Sutherland Sharks clinch Grade 18 title


It was quite the time for Sutherland to pull off their first defeat of the Wolves this season. In fact they had not even got a draw from their opponents until this day and when they went a goal down early – in the knowledge they had not won a game when they had gone behind all season – Sharks fans must have been concerned.
The Wolves were definitely the first team out of the blocks as in the 3? minute Mitchell Del Turoo squeezed between the two central defenders for Sutherland to create a one-on-one chance with Andy Depta in the Sutherland goals. Depta showed his prowess by acting instinctively and going low to his left to save the resultant shot from Del Turoo.
Sutherland almost had a goal in the 5? minute when a ball from Patrick Savor just went over the head of Justin Wolstenholme at the far post. For Sutherland it would be one of the few highlights they would have in the opening quarter of the match.
In the 6? minute, vocal claims of a penalty by the Wolves fans when Daniel Munilla went down in the penalty-area after a challenge from Daniel Crisante were quickly dismissed by referee Adrian Arndt. A minute later and the fans of the red and white almost had what they most yearned for when a shot from Dusan Kolonja deflected off a defender and went straight up in the air. The ball fell just under the crossbar and Depta had to tap the ball onto the crossbar and away from danger to prevent Wolves form taking the lead.
The fans of South Coast did get what they wanted from the resultant corner, though, as on the near post the ball was tucked away from the tightest of angles by Hayden Lloyd, despite the valiant efforts of Depta who tried to scoop it out of the goalmouth. The lead was what the Wolves deserved and over the next quarter of an hour they should have gone further ahead.
In the 11? minute a great cross from Lee Gilroy was intercepted well by the Sutherland defence. Then, on the quarter hour, a free-kick on the left for the Wolves by Guy Knight was punched away by Depta only to David Stojic who volleyed it back towards the target. Again the Sutherland defence got in its path and a further shot from Wolves came to nothing.
A minute later Lloyd fired in a powerful shot from distance but Depta was good enough to control the situation and catch the ball.
Sutherland?s greatest concern at this stage was the amount of cheap possession they were giving away. South Coast Wolves were playing a composed passing game, reminiscent of other teams who have played under the Wolves nickname in years gone past, while Sutherland were playing direct and ineffective football. Around the middle of the half things turned for Sutherland, though, as they moved to a more expansive game.
First, Savor made a great run through traffic and shot from the right for Sutherland. The Sharks? fans went up as one only to be disappointed to find Savor?s shot had seen the ball hit the wrong side of the netting. Then Savor put in a great ball from the far left over the top but Michael Stuart was just unable to reach it at the far post. It was a great chance as the ball had already beaten the goalkeeper and Stuart?s marker in flight. Then, Stuart returned the favour to Savor who volleyed the ball low, beating the goalkeeper on the near post but then thundering off that very post and away from danger.
In the 25? minute the Wolves reminded their opposition they were still very much a part of the match as a great ball from the right led to some comedy capers in the Sutherland defence as one defender hit the ball into the back of a team mate and the ball fell to an opponent, but neither of the next two chances created out of this situation came off for South Coast.
On 32? minutes the scoreboard read that the two teams were level again as a free-kick from Bradley Ferraro on the right was flicked goalwards by Stuart at the near post, and despite Wolves custodian Tom Hamilton getting a partial hand to the ball he was unable to stop it going into the back of the net.
Whilst South Coast had truly deserved their lead this goal was deserved for the effort Sutherland had put in over the last 10? minutes of the game. Changing to flank play had aided Sutherland?s cause.
Sutherland maintained the pressure over the closing stages of the half with Aaron Daly making a good run and playing the ball through to Stuart who saw his cross headed away by Knight. The resultant corner was well dealt with by Hamilton in the Wolves goal.
The Wolves responded at the other end with Munilla and substitute Vaughan Patterson combining only for the Sutherland defence to intercept the ball and clear it from danger.
In the 40? minute Sutherland took the lead. Sean Garrett took the ball down the right-flank and played a great ball into the penalty-area. Despite calls of handball against the Wolves defence the referee played on and the ball was turned back into the path of Daly by the Sutherland attack and Daly slotted the ball home.
Almost immediately Wollongong responded with a decent attack but again the final shot on target was not there.
In the 41? minute Del Turco floated the ball in from the right and it fell to Munilla at the far post who chested it back towards goal. Fortunately for the Sutherland side the ball fell into Depto?s arms as he was already on the ground at the near post.
Right on half-time Wollongong gave the ball up at the back on a number of occasions and presented their opponents with chances to get further in front but Sutherland did not take these opportunities.
Early in the second-half the Shark?s right flank caused problems for the Wolves again but this time Savor was unable to out jump his marker at the far post.
For the opening 15? minutes of the half, the flanks were causing problems for each side. Chances to Savor for Sutherland, and Munilla for Wollongong, came and went, and in the 55? minute a shot from Munilla was only prevented from going in the back of the net by a defensive header from Crisante in the Sutherland defence.
