Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 38th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Clarence United will meet Hobart Zebras on 9 March in the final of the Premier League section of the Summer Cup competition after both sides won their last group-stage matches.

Clarence easily accounted for University 3-0 at KGV Park on Friday night, while Zebras produced their annual miracle by beating New Town Eagles 6-0 at South Hobart on Saturday.

Zebras earned their place in the final by virtue of having scored one goal more than South Hobart (8 as against 7), both sides having identical goal-differences (plus 6).

South Hobart’s downfall was their 0-0 draw with Hobart Olympic at KGV Park on Friday night and their subsequent 4-2 loss in the penalty shoot-out.

It was the second season in a row that Zebras have squeezed into the final in the most unlikely way.

Zebras squandered several good chances in the opening minutes and then survived two close calls by Eagles, who took the opportunity to launch dangerous counter-attacks.

Youngster Braydon Pace headed Zebras in front from Andrew Telega’s cross in the 10th minute, while Pace set up Ben Crosswell for the second in the 17th minute.

Thorpe rifled home the third midway through the second half, while a penalty by Crosswell two minutes from the end made it 4-0.

Needing to win by six goals, the Zebras’ hopes seemed dashed as the match entered stoppage time, but goals by Crosswell two minutes in, and Pace four minutes in, produced the required miracle.

After a goalless opening half, Clarence took advantage of atrocious defending by University to win 3-0 through goals by Luke Cripps, Julian McMahon and Ben Parker.

Penalties by Michael Bulis, Chris Tsakiris, Dmitri Nester and Danijel Djekanovic gave Olympic their penalty-shoot-out win over South Hobart, who could only convert through Bart Beecroft and Jonathon Ladic, Olympic’s Nester saving spot-kicks by Hugh Ludford and Greg Downes.

South’s Shae Hickey and Ludford had hit the Olympic woodwork in normal time.

A 21st-minute goal by captain Josh Fielding gave Glenorchy Knights a 1-0 win over Kingborough Lions United.

[Detailed match reports of Zebras v Eagles, and Knights v Lions, to follow later.]