Some big scores across Australian football, both in the W-League and the A-League. Both Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar put as much pressure on each other (and the Wanderers) as they could, hunting that final post-season playoff spot with twelve goals between them.
In the A-league, Sydney FC did it late against the Mariners, with two academy graduates putting on a last ten-minute clinic.
In the AFLW, two thumping performances from the Giants and the Kangaroos, while the Crows just hung on against a hard-fighting Cats, for whom 0-3 looks a stiff return based on performnances like that.
That’s all today from Sportwatch. Thanks for joining us!
A-League: Central Coast 0-3 Sydney FC
They may have been humbled in Asia midweek, but on home turf, they’re untouchable. Sydney FC go 13 points clear at the top of the table, in a game in which the Mariners dominated minutes 10-80 but ended up 3-0 losers.
Their youth team has been special this year, and it’s two kids from the academy who light it up late: a goal and an assist for Marco Tilio; a goal and an assist for Harry van der Saag.
Great signs for the future of the club - but it’s another bitter swill to swallow for a very hard-working Mariners, who once again throw everything at it, but end up with a 13th loss of the season.
A-League - Goal! Central Coast 0-3 Sydney (van der Saag)
90 + 1 min: Oh my. It’s the kids combined. Tilio lays it off to van der Saag - and the young right back has gone on a slaloming run through the heart of the Mariners’ defence and struck a thumping effort top bins! What a goal that was!
A-League - Goal! Central Coast 0-2 Sydney (Tilio)
88 min: He’s been on the pitch about 15 seconds - it’s an A-League debut for Marco Tilio, and he’s scored instantaneously!
Fine work from fellow youngster Harry van der Saag down the right who picks out the teen in the middle of the box. He pivots, twists, and rolls a calm finish past Birighitti. Lovely goal!
A-League - 85 min: Tommy Oar tries to lob one to the far post for Simon, but he over-eggs it. Stensness picks it up on the edge of the box and is encouraged to shoot, but elects not to. It’s still the Mariners making the late running. This has “heroic failure” written all over it - and not for the first time in the Mariners’ season.
A-League - 79 min: The crowd comes to the bubble as this game begins to really open up. Some speedsters for both sides out there, and Sydney FC might be feeling their midweek exertions of travelling to Japan and back. We stretch end-to-end.
A-League - 72 min: A ball strikes the arm of Wilkinson inside the box, but it is in fairness pressed close to his body (if those are even the rules these days, *tips hat to IFAB*). Mariners decide to go to the bench: The Great Elbow, Matt Simon is warming up - this is a match tailor made for his unique talents.
A-League - 60 min: Okay, we’re at the hour mark and that’s as close as Sydney FC have come for a while. It’s Luke Brattan pulling the strings, and former Mariner Trent Buhagiar almost gets a snap shot away against the club that launched him.
And a freekick just outside the box for handball - Brattan eyes it.
W-League: Brisbane Roar 5-0 Canberra United
And there’s the final whistle. An emphatic performance from the women in orange, with the US duo of Baisden and Pickett grabbing a brace each.
That ends Canberra’s season - and could prompt a fair off-season rethink you’d imagine for the club that dominated the early years of the W-League. Roar face Melbourne City next week in their final regular season match. Could be a cracker.
W-League - Goal! Brisbane 5-0 Canberra (Baisden)
90 + 2 min: Ach. This is a sad finish to Leena Khamis’ playing career with United, and Heather Garriock’s final game as coach. The Roar have every reason to chase down Victory’s huge win earlier, as goal difference could yet play a factor in the final push for a finals spot: Victory, Wanderers and Roar will be the three clubs scrapping for two berths.
A-League - 52 min: So, an angry half-time for the home side, with staff still remonstrating the decision to disallow what they considered a fair equaliser, with the skipper Kim deigned to have interferred with play from an offside position during Stensness’ headed effort.
They’re back and looking the hungrier after the break. Can they fashion another opening though?
W-League - Goal! Brisbane 4-0 Canberra (Connors)
84 min: And they are still pressing: it’s a second goal in three minutes with Katrina Gorry pulling the strings for the women in orange. It was a cheeky finish - a flick from the outside of the right foot from the substitute; and why not?
W-League - Goal! Brisbane 3-0 Canberra (Pickett)
82 min: And it’s a brace for Pickett - this time with the noggin. They’ve been besieging the goal second half, but Khamis has been a one-woman wall. Finally though the American breaks through. Can they chase the goal difference further from here?
