- Written by Walter Pless
- Published: 29 March 2014
Photo: Devonport's Michael Holden comes away with the ball and leaves Zebras' Adam McKeown in his wake [PlessPix]
South Hobart clearly showed they will again be the team to beat in the 2014 Victory League.
South Hobart won the inaugural 2013 title by a massive 15 points and they continued where they left off with an 8-1 thrashing of Glenorchy Knights at KGV Park on Friday night in the opening match of the 2014 campaign.
Photo: Today's Devonport City line-up [PlessPix]
The reigning champions produced an excellent display, even if it was against a Knights outfit that is rapidly shaping up as the worst team in the competition, a mantle it has taken over from last season’s easy-beats, Launceston City.
Strikers Brayden Mann and Andy Brennan were deadly and both scored hat-tricks, while Nick Morton netted a brace.
South’s win was tempered by the loss early on of midfielder Caleb Ludlow with a knee injury, while late in the game, Brennan also departed with a leg injury.
Mann and Brennan gave South Hobart a 2-0 lead with goals in the 14th and 17th minutes, respectively, while Morton made it 3-0 in the 22nd minute when he beat keeper Sam Kruijver with a first-time chip from range after Mynonge Kamba had inexplicably passed the ball to him.
Mann held off a couple of hefty challenges before slotting home his second and South Hobart’s fourth in the 29th minute.
Photo: South Hobart coach Ken Morton casts a glance at Caleb Ludlow as he is stretchered off [PlessPix]
Brennan outplayed the keeper and a defender before sliding home his second and South Hobart’s fifth in the 40th minute.
Mann completed his hat-trick from an assist by the hard-working and clever Brennan in the 43rd minute to make it 6-0 at the interval.
The omens looked dire for the Knights at this stage, but they did emerge for the second half and managed to limit the damage in the second period of 45 minutes.
Brennan completed his hat-trick 11 minutes after the resumption. George Kamano lost possession wide on the right and Curran Ferns passed to Brennan, who scored with a bullet from 20 metres.
Morton added his side’s eighth and his own second in the 64th minute following a low cross from the right by Mann.
Six minutes from the end, Hugh Ludford was adjudged to have fouled Aaron Wilson and the referee awarded the Knights a penalty.
Kane Pierce saved Wilson’s first spot-kick, but Mr Barker showed Pierce the yellow card and ordered the kick retaken. Wilson netted at his second attempt to register the Knights’ solitary goal in what was a poor display.
Former South Hobart goalkeeper Kruijver played well for Knights and the score would have reached double figures but for some fine saves by the custodian.
Photo: Knights' Shae Hickey (left) battles former team-mate Liam Scott [PlessPix]
Shae Hickey, who also moved from South to Knights, showed some excellent skills - including a cheeky back-heeler that he flicked over his head and then controlled on the run - but he must have been wondering where his team-mates were.
On Saturday, Tilford Zebras downed Devonport City 2-0 in a far-from-convincing display at KGV Park.
Former Devonport player Joel Stone put Zebras in front in the 26th minute, while fullback Dwayne Walsh added the second 11 minutes from the end.
Devonport were profligate in front of goal and have only themselves to blame for the loss.
English newcomers Cory Vickers and Callum Moore made reasonable league debuts for Devonport, who were also well served by Brody Denehey, Michael Holden, Ben Foote and keeper Casey Eaves.
Olympia Warriors put their 3-0 cup defeat against Northern Rangers last week behind them by giving Kingborough Lions United a 6-2 hiding in the second game of the double-header at KGV park on Saturday.
Photo: Olympia's Nick Meredith is confronted by the Lions' Nick Cuthbertson and Francis Kenyi [PlessPix]
Olympia led 4-0 at the break through goals by Ben Phillips, Nick Mearns and two by Nick Meredith.
Meredith completed his hat-trick 10 minutes after the interval with a shot into the roof of the net from an acute angle on the right, while central defender Alex Holmes made it 6-0 from Jacob Herbert’s corner in the 66th minute.
The Warriors then rested on their shields and snoozed as the Lions began to string passes together and utilise the pace of Francis Kenyi and Seung Yong Jin.
Kenyi showed the Olympia defenders a clean pair of heels in the 73rd minute as he went on a long run before beating keeper Dmitri Nester and pulling a goal back for the Lions.
Nester did well to deny Jin three minutes later, but in the 77th minute, Danny Cowen volleyed home after a corner to grab a second for the Lions and instil a level of unease in the Warrior’s ranks.
Olympia survived another couple of scares before the end, but the Lions had awoken far too late to affect the outcome.
Northern Rangers beat Launceston City 4-1 through two goals by English import Adam Edwards and one apiece to Nick Lanau-Atkinson and Aiden Rigby.
Nathan Bartlett netted City’s consolation goal.
Photo: Olympia's Jonathon Griffiths on the attack against Kingborough Lions United [PlessPix]