Blueys had a couple more half-chances in the following few minutes through Jacob Gjorsevski who had a shot blocked and a header go over the bar.

The deadlock was broken in the 79th minute when Jacob Martin’s cross was played back across goal by Julian Minutillo for Katsuta to blast home from close range.

Tarrawanna were undeterred and despite having a penalty shout waved away, they were level soon after when Ofuka jolted into the right of the area and struck the ball across the Albion Park goalkeeper and into the bottom left corner.

The points looked destined to be shared until a late free-kick on the halfway line was punted in by Fordham with the ball eventually falling for substitute Ethan Kambisios to knock it past Adam Rodriguez in the Blueys net with the Terry Reserve club holding on for a 2-1 win.

The White Eagles are set to play rivals South Coast at home next weekend, however wet weather could put a stop to that while the same can be said for the Blueys who are supposed to play Wollongong Olympic at the PCYC.

Albion Park White Eagles 2 (Kotaro Katsuta 79′, Ethan Kambisios 90+2′)

Tarrawanna Blueys 1 (Takumi Ofuka 85′)

Albion Park White Eagles: 44. MATIC Nikodin, 2. MARTIN Jacob, 21. FORDHAM Brendan, 4. SUZAKI Kohei, 13. NATHANIEL Chris, 5. VIGGIANI Adrian, 11. KATSUTA Kotaro, 10. MUNRO Sam, 8. MINUTILLO Julian, 7. MORGAN Cameron, 9. CROSS Mitchell

Substitutes: 3. COOPER Mitchell (MINUTILLO), 6. KAMBISIOS Ethan (MUNRO), 16. SAVERINO Dean, 12. SEADON Riley (CROSS), 31. KRISHBAN Mohamed

Tarrawanna Blueys: 1. RODRIGUEZ Adam, 2. NAYLOR Mat, 3. STONE Darren, 5. YOUNG Mitch, 6. LEARMONTH Ben, 7. KELLY Dan, 8. KIRKLAND Kyle, 9. TOMASIELLO Nic, 10. DI MARINO Stefano, 11. GJORSEVSKI Jacob

Substitutes: 12. LLOYD Harry (NAYLOR), 13. JONES Luke, 14. MEROLA Daniel, 15. OFUKA Takumi (KELLY), 16. CRACKNELL Jackson

Date: 2 April 2022

Venue: Ian Mclennan Park

Referee: Greg Reid

Assistant Referees: Reece Edwards and Lachy Davidson

Report by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela

Photo by Dana Walker

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