Double delight for South

The Victorious South Broken Hill Women’s teamPicture: ANDREW Lodiong

South Football Club started its 2022 local AFL campaign with victory in both Lighting Cup finals on the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, the Roos outclassed their opponents in the senior men’s and women’s divisions in warm and sunny conditions.

Success in the Cup deciders sent a statement to the other three outfits in the league ahead of round one in late April.

Senior men’s A grade coach, Darren Smith, said the triumph in both finals showed the club’s strong position.

“It’s why it makes our club the way it is today,” he said. “Our players and their dedication to the team and the club makes our club great.”

The A grade team continued its winning streak in the Lighting Cup that started in 2011 with another top performance.

South proved too good for their opponents by the final siren in their emphatic win over Central at Jubilee Oval.

The two teams contested in a hard battle with heavy pressure and tough tackling featuring throughout the match.

Smith said his sides’ energy level stood up to Central defence and helped them gain the early advantage.

“I think we just wore them out with our fitness but they are going to be a strong side this year,” he said.

South kicked the first major of the game before eventually adding a few more to their tally before the break.

Vice-caption, Arlen Bird, believes the fluid play from back to front led the players into their rhythm that saw them dominate the contest.

“Their pressure was awesome. We just made the effort to get it into our ball carriers,” Bird said.

“Our link-up play today was better than some of the other teams.”

Central was able to register minor scores during the 40-minute final, but South converted in front of the goal in the decisive moments.

Coach Smith was happy with his side’s hunger all game and said the Cup success is always a good feeling, highlighting several positives.

“We were still desperate at the end, which was a very good sign for us,” he said.

“I’m blessed to have a lot of quality blokes and good juniors; it makes my life a lot easier.

“All our juniors were outstanding and they are very exciting players.”

Final score:
South – 7.5.(47)
Central – 1.6.(12)

In the tournament’s earlier final, the South FC’s senior women’s team ran out winners in a one-sided affair.

Coach, Jake Peters, said it was a “perfect way” to start this season with good performances in both matches.

“We bought a lot of new girls to the squad this year,” he said. “To see the new girls come in and make a contribution to the team its exactly what you’re looking for.”

The forward pressure was too much for opponents North to handle, eventually paying the price on the scoreboard.

Peters said exploiting North’s defensive minded strategy and being in the right positions helped lift his side to victory.

“North tend to flood back when you kick a couple of goals against them,” he said.

“So we just told our girls to find some space and try and open it up – they all did that really well”

“When it’s in there we try and keep the pressure building and score and that’s exactly what they did.”

When asked about the accomplishment, the team captain, Shae Nevill, was buzzing after the trophy presentation.

“It’s a great feeling and I’m absolutely stoked,” she said.

“It’s been a few years since the cup has been over the hill so we are going to celebrate well today.

“It’s a credit to the girls and how well they played.”

The midfielder, who can play as a forward, began to bring her teammates into the game as she got more touches of the ball.

“My role in the team is to make sure everyone is getting a fair crack and bringing the best out in our players,” Nevill said.

“We all bring something important to our team and as long as we are having fun at the end of the day that’s all that matters.”

Nevill said despite the scoreline, she expects it to be a tougher league this season when all teams line up for game one.

“I don’t think this is going to dictate too much how we move into the season, but it definitely motivates us,” she said.
Final score:

South – 5.3.(33)
North – 0.0.(0)

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