Gary Burton of Bell Park and Corio’s Mijo Marinovic vie for possession
Corio and Surfcoast secure play-off spots in City of Greater Geelong Cup
By Roy Hay
There was a place in the play-off for third place up for grabs when the final round-robin matches in the City of Greater Geelong Cup kicked-off at Stead Park last night
Wins to Corio and Surfcoast would ensure that both would qualify, while if either drew or lost, Geelong Rangers would cling on to a play-off berth.
Corio and Bell Park met in the early game.
Corio got the flying start it needed with a goal in the second minute.
Paul Petrevski made a good run down the right and his high cross was looped over the keeper by the unfortunate Patrick Mileto of Bell Park under challenge from Corioâ€™s Mijo Marinovic.
Corio dominated the first half and it took Bell Park ten minutes to mount a credible attack.
Corio was first to the ball and kept peppering the goal with shots from distance and close in.
It would have been all over by the interval but for some over elaboration by Corio, stout defending by Park and superb keeping by Angelo di Mauro.
The second half was much more even, though it looked as if Corio had the result sewn up when Andrew Palmieriâ€™s corner kick was headed home by Marinovic in the 57th minute.
However, Bell Park roused itself and had its best spell of the match and Eric Lawrence, who carried its main threat throughout, got on the end of a good pass from the left and thumped the ball past the Corio keeper Jovo Lobozinski.
Corio held on, not without a couple of edgy moments, to win by two goals to one.
In the late game, Geelong which had already qualified for the Grand Final on Friday took on Surfcoast.
Both teams gave several new and fringe players a run.
The first half was scoreless as Surfocast tried direct moves, while Geelongâ€™s neat interpassing game provided a clear contrast in styles.
Geelong opened the second half with a sweet move in which Oktay Yilmaz found Jye Cartledge and it took Barry Schroeter two attempts to bring the shot under control.
Hector Nunez took a corner for Surfcoast on the left in the 50th minute and Jack Peddler nipped in at the near post to put his side ahead.
Then Peddler switch flanks five minutes later and drove in a second goal from a tight angle.
Geelong hit back straight away and Cartledge fired in a long shot which got between Schroeter and his goal post.
With nine minutes left Surfcoast made the game secure when Matthew Roberts finished off another attack.
The results mean that the match for third place on Friday night will be between Corio and Surfcoast.
It kicks off at 7 pm, followed by the grand final between tournament favourite, North Geelong and host team Geelong at 8.30 pm.