Saturday, 12 September 2015

REVIEW: Zone Football League Grand Finals (Saturday)

Zone League One Grand Final

Morisset United 2-2 Warners Bay (W.Bay Wins Via PENS)

This has to be the biggest result of the day in my opinion; well at least in the three First Grade fixtures. Morisset United have been the form team all season and were aiming to sign off on their season with a Grand Final win ahead of promotion to the ZPL...cue Warners Bay to spoil the party.

The Panthers stood firm all match and didn't let the enormity of a Grand Final get to them. Calmness prevailed in the penalty shootout, with the help of a heroic goalkeeper effort in said shootout (not sure who their keeper is so if you know fill me in; heard he did well)

Congratulations to Warners Bay for what has been a superb second half of the year and it's been capped off in the best fashion by winning the Grand Final. Morisset will move onto the ZPL next year but this is one they'll be kicking themselves over until then. Congrats Panthers!

In reserves, a lucky Cooks Hill side (lucky as in lucky to even be in the Grand Final after a highly controversial 6-0 aggregate loss in the Semis to disqualified Morisset) pulled off a great penalty shootout win. Kotara South were heavy favourites but the Cookers were steely and came away with a big win in the penalty shootout. Amazing!

The Tigers would get something out of the day as their Third Grade side recorded a 3-2 win over Charlestown. Kotara South were too strong and despite two late goals from Charlestown, they'd hold on for a memorable Grand Final victory at Macquarie Field.


Zone League Two Grand Final

Raymond Terrace 3 def. University F.C 2

Raymond Terrace were the best side all season in this grade and were deserved Grand Final winners. They had to do it the hard way as the University put in a gallant display. The Rangers would record the win and sign off on what has been a highly successful year in Zone League Two with a memorable Grand Final win. It's onwards and upwards for Raymond Terrace now as they prepare for life in Zone League One.

In Reserves, Raymond Terrace won 3-1 over Hamilton Olympic to record the double and complete a great, great day for the side from the Terrace. Congratulations to all involved at Raymond Terrace; it's a club that is certainly on the rise at the moment.


Zone League Three Grand Final

First: New Lambton F.C 2 def. RAAF Williamtown F.C 0

This is going to be a more in depth review as I made the trip out to Johnston Park for this game. First things first, thank you to West Wallsend SFC for publishing my material in the matchday programme and thanks for the constant support of my site all season. Passionate and hard-working individuals out there and the pitch looked an absolute treat considering all the rain this season.

Anyway, New Lambton were just too good on the day for the RAAF Williamtown boys. The Eagles simply took their chances better and trust me it was simply unbelievable at times that Williamtown couldn't find the back of the net. They had chances galore in both halfs.

New Lambton took their chances as mentioned and lead 2-0 at the break; courtesy of goals to Aaron Strickland and Aaron Luttenberger. The RAAF's best chance saw them beat Brian Gaffney in goal but their attacker (Ant Wainwright I believe) could only find the post. A glorious chance gone by the wayside.

It was much of the same in the second half. As time ticked on it was becoming blaringly obvious that today simply wasn't Williamtown's day. On a personal note, I've seen a lot of games this year (well over a hundred, maybe two) and I have not seen anything like their chance in the second half that saw them not just find the goalkeeper, but then find a head of an unaware falling New Lambton player and then off another rebound send it wide. It was simply amazing that they didn't score. You had to be there!

All in all it was a successful day for the New Lambton boys and I was highly impressed with the amount of support they had at West Wallsend. They put some NewFM teams to shame with the passion their fans were showing; it was great to see and it was a great day for a club that is on the rise.

Reserves: Wallsend F.C 1 def. New Lambton F.C 0

In my mind this was the better of the two matches; it simply played out a bit better than the first grade fixture. That's not to say first grade wasn't a good game because it was but this one was better. Wallsend made the most of their chances and they only needed the one goal, from Cameron Whiting to get them over the line.

New Lambton were gallant and their keeper Jack Shearer had a cracker of a match, apart from the goal obviously and they can hold their heads high for their performance. Wallsend just had the luck on the day and it was a cherished victory for the club based on the emotion they showed at the final whistle. A top match.

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