Teenager's hat-trick kickstarts Bulls season
PROMISING teenage recruit Ronald Batal made a terrific start for Ipswich City, sealing a first-half hat-trick in the Bulls' latest FFA Cup win.
Striker Batal netted his third goal in the 37th minute as the Bulls charged towards a 7-0 win over home side Park Ridge on Tuesday night.
Desperate for some game time after recent washouts and heat waves, Bulls head coach Norbert Duga was delighted with Batal's performance and how his team completed its mission.
"He's a classy player,'' Duga said of Batal, also happy to see midfielder Michael Ward (two), striker Jack Clare and last season's regular goal scorer Dane Grant find the net.
Stand-in captain Jimmy Allison stepped up in a valuable midfield role to ensure the Bulls kickstarted their season in style.
"He played the house down,'' Duga said.
"I was just really pleased we didn't concede. That was our number one priority.''
Bulls goalkeeper Brent Witney was tidy guarding the net.
The match was moved to Park Ridge due to recent rain soaking the Bulls home base at Brassall.
"It was good. We hadn't played for two weeks. I'm definitely happy,'' Duga said.
Although Park Ridge are not considered one of the stronger sides in this year's Capital League 1 competition, Duga said it was important his team started well. "We came out of the blocks firing,'' he said.
Up 4-0 after 20 minutes, the Bulls coasted to a 6-0 halftime advantage.
Striker Grant's goal in the second half completed the whitewash.
Ipswich City's win in the second round of the FFA Cup preliminary series sets up a showdown with Football Brisbane Premier League opponents Bayside United at Sutton Park in the next fortnight.
After last weekend's CL1 local derby was washed out, the Bulls are scheduled to tackle New Farm United away in their Sunday afternoon match.
"New Farm is always a tough place to play, especially at three o'clock in the afternoon and especially early in the season when it's 30 degrees,'' Duga said.
"We've got to get on top early and dictate the game from there.''
State of play
FFA Cup 2nd round preliminary match: Ipswich City Bulls 7 (Ronald Batal 3, Michael Ward 2, Jack Clare, Dane Grant) def Park Ridge 0.
Next Bulls game: Capital League 1 - Sunday (3pm) v New Farm United at New Farm.