W-League - 70 min: And there’s still 20 to run up in Brisbane, where the Roar are maintaining their 2-0 lead over Canberra. Khamis with a great save to deny the youngster India Paige-Riley. She’s been lively today, the 18-year-old.
A-League - half-time: Central Coast 0-1 Sydney FC
Well, they’ve huffed and puffed late on in that half, the Mariners, but it’s a customary story for both these teams: one, toiling hard without a cutting edge, the other, making the most of the opportunities that come there way. One’s lethal and top, the other is hard-working, but bottom.
I should also add - they thought they were level, the Mariners; but they had a goal disallowed for a marginal offside call. It’s certainly got Stajcic and some of his players riled. A tough one.
AFLW: Geelong 6.2 (38) lose to Adelaide 8.1 (49)
So, there goes the Cats’ season, on what was arguably their best performance. They threw everything at that, Geelong, and few would argue they didn’t deserve to be a shot here today. Danielle Ponter finishes with four majors, and their season rolls on - the Crows get home in a tight one. 25 touches for Ebony Marinoff in another all-action showing from her.
AFLW - final quarter: Geelong 6.2 (38) trail Adelaide 7.1 (43)
5 to play: The decibel-meter is at fever pitch around Kardinia Park, as the Cats look to pull off the miraculous. Oh no - Maddie McMahon has been called for a deliberate force behind, and Ponter is gifted a six-pointer! There was nobody within cooee, and having come so close, they’ve been done at the last, the Cats. Their fans are howling with rage!
A-League - 29 min: As we approach the half-hour mark a few signs that the Mariners are creeping back into this contest. They shifted toa more defensive structure pre-game, lining up in a 5-3-2, but they’re showing a touch more ambition now; Clisby with a series of good balls into the box, but there’s nobody to capitalise, alas. Plenty of attacking fire power on the bench though - we’ll see more of that later as the game develops.
AFLW - 3/4-time: Geelong 5.2 (32) trail Adelaide 6.1 (37)
Hello. It’s the Cats who win the quarter, kicking 2.2 and suddenly - we’ve got a real pot-boiler on the hob here: we’ve got a one-major final term to come!
W-League - half-time: Brisbane 2-0 Canberra
They’re sitting pretty here, the Roar, after Pickett’s thumping opener and then a second via the spot. They’re only playing for pride the women in green, and Heather Garriock’s final game in charge. Five Matildas on the pitch for Brisbane - it really is inconceivable that this squad of players might not be playing finals football, but that’s the likely equation after Victory’s thumping win.
A-League - Goal! Central Coast Mariners 0-1 Sydney FC (Ninkovic)
11 min: Oh my. That’s a stinker. Poor defending from the Mariners, who allow a bouncing ball inside the box to bobble into the path of Milos Ninkovic. Do you reckon he misses from three metres out? Does he $%^&. Alen Stajcic must be tearing his hair out - a week’s worth of tactical planning out the window inside a quarter of an hour.
Now - we do have a game from the A-League: it’s top v bottom in a very mismatched encounter. They do have a nasty habit of playing up against Sydney FC, though, the Mariners - you read it here first: what price an upset?
Here’s your lineups:
And Sydney FC:
W-League: Newcastle Jets 0-7 Melbourne Victory
That’s some way to secure your finals’ berth. “A shellacking of the highest order” was the official verdict from match commentator Steph Brantz - and that almost feels like an understatement. A strong response from the Victory after they suffered their own heavy loss to rivals City last weekend.
They skip above Wanderers on the table into third spot - they could yet finish second depending how Sydney FC fare in the final round.
AFLW - half-time: Geelong 3.0 (18) trail Adelaide 5.0 (30)
It’s a must-win for the Cats already and they’re kicking straight - and only problem is so are the Crows. Free-flowing, high-scoring on a gorgeous day from the town near Lara. Can we have more of the same after the major break?
W-League - Goal! Newcastle 0-7 Melbourne Victory (Ayres)
83 min: Finish the fight. I’m throwing in the towel. Blow it up ref. Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna and A-League coach Karl Robinson are in the house in the Hunter, but this is not the result to inspire confidence across the club. No good.
W-League - Goal! Brisbane 2-0 Canberra (Baisden, pen)
15 min: Oh my. This one’s going the way of Jets v Victory in fast fashion; it’s a handball in the box by Laura Hughes after fine work again from the US striker Rylee Baisden, and she steps up and tucks it past Shan Khamis with aplomb. They’re chasing the goal difference here too, it seems, the Roar.
