Frenchville’s Mekwan Chatmankon tries a snap shot but is unable to get enough on the ball to score on this occasion during Saturday’s preliminary final at Ryan Park.
Frenchville’s Mekwan Chatmankon tries a snap shot but is unable to get enough on the ball to score on this occasion during Saturday’s preliminary final at Ryan Park. Allan Reinikka

Frenchville falters in final

WHILE the permanent home of the Wesley Hall Cup is at the Frenchville Sports Club, the hosts chances of having its name on the trophy for 2011 were killed off on Saturday night.

Frenchville had the advantage of playing the preliminary final against Centrals on its own Ryan Park pitch, but still could not score the goals that would have seen the team advance to the grand final against Clinton next week.

In short Frenchville was its own worst enemy, failing to score from a far superior number of chances created and giving away two sloppy goals.

True the visitors goals were both well taken, but even Frenchville coach John Ganly was left wondering what his defence was thinking.

The teams went in at the break with the match still scoreless after Patrick Grice was guilty of missing two opportunities to give the "green machine" an advantage.

Adding insult to injury Centrals' opener came immediately after Frenchville had spurned another clear-cut opportunity from a close-range header.

The goal-kick was powered over the half-way line and should have been swallowed up by the home team's back four.

Inexplicably, instead of returning the ball up-field, it was allowed to run and only frantic defence saw the ball bundled out for a corner.

From the kick Frenchville was made to pay dearly as Dylan Clark was allowed a free header to make it 1-0.

The lead did not last long as Centrals were caught out in the heart of their defence.

The visitors had shown an ability to get plenty of players behind the ball but young Alex Wise saw a chance to take on an isolated opposition centre back, weaving his way through and slipping the ball wide of keeper David Longden.

However, the chance looked to be drifting wide until Mekwan Chatmankon bundled it home.

Lawrence Mokgwaithe joined the list of players who should have scored for Frenchville and with Jordan Miller dismantling the Centrals defence on one flank it seemed a winner must arrive.

Unfortunately it came at the other end of the park when Jordan Donald received a ball about 25 metres from goal.

Donald's shot was glorious and found the top corner of the net but the amount of time he was allowed to line up his effort has to be questioned.



Frenchville coach John Ganly

"We created enough opportunities but couldn't take them," he said.

Ganly was critical of his players, especially in the first half, for not lifting the tempo of the game to upset the Centrals game plan. He described the defensive lapses as "extremely disappointing" especially after gifting goals to Clinton the previous week.

"We didn't play badly, it is just that our execution could have been a little better," he said. "They didn't really offer anything in attack."

Having Paul Jackson restricted to bit roles has been a concern for Ganly as he was the player who had taken the role Clayton Rowland played the previous season.

Ganly picked Alex Wise as his best on park.

"He has been fantastic this year, he has a great heart and never stopped trying," Ganly said.



Centrals coach Aaron Jeffery

Jeffery admitted his team has played far better during the season.

"It was one of our slacker games, we gave possession away far too easily," he said.

Jeffery said the key to success this year for Centrals has been the players work ethic.

"They will work for each other, 90% of the players have been together since they were juniors," he said.

Centrals preparation for the game had been disrupted with the loss of defender Michael Heymer through injury late in the week.

"It was a massive blow, we had to play our holding midfielder Liam Kirk in defence," he said.

Centrals now play Clinton in Gladstone next week although it is still uncertain whether the game will be at Clinton Park or the ground of Gladstone Wolves.