Noosa Lions Nicol Watson in action against Buderim.
Noosa Lions Nicol Watson in action against Buderim. Contributed

Scoring an upset

THE Noosa Lions football club hosted an undefeated, table topping Buderim side at the weekend and threw the form book out of the window as they roared to a 3-0 half-time lead.

In recent weeks, the wet weather has forced training to be cancelled and disrupted the fixture list for all senior and junior teams. Saturday night’s game had added significance as it was agreed to double up as the Johnny Warren cup quarter-final, which had been postponed twice.

Last week, Noosa had lost narrowly to Coolum in a game, which once again they dominated but could not capitalise on with goals, the only currency which counts. Coach, Kevin Evans and his squad were determined to stick to their game plan and believe their fortunes would change. The determination and effort was evident from the kick off as Noosa pushed Buderim on to the back foot. Goalkeeper, Dutchy Holland, was only called upon to make a couple of saves in the whole game, his Buderim counterpart made a string of great saves to deny Noosa a windfall of goals.

In the 20th minute, Nicol Watson shrugged off one defender and forced himself through the Buderim backline, then calmly slotted his shot past the goal keeper and into the corner. The whole team ran to him to celebrate, a measure of the spirit in the side and the delight in having a goal to show for their dominance. A few minutes later, Joel Bond was pulled down in the box and Kevin Evans slammed home the penalty. The Noosa midfield was stifling all of Buderim’s attempts to gain any control and the home defence was rock solid, whilst Watson and Bond were constantly causing problems for the Buderim defence. The movement, discipline and shape of the Noosa side gave it a stranglehold on the game. The pressure increased on the competition leaders when Bond made it 3-0.

At the start of the second half, Bond rounded the keeper and from a tight angle could only hit the side netting. Any half-time exhortations from the Buderim coach were lost as Noosa showed it wasn’t going to ease up and the Buderim keeper was being kept busy. As the game went into the last 15 minutes, a speculative cross to the far post was palmed away by Dutchy, who appeared to have been fouled, and the ball rebounded off a Noosa defender and into the net. A nervous finish for the home crowd was heightened when a Buderim forward headed home a second.

The character of the home team came through, with some tremendous defence and when substitute Dan Upton fired in a shot from the edge of the area, which the keeper could only parry, it was Bond, who followed up to show the Buderim comeback had only stirred rather than shaken the Noosa resolve. The 4-2 final score line flattered Buderim, and Noosa cashed in not just a deserved three points but also a place in the semi-final of the Johnny Warren Cup. It was a great and highly satisfying team performance.

The Reserve Grade also played well in their 1-1 draw with Ben Amson scoring for the home side. All of the junior sides had a good day with many of the teams posting big scores.