And Heather Garriock’s last game in charge at Canberra could end in an ugly fashion.
W-League - Goal! Brisbane 1-0 Canberra (Pickett)
11 min: Oh my! More like Pickett outta ya net - that’s a gorgeous strike from the American Carson Pickett. It was a fine break down the right and a cut back to the edge of the box. And the woman from Spartanburg South Carolina has put the laces right through that! A thumping effort, and that’s the Roar in front.
W-League - Goal! Newcastle 0-6 Melbourne Victory (og)
69 min: Ach. That’s where this one’s at. It’s terrific work down the wing from Beard, and that’s a tricky cross to deal with - but it’s headed - not deflected - it’s headed with power past her own keeper from Cassidy Davis. Yikes - that’s some oggie.
And we’re underway now in Brisbane v Canberra!
AFLW - 1/4-time: Geelong 2.0 (12) trail Adelaide 3.0 (18)
Well, no behinds - but it’s Geelong behind on the scoreboard after a five-goal opening quarter. Danielle Ponter with a double, with Chelsea Biddell the other. Danielle Higgins and Phoebe McWilliams with the majors for the Cats. 10 inside-50s to three for the Crows though, with the visitors enjoying a lot more front third penetrations.
W-League - Goal! Newcastle 0-5 Melbourne Victory (Jenkins)
59 min: And it’s a brace to Darien Jenkins. She rises highest to a cross and nods home from around the six-yard box. It’s a fine finish, but they really just have to be challenging better in that area of the pitch, the Jets. A big half hour if they’re to save face here.
And here’s something fresh off the powder in Minsk (not a drug reference, I promise) - don’t complain I never bring you the good stuff about aerial skiing:
And here’s the write up from what some are calling “the greatest comeback in modern sports history”. I’d lean Tiger Woods, off the top of my recent memory, but he’s sure got some hell of a story, the Gypsy King. And what a bruising fight this was:
Okay - we’re away in Geelong v Adelaide in the AFLW, and then coming up shortly in the W-League is that aforementioned Brisbane v Canberra clash. It’s all on the line for their respective seasons. As long as it’s not all too late due to this Victory result.
W-League: Newcastle 0-4 Melbourne Victory - half-time
It’s not the final home game of the season Jets faithful would have been looking for, but they’ve got 45 minutes to go. Yes, they’re well out of finals contention this year, but they’re not exactly bunnies. For Victory conversely, this result could see off the challenges of a Matildas-laden Brisbane Roar and the ever dangerous Canberra United, who all have aspirations for the final top-four spot - short of a Wanderers’ final-game collapse though, you’d have to say this result puts paid to that.
AFLW: Richmond 2.8 (20) lose to North Melbourne 12.4 (76)
Three unanswered goals in the final term, and that was more than enough for the Roos. That’s a big win, and the percentage boost could prove crucial in the race to finish top of Conference A (mind you Brisbane and Gold Coast’s draw yesterday wouldn’t have hurt their chances there). Really impressive kicking - that one will send a shudder across the league.
And some news from the pugilism - you have a new heavyweight world champion, folks:
W-League - Goal! Newcastle - Melbourne Victory (Jenkins)
40 min: Ugh. “Do you know what that sound is, Highness? Those are the Shrieking Eels.” The spirits are sapping out of these Jets players like a leaking balloon - and you just know it’s not your day when your opponents twice clatter the crossbar, and then still tuck it home. It seemed inevitable that would go in - Newcastle are in real trouble. Gema Simon needs to rally her troops, or this could be a rout.
W-League - Goal! Newcastle 0-3 Melbourne Victory (Dowie)
33 min: Well, it ain’t a party until it’s a Dowie-party. The skipper goes joint top of the W-League golden boot charts alongside Sydney FC’s Remy Siemsen, with her seventh of the campaign.
It was a pretty direct ball in, but a brilliant lobbed finish, with Coelho little chance.
AFLW - 3/4-time: Richmond 2.5 (17) v North Melbourne 9.3 (57)
The good news for the Tigers is that they drew that quarter 2.1 a piece; the bad news is it would take something Herculean, and then some, to reel this one back in. They’re not a million miles away statistically, but the Roos are just looking ruthless in the goalsquare. Kaitlyn Ashmore has three, two a piece to Abby Green and Emma Kearney, with Kate Gillespie-Jones and Jasmin Garner the rest.
