National Premier League: Canberra Olympic vs Belconnen United
National Premier League: Canberra Olympic vs Belconnen United Photo: Graham Tidy
Reigning premiers Canberra Olympic sent a clear message they will not give up their title without a fight after defeating previously unbeaten Belconnen United.
Olympic snapped a three-game losing streak in dominant fashion on Sunday to knock off the Blue Devils 3-1 at O'Connor Enclosed.
Former Belconnen players Callum Smith and Michael Reeve were influential against their old side as Olympic moved up to equal third on the Canberra National Premier League ladder.
Olympic are on nine points, still seven points adrift of leaders Canberra FC (16), but have closed the gap on second-placed Belconnen (13).
Olympic coach Frank Cachia said the result was just reward for the side remaining positive during its lean spell and coming out of the gates with plenty of intent.
"Our first 20 minutes was probably our best 20 minutes of the season,'' Cachia said.
"We got ahead, had a couple of other chances, and when Belconnen came back to make it 1-1, it was real character stuff from the boys.
"We could have dropped our heads and conceded again, but we went the other way and I couldn't be more proud.''
The Blue Devils had won their first four games of the season before last weekend's thrilling 2-2 draw with Canberra FC.
Canberra FC returned to winning ways in emphatic style, striker Alex Oloriegbe scoring a hat-trick in his side's 5-0 thumping of Canberra City at Deakin Stadium.
The Cooma Tigers hammered the Football Federation of Australia Centre of Excellence at Nijong Oval by the same scoreline, Goran Josifovski with a treble and Stephen Domenici converting twice from the penalty spot.
In the weekend's other game, the Monaro Panthers split the points with Woden Valley in a 1-1 draw at Riverside Stadium.
Canberra National Premier League: Canberra FC 5 bt Canberra City 0; Canberra Olympic 3 bt Belconnen United 1; Cooma Tigers 5 bt FFA COE 0; Monaro Panthers 1 drew Woden Valley 1.