North in Grand Final, Corio within a win in the Geelong Diversity Cup
North Geelong’s three-two win over Geelong was more clear-cut than the scoreline suggests in the Geelong Diversity Cup at Elcho Park on Friday night. Corio should accompany them after a five-one defeat of Bell Park.
Geelong surprised the hosts by taking an early lead in the 5th minute via a fierce shot by Chris Balaburova, but North responded five minutes later when Michael Anderson turned in a ross from the left. Adam Milenkovski went for power rather than placement when clear in front of goal and the shot rose over the bar. Twenty minutes had gone when North took the lead after Reardo Luka’s long diagonal cross was headed home by Nick Anderson. A minute into the second half his brother Michael took advantage of a series of mistakes in the Geelong defence to prod home his second goal and North’s third. Later he had a pile driver of a shot which hit the cross bar with keeper Romeo Purlija beaten. Geelong was awarded a penalty for hand ball in the 58th minute and Jasmin Ikanovic scored emphatically, but his team could not find an equaliser in the time remaining.
David Anderson stood in as coach for North Geelong after the club parted company with Ante Sarcevic despite the latter’s good results in the Cup and his commitment to bringing on young players. Both of Anderson’s son scored but he will probably complete his tenure with a 100 per cent record after one game. Now that North is assured of a place in the Victorian Premier League the club has decided to go for a more experienced coach and almost certainly more senior players.
In the second game, Corio had little trouble in disposing of Bell Park by five goals to one. Vedran Stojanovic pounced on a loose ball and strode through a static defence to open the scoring inside 40 seconds. Five minutes later veteran Olyroo and Melbourne Knights star Adrian Cervinski swiveled in the penalty area and added a second. Bell Park had a brief revival and Julian Barbagallo fired home a spectacular effort from outside the penalty area, but Corio went straight up the other end and Stojanovic scored from close range. Cervinski added his second and Jake Pedler got the goal his play deserved as Corio coasted home. Coach Robbie Noggler is not prepared to claim the second grand final spot until it is mathematically certain, but it would take a very strange set of results in the remaining games to prevent a North Geelong versus Corio conclusion to the well-attended tournament.
Captions for featured pic
All eyes on the ball. North Geelong (in red) and Geelong players all watch a ball drop over their heads in their Diversity Cup match.