West Panthers took on the Goats of Alma in the men’s A Grade semi final this past weekend.
West had earlier tasted success in the men’s B Grade semi-final with a 4-0 victory over the same opponents to secure a spot in the B Grade final against St Joes for this coming Sunday.
They would not have the same success in the A Grade, as Alma showed their superiority with a 5-1 victory over West as afternoon turned to evening at O’Neill Sporting Complex.
West were a rabble early on, as they struggled with Alma’s intensity and passing play and their wingers were dominant, so it was only a matter of time before young right winger, Jvorge Hebbard, gave them a 1-0 lead. Coach Will Hebbard praised the youngster who is incredibly just 15.
“His speed is something opponents can’t cope with,” he said, adding the youngster’s development this season was top notch.
The Goats continued to dominate the play and could have been out of sight by half time had they converted all their chances. They eventually went two-nil up around the 40-minute mark to get the lead their play deserved. Left winger Codey
Ralph won a penalty and the opportunity to extend the Goats’ lead but was thwarted by West’s goalkeeper.
When the whistle blew for half time, the score sat at 2-0.
West burst out of the blocks in the second half and slowly began working their way into the contest, but Alma remained a threat. The Goats’ wingers were simply too much for the opposition to handle, as Alma had complete ascendancy in the midfield.
By the hour mark, Alma was 3-0 up, and less than 10 minutes later they were 4-0 in front after a goal of the year contender from 40 yards out from team captain Bailey Stubing that absolutely tore the house down.
The match finished 5-1, after West hit back with a wonder goal of their own. It was to no avail however, as Alma secured themselves a Grand Final place this coming Sunday.
Coach Hebbard was delighted with his side’s display and reserved special praise for hattrick hero Fletcher Kolinac. “You can’t deny him. He was our best on ground. He was everywhere and helped himself to a hattrick.”
Speaking about the team performance, the coach added, “that is what the boys are capable of. It was some of the best finishing I have seen from us this season. If they turn up with the same attitude next week we’ll give St Joes a run for their money.”
Will St. Joes keep their sensational undefeated season going? Or will Alma pull off the upset of the century to win this year’s title? Head down to O’Neill Sporting Complex this Sunday to find out.