Dural 8-3 over Benfica to advance to the Premier League Grand Final
A marvellous hat-trick from Elliot Ragomo helped propel the Dural Warriors into next weeks Grand Final by ruthlessly brushing aside an out of sorts Benfica 8-3 to set up a showdown with the Allstars on their home court at Dural.
The Warriors opened the scoring in the 3rd minute when Zac Caruana was given time and space to hit a scorching long range shot into the corner of the net.
One minute later Dural scored again when Caruana received the ball down the right side and slammed the ball low past the keeper to give his side a 2-0 lead.
Two minutes later Dural scored again when Elliot Ragomo opened his account when he received the ball down the right side and hit an inch perfect shot inside the near post to make it 3-0.
The Benfica sides approach was completely off and they were playing on anger. Distinctly unhappy with proceedings they were in danger of imploding altogether but the coach fortunately called a time out to talk and gather themselves.
From the restart they set about finding their old game and came close when Vic Koutsoufis sped through the middle of the court and hit a fierce drive that Dural keeper Alastair Bruce did well to hold.
Benfica clawed their way back into the match when Vic Koutsoufis broke through and skilfully rounded the keeper to make the score 3-1.
Benfica spirits rose and they almost grabbed a second when Ali Bazzi attempted to lift the ball over the keeper but Alastair Bruce just managed to fingertip the ball away.
Elliott Ragomo was finding space to run at the defence and hit a shot inches wide. Moments later he did the same thing and weaved his way through the middle of the court then rounded the keeper to score a terrific solo goal with 3 minutes to go.
In the last minute of the first half Benfica hearts sank when they Nathan Niski played a nice one-two with Rhys Giovenali, out-positioned keeper and slid the ball into an empty net to make it 5-1.
Dural compounded Benfica’s woes in the first minute of the second half when Elliot Ragomo had yet more space in front of him to go on another weaving run through the centre of the court and smash his shot into the net for a fine goal.
Mark Pinto was unlucky to see his shot strike the post after a determined run.
Josh Codrington took advantage of a mix up in the Benfica defence to drill home Durals seventh goal.
Anthony Poniris pulled a goal back when he ran forward and rounded the keeper to slot the ball home for nice solo goal to make it 7-2.
Ryan Johnstone and Nathan Niski interchanged passes nicely down the court for Johnstone to slide the ball home to make the score 8-2.
Benfica grabbed a late consolation goal when Anthony Poniris stepped inside and slammed a fierce drive into the net to round off the scoring at 8-3.
This very talented young Benfica side were missing keeper Wayne Estevao and coach Joe Pinto after both were dubiously red carded last week. But they allowed this set back to get the better of them and came into this game with perhaps the wrong approach mentally and Dural were on hand to ruthlessly capitalise.
12. Alastair Bruce
7. Rhys Giovenali
9. Daniel Codrington
3. Elliot Ragomo
17. Zac Caruana
15. Blake Rosier
14. Ryan Johnstone
8. Wade Giovenali
5. Nathan Niski
4. Sameer Mokhtar
1. Ben Moon
6. Mark Pinto
9. Vic Koutsoufis
4. Jason Camara
5. Jacob Maruca
7. Harley De Silva
8. Kevin Oliviera
10. Anthony Poniris
11. Adrian Pandolfo
12. Ali Bazzi
1. Costa D’Addona
Benfica – Vic Koutsoufis, Anthony Poniris 2
Dural – Elliot Ragomo 3, Daniel Codrington, Zac Caruana 2, Ryan Johnstone, Nathan Niski
Fouls – Benfica 5, Dural 6
Yellow Cards – Benfica 3,
Red Cards – Benfica 1
Officials – Roger Lee, Darius Turner, Gareth Williams