Perfect weather, big crowds and a festive atmosphere as 300 players from 28 teams participated in the third Football NSW Champion of Champions Finals at Valentine Sports Park.

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It has been a landmark season for Summer Football; growth in new and returning centres and participant numbers meant we were set for some great action at VSP for Summer Football’s showpiece event.

The Women’s competition was hotly contested across the 3 Groups with playoff positions in contention right up to the final group matches.

It was Banksia Tigers, Gladesville Sharks, Nepean and Kellyville who prevailed into the Semis. Defending champions Gladesville were too strong for Kellyville as they stormed through to the Final scoring an incredible 22 goals in the process. The second Semi Final went down to the wire. Participating in their first tournament Banksia looked set for a maiden Finals appearance before the Nepean women leveled it up with only seconds remaining. It was the St George outfit that would go on with it in the extra time, scoring early to book a Grand Final appearance against Gladesville.

Banksia who had fought courageously through the entire day without any substitutes would though run out of legs in the Final as Gladesville stormed home to make it the treble with a comfortable 5-0 victory. Congratulations to both teams who displayed fantastic sportsmanship and comradery though the entirety of the competition.

The Men’s competition was destined to be the most competitive yet.

New names including as Bonnyrigg, Pennant Hills and Menai looked set to challenge traditional powerhouses Forest Killarney, Gladesville and Marayong.

Two new centres featured in the Semi Finals as Bonnyrigg White Eagles took on defending champions Forest Killarney, progressing to the Final with a 4-1 victory, the score line did not reflective of the competitiveness of the match. Another new centre Pennant Hills booked their spot in the Final with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Narellan.

The Final encapsulated a showpiece match the crowd and tournament deserved. Nothing could separate the two sides in regulation time ending at 1-1. After an early goal in extra time Pennant Hills looked set for victory with only a minute remaining before a Bonnyrigg counterattack levelled the match sending the Final into Penalty Shootouts.

It would be Bonnyrigg though who win their inaugural crown winning 5-4 in sudden death penalties amid mass celebrations.

Football NSW Member Services Manager Matt Rippon credited all teams who participated.

“This year’s Summer Champion of Champions was a fantastic endorsement for Summer Football.

“Our programs have grown significantly from 65 centres to 90 reflective of 3 new centres playing in Finals today.

“There were some great stories from today’s competition such as the Banksia women progressing to the Final in their first try, Gladesville’s treble and of course some outstanding football played from the likes of Pennant Hills, Bonnyrigg and Forest Killarney just to name a few.

“The festive atmosphere and positive experience from the teams participating reiterates the need for this competition and of course its expansion of team and age categories next season.”

Final Results

Womens Final

Gladesville Ravens 5 (Kristy Kunovski x3; Danielle Calvi, Carmen Fong)

Banksia Tigers 0

Men’s Final

Orlovi/Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Milenko Divganovic, Dusko Mirilovic)

Pennant Hills 2 (Luke Currie, Kel Gibbons)

2-2 aet; Bonnyrigg 5-4 on Penalties

 

Story: www.footballnsw.com.au