Historic three-peat for Savoys
BY TATE SPITERI
GREAT leaders thrive on big occasions and on Sunday with another AWFA Cup on the line it was Myrtleford’s co-coaches Jayden Vescio and Matthew Park that lifted the Savoys to a 3-1 victory.
Park scored a brace with goals both sides of halftime while Vescio was at his absolute best between the sticks as Boomers threw everything at the now back-to-back-to-back cup champions.
Vescio was awarded the Man of the Match medal from the referees while centre-back Raul Pahina, midfielder Jesse Stephens and young gun Vinnie Paglia were all outstanding.
Pahina looked a Rolls Royce in the heart of defence patrolling the game from the back and setting up attacks with his pin-point passing.
Stephens, who has now won an astounding five cups, three with Myrtleford and two at Wodonga Diamonds was also terrific working tirelessly through the centre of the park and back into defence.
Paglia, 19, now a three- time cup champion also had claims for man of the match honours, doing yet another big stage blanketing role, this time on star Boomers forward Pieter Noordeweir.
Noordeweir’s biggest involvement in the match was when he received a yellow card after a fracas with boom Myrtleford import Tommy Youngs.
Youngs again played a huge role in the victory, providing two assists, one before and one after netting Myrtleford’s second goal.
The former Bolton Wanderer along with fellow past professional Park were directly involved in all three Savoy goals as their class proved telling.
The pair were clinical in the final third and it was Youngs’ deft touch that set up Park for the opener 24 minutes in.
The co-coach still needed to get around one defender, but he did it well and his shot had too much power for Boomers goalkeeper Jaxon Osmotherly.
Park returned the favour with a similar pass to slip Youngs through 10 minutes later to made it 2-0.
Myrtleford were troubled most around the hour mark when Andrew Grove scored a free-kick to draw a goal back.
The exuberant underdogs rode the wave of momentum to press forward for an equaliser but after 64 minutes it was again Youngs assisting Park against the run of play.
Vescio, who then made a number of fantastic saves in goal in the final 20 minutes to keep Myrtleford’s buffer, said Boomers made them play right to the end of the 90 minutes.
“They just kept coming,” he said.
“Our boys really had to work hard to keep them out and I’m just so happy with the way everyone contributed.
“When you demand success and have a winning environment, it’s just a pleasure to coach.”
Vescio also made mention of Myrtleford’s loyal supporters post-match.
“I can’t thank those guys enough, they are doing stuff for us every day and after the heartache of early days I hope we are catching up for them now.”