2017 BAS 1st XI Soccer Grand Final
author: Tony Beggs
BAS Grand Final
St Patrick’s College 1 defeated Ballarat Grammar 0
GOALS: Josh DeVoogel
BEST: Henry Ward, Josh DeVoogel, Ryan Schorback, James King, Mark Ritchie, Mitch Ralston, Tiernan Somers, Marcus Parini, Connor O’Callaghan, Dennis Wanjiku
Congratulations to this fine group of St Patrick's boys for producing another BAS Grand Final win against a very talented and determined Ballarat Grammar side.
Our preparation and warm-up was excellent with much thanks from the coach to Captain Josh deVoogel who took on responsibilities of warm-ups and motivation when it was required throughout the year.
He topped off his stellar season with another Best-on-Ground award from the referees and he was the lone goal scorer for the match.
The coach had been concerned about Grammar and especially their senior BDSA players Antonetti and Huggett and this game played out with their danger on show – enough to see Grammar rated above College after this hard fought match.
Yes, this quote was from the lead up Grammar match report when we recognised a Grammar side that seriously threatened our dominance of the season.
This Grand Final certainly reaffirmed the quality of the 2017 Grammar side where Huggett looked certain to score but for the desperation of James King, and Tony Antonetti began running at our players when they had their tails up and the wind behind, and he looked extremely threatening.
However, against Antonetti the centreline of Mark Ritchie and Mitch Ralston kept the pressure on him and his shots were mishit - three or four times over the bar from long range.
They also had two other dangerous players and Henry Ward and keeper Ryan Schorback were the keys to defending against their serious build ups.
Early on we looked the most dangerous with Darby Gaffney setting up his brother Jack Gaffney and a close shot.
Mitch Ralston who was overcoming a cold (but the coach meanly kept him on the ground for the entire match) was instrumental in setting up forward opportunities and Josh deVoogel was on the end of the defining build up involving multiple headers by St Patrick’s players.
From a corner the ball was put into the 18-yard area and was headed cleanly by two St Pat’s heads before arriving innocuously outside the danger zone.
Mitch rose purposefully and with a twist of his body headed the ball back into the box and to a waiting Josh deVoogel (who was still among heavy traffic) but he made the most of the opportunity to put the ball into the back of the net.
St Pat's did not put up the shutters but attacked furiously and should have scored the knock out goal.
James King off back right carried the ball deep and crossed to Lachlan Wright who was given a good sighter but missed.
Jack Gaffney found the keeper after Dennis Wanjiku broke through the centre and gave him the ball.
Lachlan Wright was also unable to drive wide of the keeper with a solid shot after a good build up.
Jack Gaffney was brought down 20 metres out and Mark Ritchie went for the shot on goal and drew a good save.
However, the latter 10 minutes saw Grammar gaining momentum and they had to be stopped by the defense and Henry Ward was the saviour on most occasions.
His reading of the play during this first half was keeping us in the game as his judgment calls of when to come forward were rewarded with clean pickups and returning of the pressure on Grammar.
With centre backs going down in number Henry was the stand tall!
The defining moment of the game may well have occurred at the end of the first half.
Grammar’s striker broke through and after being challenged, put the ball forward into the 18-yard box.
The charge to the ball was paramount in the result of the game and keeper Ryan Schorback risked all in his attack on the ball against the menacing Antonetti.
Ryan grabbed the ball securely and fell to a blow to his charging opponent and his open abdomen. In the derail the whistle blew for half time. Ryan you are a champion!
At the start of the second half we had a couple of serious chances to put the decision beyond call.
Talan Flockhart had an outstanding section of play before half time and he continued with his good form as he ended up with a last man shot on goal.
James King and Henry Ward were clearing the ball cleanly out of danger before a turn over resulted in a chance for their dangerous James Huggett.
As cries of jubilation erupted from the Grammar supporters with Huggett apparently though our defense and heading goal ward James King made the distance and harassed their danger man.
His annoyance pushed Huggett wide enough for him to take the easy option and shoot too far out and over the bar.
At a time of rampant counter attack from Grammar this was a defining moment – well done James.
The St Patrick’s team has all year been ‘a team’ and this was exemplified through the remaining 15 minutes of the match.
Three players brought off the bench in this second half helped significantly in the win and glory for the team.
With Grammar dominating and apparently opening up the game for themselves with the wind at their backs and 15 minutes of play to come: Tiernan Somers stepped up forward and immediately scared Grammar’s defense with his attack on the ball and athleticism; Marcus Parini took on their defense out wide and showed skills that hadn’t been seen for the whole of the match – he consistently ran around and bedazzled the opponents driving us forward; and Connor O’Callaghan, who was also just out of sick bay, showed composure to clean up their attacks, take the ball securely on his body to turn attacks and drive us safely into attack.
These three ‘off the bench players’ snuffed out Grammars potential to turn the game their way!
As the coach congratulated the team at the end of the match, he ensured that every player should recognise that each player had been important in the victory for the team and the school St Patrick’s College.
This win was a match that in times - far into the future - each boy can rightfully say – “I remember that final match at St Patrick’s when we beat Grammar and what a tight match it was. They came at us so hard but we withstood their every attack. Congratulations to the Champions of 2017! “
A photo gallery from the match can be seen at this link