Written by Roy Hay.
Round 22 Southern Division Saturday 14 March 1998 Albury Wodonga 1 South Melbourne 2 (John Ritchie) (Tasso Tragakis, Evan Papadopoulos) Sunday 15 March 1998 Heidelberg United 6 Altona Magic 0 (Nick Papoutsis 3, Ersan Yasan, Tony Ouliaris, Peter Natsis) Melbourne Knights 2 V I S 1 (own goal, John Kalabric) (Fabian Lettieri) Bentleigh Greens 1 Carlton 3 (Con Papettas) (Adam Pongho, own goal, Robert Trajkovski) Bulleen Inter v Bye Bye v South Melbourne Rockets Gippsland Falcons v Bye Northern Division Friday 13 March 1998 UTS Olympic 2 Marconi Fairfield Colts 1 (Angelo Petratos, Kimon Taliadoros) (Leigh Gunn) Newcastle Breakers 3 AIS 2 (Peter Juchniewicz, Gavin Vitullo, (Kevork Gulesserian, Chris David Hodgson) Tanchevski) Saturday 14 March 1998 Marconi Fairfield 4 Sydney United 1 (Joe Bruni 2, Fernando Pellegrino, (Nick Bosevski) Luke Tomich) N S W I S 1 Wollongong City 5 (Dylan McAllister) (Ray Younis, Kane Maccabei, Paul Reid, Victor Costabile, Sebastian Sinozic) Sydney United Colts 1 Q A S 2 (Marin Galic) (Gareth Dorey, Gary Phillips) Monday 16 March 1998 A C T A S v UTS Olympic Colts League ladders Southern Divsion Team P W D L F A Pts Melbourne Knights 18 16 0 2 77 20 48 Carlton 17 15 0 2 37 10 45 Gippsland Falcons 17 12 2 3 42 17 38 V I S 16 8 3 5 37 19 27 Bulleen Inter 16 8 2 6 26 21 26 Bentleigh Greens 18 7 2 9 26 33 23 Heidelberg United 17 6 2 9 25 40 20 Albury Wodonga 18 5 1 12 26 32 16 South Melbourne 17 4 3 10 32 30 15 Altona Magic 17 3 2 12 19 66 11 South Melbourne Rockets 17 1 1 15 13 72 4 Northern Divsion A I S 19 13 2 4 67 19 41 Wollongong City 20 11 4 5 43 36 37 UTS Olympic 18 10 4 4 55 27 34 Q A S 19 9 4 6 40 24 31 Sydney United 18 8 6 4 50 33 30 Marconi Fairfield 19 9 2 8 38 36 29 Newcastle Breakers 18 7 5 6 39 34 26 Marconi Fairfield Colts 19 7 3 9 30 43 24 A C T A S 18 5 5 8 23 49 20 Sydney United Colts 18 4 3 11 23 50 15 UTS Olympic Colts 18 3 3 12 27 62 12 N S W I S 18 2 5 11 21 43 11 Leading goalscorers Southern Division Name Team Goals Adis Kablar Melbourne Knights 14 John Kalabric Melbourne Knights 13 Zoran Petrevski VIS 12 Jovanco Novacevski Carlton 10 Luke Cheney Gippsland Falcons 9 Northern Division Name Team Goals Mile Sterjovski AIS/Sydney United 25 Mark Hagger Marconi Fairfield Colts 20 Joe Bruni Marconi Fairfield 13 Chris Tanchevski Newcastle Breakers/AIS 11 Azur Mujanovic Sydney United 10 Jim Bakis UTS Olympic 10 Nick Carle UTS Olympic 10 National Youth League (Southern Division), 13-16 March 1998 by Roy Hay League leader Melbourne Knights and the Victorian Institute of Sport played a high quality match at Knights Stadium, with excitement, controversy and plenty of skill from both teams before the Knights got home by two goals to one. Mijo Trupkovic came closest to scoring for the Knights in the first half, but was denied by some brilliant stops by Martin John in the VIS goal. Damon Collina had the ball in the net for the Knights but this was chalked off for offside. Trupkovic was substituted to sit on the bench for the seniors, and Steve Vugdelja took his place. In 63 minutes the Knights went ahead with a controversial goal. Martin John went up for a high cross under challenge but when he came down the ball squirmed from his grasp and, in the opinion of the assistant referee, crossed the line before John hauled it back. In 72 minutes Mario Jurjevic pounded a free kick against the VIS crossbar and when the ball rebounded John