Underdogs hang on for title
The Albany Junior Soccer Association cup finals produced tight results last Saturday and one surprising upset in a thrilling under-15 decider.
Polonia and Albany-Bayswater drew last week in the league competition, but that result spurred the latter on as they were incredibly motivated and took plenty of momentum into the cup final.
Polonia had the majority of the possession and pressed with great intensity, but the AlbanyBayswater defence closed and cleared everything that came their way.
Frederick Opuni and Connor Bunce used their pace to stretch the Polonia defence and it opened up the game.
It was Albany-Bayswater who struck first and, while Polonia were still shell-shocked, they scored a second and a third.
This sent the bench and the crowd wild, but Polonia would not lie down and scored one back through Lavesh Gaoneadry.
Once they had one back, AlbanyBayswater played the dangerous game of sitting back, which in turn invited Polonia forward.
Gaoneadry scored a second and momentum was with Polonia as they tried to find an equaliser against a tiring Albany-Bayswater.
The ball spent the last 10 minutes bouncing around the AlbanyBayswater box, but Polonia could not find the back of the net, handing the underdogs a 3-2 win.
The final whistle brought one of the most thrilling junior matches to its conclusion and started wild scenes of celebrations.
Grammar Blue has been untouchable in the under-12s and played John Calvin, who they beat comfortably earlier in the season.
After a scoreless first half, John Calvin’s belief grew as the game headed towards extra-time.
Grammar Blue earned a late corner and league’s fairest and best player, Liam Pretorius, took the set piece, which had enough bend in it to go straight into the back of the net and earn his side a tough victory.
John Calvin met Grammar in the under-14 cup final in front of a big crowd and Jack Robertson scoring the first two goals of the game.
John Calvin began to work out how to deal with his threat and were able to score one back through Travis Plug.
Keeper Keaton Dekker was phenomenal for John Calvin as he kept his side in the match with a stack of quality saves, but Benjamin Plowman made sure of the result with Grammar’s third goal.
In the other cup finals, AlbanyBayswater added to their league title in the under-13s with a 3-0 win over Polonia White.
Denmark beat Grammar 2-0 in the under-16s cup final and in the under-18s Polonia Red won the league and cup double after proving too much for AlbanyBayswater in a 5-0 result.
AJSA under-15 cup final winners Albany-Bayswater.
Albany-Bayswater's keeper Callum Middleweek deflects the shot on goal.
Polonia's Lavesh Gaoneadry celebrates a goal.
Polonia's Liam Murdock considers his options.
Albany-Bayswater coach Libero Pietropaolo enjoys the victory.