- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 26 May 2012
Photo: Eagles' Adam McKeown strikes for goal [PlessPix]
(Semi-Final, Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy, Kelvedon Park, Saturday, 26 May 2012)
Taroona 1 (E Luttmer 67)
New Town Eagles 5 (A Leszczynski 7, 53, J Clamp 69, C Collins 73, J Marshall 85)
HT: 0-1 Att: 200 Ref: B Kopra
Taroona: Burridge - Tubb, Wright, Cherry, Darragh Carey - James (R Carey 53), Burgess (Atkinson 46), E Luttmer, Dove - Hamilton, Young (Haslewood 80) (Sub not used: Hortle)
New Town Eagles: N Pitchford - Clark, Cox, Anderson, Page - Whitehall (Bunt 84), Hudson, J Clamp, Collins - Leszczynski (Marshall 74), McKeown (Ayres 80) (Sub not sued: McCormack)
Photo: Alex Leszczynski heads Eagles' opening goal [PlessPix]
Taroona were the sole survivors from the second tier of Tasmanian football going into this semi-final of the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy competition. They had produced two giant-killing feats to reach this stage by disposing of Premier League opponents, but even home-ground advantage was of no use in this contest.
Football Federation Tasmania had cleared the ground for play after an inspection in the morning, while the referee, Mr Kopra, gave his okay following an afternoon pitch inspection.
New Town Eagles kicked off and immediately put the home side under pressure. It took just over six minutes for the visitors to take the lead following a fine attacking move started on the left and finished when David Cox sent over a deep cross form the right for Alex Leszczynski to bravely beat keeper John Burridge in the air and head home.
Eagles continued to attack, with Adam McKeown missing a couple of chances to increase their lead, but his shots always flew just wide. Leszczynski was also foiled by a good save from Burridge.
Photo: Eagles' Adam McKeown tangles with Taroona's Eli Luttmer [PlessPix]
Taroona found it difficult to mount attacks and, when they did, they broke down in the final third as they gave the ball away.
Eight minutes after the interval, Leszczynski made it 2-0. A throw-in on the left saw the ball worked over to the right and a poor header by a Taroona defender went straight to Leszczynski, who held off a challenge from Llewyn Tubb to shoot home. There were claims of off-side and Mr Kopra had to consult his assistant, Mr Natoli, but he then awarded the goal.
Eli Luttmer pulled a goal back for the home side when he nipped in ahead of Jacob Clamp and headed home Darragh Carey’s excellent corner from the left.
In the 69th minute, Eagles restored their two-goal buffer. Ben Whitehall’s throw-in from the right found Leszczynski, who outwitted a defender and crossed. Burridge could only help the ball on and Clamp struck it into the roof of the net from point-blank range.
Photo: Eagles Alex Leszczynski threatens Taroona's James Cherry (left) and Michael Burgess [PlessPix]
Cormac Collins made it 4-1 with a far-post header from Whitehall’s free-kick from wide on the left.
McKeown should have added a fifth in the 79th minute, but his half-volley was directed straight at Burridge.
Five minutes from the end, substitute Jeremy Marshall made it 5-1 when Clamp lost control of the ball and it fell to Marshall, who drilled it past Burridge.
Marshall almost had a second in stoppage time, but his shot came back off the crossbar.
Photo: Eagles' Adam McKeown takes on Taroona's Jordan Wright [PlessPix]
The match ended with an attacking run by Taroona substitute Marcus Atkinson, who forced a fruitless corner.
Eagles will meet the winner of the other semi-final between Glenorchy Knights and South Hobart, who play at 1pm at KGV Park tomorrow [Sunday] after their scheduled match on Friday night was postponed because of ground conditions.
Photo: Eagles' Adam McKeown bears down on goal with Taroona's Jordan Wright in hot pursuit [PlessPix]
Taroona coach, Andrew Tye, said:
“No fairy tale finish today. I think the boys needed to be at their very best today to beat Eagles. I don’t think they were at their best. They tried hard.
“One-nil at half-time and I think we were definitely in the contest. We made a few changes. Second goal knocked the wind out of our sails a bit, I think. Got it back to 2-1 and I thought we were there and then they took it away from us.
“Congratulations to Eagles.”
Photo: Kelevdon Park was quite playable [PlessPix]
New Town Eagles coach, Stephen Pitchford, said:
“I thought it was a very good effort by our boys. First half, I thought we dominated play and created plenty of chances but just didn’t put them away.
“Second half, we continued in the same vein but put some of our chances away. A couiple of really good goals and a couple of other really good moves went close.
“To be honest, [I’d like to meet South] in the final. I think if the Knights got up over South in the semi, they’d be really, really buoyed by that and dangerous.
“I’d be happy to play either, to be truthful.”
Photo: The two coaches at work [PlessPix]
Photo: An Eagles corner has the Taroona supporters on The Hill tense [PlessPix]