The F-League Women’s competition kicked off in earnest last weekend at Canberra’s AIS Arena. Joining Canberra’s very own Boomerangs in this inaugural year of the Women’s F-League are teams from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Series One saw all eight teams in the competition assembling in Canberra to participate in five rounds of the fourteen round competition.
The Boomerangs Women’s team started their campaign on Saturday morning with a hard fought win against the Vic Vipers. Goals by Ashleigh and Brittany Palombi and a last minute strike by Nikola Orgil saw the team take the game 3-1.
Saturday afternoon saw the Boomerangs take on Melbourne Heart – easily dismissing the Melbourne team with a strong performance winning 6-0. Goals again to both Brittany and Ashleigh Palombi (2) as well another to Orgill and a goal each to youth players Maddy Whittal and Phoebe Worth completed a dominant performance.
Saturday evening’s match was against the highly fancied South Brisbane team, who got the better of the Boomerangs early and scored within three minutes of kick off. Brittany Palombi levelled it up just on half time and saw the match evenly poised at 1-1 at half time. The second half saw the Boomerangs slowly exert their authority in a toughly fought encounter. Becky Watts extended the lead early in the second half and Palombi bagged her second mid way through. The Boomerangs showed strong resolve to see the game out without conceding further and ended the game 3-1 victors.
The game on Sunday morning against Sutherland was a most frustrating affair – especially for the Boomerangs coach, Kristian Collins. Sutherland had lost a few of their players to outdoor commitments and were a much depleted team for their Sunday games. Sutherland had not performed very well with a full contingent and were likely to present little resistance to the strong Boomerangs team. However the first half was full of frustrations for both the players and the coach with Sutherland playing a half court defensive game, endeavouring to stop the opposition scoring at all costs, whilst attempting little in their front court.
A 2-0 lead at half time on the back of a disciplined Sutherland did little to placate coach Collins who devised a second half plan which opened up the game against a tiring Sutherland and producing a second half barrage of goals. A final scoreline of 9-0 saw Ashleigh Palombi score a hat trick, Nikola Orgill a double and singles to Brittany Palombi, Erin Clout, Hayley Buckingham, Kim Smith and Captain Michelle Aurousseau.
Game five for the weekend had the Boomerangs up against a strong Sydney Scorpions – a team with the pick of players from Sydney’s Enfield, Mascot, Campbelltown and Inner West Magic clubs. This torrid physical affair was a real test for the Boomerangs with many chances taken, but none converted under the intense defensive pressure of the Scorpions. The result – a deadlocked 0-0 – a rare occurrence for a futsal game. Both teams gave their all and after four earlier games, the Boomerangs players did well to sustain their mental and physical discipline.
So after five full rounds of the competition, the Boomerangs Women;’s team leads the F-League table on four wins, a single draw and no losses, just one point ahead of a strong Parramatta Blues outfit who are on four wins and a single loss.
Impressively though, the Boomerangs have both the best attacking and defensive records by scoring 21 goals and conceding just two – keeping three clean sheets from the five games – a testament to disciplined defensive work and impressive performances from keepers Tahlia Davidson and Gilly Raymond. The Boomerangs can also boast three of the top four goal scorers of the competition so far, and had ten of their squad score at least one across the five game weekend.
The next round of the Women’s F-League is to be played in Melbourne on the weekend of July 6/7 where they will come up against two teams they have yet to face, Dural Warriors and Parramatta Blues, as well as encounter once again the Melbourne Heart, South Brisbane and Sutherland teams.
In the nearer future though the F-League focuses its attention on the second series of the Men’s competition also being played in Melbourne over the weekend of 22/23 June. The Men’s team take on Sydney Scorpions, East Coast Heat and Melbourne Heart and will be looking to bring home maximum points from Melbourne on that weekend.
In a final note, it was pleasing to see the great support out at the AIS for the Women’s F-League Series One weekend. The women round out their 2013 season with Series’ held in Melbourne and Sydney, however the Men’s competition visits the AIS in early August for the penultimate round. The Boomerangs team will be looking for a large crowd of supporters to come out and cheer them home through these vital games in the 2013 competition. The Boomerangs will be looking to emulate their 2012 results at home where they clean swept three from three.