Newcastle Olympic has well and truly announced their ambitions for the Women’s Premier League title. Jemma House struck three times in seven minutes as the home side put six past former leaders Adamstown at Darling Street Oval to move into clear first place.
Veteran defender Stacey Day was the first to strike for the home side, heading home a goal from a corner. It was the only goal Rosebuds shot-stopper Olivia Sneddon would concede; the Adamstown keeper was stretchered from the field (ankle) soon after.
Georgia Amess doubled Olympic’s lead in the 30th minute, before number nine Jemma House stamped her authority on the game. Newcastle’s offseason acquisition — who spent the past half-decade playing in the States — struck three times in just seven minutes. Adamstown was soon five behind, after trailing just 2–0 in the 55th minute.
“Jemma is the kind of player that can create changes where they don’t even really exist, she’s unstoppable. Two of the goals she just hassled them down, got the ball back from the front third,” Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill told the Chronicle.
“I can’t ask for much more from my number nine. She either created her own players, or she came back and worked with the midfield to get it up the pitch. Like I said, some stars had to step up, and Jemma did that in a big way for us.”
Laura Hall, who put in a major helping hand for House’s hat-trick, added her own at the end of the match to seal the deal for Olympic. The 6–0 victory pushed Newcastle into the top spot, and Atwill breathed a sigh of relief; she had been eyeing the Buds as a potential banana peel for her flying Olympic side, she admitted.
“Adamstown are a good little side, young, but they can be dangerous so we knew that we had a big challenge on our hands,” Atwill said. “We had a gameplan for them. Maybe the scoreline wasn’t as telling as the performance of Adamstown, but on the day we had some quality players in our team that needed to step up, and they did.”
Atwill added Newcastle Olympic was “wary” of the bite Adamstown could come back with next time the two sides face. She even tipped them to be “right up there at the end,” despite the fact the top side is stacked with young faces in the 2020 season.
The job is far from done for Newcastle, however. Atwill knows as much; it’s just four rounds in, with ten to go. The ladies in blue will be “on their guard” as they head into the next fortnight of challenges: Thornton and Broadmeadow. Jemma House is on-song, but their opponents — Magic especially — have had good showings so far too.
“We have no idea what to expect with Magic, and as well with the Redbacks next week,” Atwill said. “The team just has to approach both games with the gameplan in mind. As long as we all do our jobs, and execute, we should be on the right track.”
Right behind the Premier League’s new leaders sit regular contenders and undefeated outfit Merewether, who edged Broadmeadow in an epic seven-goal shootout at Arthur Edden Oval in the wet on Friday evening in Round 4.
United got off to a two-goal lead through Jamee Ellis and Katy Gray, before Lucy Jerram pipped one back for Magic. Merewether was able to hold onto the lead, however, with Ellie Butler and Tamara Nash chipping in as well. In the end, they bagged a 4–3 win. Adriana Jones scored two for Broadmeadow, but it wasn’t enough.
Elsewhere on the weekend, Mid Coast scored their second straight win with a 3–nil victory over champs New Lambton. Jess James notched a double for the northern squad. Finally, Warners Bay moved fourth with a 3–1 win in Thornton.
STANDINGS: Newcastle (9), Merewether (8), Adamstown (7), Warners Bay, Mid Coast (6), Broadmeadow (3), New Lambton (1), Thornton (0).