Mater Dei Catholic College snared the Creed Shield, with a satisfying 3-1 win over defending premier Wagga High on Wednesday night.
The hour-long game was intense, particularly in the second half.
Mater Dei put the first goal away seven minutes in.
In the second half, the squad capitalised on two defensive errors, scoring two goals off free-kicks by Luke Tomlinson.
Tomlinson pocketed the first free-kick, and let his team-mate, Tom Crouch, who ran into the goal-mouth and headed it in, produce some magic from the second free-kick.
The final whistle sounded just after Crouch’s goal, the highlight of the match for Mater Dei captain Isaac Tancredi.
“He (Crouch) didn’t get much of a run, but for him to come on with five minutes to go, and get his head on the ball, and put it in the back of the net, it was just the best moment,” Tancredi said.
“It was great.”
After losing to Wagga High last year, the Year 12 student was pleased to finally defeat his arch rivals in his last hurrah.
“It’s good to get one back on them and bring it back to Mater Dei,” he said.
Like most of the boys on the Mater Dei squad, Tancredi plays Australian Rules, rather than soccer, in winter.
“Play any sport, they’re willing to give 100 per cent and be successful,” he said.
At the award presentation he thanked his coach Rod Buik and team-mates for their work.
“I’m so proud of you, great effort,” he said.
“We just fought hard for the full 90 minutes.”
He believes Mater Dei’s desire to win possession won them the game.
“The intent, the pressure and the intensity to be first to the ball, to win the ball and play it forward,” he said
Mater Dei defenders Zac Hines, Anthony Mason and Pat Kingwill were hard to beat.
“They were really clean with possession of the ball, just getting it out and clearing it down forward,” Tancredi said.
“Letting us midfielders and forwards try to get it in the back of the net.”
Wagga High replied to Mater Dei’s second goal within minutes, with Ah Nga Lagwi working the ball forward, and Kyle Yeates hooking the ball over Mater Dei’s last man from the corner of the box, through the keeper’s fingertips, into the top left-hand corner.
Wagga High players tried to press through defenders instead of building towards goal, allowing Mater Dei to seize possession and move forward again.
Mater Dei’s Kuba Wrobel received the award for best on ground.
Result: Mater Dei def Wagga High 3-1
Goals: (Mater Dei) Tom Murray, Luke Tomlinson, Tom Crouch, (Wagga High) Kyle Yeates.
In the women’s tournament earlier in the night, Kooringal claimed the Shipard Shield.