QUALIFYING SEMI-FINAL: WOONGARRAH 1 TERRIGAL 0
Pluim Park hosted the BPL’s qualifying final on Sunday afternoon as Terrigal United and Woongarrah met for the third time this campaign, with the winner booking a spot in the competitions major semi-final next weekend alongside Killarney District. After heading into the final weekend of the season atop of the Battlewin Premier League table and in prime position to enjoy a break over the opening weekend of the finals, the ‘Cats were undone in the final minutes of the season thanks to a spectacular overhead kick from Killarney’s Matt Hall, with the result opening the door for Terrigal United to sneak into the second position come the competitions final standings.
Keen to atone, the ‘Cats looked to make a confident start to Sunday afternoons match as they faced off with one of their two top-five competitors who had been unable to beat them so far this season, however, Terrigal United appeared to enjoy the better of the early chances. A number of balls into the Woongarrah penalty area saw ‘keeper Bryce Goldsworthy called into action as he was forced to either come and claim or punch away, confidently dealing with many close calls. One effort that was cleared off the ‘Cats goal-line drew significant appeals for handball from the Terrigal faction, however, these were quickly waived away by the officials. Woongarrah began to grow into the contest as the opening half wore on and they found the breakthrough in the 40th minute from the boot of midfielder Alex Govorcin. After being played through on goal, Govorcin swiveled and fired past Aaron Zavolokin in the Terrigal goal to give his side a 1-0 half-time lead.
With just 45 minutes separating the side from a position in the major semi-final, Woongarrah looked to kick-on in the second half, however, they were dealt a significant early blow after a challenge in the Woongarrah penalty area was deemed enough to warrant the award of a spot-kick. With the opportunity to draw the sides level, Terrigal’s Josh Menzies stepped up to the spot, however, his effort was saved by Goldsworthy in the Woongarrah goal. Retaining their 1-0 lead, Woongarrah began to gain the upper-hand in the clash, with Terrigal ‘keeper Zavolokin forced into a number of full-stretch saves to deny the Cats from extending their lead.
Unable to extend their lead, the Woongarrah side would have been forgiven for casting their minds back to the match with Killarney two weeks ago as Terrigal began to throw everything they had at them in the final 15 minutes. A number of goalmouth scrambles saw Terrigal almost find an equalizer, however, Goldsworthy was more often than not on hand to diffuse the situation, ensuring his side capped off an incredibly competitive match on the winning side.
The win sees Woongarrah set up another clash with Killarney in the major semi-final this Sunday afternoon at Pluim Park, with the winner of that clash securing a spot in the grand final