‘It was like a movie’: Roos captain on grand final win
FRENCHVILLE have claimed back-to-back premierships, winning a drama-charged CQ Premier League grand final on Saturday night.
The Roos hoisted the Wesley Hall Cup for the sixth time in eight years after beating Bluebirds United 2-1 at Ryan Park.
They came back from a 1-nil deficit at half-time, with Paul Jackson scoring the equaliser early in the second half and Ryan Hawken what would be the decider in the 77th minute.
Both teams were reduced to 10 men in the second half – Frenchville losing their goalkeeper Robbie Day in the 58th minute and Bluebirds their striker Yianna Kondilis in the 73rd minute for crude challenges on opposition players.
It was always going to be a hard-fought contest, with the teams having won two games apiece in their four previous meetings.
Victorious captain Jordan Miller said it was a gutsy performance from his outfit and a “massive collective effort”.
“Bluebirds came out firing as we knew they would, a lot of youth, a lot of energy, but we gritted through and we got the win,” he said.
“We played half an hour with one less man and I think that’s a classic grand final win.
“It was like a movie - there were twists and turns, they were on top at times and we were as well.
“Once we went to one less man and momentum (was still) our way, it was like we’re on here.
“When they went down a bloke and it was back to level pegging, we just had to make sure we didn’t concede.”
Coach Mat Wust said it felt incredible to win back-to-back premierships.
He conceded this one was a “little bit sweeter” given how hard the team had to work for it on the night and through what had been a challenging season.
“To go down to 10 men and to show the heart we showed and come back into the game… it was awesome,” he said.
“We didn’t know we would be playing with COVID and the work that had to go into just getting us out on the field, let alone to where we are now is amazing.
“It’s been a long journey, playing football at this time of year is a bit unusual but it’s great, it feels great.
“We love that trophy - it means so much to us.”
Bluebirds coach Gary Skinner was understandably disappointed.
“The boys played really well tonight, obviously just didn’t do quite enough in the end,” he said.
Striker Liam Mclean produced another outstanding performance, scoring the team’s only goal on the stroke of half-time.
Midfielder Sam Skinner worked tirelessly as well and was named Player of the Match.
It was the first grand final appearance for all but one member of the Bluebirds squad and coach Skinner was sure they would take a lot from it.
“It will be a massive learning curve for them, and I think they’ll be even hungrier next year if they get the opportunity again,” he said.
There were dual celebrations for Frenchville, who also took out the Division 2 premiership, also with a win over Bluebirds.
The teams were locked at 2-all and could not be separated after 30 minutes of extra time, with Frenchville prevailing 4-2 in penalty shootouts.