FOOTBALL: National Premier League: Capital Football
Belconnen United was crowned National Premier League: Capital Football champions after edging out Canberra FC 3-2 on penalties in the grand final at Deakin Stadium on Saturday.
Belconnen goalkeeper Ashley Collins produced a magnificent diving save to deny FC captain Matt Grbesa and secure the victory for his side after the match had finished 3-3 following extra time.
It was a remarkable end to what had been a spectacular match, with United’s Jack Green scoring a goal with just seconds remaining in extra time to bring Belconnen level and force a penalty shoot-out.
Green’s goal stunned FC, which looked to have the victory wrapped up courtesy of Josip Jadric’s extra-time brace.
FC striker Alex Oloriegbe opened the scoring just before half-time when he pounced on a poor back pass and coolly slotted his shot into the back of the net.
Belconnen hit back immediately after the break through Tom McLachlan. He latched onto a delightful ball from Marty Raines and drilled a low shot into the FC net to make it 1-1.
That’s the way it stayed, with neither side able to find a winner before the end of regular time.
Extra time followed, and Belconnen United went ahead in the 107th minute thanks to a Cameron Reinhart goal.
That lead was short lived, however, as FC responded just minutes later through Jadric, whose volley beat Collins at the near post. That man was at it again a short time later when he sent a magnificent long-range free-kick into the back of the goal to put FC 3-2 ahead.
Then came Green’s late intervention, the United man’s effort prying the title out of FC’s hands and sending the game to penalties.
Belconnen fared better from the spot than FC did and the title was the Blue Devils’.
FOOTBALL: Canberra United
Canberra United began its 2014-15 W-League campaign in impressive fashion, swatting aside Western Sydney Wanderers 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.
Having won the league crown last season after finishing on top of the competition table at the end of the regular season, United set out to once again stamp its mark on the competition in its season opener.
It achieved that goal with alarming ease, and put its rivals on notice with a commanding performance against the Wanderers.
Star striker Michelle Heyman was at her best. She scored two first-half goals – the first of which came just three minutes into the contest – and was a handful for the opposition defence all afternoon.
Elle Brush headed home a corner early in the second-half, and Caitlin Munoz was also on the score sheet.
AUSSIE RULES: AFL Canberra first grade
It was a gamble that paid off.
Queanbeyan Tigers coach Paul Campbell made the inspired move of switching veteran fullback Neil Irwin into the forward line in the second-half of Saturday’s AFL Canberra first grade grand final.
Irwin finished the game with five goals, and his move from the back to the front was the catalyst for the Tigers’ 10.7 (67) to 7.7 (49) victory over Ainslie.
Just three points separated the sides at half-time, but Irwin stepped up when he was called upon and put his stamp on the game to secure the flag for Queanbeyan and ensure good mate Michael Wescombe’s 200th game was a memorable one.
Matthew Liddle was another standout for the Tigers, while Mitch Heaslip, Alex Lawder and Kieran Shea were also top performers as Queanbeyan prevented Ainslie from claiming a third straight premiership.