Kalabric poked it into the net. Straight from the kick off the VIS ran downfield and Fab Lettieri coolly beat his man and slotted the ball past Andrew Belaich. Substitute Bill Petrovski then tried to squeeze a shot under Belaich and Joey di Iorio had the ball in the net for what he thought was the equaliser only to be denied by yet another offside flag. A last minute goal by Even Papadopoulos enabled South Melbourne to claim a victory over Albury Wodonga by two goals to one in a match played at Myrtleford on Saturday. John Ritchie put Albury Wodonga on the board after 50 minutes and Tasso Tragakis equalised for South Melbourne. Ben Menzies in midfield and defender Neil Waddington held sway for Albury Wodonga and Robert Liparotti stood out for the Blues. =20 Just when it seemed the match must end in a draw Papadopoulos broke through for the winner. Carlton kept up its chase of the Knights with a three-one win over Bentleigh GreensAdam Pongho opened for Carlton in 41 minutes but Con Papettas equalised three minutes later. An own goal on the stroke of half-time gave Carlton the advantage and Robert Trajkovski scored five minutes into the second half to make certain of victory. Heidelberg United had a six-nil win over Altona Magic, largely thanks to a Nick Papoutsis hat-trick in 40, 65 and 86 minutes. Ersan Yasan put the Bergers on the board in 35 minutes and Tony Ouliaris and Peter Natsis added the other goals in 59 and 70 minutes respectively. National Youth League (Northern Division), 13-6 March 1998 League leader AIS was beaten by three goals to two by Newcastle Breakers at Topper Stadium on Friday. The Breakers led by a Peter Juchniewicz goal after 8 minutes though Kevork Gulesserian equalised in 25 minutes. In the second half, Gavin Vitullo scored his first of the season for the Breakers in 65 minutes only for the prolific Chris Tanchevski to reply for the AIS in 83, Tanchevski scoring against the club from which he came to the Institute. David Hodgson bobbed up with the winner for the Breakers in 84 minutes. UTS Olympic had a narrow two-one win over Marconi Fairfield Colts. =20 Angelo Petratos and Kimon Taliadoros scored for Olympic and Leigh Gunn for the Colts. Marconi Fairfield had no trouble in beating Sydney United by four goals to one at Marconi Stadium on Saturday. Joe Bruni scored the first two goals in 16 and 29 minutes taking his total for the season to thirtteen and Fernando Pellegrino completed the scoring in the first half in 43 minutes. Nick Bosevski was on target for United in 67 minutes, but Luke Tomich restored Marconi's three goal advantage in 74 minutes.. Wollongong City downed the New South Wales Institute of Sport by five goals to one, and the goals were shared around six players. Dylan McAllister scored for the home side, and Ray Younis, Kane Maccabei, Paul Reid, Victor Costabile and Sebastian Sinozic, making a welcome return to Australian action, for the Wolves. The Queensland Academy of Sport just managed to beat Sydney United Colts by two goals to one at the Sydney United Sports Centre. Gareth Dorey got a goal for Queensland but the Colts equalised through Marin Galic and it was very late in the game when coach Gary Phillips notched the winner. He had to take part because so many of his regulars had been called up by Frank Farina for the seniors. 'You haven't lost your touch?', I queried. 'You can't lose what you never had', the modest coach replied.