Lion cubs roar in grand final
NO veterans, no worries. Coffs United's next generation showed it can match it with the club's great teams of the past with a hard nosed 4-2 victory over Urunga in North Coast Football's Mens Premier League grand final.
Striker Deng Mayak was the hero for the Lions scoring a hat-trick as the underdogs produced a display that broke down the usually controlled and precise Urunga play.
It was a night of high scoring in the Premier League grand finals with Boambee showing why it was the leading team all year in the women's competition with a 6-1 win over Maclean.
Urunga entered the Mens Premier League contest as the favourite of many pundits but Mayak served notice that Saturday night might not go to plan when he lobbed a long range shot over the keeper in the 18th minute.
The Raiders hit back 10 minutes before half time through Fabrice Wamara but just as Urunga thought it would go into the sheds with scores level Mayak struck again.
"We realised we weren't 100% on our game plan at half time but we thought let's fix it, so we went out there with great intentions to fix it but then we gave away the early goal," Raiders coach Peter Snow said.
That early second half strike that gave Coffs United a two goal lead was Mayak again who nodded in a header from just outside the six yard box less than five minutes after the resumption.
A reflex save from a header close to goal line by Josh Wiseman maintained the Coffs United lead before Urunga's Mayak nightmare continued.
This time it wasn't Deng but Gum who'd come off the bench and pounced on a loose back pass from Wamara to make it 4-1 and lift the United supporters among the healthy C.ex Coffs International Stadium crowd right out of their seats.
Minutes later Urunga was given some hope when Nick Mallett was given his marching orders courtesy of a second yellow card.
The Raiders had 15 minutes of being a man up to try and find three goals to send the contest into extra time but Urunga could only find one late consolation goal when Ben Dooley put in a lovely pass for Michael McCormick to score.
With celebrations firmly on the Lions' minds, winning coach Glen Williams took some time to reflect on how well the developing squad performed on local football's biggest stage.
"For a young team I just think they showed a heap of character and I'm super proud," Williams said.
See Wednesday's Advocate for more.
OTHER GRAND FINAL RESULTS
Men's Reserves: Urunga def Maclean 4-1
2nd Div Men: Sawtell def Bellingen 3-2 (Extra Time)
Womens Reserves: Northern Storm def Coffs United 4-0
3rd Div Men: Corindi (2) 1-1 (4) Northern Storm (Extra Time)
2nd Div Women: Orara Valley def Dorrigo 4-2