first_imgThe Mens and Womens Open division picked up in excitement today, as day two of the 2004 NSW State Cup saw teams struggling for those finals positions. With several key matches being played in both the Mens and Womens competition and the sky semi-blue, it was sure to be a great day. With matches such as Canterbury and Easts in the Womens, a Sydney Championships Grand Final rematch, with the latest Smith medal winner Louise Winchester having a brilliant tournament. The Mens competition was also building as Penrith met Parramatta early in the morning, while Wests faced Cronulla and Lismore today, both drawing big crowds. Like Wests weren’t already strong enough the addition of the fast stepping Benji Marshall is sure to please the opposition. MENS OPEN RESULTS: Round four in the Mens competition was a story of two pools. Pool one’s matches were all lopsided; the expected close match between Cronulla and Western Suburbs was entertaining. While it wasn’t close, the skill of Wests with players like Drummayne Dayberg-Muir, Daniel Rushworth and that guy called Benji Marshall, certainly entertained the crowd. Lismore put in another strong performance and their match against Wests in round five is sure to be an indicator for the finals series. Pool two saw a couple of close matches with Penrith’s 5-4 win over Parramatta a great match to watch. The attack of Penrith, especially through their young players, was brilliant. However, Parramatta is still one to keep an eye on, as they didn’t make the most of their opportunities and it was their first match with a full team. The arrival of another Australian Mens Open player in Matt Curran strengthens their team even further. Eastern Suburbs also survived a scare over Manly Warringah, who are proving they can come close to taking down the more fancied sides when it matters. Round 4 results: Pool 1: Western Suburbs (7) def Cronulla (1) Lismore (13) def Newcastle City (1) Wallsend (9) def Bowral (0) Pool 2: Penrith (5) def Parramatta (4) Eastern Suburbs (7) def Manly Warringah (6) Nelson Bay (5) def Port Macquarie (0) Hornsby (7) def UNSW (1) The largest crowd to date headed to field five for the highly anticipated match between Wests and Lismore in the Mens Open division expecting a close and tough match. Wests Coach Tony Trad had signaled before the tournament that he expected Lismore to be amongst their toughest competition. Both sides came out fired up and it took no time at all for the fun and games to begin. Lismore certainly dished out as good as they got and the 6-2 scoreline at the finish was not indicative of how tight the match was. Watch for a potential rematch in the finals. Canterbury also seem to be running into their best form, a 13-0 whitewash of Bowral who seem to be having a better time off the field than on. Parramatta and Easts both had tough matches against UNSW and Hornsby respectively, giving them good hitouts leading into the finals. Round 5 results: Pool 1: Wallsend (11) def Newcastle City (1) Western Suburbs (6) def Lismore (2) Canterbury (13) def Bowral (0) Pool 2: Eastern Suburbs (5) def Hornsby (2) Manly Warringah (10) def Nelson Bay (0) Penrith (12) def Port Macquarie (0) Parramatta (9) def UNSW (6) Round six went as many would have predicted, wins to Canterbury, Lismore and Western Suburbs in pool one, while Eastern Suburbs, Parramatta and UNSW recorded wins in pool two. The one surprising result however, was the 4-4 draw between Manly Warringah and Penrith, which throws Manly’s hat in the ring for a quarter finals position. Round 6 results: Pool 1: Canterbury (15) def Newcastle City (1) Lismore (5) def Cronulla (3) Western Suburbs (9) def Wallsend (2) Pool 2: Penrith (4) drew Manly Warringah (4) Eastern Suburbs (10) def Nelson Bay (2) Parrammatta (4) def Hornsby (2) UNSW (7) def Port Macquarie (3) Round seven saw some highly anticipated matches, particularly Easts and Parramatta in pool two and Wests and Canterbury in pool one. A good crowd had built up around field one for the Easts and Parramatta match, which unfortunately didn’t provide the excitement all were expecting. Parramatta dominated the match, putting in one of their best performances, all is looking good for them come tomorrow’s finals. The win gave them first position in pool two based on for and against. Manly Warringah scraped into the top four in their pool with a 5-4 win over UNSW. Despite being the last qualifier, they look like they have the potential to knock off a more fancied opponent if they play at their best. Western Suburbs survived a scare