Blacktown City have won the 2019 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 20s Premiership, retaining the title they won twelve months ago. The side from Lilys stormed into an unassailable lead midway through the season and, having lead the league since Round 6, are thoroughly deserving Premiers.
The Premiers wrapped up the title with a week remaining after beating Marconi Stallions on Saturday afternoon, while Rockdale, APIA Leichhardt and Sutherland Sharks are still jostling for their positions in the top five.
The race for second and third will go right down to the wire, with all three sides in with a shout of earning a place in the preliminary final in two weeks’ time.
Saturday 3rd August, 2019
Marconi Stallions 0-2 Blacktown City, 5pm at Marconi Stadium
Blacktown City are Premiers for the second time in as many years, sealing the title with a 2-0 win over Marconi Stallions at Marconi Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
James Demetriou and Alen Aganovic were on hand to secure the Premiership for Blacktown; Demetriou on the end of a sweeping move from the visitors to open the scoring late in the first half.
Blacktown doubled their lead just a few minutes before the hour mark to put themselves out of Marconi’s sight.
A short corner came to Henry Davies on the right, who backheeled a pass through for Carlos De Oliviera on the edge of the box. A cross to the back post found captain Alen Aganovic, who headed down past the goalkeeper with ease.
The table speaks for itself: as the team that has scored the most goals and conceded the fewest, Blacktown are worthy winners of a second consecutive Premiership.
The goal now will be to go a few better in the finals series, having lost 2-0 to Sutherland Sharks in last year’s preliminary.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 1-2 Hakoah Sydney City East, 5pm at Popondetta Park
Hakoah Sydney City East battled for a 2-1 win at Mt Druitt Town Rangers on Saturday night, with three red cards dished out between the two sides in an ill-tempered match at Popondetta Park.
Emmanuel Peters was sent off for Mt Druitt, while Nikita Parkes and Coen Emmenegger saw red for the visitors.
Still, Hakoah’s nine men were able to hold out for all three points, with goals from Mitchell Knight and Ellis Bellos giving their side the edge in the second half.
Riley Ellem was on the scoresheet for the hosts in the first half, but Mt Druitt were unable to prevent themselves from losing to Hakoah for the second time this season.
Sunday 4th August, 2019
Sydney Olympic 3-0 Sydney United 58, 12.45pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic will finish 2019 in sixth place, likely only a point or two behind whichever team ends up in fifth above them.
Defeats to APIA Leichhardt, Rockdale and Sydney FC only a few weeks ago proved terminal to Olympic’s hopes of making the top five.
Had they managed to turn one of those losses into a win or a draw, Olympic may well be gearing up for the finals in a few weeks’ time. Instead, they finish the year with a 3-0 win over Sydney United, a result which will do little to satisfy the team from Belmore.
Michael Gaitatzis, Ali Hamdan and Genki Kohyama gave Olympic all three points to leave them a point behind APIA Leichhardt having already played their Round 22 fixture, while Sydney United remain rooted to the foot of the table; now eleven points behind Hakoah above them.
Manly United 2-1 APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 1pm at Cromer Park
APIA Leichhardt lost for the first time in four weeks to give up their advantage in the run-in to the finals; the Tigers now in fifth spot after falling 2-1 to Manly United on Sunday afternoon.
Vaughan Hudy and Jordan Devries were on target for the hosts, who picked up their first win in six weeks to hold seventh place for another week.
Zeke Prisuda scored the only goal for the visitors, who will now need to rely on Sutherland Sharks beating Rockdale next weekend if they are to avoid an elimination final against Sydney FC in a fortnight.
Rockdale City Suns 1-0 Wollongong Wolves, 2.30pm Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale have moved up into third place after beating Wollongong Wolves 1-0 at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon; another goal from the in-form Jake Cakovski giving his side a final chance to snag second place when they take on Sutherland Sharks next weekend.
Rockdale sit two points behind the Sharks ahead of their Round 22 meeting at Ilinden, and just three ahead of fifth-placed APIA Leichhardt.
A slip against the Sharks could see Rockdale fall into fourth place, forcing them into an elimination final instead of a preliminary.