2024 HMRI Charity Shield Review: The Magpies soar to victory, while Magic's men finally settle the score

NPL Women’s NNSW: 
Broadmeadow Magic FC 2-4 Maitland FC 

Maitland FC were crowned the inaugural women’s HMRI Charity Shield champions after defeating Broadmeadow Magic 4-2 on Friday night. 

Both sides came out of the gates strong, with the first piece of silverware on the line for 2024. 

Maitland’s co-captain Sophie Stapleford was ruled out due to illness but that didn’t hinder her side’s performance as they looked disciplined and cohesive across the park.

The Magpies new signings shone bright with Georgia Amess causing havoc for Magic’s defence and Paige Kingston-Hogg standing strong in midfield. 

Despite holding control in the opening minutes Magic did what they did best in the 2023 season and caught Maitland on the counterattack in the fourth minute. Chelsea Lucas steamed down the right side of the pitch, beating defender Alesha Clifford, chipping the ball from outside the box over the Magpies’ Annabella Thornton’s head and into the back of the net. 

But Maitland was able to respond only minutes later with an impressive team goal. Co-captain Tahlia Gossner delivered a perfectly placed ball over the top of the from the backline to Georgia Amess who went charging down the sideline to cross the ball into Bronte Peel who was able to tap the ball past Stella Morgan’s grasp and into the goal. 

The roles reversed when the Magpies struck again in the 26th minute after Amess got on the end of a free kick assisted by Peel to put her side in the lead. Madeline Howard struck a well-placed ball onto the head of Peel who flicked it onto Amess to knock the ball into the back of the net. 

Magic struggled to change the momentum in their favour coming out in the second half, with Adriana Konjarski starved of service from her teammates. 

Despite fatigue setting in for both sides, it was the Magpies who were able to take full advantage of tired Magic legs in the 72nd minute to extend their lead. Madi Gallegos went down with a leg cramp but play continued with the Magpies seizing the opportunity of one less defender with Peel charging down the sideline to cross the ball across to Amess who was wide open to tap it into the goal. 

But Magic snuck back into the game in the 86th minute with Konjarski heading the ball into the back of the net after captain Kalista Hunter nodded the ball in her direction off a corner kick. 

This sparked the game back to life as tired legs became hungry for the final minutes of play. 

But Maitland was able to put the nail in the coffin through the contribution of Amess yet again in the 92nd minute. The attacker dashed down the line and crossed the ball into Damikah Barwick-Taylor who took a few touches to beat her defender and sliced the ball past Morgan to secure the shield for her side. 

Maitland’s coach Keelan Hamiton was happy with the performance from his side and happy to be taking home the HMRI Charity Shield. 

“It was a good hit out for us. It’s obviously nice to get a positive result,” Hamilton said. 

“I was good for the girls to get that winning feeling.

“I think winning they say becomes a habit so it’s nice to get the first one away and helps build confidence.”

Keelan was pleased to see the success his new players and combinations were having across the park. 

“We’ve had a few changes but I think it’s actually freshened the group up and has given us some new life,” Hamilton said. 

I thought Georgia was really good tonight and I thought Bronte’s build-up and combination play with her teammates was outstanding.” 

Despite the result, new head coach Nima Nikfarjam was still impressed with the efforts put in by his new-look side but says they were undone by match fitness. 

“We created some chances and we knocked the ball around nicely,” Nikfarjam said.

“I think by the end we ran out of legs.

“We just need to take out chances when we have them and have a bit more patience when we have the ball.” 

Nikfarjam believes that it will still take time for the squad to get used to the new personnel and the new style of play he has introduced. 

“It takes time to adjust to a new style of play, you can’t change that overnight, especially after half the squad has left,” Nikfarjam said.

“I can’t fault their efforts tonight, Maitland were just the better team on the night.”  

Lambton Jaffas FC 1-3 Broadmeadow Magic FC 

Broadmeadow Magic were able to get their revenge after defeating Lambton Jaffas 3-1 to take home the 2024 men’s HMRI Charity Shield. 

After not being able to pick up a point from the Jaffas throughout their 2023 season, the young, energised Magic men were able to shock the premier-champions and take home the shield to start their new campaign. 

Broadmeadow set the tone of the match in the first minute through Bailey Wells, who struck in the 45th second to open the scoring for his side. Jarred Baker delivered a perfectly placed ball to Wells, who did what he does best and struck the ball low and hard from outside the penalty area into the back of the net. 

Magic continued to show their hunger for the ball, pressing every ball and making it difficult for the Jaffas to break through. 

Baker continued to be a threat for Magic, picking up his second assist of the night in the 43rd minute by running through the middle of the park and chipping the ball over to Alexander Rose to finish the job. Rose was able to beat two defenders and Kennedy, who came roaring out off his line to slice the ball into the goal. 

Jaffas continued to create opportunities but was unable to capitalise in the first half, with chances from Riley McNaughton, Benjamin Hay and Nikolai Topor-Stanley. 

Magic continued where they left off, bursting out of the sheds in the second half. 

But one of Jaffas' new signings Jimmy Oats continued to impress, standing tall for his side and keeping them in the game.

The momentum began to sway as the Jaffas clawed one back in the 51st minute through Kale Bradbery. Samuel Webb was able to weave through Magic’s defence to lob the ball over to Bradbery who chipped it over goalkeeper Lewis Alverez and into the goal. 

Kennedy proved his form for the Jaffas, making two strong saves in the 78th and 89th minute to deny Magic from increasing their lead. 

But there was little Lambton’s goalkeeper could do when substitute Angus McLeod sliced one past him in a crowded box and into the back of the net in the 92nd to seal the shield for Magic’s young side. 

Magic’s new head coach Jim Cresnar was pleased for his side to get a long-awaited win over the Jaffas. 

“It’s good times and I’m very excited by the result,” Cresnar said. 

“It’s been a long time since we have gotten an outcome from Lambton so it’s very very pleasing.” 

Cresnar was thrilled by the overall performance his young side displayed to get the result. 

“Very impressed with the attitude, the hunger, the drive and the ability to continue to win the ball,” Cresnar said. 

“It’s a really exciting time for Magic right now.”

The Jaffas coach David Tanchevski was not put off by what his side showcased, taking a lot of positives from the match after a short preseason and injuries affecting key players. 

“I was pretty happy with how we played, I thought we had a lot more possession and had a lot more chances than what Magic had,” Tanchevski said. 

“We’ve only had three preseason games and I think Magic has had double what we have. Fitness wise we are still building into the season.

“We still have a few boys to come back into the squad still.” 

Jaffas' gaffer was happy with the impact made by his new signings including defender Jimmy Oates and hopes the squad can continue to build into the season. 

“I was pretty happy with the new boys with how they integrated in and we still have a few to come,” Tanchevski said. 

“We are looking forward to kick-starting the season.”