Kirrawee Kangaroos FC are the Bill Cullinan Cup champions after a Matthew Hall secured the victory in a tense fixture against Coogee United FC.
The Kangaroos were made to work for their trophy, as the first half passed without anyone troubling the scorers. Although Coogee were reduced to ten after Scott Jermy was sent off.
Paul Skyllas made their advantage count right after the break, although a late equaliser by Luke Wright sent the match into extra-time. A calm penalty stroked home by Matthew Hall set off raucous celebrations as Kirrawee Kangaroos became Bill Cullinan Cup champions.
The final kick-off of the afternoon brought action from the off. Jason Skyllas almost picked off the Steven Baveas, the Coogee United FC keeper but his clipped effort fell safe.
Next it was Joe Holder that went close for Coogee United FC. The striker slipped past his defender before firing low at Kirrawee Kangaroos keeper Mitchell Peacock. The custodian made a fine low save to keep the game deadlocked.
That chance sparked Coogee United FC.
Alec Judd tried a long range shot that bounced safely to the keeper. Both sides started to be much more economical with their chances, as the clock ticked on.
Kirrawee’s cause was helped in the 43rd minute. As Scott Jermy was caught in an incident with a Kangaroos player, and was sent off for violent conduct. Coogee reduced to 10 men, had to ride out the final 45 minutes a man down.
The Kangaroos quickly advanced with the advantage just two minutes into the second half. They swept the ball well in a counter attacking move that ended with Jason Skyllas touching past the keeper then slotting home for 1-nil.
The Sutherland Shire Football Association side used their pace with Skyllas and Pat Morales up top, but Coogee they held firm, repelling repeated forays into their penalty area.
When the opportunity arose for Coogee to press forward, much of their best work came through Joe Holder and Luke Wright – the two men found some pockets of space that gave the Kangaroos some bother.
Their best chance came from the set piece. Their free-kick was lofted into the area for Holder but the striker couldn’t connect properly and Peacock made another fine save.
Holder was in the action again in the 75th minute, he wriggled free from a defender before he fizzed a teasing cross into the box, although it evaded the head Benjamin Carrell as ten-man Coogee sensed an equaliser.
Coogee United FC did have their keeper to thank for the score remaining 1-nil. Steven Baveas made a pair of fantastic saves in the dying embers of the contest – first from an Andrew Hajittofi free-kick at the near post then tipped Skyllas’ thunderous effort around the post.
The trailing side continued to press forward despite their numerical disadvantage, they found joy with 60 seconds remaining. Luke was in the Wright place to hook home an equaliser that sparked joyous celebrations as the game went to extra-time.
Five minutes into the added on period though, Kirrawee had the chance to seal the game. Hajittofi was fouled in the box which meant Adam Vainauskas pointed to the spot.
Matthew Hall had the expectations of a healthy crowd at Valentine Sports Park on his shoulders. The composed figure stepped up and slotted home the penalty, making it 2-1 and sending the Bill Cullinan Cup to Kirrawee.
Sunday 22 July 2018
Valentine Sports Park
Referee: Adam Vainauskas
Assistant Referees: Cormac Rainey & Alex Valiente
Coogee United FC 0 (Wright ‘89)
Kirrawee Kangaroos FC 0 (Skyllas ‘47, Hall ‘95)
Coogee United FC: 1 BAVEAS Steven 2 CARRELL Benjamin 3 COLLINS Matty 4 DARMON Ollie 5 EGAN Aaron 6 ELLIOTT Liam 7 GILLIGAN Barry 8 HARTE Derek 9 HOLDER Joe 10 JERMY Scott 11 LATHAM Joe 12 LOFTUS Darren 13 MILLIS Jordan 14 SKELDING Ollie 15 STRINGER Ross 16 TENDI Christian 17 WARD James 18 WRIGHT Luke
Coach: Chris Calverley
Yellow cards: Egan
Red cards: Jermy
Kirrawee Kangaroos FC: 1 PEACOCK Mitchell 2 MURRAY Justin 3 JOAQUIM Jason 4 FENNING Daniel 5 NATTA Ben 6 JUDD Alec 7 HAJITTOFI Andrew 9 HALL Matthew 10 GIKAS James 11 CAWSTON Tyler 12 JANIC Jordan 13 SKYLLAS Paul 16 HOLLAND Grant 19 SKYLLAS Jason 22 MORALES Pat 23 WHITE Robert 39 BEARDOW Dylan 40 REID David
Coach: Warren Mccarthy Assistant Coach: James Pearce
By Justin Davies