The Cairns Post
Tigers win triple treble
THEY were forced to play a full 120 minutes but Edge Hill United cemented itself as the best performing senior football club in north Queensland with a dramatic 3-1 victory over MA Olympic to win a historic third consecutive treble.
“I think we’ve just broken a couple of records there,” said captain Josh De Nittis.
“I’m stoked, so stoked about that. I’m so proud of the boys.
“This game was bigger for me than the Gold Coast game (FFA Cup round of 32). This had more riding on it for me.
“We’ve conquered the north three times – three times in a row.”
It was a tough, bruising and physical encounter at Tiger Park, and with both sides giving everything they had on the pitch, whoever came out on top would have truly earned it.
Edge Hill United dominated the game, but found the back of the net just once in regulation, this time via postseason specialist Jesse Casson.
It looked as if the Tigers might repeat the 1-0 result from the same fixture in 2019, but a Kai Mittereger goal just a minute before full-time sent the clash to an extra 30 minutes. Both sides suffered in the extra period as the feeling overflowed at times, but the Tigers were able to find a way home – and to history – after extra time goals to Davit Davitadze and Ryan Murray.
In doing so, Edge Hill Utd became the first club to win three straight Premier Men’s trebles since the Crad Evans Shield started in 1963.
“We knew the importance of the game heading into it, on the history side it’s never been done before,” said playercoach Crios O’Hare.
“There was pressure to perform and we know they would give us trouble and it wouldn’t be easy. It’s a great example of how we can dig deep and find a bit extra when we need it.”
The physicality was at another level, as players showed how much the Crad Evans Shield meant to the clubs as they both sought the treble.
While the Tigers struggled to convert their opportunities, De Nittis never lost faith.
“We know Townsville always gives us a good, physical challenge,” De Nittis said.
“We knew what we would be up against, we knew what we had to do and we executed it well. They were lucky it went to extra time, but that gave us time to get a few more goals.
“We probably should have had a few more in normal time, we just couldn’t get the goals. We couldn’t land them.
“We started that game so strong, we kept at that same pace the whole game. I said to Oscar (Rodrgiquez) it would be one of the nights we can’t score and then we got three.
“Three usually wins you games, it did tonight, and we’re here lifting another trophy.”