Keeper Si­mons stars as NPL ti­tle hope­fuls Bris­bane held to 0- 0 draw Fury shock Olympic

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON michael. thomp­son@ news. com. au

THE North­ern Fury have pro­duced per­haps the gut­si­est ef­fort of their sea­son to se­cure a 0- 0 draw with NPL ti­tle hope­fuls Bris­bane Olympic in Ayr.

A su­perb in­di­vid­ual game from Fury goal­keeper Joseph Si­mons de­nied Olympic on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, and helped achieve what Fury coach Paul Ron­cato called one of their most ad­mirable 90 min­utes of football.

Play­ing in front of a bumper crowd at Ayr’s In­ter­na­tional Park, the Fury al­most snatched a win when Hamish Cas­sidy was pre­sented with a late scor­ing op­por­tu­nity, only for the shot to be dragged wide.

The re­sult could still in­flu­ence the up­com­ing fi­nals, which the Fury won’t play, with Olympic now in dan­ger of drop­ping out of the top four.

Satur­day’s draw comes a week af­ter the Fury ham­mered Bris­bane Roar Youth 5- 1 away from home.

“We had to play out of our skins to com­pete, and it was a mag­nif­i­cent team ef­fort,” Ron­cato said.

“Joey Si­mons was prob­a­bly our man of the match in be­tween the posts, he was out­stand­ing.

“There were mo­ments you could swear Olympic would cer­tainly score, but Joey was al­ways there.

“But we had our chances to win the game as well and even though we didn’t get the win we caused a big up­set for them.

“It’s made their run to the fi­nals a lot harder, and if they lose next week­end and we win, they will prob­a­bly miss fi­nals al­to­gether.”

The Fury’s pur­ple patch comes af­ter their 5- 1 losses to the Bris­bane Strik­ers and Western Pride. They fin­ish the sea­son this week­end with the NPL’s tough­est as­sign­ment, win­ning away against the Pride.

The Pride have won their past seven games and thumped the Fury 5- 1 when the teams last met in Round 11.

“I think they’ll win the com­pe­ti­tion, with­out a doubt,” Ron­cato.

“They’re on fire and even if we had our full- strength team it would be tough to beat them.

“They’re just putting teams away, but that’s the chal­lenge ahead of us and we’re build­ing up a lot of con­fi­dence.

“We lost a hand­ful of big NPL play­ers through­out the year like Jono Ba­gley, Nick Dal­ton and Reid Murray, so to still com­pete against a side like Olympic shows how far this side has come.”

Ron­cato, him­self an Ayr res­i­dent, said the Fury would aim to hold more games at re­gional venues over the next few sea­sons.

“The hos­pi­tal­ity we re­ceived from the lo­cals and the Bur­dekin Pan­thers was sec­ond to none,” he said.

“The play­ers loved play­ing in front of such a big crowd and good at­mos­phere.

“I hope we play more games here in the fu­ture.”

Fury coach Paul Ron­cato.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.