Tere tulemast! Good day to you, you lovers of sport, from wherever you’re following this around the globe. Can you feel it? Can you feel the heat; the fire; the Berrrrrrn? As my good colleague Scott just pointed out, if you can bet on it, it’s a sport - so if I’m starved for action today apologies in advance if I pop in references to the Democratic primary race in Nevada.
In the interim, W-League and AFLW will be the flavours de jour until a tasty Central Coast Mariners v Sydney battle. He had lost eleven from thirteen, she was on an eleven game from twelve winning streak: they were the original Odd Couple.
Well, good folks of Sunday Sportwatch, my job here is done. As promised earlier, Richard Parkin is overcoming the pain of his bleeding stumps (the appendages formerly known as his fingers) to take you through to bed time. Or, unless you’re in the Baltics, lunch. Take it away, Parko!
W-League: GOAL! Newcastle 0-2 Melbourne Victory (Longo 7’) Eesh. If I wasn’t channeling Alan Hansen before, I sure am now. Teeeeeeerible defendin’! The Jets are fairly well snoozing at the back, lead-footed, heavy first touches, not accounting for their opponents. Longo slices her way through following a Jets skill error and strikes truly to make it two for the Victory and two for her good self.
W-League: GOAL! Newcastle 0-1 Melbourne Victory (Longo 3’) We are up, up and away in the day’s W-League clash between Newcastle and Melbourne Victory, and it’s Victory who’ve hit the ground running with an early goal. Terrible defending, really, from the Jets, allowing a corner through to the danger area of the box and Annalie Longo to nod home pretty much unchallenged. The Victory will be wanting a nice away kill here to shore up a top-four spot and this is a step in the right direction.
AFLW: HT: Richmond 0.4 (4) v North Melbourne 7.2 (44) Well, if Richmond were hanging on at quarter-time they’ve fairly well fallen off the cliff now. The second term might have been termed The North Melbourne Show: 5.2 to 0.1, plenty inside-50s to one. It’s all starting in the middle and it flows from there. With a disposal count 119-66 in favour of the Kangas, Richmond just can’t get their paws on the ball. And when they do, they’re mobbed by a rabid tackling unit. Ashleigh Riddell (17 touches) is winning the ball for fun and Emma Kearney is dominating; up front they have options galore.
If you were wondering why North are flag favourites, wonder no more.
Supercars: Holden’s van Gisbergen takes Adelaide pole
Another Holden star has secured pole position at the Adelaide 500 with Shane van Gisbergen backing up Jamie Whincup’s race one efforts at the Supercars’ season-opening event.
Van Gisbergen claimed the top-10 shootout from Ford star Scott McLaughlin at the South Australian capital’s street circuit. Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters, in his Ford Mustang, rounded out the top-three for Sunday’s 78-lap race.
Seven-time champion Whincup couldn’t replicate his Saturday feats when he secured an emotional victory, which he dedicated to everyone involved with Holden. But his Triple Eight teammate van Gisbergen ensured Red Bull Holden made it seven poles in a row after taking the last five of 2019.
“It would’ve been good to be on the front row (with Whincup),” van Gisbergen said. “But an awesome race (ahead) with Scotty starting up front there so looking forward to it.”
But two-time defending series champion McLaughlin will fancy his chances of taking the race from second. The Shell V-Power star started from seventh in race one but quickly cruised through the field to finish second in his Mustang.
“It’s nice to be at the front, we’ve got track position, try and force their (Holden’s) hand a little bit,” McLaughlin said. “I’m really excited for the race, just get to a good start and go around the outside or something.”
- with thanks to AAP
You know, I doubted I had much at all in common with Tom Daley.
Not so. I know exactly what he means.
AFLW: QT: Richmond 0.3 (3) v North Melbourne 2.0 (12) They probably could have had one or two more, the Kangaroos, but Richmond weren’t bereft of their own chances on goal. But footy - rather like, if you’ll indulge me, life - is all about taking your chances, and North are doing that better at the moment. The stats say the Kangas are smashing this one: 67-32 disposals (43-14 uncontested) and 22-5 marks shows to what degree they’re controlling the ball, but with only a 6-5 edge in inside-50s Richmond are not out of this yet.
AFLW: Q1: 5 mins rem: Richmond 0.3 (3) v North Melbourne 2.0 (12) The Kangaroos are expected to go great things this season and it’s easy to see why going off initial impressions. Two straight for the Kangas.
Meanwhile, over in Las Vegas ...
“I think it was a fair decision and a good fight,” says Sebastian Fundora, the super welterweight prospect who outpointed Australia’s Daniel Lewis in the PPV opener.
