YEARS IN THE MAKING
Apex Park erupts as Cap Coast claims Wesley Hall
It was a win years in the making, but until the final siren sounded, it was anyone’s game.
Cap Coast and Frenchville went the full 12 rounds in Saturday night’s thrilling Central Queensland Premier League grand final.
After years of being forced to settle for a third or fourth place, it was Cap Coast who broke its Wesley Hall Cup drought.
It hadn’t won the coveted $120,000 Cup since 2010, but had been close.
It was a tight, pulsating affair, with goals flying in at either end.
Frenchville striker Paul Jackson silenced Apex Park with 12 minutes to go.
Spectators had gone quiet, their chants had slowed, and nails were gone, and it looked like the champagne would again pop for the fifth straight season.
But Cap Coast kept coming.
Five minutes later striker Ben Cummins capped a superb game (two first-half goals) with a clever dink to the back post from a corner, bundled in by Tim English. The scores were level.
Extra time looked a sure thing.
Three minutes away from extra time, teenage super sub Flynn Berry popped up with the goal that would seal the contest 4-3.
It might have been a simple one to slot away after star man Jarod Lancaster’s shot was palmed wide, but it was one he will remember forever.
And how Apex Park erupted.
Coach Josh McLennan was controlled and classy at full-time; elation would come out later.
“We knew coming into this weekend we weren’t just going to be given the Wesley, McLennan said.
“Frenchville are a really top team and were always going to make us work for it.
“I think both teams could say before the match it was going to be a midfield battle and there were periods throughout the game it swung both ways, but in the last 10 minutes our fitness showed and we got the goals. It was fantastic.”
Nathan Norris completely dominated the first half.
— Josh McLennan
Faith in youth has been the formula for Cap Coast and fittingly it was what handed it the title.
Reigning champion Frenchville was a little
shell-shocked at the end.
It’d come within three minutes of being the first open-era side to win five consecutive. And it hurt.
Late goals and seeing out the 90 minutes have been part of the blueprint for Coast’s remarkable season. It has handled the mantle as the competition’s best team and got its just rewards.
Depth, fitness and faith in youth were all vital cogs.
“Our second division team and the depth it has, they would be playing firsts for most other clubs so I have no hesitation bringing them in and they did the job,” McLennan said.
“Nathan Norris in the first half had his best game of football I have seen, he completely dominated it.
“I put the pressure on him, saying he was one of our key players, and he stood up and performed.
“Nathan, Jared Moran and Flynn (Berry) were incredible.”
Captain Dylan Kussrow, one of few to be part of the last grand final win, revealed his pep talk that inspired his side to win.
“In the sheds prior I told
them tonight is the night you make memories that last forever and we did it the hard way but we got there,” the number 6 said.
“I had a chat to a few of the young fellas telling them what it was like when we won our first 10 years ago.
“We have been building this squad for a number of years and developing youngsters has been a huge focus. They’re given time to develop and it shows now.
“We got pretty lucky to get the last one with the fumble but if you don’t shoot, you don’t score.”
CHAMPIONS: Skipper Dylan Kussrow and Ben McMaster hold up the Wesley Hall Cup after winning the football grand final against Frenchville at Apex Park on Saturday night.
ON TARGET: Capricorn Coast’s two-goal hero Ben Cummins looks to beat Frenchville’s Ryan Hickey in the grand final.
Capricorn Coast player Jarod Lancaster.
Cap Coast’s Dylan Kussrow.