Young guns unleash early fire
AS the tallest player in Western Pride's attacking formation, Harry Sawyer has a height advantage to match his power.
However, his two goal-haul was part of a promising team performance to kickstart the new National Premier Leagues season.
Fellow debutants Joe Duckworth and Gab Hawash also scored in Pride's 5-2 victory over South West Queensland at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
Having played for Pride in previous seasons, wing speedster Chris Scott set up the win with his team's third goal - a chip over Thunder goalkeeper Michael Pike's head.
That came after a fine equaliser by Duckworth. His curling corner kick beat everyone, including Pike.
Hawash added the icing in injury time, capitalising on a terrific run by substitute attacker Peter Drager to score.
For Sawyer, netting a double in his first NPL senior game on Saturday night was a major boost for the tough season ahead.
Standing 193cm tall and aged 18, Sawyer is one of the many under-20 players in Pride's new-look team this season.
"We're just happy to start off with a win,'' the former Brisbane City and Peninsula Power said.
"It was good. It was high intensity.
"There's quicker players in the senior mens and it's a lot tougher out there, concentrating the whole game.''
Sawyer scored in each half on Saturday night, his most decisive being his first goal that put Pride ahead 2-1 after a goal mouth scramble for the ball.
"There's a lot of players out there that can score goals, which is good to see,'' the Brisbane-based QUT business management student said. "We're all putting in for each other.
"We just want to get the ball rolling now and see how we go.''
In the under-18 NPL game, Western Pride were outclassed 6-2 by South West Queensland.
However, Pride players Joshua Singam and Jamie Maynard scored two fine goals to give their team a lift for the future.
The under-20 match was called off after Sunshine Coast was unable to field a team.
State of Play
National Premier Leagues senior men: Western Pride 5 (Harry Sawyer 29th, 85th minutes; Joe Duckworth 24; Chris Scott 37; Gab Hawash 90+3) d SW Qld Thunder 2 (Chris Hewson 4, Mitchell Tanksy 65).
Under 18: SW Qld 6 d Western Pride 2 ( Joshua Singam, Jamie Maynard).
Brisbane Premier League: Easts d Ipswich Knights 3-0. Reserves: Easts d Knights 5-0.
Capital League 2: Ipswich City Bulls 2 (Jamie Beahan, Ben Ungermann) d Westside 0; The Gap 2 d Western Spirit 1 (Corey Dunne).
Reserves: Ipswich City d Westside 3-0, The Gap d Western Spirit 4-1.