Grasshoppers get jump on Penguins in minor semi

Wind up: A Grasshopper and Pambula Penguin charge onto the ball during a frantic first half in minor semi-final play at Merimbula's Berrambool Oval.
Wind up: A Grasshopper and Pambula Penguin charge onto the ball during a frantic first half in minor semi-final play at Merimbula's Berrambool Oval.

The Merimbula Grasshoppers got the jump on the Pambula Penguins in Sunday’s FSC Football Association minor semi-final. 

The two clubs faced off in a local derby for the chance to advance in the first grade draw with the Grasshoppers securing the win 4-2. 

Teams headed out in an icy and strong-blowing southerly that was decidedly advantageous for teams looking to kick deep into the northern end of the field. 

The Penguins started with the wind at their back, but it was the Grasshoppers scrambling forward to control a large amount of possession and score the opening goal. 

Both teams showed good skills with the ball in the air, bounding headers and knee strikes around the park with the ball barely hitting the ground. 

However, some clever chips gave Merimbula the early option with the two strikers running in unison against the Pambula keeper to slot the opening goal.

The Penguins battled their way back and levelled the scores, but the Grasshoppers just proved a little too clean at capitalising on their opportunities. 

The Merimbula side outscored the visitors 4-2 to secure the win and earn a place in the preliminary final. 

The Grasshoppers will now meet the Wolumla Tigers in the preliminary final this weekend in Bega, after the Tigers went down by the same margin to the Bega Devils in the major semi at Wolumla.

Other results from the weekend included the Wolumla Tigresses winnning the ladies’ minor semi 2-0 over Tathra United (see below). 

The Pambula Penguinettes went down 3-1 in the major round to the minor premier Eden Killer Whales and will now face the Wolumla outfit for a grand final entry this weekend. 

The Bega reserves defeated the Eden Killer Whales in their game after a penalty shootout. 

The Killer Whales had kicked a goal moments before the final whistle, but it was denied on an offside call, sending the teams into a scoreless bout of extra time. 

In the major reserve grade draw, the Wolumla Tigers defeated the Merimbula Grasshoppers 4-0. 

The Hoppers will get a second chance draw in this weekend’s preliminary play against the Devils. 

Officials said conditions at the Wolumla ground for the major play was equally atrocious as the wind in Merimbula and hoped for better conditions to fall on Sunday’s round. 

Matches will be held at Bega’s George Griffin Oval. 

Senior matches start at 11.15am with Bega to meet Merimbula in reserves, ladies runs from 1pm and first grade at 2.45pm.