There were plenty of smiles at Lilys Football Stadium as the curtain closed on the PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 regular season.
Blacktown City FC smashed four goals past Sutherland Sharks FC in the first half as it grasped the Premiership with two firm hands.
South Coast Wolves secured the fifth and final spot in finals with a nervy win over Marconi Stallions, while Rockdale City Suns’ league season ended in heartbreak at the hands of a dangerous looking Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
At the bottom of the table, Parramatta FC defeated Manly United to ensure its continued participation in the competition next season, resigning another historic club in Marconi to the second tier next season.
Blacktown City FC 4-1 Sutherland Sharks FC, at Lilys Football Stadium
Blacktown City showed why it is deserving Premiers in a fine first-half display against Sutherland Sharks on Sunday.
Travis Major and Danny Choi scored two goals each as City put on a fantastic display of craft and guile to dismantle a dispirited Sutherland Sharks side with little to play for.
Patrick Antelmi and Daniel Araujo were class in the middle while the stability provided at the back by Matt Lewis and Zach Cairncross provided a solid foundation for the team to build on – as it has all season.
A Peter O’Shea strike late in the day offered some consolation for the Sharks, but City will not have been too fazed with job well and truly done, making for a timely 49th birthday present for coach Mark Crittenden.
Manly United FC 1-2 Parramatta FC, at Cromer Park
Parramatta FC guaranteed survival in the top-tier of New South Wales state football with a resolute display away from home at Cromer Park.
Marco Sama and Shayne Ardle produced the goods with two fantastic strikes worth of winning any game on their own right.
The Eagles needed both, however, with CJ Arditti scoring a late consolation off the bench for the home side, which was playing in the hopes of securing an unlikely spot in the finals.
Franco Consentino’s boys were not to be denied, however, and his battling Eagles, skippered superbly by Patrick Gatt who made two goal line clearances, were good enough to get the job done.
APIA Leichhardt 4-4 Blacktown Spartans FC, at Lambert Park
Blacktown Spartans will not play finals football this season, but they certainly finished the season off with a bang.
Ben De Haan summed up his side’s display – in which it came from 4-2 down to draw level 4-4 with one of the last kicks of the day – rather succinctly, knowing there was no chance of playing finals before kick-off.
“You might as well go out, make it interesting and play some good football,” he said.
“Today’s game is probably the story of our season. We finished there or thereabouts in the middle, so it’s probably a fair ending to our season.”
They certainly made it interesting.
Franco Parisi and David D’Appuzzo scored two each for the Tigers, after they fell a goal behind to a William Mutch effort.
Sasaki made it 4-3 from the spot, following a goal from Joshua Da Silva before making the point-saving contribution himself with a late strike to level the scores.
South Coast Wolves FC 2-0 Marconi Stallions FC, at WIN Stadium
South Coast Wolves booked their spot in the finals series with a nervy display at home to Marconi Stallions, winning 2-0 and consigning the Stallions to the second-tier of NPL NSW in the process.
Both sides had everything to play for, but while the Wolves went to bits in the box, they proved the side with cooler heads in the end.
Stallions Sam Nastic and Jacob Boutoubia made life difficult for Marconi by both getting sent off as two quick goals from Jordan Murray and Joey Lavalle got the job done for Jacob Timpano’s men.
Sydney Olympic FC 1-0 Sydney United 58 FC, at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic continues its fine run of form with a hard-fought 1-0 win over former National Soccer League rivals Sydney United 58 to close out the home-and-away season.
It was a fittingly miserable finish to the league season for United 58, which has struggled in league action for the second half of the campaign as increased cup commitments and a crippling injury list took its toll.
Harris Gaitatzis got the job done for Olympic with a stunning second-half goal.
Third place was a potential prize for Olympic prior to kick-off, but despite the win they remained in fourth place courtesy of Bonnyrigg White Eagles’ big win over Rockdale City Suns.
Rockdale City Suns FC 0-4 Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC, at Ilinden Sports Centre
A 15 minute blitz was all Bonnyrigg White Eagles needed to dismantle Rockdale City Suns and bring a swift and brutal end to their hopes of finals football.
Even a point would have got the job done for Paul Reid’s men, but it all unravelled very quickly.
Yuta Kokado’s goal after seven minutes – which came directly form a corner kick – was an ominous sign for the Suns and the rest of the afternoon proved no better.
By the time the game was 15 minutes old, Tynan Diaz and Mun-Soo Gil had added second and third goals respectively.
The Suns fought hard to get back into the contest but instead of scoring a late consolation, conceded another when Robert Younis converted from the spot.