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Roslyn secured the championship with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Northern, whose pre-match game plan of frustrating Roslyn nearly paid dividends with numbers behind the ball and resolute defending.
Northern was arguably the better team in the opening stages with a couple of back-to-back corners, but they did not threaten the target.
Roslyn then took control, having the majority of possession and starting attacks through fullbacks Reid Hulleman and Tim O’Farrell. The woodwork denied Nick Treadwell his 21st goal of the season.
Tennessee Kinghorn then popped up with a driven left-footed strike from the edge of the box after cutting in from the right and jinking past a defender and in between another two for a 1-0 lead going into the break. The second half was much the same. Northern sat deep, allowing Roslyn to play out from the back and then looking to break on the counter in a direct fashion. Roslyn’s Nathan Wilkie and Kinghorn went down in the box on separate occasions as the referee waved away appeals for a penalty. Northern’s Luke Carrington had a strong game, impressing coach Luiz Uehara. Despite a late flurry of chances for Roslyn, the match ended 1-0. Green Island’s young team secured a second-place finish with a 2-1 victory at Tahuna Park. With many enforced absences, Green Island rang the changes and gave a debut to Tate Barron.
University’s impressive gloveman, Thomas Gray, was again to the fore, saving at least three early one-on-ones. Barron’s quality through ball found Matt Brazier on the edge of the penalty box; he calmly beat his man and slotted the ball past the advancing keeper to open the scoring after 16 minutes. Tom Milton then doubled the lead three minutes later with a long-range free kick.
In the second half the students created some chances of their own and when Dominic Scahill took a free kick from long range with 14 minutes left to play, his effort deceived Stew Catto in goal and found the back of the net after canonning in off the post. Green Island held on to claim all three points.
Both Mosgiel and Caversham were missing key players through injuries, suspensions and concussions and there was a lot of youth on display in their match.
Caversham had youngsters Noah Scott and Ryan Gardiner in defence. Mosgiel was missing Sean McDonald, who, having just recovered from concussion, had broken his hand, giving Caleb Munro his debut in goal.
Thirteen minutes in and Javier Langley linked up with Riley Anderton on the right flank to feed Charlie Gruppelaar, whose square ball into the box was rifled home by Morgan Day. Caversham’s reply was instant when a cross deceived Munro in goal and Caversham’s Tim Cook, making a return to the first team, was knocked it in. Ryan Fleming scored Caversham’s second to secure a 2-1 halftime lead before speedster Ben Wade made it 3-1 early in the second half.
Mosgiel introduced Dan Gruppelaar and Jesse Wright, whose added energy changed the game. Wright put over a perfect cross for Cody Brook to bundle it over the line. Dan Gruppelaar’s quality cross to edge box found Anderton, who finished perfectly past Zane Green in Caversham’s goal. Mosgiel completed a superb comeback when Anderton coolly finished under pressure for a pulsating 4-3 victory.
- Neville Watson