Grammar take out deserved cup title
The Albany Junior Soccer Association cup final in the under-18s between Great Southern Grammar and Polonia Red did not disappoint last Saturday, finishing in an exciting climax.
The pair were evenly matched for the first 20 minutes, with neither goalkeeper being seriously tested, despite a frantic amount of energy being spent.
The breakthrough came after a short period of sustained pressure from Polonia Red resulted in a hard shot from Jacob Houghton being deflected and lifting high over Daniel Marques in the Grammar goal.
Grammar rallied and the back three of Tyler Willmore, Nicholas Fox and Lachlan Cutler worked immensely hard to protect their keeper from the dangers of Mathew Leary.
Five minutes before the break, Leary thought he was through on goal when a Polonia defender slid in and Leary went over in the box.
The now sizeable crowd was firmly divided down the middle.
Half felt the Polonia defender had taken the ball cleanly and half felt Leary had been fouled but the referee didn’t hesitate and pointed to the spot.
Leary converted from the spot to send the two teams into half-time level. Things picked up in the second half and players were becoming niggly from both sides.
Midway through the second, Leary picked the ball up about 30 yards out, with one touch to his right and then a curling shot into the top left corner out of the reach of Polonia’s keeper, who was at full stretch.
It was then almost all Polonia, with Jared Wiegele working hard in midfield and trying to get the ball up to Tom Hunt, who had been working tirelessly up front chasing every ball.
The last couple of minutes were played out uneventfully and Grammar finished deserving winners, 2-1.
In the under-14s cup final, Port Albany fancied their chances against league winners Polonia and it looked like it was going to be their day when Charlie Walters opened the scoring for Port.
Polonia started to use their speed and it was not long before they managed to find that equaliser. Unfortunately, it hit the Port players hard and they were out of sorts for the next five minutes, which allowed Polonia the opportunity to net two more.
Port regathered and matched Polonia for the rest of the half, and at the break it remained 3-1.
Port started the second half brightly and a beautifully struck Jacques Swarts free kick from 30 yards sailed high, dipping in just under the crossbar, leaving the keeper no chance.
It was blow-for-blow in the second half, but the five-minute lapse in the first cost Port, and Polonia finished 5-3 victors.
Polonia also won the cups in the under-13s and under-15s after both sides defeated Stirling Rangers 2-0 and 3-1 respectively.
The results have given Polonia their most successful season ever, lifting a total of eight trophies in the leagues and cup competitions.
In the under-12s, it would be fair to say Flinders felt their cup success was in the semis when they made the finals after their breathtaking penalty shootout win over Yakamia.
The final became one step too far when they faced league winners Great Southern Grammar.
They gave a good account of themselves but went down, 5-0.
AJSA 2017 under-12 cup champions Grammar.
AJSA under-13 cup champions Polonia.
Polonia goalkeeper Lachie Hamersley gathers the ball.
Grammar's Harry Apostoles gets past Flinders Park's Dylan Attrill.
Stirling Rangers' Bastian Morcombe gets his kick away as Polonia's Eh Ku Pwew moves in.
Polonia's Edward Bell.
Stirling Rangers’ Tully Franklin and Polonia's Eh Ku Pwew.
Flinders Park goalkeeper Clem Giblett.
Grammar's Leo Fleming and Flinders Park's Callum Offer.