BBC/GMT wrap: Cool heads prevail in finals frenzy

Published Mon 14 Aug 2023

The first weekend of Bill Brackenbury Cup finals action was full of goals, while Hurlstone Park knocked out reigning Champions Concord in the Grace Martin Trophy to set up their shot at glory.

Words: Clement Tito

Bill Brackenbury Cup

Hurlstone Park Wanderers 2-2 Enfield Rovers (Hurlstone Park Wanderers won 4-2 on penalties)

Hurlstone Park Wanderers continued their winning ways in 2023, as they defeated Enfield Rovers in a major semi-final shootout to book their spot in the Bill Brackenbury Cup Grand Final.

It took until the second half to see a goal, when Vincent Giannini made it 1-0 minutes after the break. But two quick fire goals from Anthony Foti and Cory-jnr Sharma Constance saw Enfield take the lead just after the hour mark.

Enfield were on route to produce a stunning upset, but Matteo Pandolfo scored in the 81st minute to bring Hurlstone Park level and set up a tense finish.

The game continued to the dreaded shoot-out where the Wanderers prevailed. They await a meeting with either Balmain DFC or Enfield in the Grand Final.


APIA Leichhardt JSC 1-5 Balmain DFC

Balmain DFC have given themselves a chance to contend for the title this season after easing past APIA Leichhardt JSC in the minor semi-final.

It was APIA who opened the scoring thanks to Tyson Kaye just 12 minutes in, but the early lead was cancelled out soon after as goals from Matthew Newton and Benjamin Ferreira gave Balmain a 2-1 lead at half-time.

The goals continued after the break as Alexander Barnstone grabbed himself a brace before Shay Spitz made it 5-1 to cap off a comprehensive performance by Balmain DFC.

Balmain DFC and Enfield Rovers will compete on Saturday for a spot in the Bill Brackenbury Grand Final, when they meet in the Preliminary Final at 4.30pm in Strathfield Park.


Grace Martin Trophy

Hurlstone Park Wanderers 2-0 Concord JSC

Hurlstone Park Wanderers booked their place in the Grace Martin Trophy Grand Final with a 2-0 win over Concord JSC at Strathfield Park on Sunday.

Under the lights on a cold and overcast day, it was proper football weather as the first half was played at a frenetic pace. Concord JSC looked the better side early in the game with multiple shots on goal but could not convert to take the lead.

While it looked even after the break, in the 52nd Amelia Griffin converted a free kick to score just her second goal of the season and put Hurlstone Park ahead.

With just over 20 minutes remaining, Sienna Haigh put the game beyond all doubt when she doubled the lead.

The Wanderers held on to win it all against the reigning champions and they will now face Leichhardt Saints A on Saturday evening at 5pm in Majors Bay Reserve.

The match has been moved forward a day from it’s usual Sunday timeslot to avoid a potential clash with the FIFA Women’s World Cup final.