Gram­mar take out de­served cup ti­tle

Albany Extra - - Extra Sport -

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.

Pic­tures: Lau­rie Ben­son

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.

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