Emerald close to upset
FOUR matches produced four closely fought games, with plenty of good football, and that was exactly what organisers of the Stanwell Cup were looking for in their pre-season competition.
Emerald should have marked its first game as a Capricorn Premier team with a win against Wesley Hall Cup holders Centrals at Jardine Park.
The team from the west took the game to the champions and was rewarded with goals from James Barley with a header and Hayden Hearn.
At 2-0 up coach John Salogni thought the Eagles had the game in the bag, even though he was a little frustrated at not having more goals on the board.
"The statistics say we missed 15 chances," he said.
"We focused on the match for just 60 minutes.
"We have to work a bit on our discipline, as I thought we had the game."
With the scores at 2-2 the game went to penalties and the Eagles were made to suffer as Central out-scored them 3-1.
Fortunately for Emerald, the loss did not prove severe, because it will play in round two against Frenchville at Apex Park on Saturday.
The Frenchville progression to round two was a little smoother, beating Southside United 3-1 at Jardine Park.
The game was one both teams can take something from and also pick on aspects where they can improve.
Southside is a better footballing side than last year, with the evergreen Trevor Woods leading his team around from midfield.
However, after playing good football over two-thirds of the park it ran out ideas when it came to scoring goals.
"It was good for the boys to play against players like Trevor Woods," Frenchville coach John Ganly said.
Frenchville is a work in progress for Ganly, who played a very young, but talented, group of players.
"It was a good result but we've plenty to work on," Ganly conceded.
Paul Jackson scored Frenchville's first, with Ryan Hickey and Chris Hill scoring second-half goals.
A new-look Nerimbera team surprised itself with a comfortable 2-0 win over Berserker at Elizabeth Park.
Matt Black scored the opener 15 minutes into the match as Berserker's defence was caught flat-footed and then Patrick Gomes made the match safe for Nerimbera as he beat his marker to fire home and make it 2-0.
Nerimbera cruised into round two, where it will meet Centrals.
Capricorn Coast caused a major surprise when holding Bluebirds to a 1-1 draw in normal time and then defeating them on penalties in the shoot-out.
While Coast coach Justin Kilshaw said it was a good result, he admitted it could have been different. "Bluebirds had us at sixes and sevens in the first 20 minutes," he said.
Coast took the lead with a goal from Jack Hamilton in the 70th minute and Bluebirds replied with a powerful long-range shot from Bryce Ruthven.
Frenchville 3 def Southside 1
Central 2 def Emerald 2 (3-1 on penalties)
Nerimbera 2 def Berserker 0
Capricorn Coast 1 def Bluebirds 1 (5-4 on penalties)
Emerald progresses to round two having scored more goals
Round Two on March 17
Frenchville v Emerald at Apex Park 5.30pm
Clinton v Capricorn Coast at Apex Park 7.30pm
Central v Nerimbera at Webber Park 7.30pm