Joeys go back to back

Tuesday, 25th September, 2012

St Joseph’s coaches George Callegher (left) and Grant Smith (right), with captain Matt Muscat (centre) celebrating their premiership victory. St Joseph’s coaches George Callegher (left) and Grant Smith (right), with captain Matt Muscat (centre) celebrating their premiership victory.

By Ben Sheffield

St Joseph's Patrick Nash, who drove home a penalty shot in the 88th minute, provided the only score in another nail biting A Grade Grand Final between the Joeys and West.

The two teams have faced off in the past four deciders, but St Joseph's went into the latest installment as underdogs, based on a one win, one draw, three loss minor round season against West in 2012.

For the vast majority of the game, the ball moved rapidly from end to end, placing both defences under continued pressure.

Both sides struggled to get any meaningful scoring opportunities in the first half, as Delbridge was kicking West out of trouble and Nash made several telling interceptions with his headers for St Joes.

Two yellow cards were issued by South Australian referee, Jarrad Muller; one toWest Captain Johnny Bugeja for a tackle on Rylie McInnes and
the second against McInnes for time wasting, when he kicked the ball away.

To half time, McInnes and Steven Grillett were working hard into the wind without reward, whilst outside runners Daniel Timperio and Liam King were effective for the Joeys.

West playmaker Bugeja was getting plenty of possession, but importantly, most of it was not in goal scoring range.

The second half made for equally absorbing viewing, but it was St Josephs turn to attack with the wind.

A couple of major chances from McInnes and Grillett were squandered, whilst keeper, Luke Woods, pulled off two great saves to deny St Joseph's.

Late in the game, Gepp found himself in space, but could not convert for West, firing over the crossbar.

In the dying moments, a long range kick from Jelbert produced a moment of mayhem, as the ball cleared West's last defender, allowing King to run onto the bouncing ball near the penalty spot.

With the West Goal Keeper advancing, a collision occurred, which led referee Muller to award a penalty for a push from behind.

With just moments remaining, Nash calmly converted from the spot to give St Joseph's a decisive 1-0 lead.

West goalkeeper, Luke Woods was sent off following two yellow cards for dissent in the aftermath of the penalty.

St Joseph's held their nerve in the face of some desperate West attacks in the dying seconds and hung on to win the memorable encounter.

In the women's game, West prevailed 4-1, after an early scare from St Joseph's, who posted the opening goal.

West went into the match as minor premiers and favourites to win the match, but that began to be questioned when Isabella Morris posted the first score of the match.

West responded quickly and ramped up their game to combat the fiercely attacking game of the Joey's team.

The Panthers' Amee Hogarth responded mid way through the first half, with a great goal to square the ledger.

St Josephs found the back of the net a second time, but the joy was brief, after an offside ruling saw the goal disallowed.

From that point on, West constructed a strong team performance and added three unanswered goals to secure the premiership.

Early predictions of St Joseph's dominating the B grade Grand Final proved to be some way off the mark, with the match pushed to extra time, in which St Joseph's converted from a penalty to finish 2-1 winners.

West played a strong defensive match, with neither side scoring until deep in the second half, when Michael Shorrock scored for the Panthers, converting from a cross.

With little time remaining, West looked on the verge of stealing an unlikely victory, but Alec Bray equalised for St Joseph's, resulting in a 1-1 full time scoreline.

For the second year in a row, the B Grade Grand Final advanced to extra time, after a penalty shootout determined the 2011 decider.

After almost the full 30 minutes of extra time had expired, West gave away a penalty and St Joseph's Sterling Curyer, converted a captain's goal to seal the match.