NPL titles decided in the West as league season ends in style

It was the final round of league matches for Football West teams on the weekend and, as ever, there was no shortage of drama.

In the NPLWA Men’s competition, the league title went to ECU Joondalup who had started the day in second place, two points behind Floreat Athena.

ECU, coached by former Perth Glory man Kenny Lowe, had to beat Sorrento and for Athena to drop points at home to Cockburn City to ensure the trophy headed north. 

The Jacks had no trouble doing their bit, the 4-0 scoreline including a double for striker Danny Hodgson which clinched him the Golden Boot as the league’s top scorer.

Yet at one stage it did not look like that would be enough, with Floreat also in front thanks to skipper Dean Evans’ strike.

By then Athena had been reduced to 10 men and in the end being one player down caught up with them. With under 10 minutes remaining Julian Teles scrambled in an equaliser, then in stoppage time Jesse Lazzaro brought the planned Floreat party crashing down with the Cockburn winner.

ECU Joondalup

The first NPLWA Women’s champions are Murdoch University Melville, who rounded off a memorable campaign with a goal-of-the-season contender for this or any other year, scored by Golden Boot winner Katarina Jukic.

MUM FC had guaranteed themselves the title the previous week but looked to be signing off on a defeat after Fremantle skipper Mikayla Lyons converted a first-half penalty.

But with time running out, Jukic produced an outrageous ‘rabona’ on the edge of the Fremantle area which chipped keeper Dayle Schroeder before dropping in just under the crossbar. The video of the goal went viral, with fans across Australia and even around the world keen to share Jukic’s piece of magic.

The Men’s State League Division One title was won by Olympic Kingsway, while Carramar Shamrock Rovers lifted the Men’s State League Division Two trophy.

All attention now turns to the end-of-season cups, with Perth SC’s Dorrien Gardens to host 11 finals across Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 9-11).