Week 3 of the Finals
Post date: Aug 21, 2019 6:56:40 AM
The third week of the finals was played last weekend and we had 6 teams in action.
On Saturday the first preliminary final kicked off at 12.30pm between our All Age 12s and Sydney Rangers. Like the week before it was a see-sawing battle which not much separating the sides. Cooks River took a 1-0 lead in the first half. Sydney Rangers fought back to equalise before the break. Cooks River then hit the lead again in the second half before Sydney Rangers scored to draw level at 2-2. The Titans pushed forward and scored a third goal to lead 3-2 late in the game but Rangers did not give up and scored a scrappy goal a few minutes before full time to level the scores for a third time and send the match into extra time golden goal. The Sky Blues had the best chance in extra time when they broke down the right hand side and cut the ball back only for the close range shot to be blocked by a reflex save from the keeper, then the rebound was hit against the cross bar before a third shot was blocked on the line. Neither team they couldn't break the deadlock during extra time so the match went into penalties. Unfortunately, Cooks River lost the shootout 3-1 and were eliminated.
The All Age 1 Bs kicked off their preliminary final against Minor Premiers Strathfield at Strathfield Park at 2.30pm. Strathfield had the benefit of playing on their home field and despite being a fairly tight match opened the scoring. They grabbed a second goal before half time to lead 2-0 at the break. The Titans threw caution to the wind in the hope to get back into the game but conceded another two times to lose the match 4-0 hence ending their campaign for 2019.
Our All Age 7s were also in a preliminary final against Minor Premiers Strathfield. The match was a Grand Final replay from last season and it definitely did not disappoint. The Titans started slow and before they knew it were 2-0 down. Cooks River fought back well and converted some of their own chances to get back into the game. It was a goal fest with both teams throwing everything in attack. By half time the score was 4-3 to Strathfield. The Sky Blues came out firing in the second half and managed to turn the game on its head by getting the next two goals and lead 5-4. As time ticked on it looked like the Titans would hold on but Strathfield sprung the offside trap to run through and equalise with just minutes remaining and send the game into extra time golden goal. Unfortunately, it was Cooks River who would concede in extra time and be eliminated from the final series.
The Over35/1s played their Grand Final against arch rivals Leichhardt Tigers. The matched kicked off at 2.30pm at Bennett Park in front of a crowd between 250-300 spectators. The match certainly lived up to all expectations. Not much separated the two teams but it was Cooks River who broke the deadlock through Jimmy Nikas. Leichhardt looked to hit back but Titans keeper Ross Savvas pulled off a couple of great saves to deny the Tigers. In the last minute of the first half, Leichhardt broke down the right and charged into the box only to be brought down giving the referee no option but to award a penalty. It was duly dispatched seconds before the half time whistle to send the scores level at the break.
The dying stages of the Over 35 Division 1 Grand Final in front of a very healthy crowd.
It took only ten minutes into the second half for Cooks River to again hit the lead. This time it was a screamer from outside the box by Norman Tome. In the 66th minute a great cross from the left was meant at the back post my Tome to send the Sky Blues up 3-1. Just when you thought the game was slipping out of reach for the Minor Premiers, they scored a great goal in the 75th minute which nestled into the bottom left corner to bring it back to 3-2. In the 84th minute, Tome got his hat-trick in what many thought would kill off the game but two minutes later Leichhardt scored again to bring the game back to 4-3. Cooks River managed to hold on and be crowned champions for a consecutive season. Neither of these two teams have managed to go back to back over the past 7 sevens before this year. Congratulations to our Over35 Division1.
Cooks River Over 35 Division 1 team going back to back wining the championship yet again with a thrilling 4-3 win.
On Sunday, we had 2 team competing in finals.
Our U16/2s were at Mackay Park against a formidable Leichhardt Saints which had been tough games throughout the season. Both teams created chances but it was Cooks River who opened the scoring in the 16th minute. The score was to remain the same until half time. In the second half, Leichhardt committed players forward and were unlucky not to get anything out of it. They were punished though by the Titans who caught them on the break to double the lead 16 minutes into the second half. The Saints didn't give up and squandered several chances including hitting one over the crossbar from 1 metre out. They would rue their misses as Cooks River again ventured down the other end to put the nail in the coffin. They almost had a 4th goal in the last minute of the game with a clever turn and half volley which just sailed past the top corner. They will now play in the Grand Final against Burwood this Sunday at Strathfield Park.
Cooks River Under 16 Division 2 moved comfortably into the Grand Final with a solid 3-0 win.
The other match was played at Ewen Park between our All Age Sunday 2s against Marrickville. The Titans were unable to find any fluency being without a couple of influential players and the pressure eventually told when Marrickville scored from a freekick just before half time. Cooks River tried valiantly in the second half but were undone another 3 times by a rampant Marrickville outfit. The Titans did score a consolation goal seconds before full time but the 4-1 loss ended their campaign this season.
Out of our 13 teams which qualified for the finals, 5 made the Grand Final. One team already won their Grand Final last weekend so we are hoping for another 4 teams being crowned champions this weekend.