Premier league title race down to the wire

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Rovers' Brad Chapman and Polonia's Thomas Hunt contest the ball.
Camera IconRovers' Brad Chapman and Polonia's Thomas Hunt contest the ball. Credit: Laurie Benson

The tightest of races has developed in the Great Southern Soccer Association men’s premier league, with the final round of fixtures set to decide the league champions after a pulsating round of games last Saturday night.

Four points separated the top three teams heading into round 14 but wins to Caledonians and Polonia have made the race for the title ever more interesting, with just one point between the trio.

Albany Rovers went ahead early in their clash with Polonia after Lawrence Oboh found the back of the net and it took a decent response from Polonia in midfield to wrestle back control.

Polonia's Jack McNamee and Rovers' Justin Bielecki contest the ball.
Camera IconPolonia's Jack McNamee and Rovers' Justin Bielecki contest the ball. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Polonia came away with a 2-1 victory thanks to Jason Wilson, who netted a brace in the second half and those two goals ensured his side remain a hope of claiming the league title.

The win lifted Polonia to 22 points ahead of their final game against Phoenix in a fortnight.

Caledonians put themselves in the box seat to become league champions after a hard-fought 2-1 win over main rivals Albany-Bayswater.

Albany-Bayswater finished with 10 men after Cain Pietropaolo was sent off and they were unable to prevent Caledonians from scoring a goal in the second half that put them ahead.

Ben Grey and Jeremy Everett finished off Caledonians’ good work, while the goal scorer for Albany-Bayswater was Lachlan Howarth.

Caledonians join Albany-Bayswater with 23 points and they each have a goal difference of eight.

If points and goal difference are the same then the most goals scored will decide who wins the title and Albany-Bayswater are ahead by a single goal but have the final round bye.

Polonia goalkeeper Daniel Marques is congratulated by teammates after saving a penalty.
Camera IconPolonia goalkeeper Daniel Marques is congratulated by teammates after saving a penalty. Credit: Albany Advertiser

A win to Caledonians over Rovers would clinch the title on September 1 but a draw or loss could leave Polonia or Albany-Bayswater in the mix.

A 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon was enough for Caledonians to secure the men’s reserves league title after sharing the points with second-placed Albany-Bayswater.

Albany-Bayswater have the bye in the last league round and Caledonians remain two points clear on top.

In the women’s league A competition, Denmark are closing in on a third straight league title after their 1-0 win over Polonia last Friday night pushed them seven points clear on top.

Only the second-placed Port Albany, who have a game in hand, are within striking distance heading into the last two rounds.

Port Albany thrashed Mt Barker United 10-1 last week, while Phoenix defeated Caledonians 3-1.

All senior grades switched back to cup rounds this week, starting with the men’s social/vets on Tuesday night, with the men’s premier and women’s league A at the semifinal stage.

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