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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Photo:  Olympia goalkeeper Jason Voss goes for a cross [PlessPix]

Kingborough Lions United and Tilford Zebras will meet in the Southern Summer Cup final at KGV Park at 6.30pm next Saturday.

The Lions demolished Olympia Warriors 6-2 in one semi-final today, while Zebras knocked holders South Hobart out of the tournament with a 2-0 win in the other semi-final.

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Photo:  Kingborough's Joel Schuth cannot prevent Olympia's Ben Phillips from getting a pass away [PlessPix]

Kingborough have only ever appeared in one cup final previously and that was in 2000, when they lost 3-0 to Glenorchy Knights in the State-wide Knockout Cup Final.

Tilford Zebras, on the other hand, will make their fifth appearance in six years in the Summer Cup Final.  In their previous four appearances in those six years, they won three and lost just one.

Kingborough almost took the lead in the opening minute when David Cooper lobbed the ball high into the air from the left wing.  Olympia goalkeeper Jason Voss just stood on his line, assuming the ball would carry over the goal.  But, it came straight down and glanced the face of the crossbar before rebounding into play, much to Voss’s relief.

Kosta Grillas went close for Olympia in the 6th minute when he worked his way into a shooting position on the left, but his low drive went wide of the far right-hand upright.

Marcello Marchioli, the Kingborough skipper, put his side ahead in the 18th minute when he was allowed to run from the half-way line to almost the edge of the box before unleashing a powerful shot that rippled the back of the net.

Warren Wadawu equalised for Olympia in the 26th minute with a shot from the right of the box, while 3 minutes later, he gave his side the lead by striking from the left of the box.

The lead lasted just 5 minutes as Joel Schuth headed Kingborough level after a long throw-in from the left.

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Photo:  Olympia goalkeeper Jason Voss beats out a header by Trent Pearce [PlessPix]

Two minutes before the break, Tom McDonald’s powerful header made it 3-2 for the Lions.

When Cooper slotted home the Lions’ fourth in the 55th minute after toying with the Olympia defence in the penalty area, it was Kingborough’s semi-final.

Voss did well to tip Cooper’s shot wide in the 57th minute, but Schuth struck in the 82nd and 88th minutes to complete his hat-trick and earn the Lions a place in the final.

Tilford Zebras finally did what few other teams have been able to do in recent seasons and that was to defeat South Hobart and prevent them from collecting another trophy.

Zebras coach, Eamonn Kelly, had his tactics just right.  But, he was aided also by some superb goalkeeping by Craig Minty, as well as by the inexperience and bad luck of South Hobart.

Playing a man-marker on Andy Brennan was logical, but few teams have opted for this, preferring to have the nearest player to Brennan marking him.  As a result, he has tended to destroy opposing defences.

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Photo:  Kingborough's David Cooper concedes a free-kick by upending Olympia's Warren Wadawu [PlessPix]

Kelly assigned Zebras’ new Welsh defender, Paul Palmer, to Mark Brennan.  He did the job well, despite sometimes being beaten for pace.  Brennan’s shooting was also off-target and once or twice he chose to pass when he should have had a go himself.

Mizael and Dylan Postma were also off target for South Hobart and both had enough chances to embarrass the Zebras.

Zebras threatened as early as the 5th minute when only clever anticipation and bravery by Matthew Ferguson denied Dwayne Walsh.

But, in the 12th minute, Brennan set up Postma only for the youngster to shoot over the bar.

In the 28th minute, Minty did well to beat out a powerful angled drive from the left by Mizael.

Brennan shot wide in the 35th minute, while in the 43rd minute, Hickey’s delightful pass put Mizael through the middle but Minty came to the Zebras’ rescue.

With the opening half nearing its end, Hugh Ludford pushed forward for South and pulled the ball back from the goal-line on the left to Postma, whose audacious back-heeler just rolled wide of Minty’s far left-hand post.

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Photo:  Olympia goalkeeper Jason Voss goes after the loose ball [PlessPix]

In stoppage time at the end of the first half, Minty saved superbly from Postma and Mizael was unable to reach the loose ball before it trickled out of play just beyond the left-hand post.

Five minutes after the resumption, Jayden Welch fired Zebras in front.  Henry Fagg completely missed a cross from the right by former South Hobart player Jon Foley-Donoghue just outside the box, but the left-footed Welch curled a marvellous right-footed shot around the diving Ferguson and inside the far post.

In the 68th minute, it was 2-0 as Henry Fagg’s free-kick from the left was dropped by Ferguson and the ball fell perfectly for Sam McIntyre to nudge over the line.

Hickey, who may have thought his days of being substituted were over, was again bossed around near the end when he was taken off and replaced by youngster Tom Harbod.

There was no coming back for South Hobart this time and for the first time in many a moon, they were out of a cup final.

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Photo:  Tilford Zebras celebrate their opening goal against South Hobart [PlessPix]

An early goal by George Vafakos gave Olympia Warriors the lead against Clarence United in the reserves semi-final, while Ryan Thurley added the second midway through the half to give Olympia a 2-0 win.

Thurley was sent off near the end and will miss the final against South Hobart, who downed Tilford Zebras 1-0 through a goal by Michael McGoldrick, a goalkeeper-turned striker.

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Photo:  Olympia's Ryan Thurley is tackled by a Clarence opponent [PlessPix]

In the North-West Summer Cup, Burnie United led Ulverstone 3-0 before losing 6-4 at a windy and rain-swept Montello ground in Burnie today.

Burnie was in front 3-2 at the break but could not withstand a second-half rally by Ulverstone.

Devonport City overcame Somerset Sharks 4-2 in the day’s other match through goals by Nick Cochrane, Kamil Douglas, Simon Wilson and Grant Ashdown.

Chris Smith scored one of Somerset’s goals in reply.

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Photo:  A Clarence defender heads clear and stops an Olympia attack [PlessPix]

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Photo:  Olympia's Ryan Thurley gets in a tackle on a Clarence United opponent [PlessPix]