And Emanuel Navarrete has successfully defended his WBO super bantamweight title with an 11th-round stoppage of Jeo Tupas Santisima.
But don’t take my word for it. Bryan Graham is ringside for your reading pleasure. Not long now until Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury take to the ring.
AFLW: GWS Giants 6.6 (42) beat West Coast 2.2 (14)
A couple of consolation goals to West Coast in the last quarter, including a huge roost to Imahra Cameron late in proceedings, but nothing can detract from a what was a terrific win for the Giants. They dominated from the outset, ran harder, tackled harder and simply wanted it more. But for Cameron’s major at the death this would have been GWS’s biggest victory. Nevermind, they go 2-1 for the season and quickly put to bed last week’s disappointing loss to North Melbourne. Three goals to off-season signing Rebecca Privitelli is a big tick, and there were more good signs from Jacinda Barclay in her return after missing the 2019 campaign. Dana Hooker can hold her head high - she was West Coast’s best, maybe even best on ground - and it’s to be hoped she’s OK after leaving the field late in the game following a knock to the throat.
Not much to smile about from an Eagles perspective, but this is something. No, this really is something.
AFLW: Q4: 12 mins rem: GWS Giants 5.4 (34) v West Coast 1.1 (7) The Eagles score a behind to finally trouble the scorer, then add another six points albeit in unconvincing fashion. Mikayla Bowen is the goal kicker, nearly shanking a snap that could, would have been touched had Jessica Dal Pos not stopped in anticipation of a free-kick going back to a prior contest. In the end, the ump pays advantage and the goal stands ... even if to muddy the waters even further, Dal Pos claims she in fact did get a fingernail onto the ball. Sound confusing? It is. Nevermind, it’s 34-7 to the Giants.
AFLW: 3QT: GWS Giants 5.4 (34) v West Coast 0.0 (0) They just can’t take a trick, the Eagles. GWS are dominating this match, moving the ball at will and finding space at every turn on the wide expanses at Blacktown. They are simply working harder. Rebecca Privitelli is on fire, adding two majors in the third term to go with her goal in the second. What a superb off-season pick-up. When they do go forward, West Coast can do no more than go long to contests. The result, of course, is the ball just comes straight back out. And, my, are the Giants tackling ferociously. The only matter that’s up in the air now is whether the Eagles will get on the scoreboard.
It’s a moot point. Geddit?
Still on the cricket, just have to pop this in. The only thing I like better than a South African is a South African with a sense of humour.
So Australia’s men’s cricketers head back to South Africa for the first time since Sandpapergate and the local media is sinking the boot in. Of course they are. Certain individuals had this coming after that gross error of judgment.
But now for the punchline. It’s not Australia who are coming in for rough treatment. It’s South Africa after that limp, pathetic performance in the first T20. Lowest T20 score, heaviest defeat in that format of the game. Over to you, South African scribes.
AFLW: HT: GWS Giants 3.2 (20) v West Coast 0.0 (0) It’s all the Giants at Blacktown, with the Eagles scoreless, going at less than 40% in disposal efficiency and making skill error after skill error. In fairness, GWS’s pressure is excellent so no wonder West Coast players are jumping at shadows. Majors to Cora Staunton and Jacinda Barclay gave the Giants the edge before a goal late in the half to Rebecca Privitelli, her first for the club, sent the hosts to the long break cock-a-hoop. Kudos to Alyce Parker, who with 12 touches to half-time is having a day out.
Boxing: The undercard is under way in Vegas, meaning we are about two hours away from the big fight, the big rematch: Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury. It’s been dubbed the most important heavyweight title fight since the return meeting between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in 1999. I watched that fight in Penrith pub, as it goes.
I repeat of that fight’s drama would be good, but I’m sort of pinning my hopes on another Tyson v Douglas.
Hello and welcome to this Sunday edition of Sportwatch. Yesterday’s choc-a-bloc offering will take some topping - Richard Parkin’s legion of disciples will be hoping against hope his “bleeding stumps” of fingers will have recovered in time for the later shift - but there is still plenty on to keep us interested and out of trouble. In addition to the blockbuster heavyweight rematch between Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury in Las Vegas - covered in a separate liveblog - domestically there are three AFLW games, some A-League, some W-League and some other things that will no doubt sneak their way in. Delighted to have your company. Any musings, thoughts, compliments and/or reflections - save your complaints and suggestions for Parko - can be directed to me via Email or Twitter - @scott_heinrich.