NSW reports on how day 4 went for their teams
Both the NSW Thunder Open Men and Open Women saw their tournaments ended early, as both sides failed to qualify for the Grand Final.
However, there is a NSW representative in every other age group, to be played at the AIS across a full Friday schedule.
It promises to be a fantastic day for NSW Futsal and there are four matches containing all-NSW finals as well, as if to emphasise the progress of Futsal in NSW.
Open Women: NSW Thunder 3-5 Victoria
The Open Women went down to Victoria, a result that saw them miss out on a Grand Final berth.
It was a thrilling match from start to finish and it was Victoria who went 1-0 up, thanks to a deflected long range strike from their goalkeeper, Candice Sallama.
NSW equalised in the 10th minute and then went 2-1 five minutes later, a brace of goals from Claire Walsh turning the match on its head.
They lacked discipline however and conceded their sixth foul in the 18th minute, Maddie Richardson making no mistake from the 10m penalty to level the scores at the break.
The tide changed again after the break though, Renee Tomkins scoring a neat goal after some swift build up play, only for Sallama to complete and barely believe brace, scoring from well in her own half with a lob that eluded the NSW defence and goalkeeper.
With the scores level, Victoria pushed again and took the lead with just two minutes to go, Stephanie Tanti adding her name to the scoresheet. At 4-3 down, NSW had no choice but to attack with vigour and in their vain pursuit of an equaliser they left themselves exposed on the break and it was Tanti who stood to profit, scoring again with the match in its final throes.
Overall though it was Victoria who profited most, qualifying for the Grand Final at NSW Thunder’s expense.
Open Men SEMI FINAL: NSW Thunder 1-4 ACT
NSW Thunder went down to Queensland 2-1 earlier in the day and the hangover from that result seemed to effect their performance in the semi final, as they crashed to a 4-1 defeat against the ACT. Robbie Cattanach was the star, netting a wonderful hat trick.
The match started terribly for NSW as goalkeeper and captain Robbie Maiorana was red carded in the 7th minute, dubiously so. He blocked a shot from outside the area with his chest, but the referees deemed that it was a handball and as a result he was sent from the field, with young goalkeeper Mark Brackenrig thrown into the fray.
Unbelievably, whilst a man down, NSW took the lead through Jarod Basger, who intercepted possession high up the court and made no mistake with the finish.
NSW felt aggrieved by Maiorana’s sending off and it added some further feeling to a match not lacking in natural intensity.
In the 16th minute ACT were level, after Brackenrig spilled a shot into the path of Stephen Dominici, who slotted home.
The score was 1-1 at the break but the second half was all about Robbie Cattanach.
He found space from a set piece in the 28th minute to calmy beat Brackenrig, before NSW stand in captain Miles Downey conceded a penalty in the 35th minute. Cattanach stepped up to hammer the ball past Brackenrig to put ACT 3-1 up and well clear.
NSW had no response and to rub salt into their wounds, Downey’s foul was the fifth for his side.
They conceded a 10m penalty two minutes later, which Cattanach again smashed past Brackenrig to seal ACT’s spot in the final and to complete his hat trick. Brackenrig saved a last minute 10m penalty from Cattanach in the last minute, but it was little consolation as NSW Thunder crashed out of the tournament.