June 3, 2012
By Martin Stern
Football South Burnett
The Evolution Solar Football season is at its halfway point, so it’s time to reflect on what has happened thus far.
All the talk at the beginning of the season was about the great revival of Nanango with the return of ex-players and some new blood.
Nanango sits at the top of the First Division, undefeated. They are also leading Second Division and have just moved into second spot in the Women’s Division.
Kieran and Justin Mangan have been on fire in the goal scoring department. Kieran has scored 14, while Justin has scored 11. And to make it even more significant, both have played only seven games.
In their last three outings they have beaten Wests 4-0, Barambah 9-0 and Gunners 9-0. The question is … can anyone stop them from going all the way?
Seven points behind Nanango, in second place in First Division, sits Gunners. Gunners have pretty well started from scratch this season and they will be a force to be reckoned with in a year or two, depending if players stay at the club or move on.
Gunners’ highlights of the season are their two wins over premiers and arch-rivals Wests.
Coach Debbie Ovens is doing a commendable job forging these youngsters into a formidable outfit that’s capable of beating anyone on their day.
In third place are last year’s premiers, Wests.
Wests have had a tough start to the season. Several key players retired or moved on after last season and to compound the pain, they have had many medium to long-term injuries to players.
They have found it impossible to have the same team on the park each week, which makes it very difficult to find any consistency. However with some injured players returning for the business end of the season, it would be very unwise for any team to write Wests off at this stage.
In fourth position is Barambah. Barambah have shown they are capable of playing attractive football and can consider themselves a little unlucky with some of the matches they have lost. Like Wests, they have several key players injured and some have to do shift work.
In most games the majority of the players have to double up for First and Second Division. If Barambah have their entire squad available they will be a force to be reckoned with and anything can happen at finals time. Barambah’s Second Division side is doing well and is sitting in second position.
The Women’s Division has been closer than the competition ladder shows. West’s women have put together a formidable squad, with a good mixture of mature and younger players. Coach Trevor Liztzow has them playing some very good football and they have only had the one loss this season.
Nanango are in second position and although starting the season slowly are beginning to gather some momentum. The team has a wealth of experience and will be a definite title contender.
Barambah are one point behind Nanango and have are playing good football on the occasions they have a full squad. Elle Mollenhauer is the top women’s scorer with eight goals, but has only played a handful of matches. Still a definite chance of going all the way.
In fourth position sits last year’s premiers, Gunnettes. Gunnettes’ current squad is only a skeleton of last year’s Grand Final Winners, however they are capable of anything come finals time and have taken points off the competition leaders on two occasions this year.
Full results of Round 7 of the Evolution Solar Football League played in Kingaroy and Nanango on Saturday:
1st Div: Nanango 9 (Kieran Mangan 4, Justin Mangan 3, Chris Walters, Daryl Adams), Gunners 0
2nd Div: Nanango 3 (Kieran Mangan, Justin Mangan, Trevor Holt), Gunners 0
Women’s: Nanango 2 (Lauren Hume, Cassie Kelly), Gunnettes 1 (Natasha Parsons)
1st Div: Wests 2 (Brandon Smith, Joel Cooper), Barambah 1 (David Eagleson)
2nd Div: Barambah 2 (Joel Sommerfeld, Luke Holland), Wests 0
Women’s: Wests 2 (Danielle Maudsley, Minna Black), Barambah 1 (Elle Mollenhauer)
There will be no senior soccer games played next weekend due to the Queen’s Jubilee Long Weekend.
Games the following week will be played in Murgon and Kingaroy.
UPDATE June 5: The postponed 2nd Divison game between Barambah and Wests will be played on Wednesday (tomorrow) night at 7:30pm in Murgon.