We had 6 teams competing in semi final action this weekend with three games on Saturday and three on Sunday.
On Saturday, the semi final action started off at Bennett Park at 12.30pm where our AllAge/15 men were up against Strathfield at Bennett Park for another chance to make it to the Grand Final. Games during the season between the two were split with a win to each side. Cooks River had won the more recent clash between the two so went into the match with confidence. It managed to do the trick as they ran away with an emphatic 5-2 win albeit low on troops. They now play in the Grand Final this Saturday at 2.30pm at Croydon Park against Marrickville.
Not too far from Bennett Park, our AllAge8s were playing in their major semi final against Leichhardt Saints at Rudd Park at the same kick off time as the AllAge/15s. The first match between the two was a 3-0 win to Saints and the second match only a few weeks ago was a 4-1 win to the Titans. Both teams in the previous encounters had key players missing in their respective losses but on this occasion they went into this match at full strength. It was a very tight match with Cooks River dominating possession and field position. Saint create the best chance of the game but the Titans goalkeeper saved a one-on-one to keep the game scoreless. A minute later, a Cooks River freekick from halfway was driven into the box and the ball fell to a Titan who hammered the ball into the net and take a 1-0 lead with 18 minutes to go. Five minutes later a nice through ball created a one-on-one and Cooks River managed to double the lead to 2-0 which is how it ended. They now await the winner of Leichhardt Saints and Earlwood.
Back at Bennett Park, immediately after the AllAge15 match, our AllAge/4 men were hoping for a similar result against ACU. Again both matches between the two were split with a win each. Once again, it was the Titans who had a solid win in the most recent match at Beaman Park. The sky blues dominated the first half and should’ve been up by at least a couple of goals. As it happens in football matches, if you don’t put away your chances in these big games you will concede and that’s what happened when ACU took the lead. The chances then dried up for Cooks River and ACU added to the scoreline another two times to run out 3-0 winners which ended the season for our AllAge/4 men.
On Sunday, three team were in action and all kicked off at the exact same time at 9am.
Our Under13/3s were at Mackey Park against Ashfield Pirates. Ashfield held the minor premiers to a draw in their first encounter but Cooks River had a solid 3-1 win the second time around. The Titans made light work in this major semi final by scoring 3 goals in the first 10 minutes to put the game to bed. A goal from each team completed the scoring and the unbeaten Titans march on to the grand final in two weeks time.
At Henley Park, our Under14/3Girls were up against Marrickville for a chance to go through to the Grand Final. Marrickville dominated the first 20 minutes and had several shot which either went wide or were saved by the keeper. Eventually their pressure took its toll and the Titans conceded. Cooks River created a great chance to go level just before the break but the shot was saved by the Marrickville keeper. In the second half, Marrickville with 4 substitutes piled on the pressure against a Cooks River team with no substitutes and doubled their lead a few minutes after the break. The Titans ran out of steam and conceded another 3 goals even though they continued to press and could’ve had another one or two goals of their own. In the end the girls were fantastic to have made it one game away from the grand final having never played a game all season with any substitutes and more than half their games they’ve played with less than 11 players.
A stone’s throw away the Under16/1 boys played Balmain at Rudd Park for a second chance to go through to the Grand Final. Cooks River had beaten Balmain on all three occasions during the season however this was a much tighter affair as the Titans only had 11 players due to several absentees. Both teams struggled to break the deadlock and scores remained blank at half time. The second half was not much different but it was Balmain who found the breakthrough and it was this solitary goal which proved all the difference eliminating the Titans from the finals race.
The 11 teams from the Club which made the semi finals, 7 have made it through to the Grand Final. This weekend we have 5 Grand Finals taking place with another 2 Grand Finals the week after.
A remarkable achievement and the Club’s most successful year to date. If you have any free time and would like to get along to a game please do so. The summarised schedule for this weekend is as follows: