Flinders do the hard yards to make cup final
If Flinders Park win the Albany Junior Soccer Association’s under-12s knockout cup, they will have done it the hard way.
They were beaten 3-1 by Great Southern Grammar in the elimination round and tied as best loser with Southlands.
The two met in a play-off, with Flinders snatching victory to earn a quarterfinal berth against Mt Barker, despite their opponents having the better opportunities.
That left them to face the league leaders Yakamia in last Saturday’s semifinals.
Yakamia started slowly and possibly a little over-confident.
They were caught napping when Lachlan Tindale opened the scoring for Flinders, but Yakamia came out stronger in the second half.
Leif Wright, who had squandered a hatful of chances, managed to make one count, forcing the match into extra time.
Yakamia had the ascendancy and when a weak shot spun viciously, Flinders goalkeeper Kiera Wiegele could not deal with it and the shot slipped in.
Time was now slipping away for Flinders, but with four minutes left on the clock, a beautifully struck shot by Dylan Attrill in Flinders’ first attack of extra time saw the spirits of the whole side lift and panic set in for Yakamia.
A goal-mouth scramble resulted in the ball slipping into the back of the Yakamia net with what was almost the last kick of the game.
A penalty shootout was then required to separate the two teams and Wiegele saved two penalties to see her Flinders team through to the final.
The team will meet their first-round opponents Great Southern Grammar after they beat a spirited St Joseph’s side 2-0.
It was another close match in the under-13s semifinal between John Calvin and Polonia. Early in the first half, Mitchell Postmus hit a looping shot, giving the Polonia goalkeeper absolutely no chance.
Polonia then started to dominate possession, using their wide players, Luca Trichilo and Tayah Dallimore, well in attack. It seemed to take forever, but Polonia equalised, only for John Calvin to earn a corner moments after the restart. Another high ball was delivered and Polonia failed to deal with it.
John Calvin’s player of the day Travis Plug capitalised and poked the ball into the back of the net.
With less than a minute to play, Polonia scored the equaliser, forcing extra time.
Polonia moved Eddie Bell into central midfield to work alongside Harry Knowlson and the move paid off.
Two goals in extra time helped Polonia prevail 4-2. They now face Stirling Rangers in the final after they beat Great Southern Grammar 3-1.