Something a little different this weekend. Staying in Launceston provided me the opportunity to chill with my camera while watching a couple of Northern Championship matches. So, more photos than analysis of the matches. Hope you enjoy.
Launceston City v Burnie United
Sometimes hunger and desire is more important than skill and possession. Launceston City fought back from 2-1 with 10 players for a 2-all draw. Burnie’s domination of the first half was rewarded with a gorgeous chested goal early. While United were searching for the through ball, and rueing playing on a short pitch, a spell of pressure paid off for City, with skill at the top of the area on display for the equaliser. Burnie finished the half with their nose ahead, again the right flank proving fruitful, with a solo effort and a finish into the bottom corner.
The second half provided the action. Confusion reigned ten minutes in when a red card was dished out for the Launceston goalkeeper. Claims of handball outside of the box initially waved off by the AR, brought back by the centre referee after Burnie failed to capitalise on the advantage. City had been turning the tables before succumbing to ten players, but still played with the hope of pulling one back. Despite the handicap, City continued to play with numbers forward in the search for an equaliser. That hope paid off, minutes from the final whistle City drew even. An initial pot shot saw Burnie’s keeper collect the ball, the following distribution landed at the feet of a City forward. Accepting the gift, the ball was soon rocketed into the net.
Northern Rangers v Riverside
Riverside didn’t take long to get off the mark, finding an opener through a strike of luck. A lobbed high cross proved a nightmare for the Northern Rangers keeper, as the bounce alluded all to wind up in the back of the net. While the match was open at stages, the first 15 minutes was the Roos best, with things quickly turning downward for the team in Orange.
A quick reply from Rangers was produced through a solo effort, the attacker using sheer strength to palm off her defender and hit the strike. Momentum built from there for the home side. Numbers in defence weren’t enough for Riverside, with Rangers hitting two more before the end of the half. The drop of the shoulder move fooling defenders for both goals, setting up Rangers second goal and the third rounding the keeper with confidence.
No favours were given in the second half. The referee had already flagged his intent of pulling up any niggly fouls. It was no surprise when a penalty was called against Riverside, after a reckless shoulder barge in the area. A swoosh of the net and Rangers were in control at 4-1. Soon there were a couple teasing chances at both ends. First a volley from a corner went flying over the crossbar for Rangers, while at the other end a cheeky across-the-face-of-goal shot looked destined for the back corner but narrowly missed. The icing on top would eventually arrive for Northern Rangers, with Riverside’s defence caught napping. The tight angle no drama for the goalscorer.
It’s funny watching the match largely though the narrow vision of a camera. It’s why I avoid it for matches I’m properly covering. However, there are players who are flaming excellent to watch that way, the ones who are constantly on the ball, dictating play for their side.
The number of photos I managed to snap of Danielle Mitchell in the first half of the City v United match just shows how pivotal she is to her side. Everything went through her, with the balls that released Burnie’s quick forwards due to Mitchell’s vision. Sitting almost as a false nine, her ability to live in the space between the lines provided her with freedom to dictate play. A quieter second half performance was telling to why Burnie were unable to capitalise with the extra player to secure victory.
Another play who seemed to be in the centre of everything was Abigail Chugg for Northern Rangers. It helps she was the team’s dead ball specialist. Chugg dominated the centre of the park Rangers, from winning the ball and picking out passes. She provided consistency and an attacking threat throughout the match in a team who produced a comfortable win.