NPL WA: ECU Joondalup and Sorrento still in top four contention

Goal scorer Kevin Moon. Picture: Peter Simcox
Goal scorer Kevin Moon. Picture: Peter Simcox

IT has not been often that both Sorrento and ECU Joondalup have still been in National Premier Leagues WA finals contention at this stage of the year.

The Gulls have been regular contenders but the Jacks have struggled in recent seasons, in the lower half of the ladder.

Not this season however.

With four games remaining, ECU Joondalup (sixth) is just a win and goal difference outside the top four, while Sorrento (seventh) kept themselves six points in touch with fourth after a stirring 2-1 win over league leaders Inglewood United last weekend.

The Jacks could be fifth should they beat Perth Glory this Saturday, but in an intriguing scenario for local football followers, they need Sorrento to defeat fifth-placed Stirling Lions in order to achieve the leap.

It’s a victory that is not beyond the Gulls, who proved they can match it with the best in handing Inglewood just its fourth loss from 18 games this year. The visitors went 2-0 up in the first half at Inglewood Stadium then held off an onslaught from the hosts to claim their best win of the season.

With a game in hand after bad weather forced a reschedule of a match last month, coach Jamie Harnwell told nplwa.com.au his side would continue battling for a spot in the Top Four Cup.

“It is mathematically possible and with performances like today, there is no reason why we can’t,” he said.

At Grindleford Reserve, ECU Joondalup beat Balcatta 3-0 after a scoreless first half.

Coach Dale McCulloch lamented the poor first half, but told nplwa.com.au they made a few tweaks, which paid off with goals to Gordon Smith, Shane Pickering and Kevin Moon.