By Darren Lutton
The wait is finally over. The opening round of the NPLW commenced last weekend giving us an opportunity to gauge the level of the teams in this year’s competition. Early suggestions are that the title will be a race in five with the remaining teams looking to establish themselves and build a foundation for future years.
Moreton Bay United | 1 ¬– 2 | Souths United
Down by the bay
On Friday night Moreton Bay Jets made a welcome return to top team competition as they hosted Souths United. Souths got the jump on them early going out to a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes before the home side could get a foothold into the game. The second half was much tighter and the Jets pulled one back. But it wasn’t enough as United began the competition taking all three points. MBJ 1 – 2 Souths
South West Queensland Thunder | 3 – 6 | Western Pride FC
Gatton Football club
Battle of the west
On Saturday the South West Queensland Thunder and Western Pride met each other half way at Gatton Football Club, home of the Redbacks. The game was a tight affair at half time at one apiece. However, in the second half the defensive frailties of Thunder appeared as the Pride gained a morale boosting victory with a 6-3 win.
A lot of new talent was on display in the game, but more about them in future weeks.
Lions FC | 9 – 0 | Capalaba Bulldogs
Lions sink their teeth into bulldogs
Later Saturday evening Lions FC strutted their stuff against the Capalaba Bulldogs. Although it could be argued that the Dogs are marginally weaker than last season, not many people could foresee the strength of the victory that Lions inflicted.
A marker was laid down as Tegan Riding helped herself to four goals as the home side clocked up a 9-0 win.
Mudgeeraba SC | 0 – 17 | The Gap FC
Sid Bigg Park
Can anyone bridge the gap?
The biggest win of the weekend belongs to The Gap, who are arguably the yard-stick for the competition.
On Sunday the Gators handed newcomers Mudgeeraba a tough welcome to the competition, as they inflicted a 17-0 victory. Tiarne Petterwood shot to the top of the goalscoring charts with 7 goals.
For Mudgeeraba it was a baptism of fire at this level of competition. However the Wallabies showed glimpses of their ability, fought for the full 90 and showed evidence of learning quick lessons throughout the match.
It will be a long season for Mudgeeraba SC but everyone involved at Sid Bigg Park will build upon the defeat and learn valuable lessons over the course of the season.
Eastern Suburbs | 4 – 2 | Logan Lightning
Rush hour on the M1
On Tuesday we encountered some much closer affairs. Logan Lightning traveled up the M1 to visit Eastern Suburbs and were unfortunately on the wrong end of a 4-2 result. The match featured six individual goal scorers which is a positive both teams can take.
Both sides have lost their star strikers from last season so it’s good to see that there are players to take up the slack and get on the scoresheet. However, tougher tasks await both teams and maintaining the goal rush will be important if they are to assume a respectable ladder position.
Mitchelton | 4 – 3 | Gold Coast United
Flurry of goals stuns debutants
The crazy, most insane game of the week belongs to Mitchelton and Gold Coast United. The Mustangs media manager was in overdrive early updating the socials as Mitchelton notched up four goals in the opening six minutes. The visitors were well and truly jumped early.
However, they slowly but surely gained traction on the Teralba Park pitch as they whittled away at the lead. After 75 minutes Gold Coast got that score back to 4-3 but Mitchelton were able to hold on and secure an important victory.
The match between the Sunshine Coast Wanderers and Roar NTC is to be rescheduled.
From this vantage point it appears that Lions, The Gap, Mitchelton, GCU and Souths are the five teams that will be fighting out for the top positions. The wait is over, now it’s time to watch. Football Queensland will be livestreaming the match between Souths United and SWQ Thunder on Sunday from 6pm.