Wollongong Olympic kept Bulli’s League Championship celebrations on hold after producing a second half blitz to thrash finals bound Albion Park White Eagles 4-0 at Terry Reserve on Sunday.
Needing a win to keep their own title aspirations alive for another week, Olympic scored three times in five minutes in the second stanza to set up a convincing win.
Johnny Martinoski fired home a superb brace while Kojiro Hori and Brendon Fordham both hit the target.
It keeps Olympic’s (49 points) fleeting premiership hopes alive as they remain four points behind Bulli (53 points) with two rounds left in the season.
“I can’t see them dropping two games but while we are there, we will give it a chance,” Olympic coach George Antoniou said.
While Olympic still look at long odds to catch Bulli, Sunday’s victory over Park ensured they will finish no worse than second.
They had to wait until the second half to get their nose in front after striker Yuseke Ueda had an effort cleared off the line in the opening half, which the Japanese star felt had crossed the paint.
There was no doubt about Hori’s opener.
After being awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, he fired his low effort into the bottom corner in the 55th minute.
Two minutes later the lead was doubled when Fordham pounced on a lost ball in the box before Martinoski got his first with a beautifully taken free kick from the same range as Hori’s.
The diminutive attacker sealed the rout with seven minutes remaining.
“I thought from start to finish we dominated the game and played to what we wanted to do. The rest of it took care of itself really in the second half,” Antoniou said.
“Our movement all around the park was good. Defensively we were strong and we ended up finishing our chances in the second half, which we didn’t do in the first.”
Park’s afternoon was made worse in the 90th minute when Kane Wright was sent off after receiving his second yellow card.
White Eagles coach Paul Carter conceded his men were second best on their home turf.
“They were dominating in the first half, there was no question, and in the second half I was disappointed because we dropped the ball,” he said.
“If you think about it, they have scored three goals from free kicks. One went in and we lost a bit of confidence. Then it was two goal in two minutes or something and it knocked the bugger out of us.
“The face that they scored three, two directly in and one from a free kick out wide that hit the crossbar. It wasn’t from general play but Olympic deserved to win. 100%.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us but we will learn from it and hopefully move on.”
Meanwhile, Bulli moved to within a win of another League Championship crown with a tense 1-0 victory over Cringila Lions on Saturday.
Port Kembla proved far too strong for Fernhill Foxes in a 3-0 triumph.