Big teams bully opposition

The goals just kept coming as the top three Steeline Bendigo Bank Limestone Coast Football Association Senior Men’s Premiership Cup sides bullied their opponents in round 12 of the 2022 season on Sunday.

The teams fighting it out for the minor premiership Gambier Centrals and International were the most ruthless, both winning by more than 10 goals.

Naracoorte v Apollo

Meanwhile there was at least a contest up at Naracoorte where Apollo was given a run for its money.

Fourth placed Naracoorte wanted to make a statement against the more fancied visitors, who were low on numbers.

Despite many first-choice players being unavailable, Apollo was able to gain control early thanks to the gritty work of Caine Ellis and Ruben van Eyk up forward and Jack Donehue and Pa Lah in the middle.

Even though James Stephenson’s team made a series of promising plays, he was left frustrated as the missing piece of the puzzle was often at the end with the finish missing the target.

After the defence managed to withstand the pressure, Naracoorte then made some moves of its own.

Ciaran Shouksmith had a chance to put United in front, but could not quite find his radar which meant after a half of misses both teams had to settle for the 0-0 scoreline.

This trend continued into the second half until Apollo made its move.

Finally the visitors were able to complete a play and Espoir Shondo finished it off to get the breakthrough.

Boosted by the much-wanted strike, Apollo only needed another five minutes to find the net again with van Eyk doing the damage.

Despite the disappointment of being 2-0 down, Naracoorte did not give up and was still able to create some dangerous attacks at goal.

Shouksmith and Charles Kelly looked particularly threatening with some close calls, but they could not penetrate the Apollo defence which finished with a clean sheet.

Apollo coach Stephenson said he knew it was always going to be a challenging 90 minutes and was pleased with how his team overcame the personnel issues.

“I always expect a hard-fought affair when travelling to Naracoorte,” he said.

“We also had a lot of players out from both senior grades and I only had three starters from last week’s first 11 playing, so it was going to be a difficult afternoon.

“We had a mix of Under 17s, reserves and seniors, but I was still very proud of the way we played.

“We started well and looked dangerous, but our finishing ability and final through ball was letting us down and we just could not get the goal we needed.

“Ruben probably should have had a hat-trick by half time, but because he was getting into the right positions it was only a matter of time before we broke the deadlock.

“But in fairness to Naracoorte, they continued to fight and had some really good chances but Jesse (Widdison) in goals was in top form and nothing was getting past him.

“The whole team played well and we thoroughly deserved the win.”

International v Blue Lake

International wasted no time in showing who was boss in its contest with Blue Lake.

Persistent showers greeted the players at Casadio Park, but no amount of rain was going to stop the black and blue from dominating the scoreboard.

Daniel Young, Sam Bueti and Sar Hay Moo all came to the fore to ensure the scoreboard read 3-0 after just six devastating minutes.

The crushing start set the tone for the day ahead as the Inter attack drove the Rangers into the mud.

Despite missing a couple of chances it was only a matter of time before Matthew Bueti entered the fray and his two goals before half time started something special.

Bueti returned to the pitch as an untouchable figure for Blue Lake, going on a scoring rampage to finish with the crazy individual feat of 10 goals.

His golden boot helped International cruise to a 16-0 win which was a margin few expected.

Millicent v Gambier Centrals

Over at McLaughlin Park Gambier Centrals was also busy improving its goal difference at the top of the ladder against Millicent.

The top versus bottom fixture was not a close contest with the Lions in control from start to finish.

Sam Shoemark and Cam Saint were both unstoppable forces in front of goal as they laid the blueprint to the big win.

Shoemark won the scoring contest with six goals, while Saint had to settle for four, but it was still a fine effort in the commanding 13-0 victory.

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