Preview: 2012 Maso Cup

2012 Maso CupOn Friday, the traditional three-day Maso Cup gets underway for Australian teams with a Macedonian background who compete in various competitions across Australia.  Rockdale City Suns will try to defend the title this year.

The tournament was supposed to take place last weekend but was postponed due to inclement weather in the host city of Wollongong.  Few changes were made and a new draw was held since some teams cancelled their participation while others entered.  Altona Magic was the first team to pull out since they saw no benefit in traveling more than 800 km once again after already being there last weekend.  Thus, Arncliffe Scots took the place of Altona Magic but more clubs such as Newcastle Suns and Broadmeadow Magic pulled out.  Therefore, a new draw was held with 10 participants, instead of 12, including the Rockdale City Suns U20 team.  The Maso Cup will now feature two groups of 5 teams instead of three groups of 4 teams.

The two hosts will be Wollongong United and Coniston Lions, both teams from the city of Wollongong.  The defending champion is Rockdale City Suns who defeated Wollongong United 3:0 in last year’s final in a match that took place in the Australian biggest city, Sydney.  The Suns are firm favorites to win the Maso Cup this year as well.

Group A

Group B
Wollongong United Cringila Lions
Shell Cove Barbarians Coniston Lions
Rockdale City Suns Bankstown City Lions
Yagoona Lions Arncliffe Scots
Queanbeyan Rockdale City Suns U20

The Maso Cup starts tomorrow with two games featuring the two host clubs facing teams from the same city.  Both games will be played at the JJ Kelly park, home of Coniston Lions.  In the opening game, Wollongong United will square off against the Shell Cove Barbarians while the second game is between Coniston Lions and Cringila Lions.

The Maso Cup is one of the biggest events among the Macedonian community in Australia.  The rules for this football tournament are different than usual.  Matches will be 20 minutes per half, except for Friday and semi-final games which will be 25 minutes per half.  Each club will play a minimum of four games and be awarded 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 for a loss.  The 2 group winners and the 2 runners up will progress to the semi-finals.  The halftime break will be 5 minutes with all players remaining on the field.  There will be unlimited substitutions allowed during the games and in the event of a draw during the semi-finals or final, a penalty shootout will decide the winner.

The complete schedule (all times are local):

Friday, 3rd February – JJ Kelly Park, (Home of Coniston Lions)
6.30pm – Wollongong United v Shell Cove Barbarians
7.30pm – Cringila Lions v Coniston Lions

Saturday, 4th February – Macedonia Park (Home of Wollongong United)
10.00am – Shellcove v Yagoona Lions
10.50am – Coniston Lions v Arncliffe Scots
11.40am – Rockdale City Suns v Queanbeyan
12.30pm – Rockdale City Suns U20 v Bankstown City Lions
1.20pm – Wollongong United v Yagoona Lions
2.10pm – Cringila Lions v Arncliffe Scots
3.00pm – Shell Cove Barbarians v Rockdale City Suns
3.50pm – Coniston Lions v Bankstown City Lions
4.40pm – Yagoona Lions v Queanbeyan
5.30pm – Arncliffe Scots v Rockdale City Suns U20
6.20pm – Wollongong United v Rockdale City Suns
7.10pm – Cringila Lions v Bankstown City Lions

Sunday, 5th February – John Crehan Park (Home of Cringila Lions)
From 8am to 9.30am, Breakfast served to all teams, players, coaches, committee & guests
10.00am – Shell Cove Barbarians v Queanbeyan
10.50am – Coniston Lions v Rockdale City Suns U20
11.40am – Rockdale City Suns v Yagoona Lions
12.30pm – Bankstown City Lions v Arncliffe Scots
1.20pm – Wollongong United v Queanbeyan
2.10pm – Cringila Lions v Rockdale City Suns U20
3.15pm – Semi Final 1, Winner Group A v Runner Up Group B
4.14pm – Semi Final 2, Winner Group B v Runner Up Group A
5.00pm – Playoff for 3rd, to be a penalty shootout between 2 losing semi finalists
5.15pm – Grand Final 2012 Maso Cup

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