The Cobras continued their rich vein of form in the Grand Final and once they took the lead, never looked back. In this end of season showcase, victory for Russell Vale was as comprehensive as they come and all six goals were top drawer. For the U13A’s to win three trophies in one season is an incredible achievement no matter what the level and no group of players deserved it more.
The Captain Baxter Bowler Prentice led the way after 7mins scoring from a free kick 30M from goal, 1-0. Tarrawanna didn’t drop their heads and worked hard to get back into the game but found defenders Jack Donnelly, Ethan Larnach and Tom Curren in fine form. As in the semi Jarod Tuckwood was pulling the strings from deep midfield setting up one attack after the other. Russell Vale created numerous half chances but that elusive second goal didn’t arrive until a crazy 5min period prior to half time. First Bailey Baade Mortimer set up Tommy Heaton to make it 2-0. Then Zach Winter went through on goal one on one with the keeper but his clipped shot hit the inside of the post and away to safety. Within seconds he had another bite at the cherry when he found himself in an almost identical situation after ghosting past two defenders, this time he chose to go round the keeper and walk the ball into the net, 3-0. For Zach Winter to finish top goal scorer with 21 Goals was an incredible achievement, especially when you consider he played in midfield. I think if Louis Ready hadn’t picked up a serious knee injury halfway through the season he would have given him a good run for his money for the top goal scoring spot.
Half time talk was simple, it was a case of the players keeping their composure and not giving Tarrawanna any opportunities to get back into the game, they were 30mins away from winning the Treble.
Even though our game is based on “pass & move” today Russell Vale were proving to be lethal from dead ball situations. After Jordy Errington was brought down near the right hand side of the box, the subsequent free kick was superbly taken by Blair Dunn to put the Cobras 4-0 up. Soon after Jordy Errington found himself in the thick of the action again but although he got the shot away he couldn’t direct it on target. A good overlapping run down the left flank by Riley Hanlon resulted in a corner from which Blair Dunn produced an excellent cross that was met by an even better header from Tommy Heaton, 5-0. This was Tommy Heaton’s 6th brace of the season and the fact that today he also had to keep Tarrawanna’s main player quiet, he still managed to produce a man of the match performance.
Sean Donnelly had a safe pair of hands today managing his third consecutive clean sheet and his 15th in total for the season. However there wasn’t much he could do against a free kick taken by Tarrawanna’s playmaker No.6, fortunately for us their best effort of the game hit the underside of the bar and was cleared to safety by Tom Curren. Near the end of the match Christian Baade Mortimer came desperately close to scoring number six. However a minute later Bailey Baade Mortimer capped a fine display by showing his sibling how it should be done, nodding in the final goal of the game……..6-0 to the Cobras!
No disrespect to Tarrawanna but after 12 years of coaching at Russell Vale it was nice to actually win a Grand Final that didn’t entail a nail biting finish, extra time or a penalty shoot out. All the Russell Vale players were excellent today, as they have been all season. The three trophies are simply their reward for what can be achieved by putting the effort in at training and always giving a 100% for the team.
Special thanks to Erin for managing the parents this season, my son Richard for his invaluable assistance at training and on match day, Meg & Rosie for their continued support but especially the players for making Coaching so enjoyable.
Have a great summer and I hope to see all the players back next February.