LCFA ‘goal rush’ recorded

The goals kept on coming as Apollo, International and Blue Lake cruised to comfortable triumphs in the eighth round of the 2022 Steeline Bendigo Bank Limestone Coast Football Association Senior Women’s Premiership Cup last weekend.

The closest contest was anticipated at Blue Lake Sports Park where Apollo played host to Gambier Centrals.

With third playing fourth on the ladder it had the makings of a classic, but sadly the Lions arrived heavily bandaged up.

A total of nine players were unavailable for the wounded orange army, with four isolated due to COVID-19 and others stuck testing.

This meant five Under 16’s were forced to take the unexpected step up to the top level and coach Scott Dickson knew his team would come under fire from Apollo.

It proved to be the case, but not after a tense opening 15 minutes where Centrals came out of the blocks firing.

Sensing their moment with the wind behind their backs, the Lions were able to create a couple of shots at goal, but the young forwards could not capitalise.

But soon the orange team started to tire and Apollo showed its class after a scrappy start.

Zoe Brooksby opened the scoring after a run down the right wing, while the next strike was created by some slick ball movement and was finished off by Daylia Daylia.

After setting up the second goal, Deni Atkin then decided to score herself to give the blue and white a comfortable 3-0 lead by the break.

After shuffling some formations during the break Apollo maintained its dominance until the final whistle.

As they cruised to a 6-0 win, Rhianna Shelton brought the crowd to life with a cracking shot from the edge of the box, while Chelsea Ray was another popular scorer.

The only concern from the game was a late injury to captain Bec Peters, but the Lions also had injury issues of their own being down to nine players at the finish of a tough day.

Apollo coach James Stephenson admitted the girls were not quite at their best, but still got the job done comfortably.

“Centrals were under strength due to illness but fielded a team that was still able to trouble us in the initial stages,” he said.

“It was a scrappy start but we were playing much of the game in our half with Danni Johnston working tirelessly in the middle to contain her opponents.

“The girls looked more confident and played with more assurance in the second half.

“Angela McDonough, Nop Pha Rad, Nikamwee Khin, Maddie Ryan, Zoe Brooksby, Deni Atkin and captain Bec Peters all deserve recognition for keeping a clean sheet and Bella Calderwood played with her usual industry assiduity.”

The big win puts Apollo a game clear in third position on the ladder and strengthened their case for finals.

The closest game of the round took place at McLaughlin Park where the undefeated International had to fight to overcome a spirited fifth-placed Millicent.

Despite the gutsy efforts of the tight Millicent defensive unit, Evany Rex was the star for the black and blue scoring the only two goals of the game.

It was an impressive effort from Millicent in the absence of coach Steve Galli, who hopes his team can continue to fight at the same level moving forward.

International coach Ricky McRobert said it was always a challenge breaking through the home team.

“We were able to apply a strong amount of pressure on their opponents, but we struggled to find the net against a well-positioned and structured defence,” he said.

“Once again in the second half Millicent held strong and their defence proved hard to get through.

“But eventually our pressure was too much and Evany Rex gave us a 2-0 win.”

Blue Lake needed to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Inter and did just that against Naracoorte.

The Rangers raced out of the blocks with lots of energy and Lauren Frost opened the scoring almost instantly.

Moments later she helped Chelsea Frost lay the foundations for her hat-trick, while Kendell Saffin also kicked off a productive day in a welcome return in the Blue Lake strip.

The Rangers linked up well up and down the pitch to collect a comfortable 8-0 win with Saffin and the Frost sisters all scoring on multiple occasions.

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