In a thrill for young Albany Junior Soccer Association players, a number of teams got to play on Centennial Stadium in the lead-up to two National Premier League WA fixtures on Saturday.
Albany-Bayswater and Stirling Rangers faced off in the under-15s competition and were the final junior game before their NPL heroes took to the pitch.
Albany-Bayswater played an impressive style as they created a host of opportunities against Stirling Rangers and cruised to a 5-0 win.
Great Southern Grammar and Polonia also played on the big stage in the under-14s, Polonia winning 19-0, while there were eight under-7 fixtures earlier in the day.
Albany-Bayswater fancied their chances against Stirling Rangers in round four of the AJSA under-18s competition.
The earlier than normal starting time meant Stirling Rangers weren’t able to start with their full team and Albany-Bayswater came out of the traps at a frightening pace as Stirling Rangers initially had to play a very defensive formation to soak up immense pressure.
Albany-Bayswater pushed one too many players forward in an attempt to get ahead in the match which allowed Kyle Taylor to pounce on a cleared ball and put Stirling Rangers 1-0 up against the run of play in the 17th minute.
Midway through the first half, Albany-Bayswater still applied the pressure with the extra player and took advantage scoring an equaliser in the 27th minute through Tony Niyongabo.
With five minutes left in the first half Stirling Rangers were now at full strength, Chad Myors scoring on the half hour mark and Flynn Sheehy then put Rangers two goals up on the stroke of half.
Shortly after the break a free kick was awarded to Stirling Rangers a long way from goal and with the wind assisting, Connor Mosley slotted the ball in the top right corner to score his first before he got his second 10 minutes later latching on to a beautiful pass that split the Albany-Bayswater defence.
Taylor netted his second goal after tapping the ball in from close range to put the tie beyond doubt.
There was time for Albany-Bayswater to grab a late consolation goal but Stirling Rangers finished 7-2 winners.
Denmark proved too strong for John Calvin in the other 18s match with Kai Thrupp-Probst netting a hat-trick on his side’s way to a dominant 7-1 win.
In the under-12s, Grammar Blue beat Yakamia 3-1 and Bethel Blaze were too strong for Mt Lockyer 6-0.
Albany Primary crushed Bethel Glory 8-2. John Calvin beat Mt Barker 5-0 and Grammar Red defeated St Joseph’s 7-0.