against Canterbury, a narrow 4-5 win showing the Mens Open competition that heading into the quarter finals tomorrow Wests are most definitely not unbeatable. The finals tomorrow are guaranteed to provide some serious quality Touch action. Round 7 results: Pool 1: Cronulla (6) def Wallsend (5) Newcastle City (14) def Bowral (1) Western Suburbs (4) def Canterbury (3) Pool 2: Parramatta (5) def Eastern Suburbs (2) Hornsby (14) def Port Macquarie (0) Penrith (10) def Nelson Bay (1) Manly Warringah (5) def UNSW (4) All finals schedules and results will be on the finals story found on the ATA homepage. WOMENS OPEN RESULTS: The Womens Open competition started slowly on day two, some low scoring matches and a close one between Albion Park and Canterbury. Led by Rachel Holden the Albion Park girls went down by one yesterday to reigning Sydney Champions Easts and faced off against the in-form Canterbury girls, putting down several good balls that were potentially the difference between a 4-2 loss and a draw or even win. Albion Park are showing that if they perform at their best come finals, they may just be more than a chance for that grand final appearance. Round 5 results: Canterbury (4) def Albion Park (2) Eastern Suburbs (4) def Westmead (0) Western Suburbs (4) def Newcastle Uni (2) Cronulla (3) def Central Coast (1) Led by Bo De Lacruz the Western Suburbs girls put another nail in the Cronulla coffin, with the defending Champions now having lost to Wests, Easts and Canterbury and have yet to play Albion Park. Cronulla will face Albion Park in round nine Sunday morning, which could well be the match that decides who is the fourth side to qualify for the finals. Round six also saw the match of the tournament in the Womens Open division…a Sydney Championships grand final replay. While the match was a traditional Easts v Canterbury clash, with a bit of spite and a lot of passion, it looked as if Canterbury were about to take the edge into the finals series, up 1-0 with literally no time on the clock. However, a diving Easts touchdown as the siren sounded left the game in a 1-1 draw. A beautiful set up for the finals series! Round 6 results: Canterbury (1) drew Eastern Suburbs (1) Wallsend (7) def Westmead (3) Western Suburbs (3) def Cronulla (1) Albion Park (3) def Central Coast (2) With only rounds seven to nine in the Womens Open competition remaining and with six teams fighting for four semi final positions, every match became crucial in the finals race. A struggling Cronulla recorded a narrow 2-1 win over Newcastle Uni to keep themselves in the hunt, only to see Albion Park and Western Suburbs, their competition for finals positions behind Easts and Canterbury, record a draw. With Albion Park and Wests recording that draw and therefore scoring more points than a loss for one of those sides, the job of defending their 2003State Cup title is made even harder. Easts and Canterbury both recorded easy wins in round seven after their tight draw in round six. Round 7 results: Western Suburbs (5) drew Albion Park (5) Cronulla (2) def Newcastle Uni (1) Canterbury (7) def Wallsend (0) Eastern Suburbs (8) def Central Coast (1) Round eight brought the second day of Cup competition in the Womens Open to a finish and with only round nine to be played tomorrow morning, an unexpected result such as Newcastle Uni’s 4-1 win over Albion Park, certainly throws a spanner into the finals works. Canterbury and Easts guaranteed their spot in the semis, while Wests, Albion Park, Cronulla and Newcastle Uni are fighting out the remaining two positions. The round nine match between Albion Park and Cronulla will determine who qualifies for the semis between those two sides, while for Newcastle an upset over Easts could see them sneak through to the finals and Wests will want a win to finish as high as possible. For the Central Coast it was oh so close yet again as they went down to Wallsend by one, and along with Westmead, are yet to record a win. Their round nine meeting tomorrow could be the only win for one of those sides. Round nine in the Womens Open tomorrow morning will certainly be action packed! Round 8 results: Canterbury (5) def Westmead (0) Newcastle Uni (4) def Albion Park (1) Eastern Suburbs (3) def Western Suburbs (1) Wallsend (4) def Central Coast (3) Round 9 (Sunday morning): Albion Park v Cronulla Westmead v Central Coast Western Suburbs v Wallsend Eastern Suburbs v Newcastle Uni All finals schedule and results will be on the ATA homepage. By Rachel Moyle,

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