The race between the top four continued to hot up in another furious round of action in State League Women's where the goals seemed to come in three's.
Match of the Round: APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 defeated UNSW Lions 0
A bruised and battered APIA Leichhardt side gave themselves a three point cushion on their competition with a thorough 3-nil victory this afternoon at David Phillips Field.
In a match between first and second coming into the weekend it started with a high intensity as both teams looked to dominate early doors.
It would be the visitors APIA Leichhardt who would have the first chance as a nice sweeping movement almost unlocked the Lions defense but it was scrambled away for a corner.
Georgia Goulding tested Courtney Halpin in the APIA goal early with an ambitious shot. The shotstopper would provide several key stops in the contest.
Christina Ferreyra linked up well with Filiz Urkanci in the 18th minute to screw a shot across the face of goal as a warning shot for the Lions.
Halpin came up big just after the half hour mark after substitute Emily Fardell intercepted a ball and found Mayliss Caillon who's shot was swallowed by Halpin.
Her effort was repaid six minutes later as APIA earnt themselves another corner and in the ensuing scramble Captain Lucy Gilfedder snuck the ball home for a 1-nil lead.
UNSW Lions had a huge chance to equalise just before the break after a Claudia Bruno run surged past several defenders and sent Emily Hewson on goal. Once again though, Halpin produced a huge save to keep it 1-nil at the break.
Ten minutes after the restart APIA doubled their lead when Dana Buttigieg put a lovely ball over the defense for Gilfedder to run onto and slot home for 2-nil.
The home side were stung but continued to push forward in the hopes of mounting a comeback but it seemed like they would find a way past Halpin.
Ferreyra put the icing on the result just after the hour mark. Once again a corner created carnage around the box and the equal top scorer in State League Women's found the net.
As the clock ticked down, UNSW tried to find themselves a consolation goal as Fardell rattled the crossbar but APIA were determined to maintain the clean sheet.
This was never clearer when Erin Clout put her body on the line to deny a late goal and keep a vital cleansheet in the race for the premiership.
Afterwards APIA Leichhardt Tigers coach Matteo Maiorana was glad to get the three points in a testing week.
"It was a difficult game and UNSW Lions are a tough team in the same position as us. This result was big for us but it is still too close to call [for the championship]"
On Gilfedder's double. "She shouldn't have played today but laced on the boots to be our engine in the midfield and was rewarded with two goals." Finished Maiorana.
For UNSW Lions coach Renato Jelen it was disappointing that his side were never in it.
"We were never in the game this afternoon and were always chasing APIA. We never stuck to our game plan of holding the ball and tiring out the defense as we sat too deep.
It's hard as we are fighting for both the premiership and the club championship against Gladesville so this loss made it hard for us." Added Jelen.
UNSW Lions 0
BRUNO Claudia, AMBERG Amanda, HEWSON Emily, GOUDLING Georgia, ORR Helen, KAVA Lauren Clare, CAILLON Mayliss(CHRISTOPHER '59), SKEOCH Kelsey(AIZEN '73), WEBB Laura(HEWSON '29), BANNISTER Georgia and HELM Donna
Subs not used: BUDDEN Monique
APIA Leichhardt Tigers 3 (Gilfedder '39 and '55 and Ferreyra '61)
HALPIN Courtney, GLANVILLE-FYFE Stephanie, BUTTIGIEG Dana, SCARLATO Samantha, GILFEDDER Lucy, CLOUT Erin, CANINI Carla, FERREYRA Christina(SCHUMAN '80), URKANCI Filiz(JANDAGI '76), MUNRO Clare(KING '69) and CARMICHAEL Nicole
Subs not used: POLETANOVIC Bojana and MASON Emma
Western NSW Mariners 6 defeated St George FC 0
Western NSW Mariners have moved back into second position with a comprehensive 6-nil victory in Mudgee this afternoon.
A Jess Salomoni hat-trick was the headline from the contest as her haul helped the Mariners into a 4-nil halftime lead.
Captain Kristy Collingridge, Samantha Wood and Tayla Lloyd were the others on the scoresheet in an attacking floruish from the Mariners.
Mariners coach Michael Godbier was pleased in how dominant they were especially in the first half to put away St George.
Parramatta FC 0 defeated by Gladesville Ravens 3
Gladesville Ravens got themselves back into the winner's circle with a professional display in a 3-nil win over Parramatta FC.
After the disappointment of running the UNSW Lions close last week, the Ravens scored twice in the first half to set up the victory.
They added another in the second to secure all three points as they finish the season on a high with two rounds to go.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers 0 defeated by SD Raiders 3
The visiting SD Raiders picked up a vital three points with a 3-nil victory at Popondetta Park to continue to put pressure on the rest of the top four.
Dominique Caridad led the way for the visitors with a hat-trick which takes her season tally to sixteen goals.
This result made it three on the trot for the Raiders after their midweek victory over APIA Leichhardt as they start their push for the finals.
Source FNSW -By Justin Davies, State League Women's reporter