[Image: Sam Attwood]
Queensland is guaranteed to have at least two new representatives in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 after a bumper weekend of Preliminary Round 6 fixtures.
Community clubs Frenchville SC and Surfers Paradise Apollo are among those seeking a maiden national berth after both notched hard-fought victories in the penultimate stage of qualifying.
The pair are joined by PlayStation® 4 National Premier Leagues sides FNQ Heat and Sunshine Coast in contesting two of the state’s four Round of 32 qualification spots.
Rockhampton-based Frenchville progressed to Preliminary Round 7 on Saturday night when they saw off Magpies FC in Mackay.
Michael Cay scored twice and assisted a third as the visitors jumped to a 3-0 lead shortly after half-time, before Magpies mounted a late fightback and cut the deficit to a single goal.
However, Jordan Miller iced the result for Frenchville with a fourth in stoppage time to send the Central Queensland outfit into a die-or-die clash with FNQ Heat for the second straight year.
Heat booked their place in the final round of qualifying with a comfortable 5-1 win over PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues rivals Northern Fury, helped largely by braces from Christopher O’Hare and Jamie Carroll.
Surfers Paradise Apollo are likewise just one match away from the national limelight after ousting a second PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues opponent in as many matches.
The Gold Coast side continued their eye-catching run with an epic 5-3 win at home to SWQ Thunder on Saturday night.
— Will Kitchen (@w11eum) May 7, 2016
Lyndon Dykes and Wade Russell combined to hand the visitors a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes, before Thunder recovered to level matters just after half-time. Surfers Paradise wouldn’t be denied though and piled on three further goals in just over half an hour to settle the tie.
The BLK Premier League team will enjoy hosting rights in Preliminary Round 7 against Sunshine Coast FC, who overpowered United Park Eagles 7-1 on Sunday.
Kobe Fuller struck a hattrick to seal his side’s shot at a debut Round of 32 appearance.
— Jay Stewart (@JayLStewart) May 8, 2016
Eight teams remain in contention in Brisbane ahead of next week’s Preliminary Round 6 fixtures.
However, at least one new side is guaranteed to be part of the Final Rounds action as previous qualifiers Lions FC and Brisbane Strikers sit on the same side of the draw.
PRELIMINARY ROUND 7 FIXTURES
Northern Region (Home v Away)
FNQ FC Heat v Frenchville SC
Saturday, 11 June – KO 6.30pm
Barlow Park, Cairns
Southern Region (Home v Away)
Surfers Paradise Apollo SC v Sunshine Coast FC
Saturday, 11 June – KO 5.00pm
Lex Bell Oval, Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast)
Round 6 fixtures to be held 17-18 May