Henwood Park claim third straight Gardiner Shield | Photos

Henwood Park have won their third consecutive Gardiner Shield despite sitting as low as seventh during the season. 

The Hawks downed Leeton United 1-0 in a frantic reserve grade final at Equex Centre on Sunday.

A 70th minute spot kick was ultimately all that separated the two sides, when man of the match Matt Cain made a stunning run down the middle before being brought down in the box by Leeton’s Dominico Puntoriero.

Geoffrey Euhus was the man to step up to the spot and calmly slot the penalty. 

Henwood Park coach Jamie Potter was proud of his victorious troops post-game, saying they worked well together on the offensive. 

“Moving into space and playing passes to the advantage of the receiver was the difference in the end,” he said.

“It was pleasing to finish the season this way after being so low on the table.”

Henwood were on top early on, their play highlighted by livewire Cain playing a pair of through balls – each as delightful as they were menacing – to brother Daniel, who was subsequently unable to get a clean shot away.

The Hawks went into half-time feeling good about their prospects but that feeling was replaced with concern when coach Jamie Potter went down less than 10 minutes after the break.

Potter suffered a nasty blow to the head and was on the ground for about 10 minutes, before walking from the field largely under his own steam.

Euhus struck from the spot minutes later to restore order and Leeton responded by pushing players forward in a major way.

The final 15 minutes of the contest largely consisted of United firing endless shots at goal, as the Hawks defended with their lives to hold onto the title.