Wagga’s top junior soccer competition produced a gripping grand final day on Wednesday that saw Mater Dei Primary School and South Wagga Public School come out on top.
In just its second year of operation, the Sydney FC Cup drew students between grades six and four from all across the Wagga region for a high-quality tournament.
The girls’ competition was a hard-fought affair that saw Mater Dei and Wagga Public School take grand final berths and the decider didn’t disappoint as Mater Dei ran out eventual 2-1 winners.
Backed by a tail wind in the opening half, Mater Dei shot out of the blocks and almost scored in the 4th minute but the chance was shut down by Wagga Public goalkeeper Sophie Wilson.
Mater Dei continued to test the waters with a few opportunistic raids before Chloe Donelan made the breakthrough.
Latching onto a long ball, Donelan beat two defenders before coolly slotting the ball into the back of the net to give her side a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.
Wilson kept Wagga Public in the contest with another save in the 20th minute as the blue team started to find their form.
Captain Tamara Corcoran was threatening in attack and eventually found an equaliser two minutes after half time.
Corcoran turned over possession in midfield and weaved her way downfield before finishing with a right-foot strike into the corner, squaring things up 1-all.
Mater Dei weren’t done and Ava Moller’s 37th minute goal put the favourites back in front as the clock ticked down.
The 2-1 margin held firm until the final whistle, handing Mater Dei their maiden Cup victory after last year’s grand final loss.
The following boys’ grand final between South Wagga and Mater Dei was an even grittier affair with neither side able to create regular chances.
Otis Irvine scored for South Wagga in just the 3rd minute to gift his side a 1-0 advantage and that’s the way it stayed for the remaining 47 minutes of play.
Sunny Martins almost doubled South Wagga’s advantage in the 18th minute but Mater Dei keeper Brodie Irvine proved his salt with a number of clutch saves to keep their opponents within arm’s reach.
A Mater Dei free kick from just inside their attacking half tested South Wagga goalie Adam Lindsell just before half time but it was the defending champions who came out stronger in the second term.
No further goals were forthcoming and South Wagga were eventually crowned deserving premiers.
“It was a really positive day of football with two great games played out there,” Football Wagga development officer Liam Dedini said.
“We’re hoping to make it even bigger and better next year.”
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