We had 5 teams competing in Grand Finals last weekend with 2 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. All five Grand Finals were between the same opponents 2 weeks earlier in the major semi finals with none of the teams finishing in 3rd or 4th able to sneak past the top 2 placed teams.
On Saturday, both Grand Finals kicked off at the same time at 2.30pm.
Our AllAge/2s were at Strathfield Park facing off once again against Strathfield. Our AllAge2s were the minor premiers and Strathfield finished second in the regular season. Two weeks earlier, both teams met in the major semi-final where Cooks River triumphed 3-1. Games between the two were always hard fought battles and this was no exception. In front of a very healthy crowd, it was Strathfield who took the early lead and they managed to double it midway through the first half. Cooks River continued to press for a goal and missed some good chances but things got more difficult in the second half when they went down to 10 men following a red card. Around 11 minutes later Strathfield too received a red card to even the playing field. A Titans corner paid dividends with 7 minutes to go as they flooded the box and pegged a goal back. However, time eventually ran out and Strathfield managed to hold on for a 2-1 victory.
Not too far away, the AllAge/15s once again clashed with Marrickville with whom they played two weeks earlier but went down 2-0. This time however, the Titans stamped their authority on the match and opened the scoring very early in the match. After about 30 minutes the Titans doubled their lead and then scored again 8 minutes before the break. Marrickville managed to get a goal back moments before half time to go into the break 3-1 down. It wasn’t long in the second half when Cooks River scored again but Marrickville wasn’t going away as they double their tally 5 minutes later. Things would get interesting when Marrickville scored a 3rd goal literally a couple of minutes before full time but the Titans held on to win the Grand Final 4-3 and be crowned Champions.
On Sunday, the first of our teams in the Grand Final were our Under15/3s who kicked off at 1pm at Croydon Park once again against the team they played merely two weeks earlier in the major semi final. The semi final result was a 3-1 win to the Titans and Lakemba was keen for revenge. The game started with the Titans completely dominating the match and came extremely close on several occasions but were denied by the woodwork as well as some scrambling defence. About 19 minutes into the game Lakemba won a freekick just outside the Titans box but at a really acute angle. A powerful direct shot was too hot to handle for the Cooks River keeper who had no protection and Lakemba stormed in on the follow through to take the lead. This lifted Lakemba who then grabbed a second from a long range shot from outside the box which went into the bottom corner. In the second half, Cooks River pressed hard for a goal with plenty of crosses, shots and goal mouth scrambles but time and time again could not make the break through. The full time whistle blew and the Titans suffered a heartbreaking 2-0 loss.
A short 8 minute drive away, our AllAgeWomen/2 minor premiers kicked off against Balmain at Rudd Park. They had won the same fixture 2-1 a fortnight earlier but this time wanted a less stressful match. They seized control from the outset and it wasn’t long before they opened the scoring. Balmain provided resistance but it was the Titans dominating and eventually doubled their lead with a great strike from distance. A few minutes later it was 3 nil and they took that scoreline into the break. A few minutes into the second half and the Titans scored again virtually sealing the victory. They went on to pile on a further 2 goals which completed the hatrick for their striker before Balmain finally got a goal of their own. Cooks River weren’t done yet when they scored a 7th goal which completed a hatrick for their wide midfielder. It was Balmain who would score a consolation goal to give a final result of 7-2 to our women. They capped off a fantastic season to be crowned Champions for 2022.
Further north at Majors Bay Reserve, our AllAgeSunday/2s were up against Abbotsford who they had beaten 3-2 two weeks earlier. It was a twilight fixture and the final match of the day and weekend. Abbotsford would open the scoring in a very tense battle. Cooks River hit back to draw level. Abbotsford regained the lead in the 61st minute. A few minutes later Abbotsford went 3-1 up and Cooks River went a man down leaving themselves with a very steep mountain to climb. They did manage to create some good chances but with a thin squad on the day, it was Abbostford who grabbed a fourth goal with 8 minutes left to play and seal a 4-1 win under lights.
Only two Grand Finals remain this weekend which will conclude the season. They feature our unbeaten Under13/3s on Sunday and our AllAge/8s on Saturday. Both games are at Tempe Reserve so if you have time to go along and support, please do so. Details are below: