It was a physical encounter in the Over 45 Men’s PUMA Champion of Champions, the experienced sides giving no inch as they fought for the title.

The match between St George Football Association’s Hurstville City Minotaurs and Gladesville Hornsby Football Association’s Epping Eastwood saw some heated battles across the field, but it was the Minotaurs who emerged victorious

Dunn almost scored in the opening minute for Eastwood Epping, a delightful low cross finding the striker metres from goal. However, a scrambling effort from Chatzis kept the ball out.

The Minotaurs seemed content with blasting the ball up field, Epping Eastwood controlling possession from the back.

A long cross from Cooper on the left edge again saw Dunn in the thick of the action, a contest in the air falling in favour of the Minotaurs.

Former NSL legend David Barrett then began to find some space in the midfield for Hurstville City with Eastwood Epping having to make some hard, physical tackles to keep him in check.

The Mintoaurs continued with their composed play, pressing on the counter attack.

A break up the right edge for Barrett led to the opening goal, after his final shot was deflected off a defender into the net.

Barrett soon found himself on the end of some heavy contact again, but brushed it off with ease.

After 30 minutes, the game swung in favour of the Minotaurs, Epping Eastwood appearing rattled after finding themselves behind on the scoresheet.

As the first half entered its conclusion, the game became even more physical as play was halted while player sought treatment.

Some brilliant play from Barrett saw two quick fire chances nearly doubling Minotaurs lead, but the teams hit the sheds with the score still at 1-0.

A few brilliant saves from Thornton kept Epping Eastwood in the match as the Minotaurs ramped up the pressure in the second half.

A pinpoint corner in the 53rd minute saw the big frame of Nick Plataniotis conjure a beautiful header, extending the lead to two goals.

On the hour mark, the Minotaurs began to tire in defence, inviting Epping Eastwood back into the match.

The men in yellow finally found their way onto the score sheet courtesy of a spectacular Grinham strike from 25 yards out that brought the crowd to their feet.

With the score at 2-1 entering the final stages, the match turned into an arm wrestle with no side giving an inch.

Epping Eastwood pushed relentlessly in attack, but the Minotaurs played smart marshalled by their inspirational skipper Peter Papoythis and buoyed on by their experienced coach in Peter ‘The General’ Sarikakis and held on for an epic win.

Match Stats

Hurstville City Minotaurs 2 (Barrett 25’, Plataniotis 53’)

Epping Eastwood 1 (Grinham 61’)

Hurstville City Minotaurs: 1 John CHATZIS  2 George SOURIS  8 Spiros HANTZIS 9 Steve KARAVATAKIS  10 Tom PONTIDAS 12 George GANIATSAS 13 Nick PLATANIOTIS 14 Billy PILOVSKI 15 Manny SPANOUDAKIS 16 Louie DOUNIS 18 Peter XENOS 25 David BARRETT 28 Michael BERRIS 31 Leo LYKOYRENTZOS  32 Peter PAPOYTHIS  36 John PANTAZIS 37 George KALOGERAS 42 Terry PALAPANIS

Epping Eastwood: 1 Craig THORNTON 2 Anthony MITCHELL 3 Richard CELARC 4 Ian DUNN 5 Mark COOPER 6 Michael TAYLOR 7 Peter WHITESIDE 8 Paul HENSON 9 Steve FRENCH 10 Dave FRENCH 11 Scott GRINHAM 12 Mark JANSON 13 Ian MACLENNAN 14 Jim PSARADELLIS 16 Gary CAGE 19 Mark ANNESLEY 20 Roy PLEDGER

-By Harry Easton (