The opening round of the brand new NPLW WA has proven to be a real hit both on and off the field.
The games themselves produced plenty of goals whilst the view numbers for the Facebook and YouTube live streams were in excess of 50K, which has pleased Football West CEO James Curtis.
“We are delighted with the numbers for the games and it is great that the audience were treated to some quality performances,” he said.
NTC boasted a line up that had no less than four players with Perth Glory experience, so many observers thought that this would be a certain 3 point game for the youngsters, but Curtin had other ideas and produced a gritty display that very nearly earned them the win.
The home team went 1-0 up through Jess Darmago before NTC equalised through Perth Glory’s Isabella Wallhead. Tanya Campos then put the hosts back in front, and with their goalkeeper Stacey Cavill in superb form it looked like Curtin might create the shock of the round, but Judy Connolly earned her side a point with a late equaliser.
On Sunday, the remaining games of the round kicked off and if the opening game produced a shock, it was nothing compared to the result at Dorrien Gardens where Perth Soccer Club scored a 2-1 win against a hugely fancied Fremantle City.
Perth hadn’t won a game in the Night Series, and their form in friendlies leading up to the opening round suggested that this would be a difficult game for them. Coach Danielle Brogan had her tactics spot on though, and they raced to a 2-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes through goals by Jamie Duncanson and a superb free-kick by Tessa De Leo. This forced Fremantle into playing catch up football, and despite clawing one back from Laura Waltman they couldn’t find the equaliser, leaving Perth to celebrate their first win.
The start of the game was breathtaking, with 4 goals inside the first 20 minutes. Balcatta’s Perth Glory star, Caitlin Doeglas, fired them into the lead and her teammate Cassandra Harvey doubled the lead shortly after. MUM finally woke up and had their first goal of the campaign through another Perth Glory player, Katarina Jukic, who then equalised in the 20th minute. The first half drama didn’t end there though, as Jukic was denied a first-half hat-trick when her penalty was well saved by Balcatta keeper Gabi Dal Busco. The game was finally settled 9 minutes from the end when Christiane Astorp scored the 3rd for the visitors.
Playing their first game at their new home ground of Kingsway, Redbacks were a little off-key with their final ball for the first 15 minutes, but a penalty from last season’s golden boot winner and Perth Glory player, Sarah Carroll, eased their nerves and Carroll doubled the score with her 2nd just before halftime.
The game was over as a contest when Carroll scored her 3rd in the 2nd half before she capped off a remarkable individual performance with another penalty late in the game to score her 4th of the game and earn her side the three points with a 4-0 win.
Curtin University 1 – 1 Football West Hyundai NTC
Perth SC 2 – 1 Fremantle City
Murdoch University Melville 2 – 3 Balcatta FC
Northern Redbacks 4 – 0 Subiaco AFC
Round 2 – Sunday 12th July
Football West Hyundai NTC vs Northern Redbacks
Balcatta FC vs Perth SC
Subiaco AFC vs Murdoch University Melville
Fremantle FC vs Curtin University