Eaglehawk’s division one team capped its dominant Bendigo Amateur Soccer League season with victory in the Bendigo Media Centre Knockout Cup final on Sunday.
The Borough romped to a 3-0 win against Colts United to claim the Championship-Knockout Cup double, while the victory also meant the Hawks finished the season undefeated.
“It’s a big feat, a really big feat. We just set our sights on the Championship and getting the double-double was good,” Eaglehawk coach Alf Longano said.
With Eaglehawk missing three key players, Colts fancied its chances of an upset in front of the big crowd at Truscott Reserve in California Gully.
However, with 25 minutes gone and the scores locked at 0-0, Colts’ star defender Adam Castleton dislocated his left kneecap and played no further part in the match, while gun striker Dylan Callaway hurt his left hamstring which limited his influence.
Both sides had struggled for clear scoring chances, but the Hawks sensed their opportunity to break the deadlock.
Sure enough, the opening goal came in the 33rd minute when Toli Wanafalea rose to meet a dangerous cross from the right and flicked the ball into the top corner.
Eaglehawk pushed to double the margin, but despite several opportunities was unable to find the back of the net again before half-time.
Colts had looked dangerous on the counter-attack as the Hawks pressed forward and the Stallions started the second stanza well.
But 20 minutes after the restart Colts began to tire and Eaglehawk’s midfield got on top, soon delivering a superb through ball to Dane Butler who shot past Colts ‘keeper Trent Dole.
Yan Butler Rees capped a great game with a tap in at the far post 10 minutes later.
Eaglehawk’s Daniel Kelly was awarded the Tony Longano Medal for his tireless run down the left wing.
While disappointed to end the season with a loss, Colts captain Phil Berry said he was proud of his team.
“We’ve had a really good season. Last year we didn’t win on any away grounds, but this season we won on every other ground except Eaglehawk,” Berry said.
Eaglehawk’s division one win was the finishing touch on a great day for the Borough, with its division two team defeating Strathdale 1-0 and its youth team thrashing Colts 4-0.
An 80th minute goal to Justin Warren – which took a wicked deflection off a Strathdale defender – was the difference in the division two final.
Eaglehawk’s youth team partly made-up for letting the championship slip to Strathdale in the last round by trouncing Colts in the Cup final.
Best on ground Nathan Hamblin scored twice for the Borough, while Josh McRae and Shaun Thompson also hit the back of the net.
Eaglehawk was beaten in the division three final, though, with Castlemaine triumphing 3-2.
Best player Ian Irvine opened the scoring before the Hawks’ Alf Longano hit the first of two cracking goals to level the scores at half-time.
Longano scored again in the second half, but goals to Castlemaine’s Richard Black and Dean Nendick got their side over the line.
Moama’s women’s team claimed a rare treble as it beat Golden City in the Knockout Cup final.
The Border Raiders’ 2-0 win added the Knockout Cup to its Lightning Cup and Championship titles this season, which it went through undefeated.
“To win all three cups and go through undefeated, it’s an astonishing effort from the girls and they worked really, really hard,” Moama coach Darryl Brown said.
Golden City finished eighth in the championship, but went into the final on the back of six consecutive wins.
“We were very wary of them because of their stunning finish to the season. We respect Golden City because they’re a lot like us… they continue to just try and try and don’t get too down about what happens,” Brown said.
Best on ground Cassie Powell stepped up to put Moama 1-0 up at the half.
The Border Raiders began to dominate through All-Australian junior Jess Pitts, Powell and her sister Bridget after the break, but Golden City caught the champs napping.
Jennifer Suzuki was brought down in the box on a counter-attack. Usually a clinical finisher, Suzuki pushed the shot wide.
A corner shot deflected off City defender Grace Priest for an own goal.