In the 59? minute Max Joarder demonstrated the quality defending of the Sutherland team during this period with a brilliant tackle on Patterson as he honed in on goal. In fact, this piece of defence was turned into attack when Stojic was just unable to get to the ball at the other end of the field when it would have left him free to shoot in the area.
In the 63? minute a quick snapshot in the area by Patterson went wide of the target, a great opportunity spurned. For the next while the game turned into a wrestling match and the longer time went on the deeper Sutherland defended, with Wolves finding it hard to break them down. The other danger for Wolves was that Sutherland?s counter-attack was very dangerous. It was a continuance of a match where both teams had demonstrated very different styles of play, and it was Sutherland who at this point was coming out on top. Wollongong started to get that little bit more time on the ball and started passing the ball more again and this gave them the upper hand but the Sutherland defence stood resolute.
In the 79? minute Sutherland let Wolves substitute Jordan Cox run but he was stopped at the final hurdle by a desperate piece of defending. However this time the ball fell to Hayden Lloyd who volleyed the ball from outside the area low and goalwards only to be denied by a late, full length dive to his right by Andy Depta, pushing the ball past the post.
Sutherland had their chance to secure the match in the 80? minute but Toufic was denied as Hamilton pushed him wide of the goal and he could not turn to get the ball back on target when one-on-one.
South Coast then saw Gilroy and Patterson combine but great defence form Crisante once more denied them. Sutherland continued to counter and with his first touch of the game substitute I Garrett was denied a goal by Hamilton in another one-on-one that the Wolves custodian came out on top of. Garrett was denied once more by Hamilton right on full time when his shot was touched over the cross bar by the Wolves keeper.
However, the game was not over yet, and in injury time, the Wolves had more chances to equalise. First, a long throw from the left should have resulted in a shot on goal from goal scorer Lloyd but he was unable to get to the ball. Then, in the 92? minute, there were claims of a Wolves penalty when Jason Pitcher challenged Munilla in the area and Munilla ended up on the turf, albeit going away from goal. Sutherland then could not get the ball away and the ball came back in towards goal only for Depta to cap off a magnificent performance between the sticks by touching the ball onto the cross bar and thus denying Wolves their final opportunity to equalise in this game.
After the match Wolves coach Peter Willis reflected on a performance by his side that meant they were second on the day:
?We just did not perform today. All credit to Sutherland, they got the job done and we did not, on the day we were not good enough. However over the season I am very pleased with our progress.? For South Coast Wolves this result capped a great two years for their youth set up, thanks to the work of the likes of Willis, Glenn Fontana, and Trevor Morgan, amongst others.?
Sutherland?s coach Jim McMillan was delighted with the result:
?I am ecstatic. I am very happy the boys stepped up today. The two lads out wide in Stuart and Savor played well and caused lots of problems, after it had taken us some time to settle in to the match. We were dangerous on the counter attack and in the second half defended stoutly. Andy Depta also performed brilliantly for us in goals. It was an all round great game from all our players, including the under 16 lads who stepped up today.?
McMillan and Rod Eames now have the opportunity to take many of their team to the next level in the under 20 competition next year. For Sutherland this capped off a fantastic three years for the club where they have won the minor premiership, the cup and the grand final in first grade, the under 18s competition grand final, and twice represented Australasia at the Manchester United competition at under 15 level, a demonstration of a club moving forward at all levels despite limited funding.
Match Stats
Sutherland Sharks 2 (Stuart 32?, Daly 40?)
South Coast Wolves 1 (Lloyd 8?)
NSW Premier League Grade-18 Grand-Final
Parramatta Stadium
29th August 2010
Referee: Adrian ARNDT
Assistant Referees: James FERRIERO and Daniel STIAEK
Fourth Official: Aaron MCNAB
Crowd: 400
South Coast Wolves: 1.Tom HAMILTON; 2.Bradley FERRARO (8.L PATTERSON 85?), 3.David MIECH (15.Vaughan PATTERSON), 14.Daniel CHAPMAN, 5.Guy KNIGHT (C), 7.Dusan KOLONJA, 9.David STOJIC, 11.Mitchell DEL TURCO (10.Jordan COX 62?), 12.Daniel MUNILLA, 14.Daniel CHAPMAN, 16.Hayden LLOYD, 6.Lee GILROY
Substitutes Not Used: 21.Jake WEBSTER, 13.Daniel TOSKOVSKI
Yellow Cards: Lloyd 43?, Ferraro 67?
Red Cards: Nil
Sutherland Sharks: 1.Andrew DEPTA; 2.Max JOARDER, 4.Jason PITCHER, 5.Daniel CRISANTE, 7.Michael STUART, 8.Peter KOUTRODIMOS (C), 9.Aaron DALY, 10.Patrick SAVOR (53.I GARRETT 88?), 13.A KARTSIOLIS, 50.Justin WOLSTENHOLME (A.TOUFIC 66?), 16.Sean GARRETT
Substitutes Not Used: 111.Daniel SADAKA, 3.Jacob BANDUR
Yellow Cards: Pitcher 78?, Stuart 93?
Red Cards: Nil
-By Stuart Jones