Inverell FC proved they were the ones to beat in both first and second grade soccer last Saturday, winning both of their major semi finals.
Both grades will be vying for the top spot in their grand finals on Saturday, September 22; and are taking this weekend off as their rivals fight for the right to challenge Inverell.
“It’s very nice,” coach Kyle Chilcott said. He admitted both semi final games were “a bit close for our liking,” but said as long as Inverell wins the grand finals, it doesn’t really matter.
First grade had a nail biter against the Glen Innes Highlanders, finally scraping through with the win with a score of 4-3 in extra time.
The locals began with confidence, dominating the first half at 2-0, but by the second half Glen Innes had begun fighting back. Inverell let two goals in before scoring again to lead with 3-2. A Highlander’s bicycle kick in the final three minutes took the game into extra time.
“That was a bit nerve wracking,” Chilcott said.
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Determined to reach the grand final, Inverell found a final burst of energy in extra time, and scored the winning goal almost immediately.
“That was a good outcome for us in the end,” Chilcott said.
“In the first half we didn’t look like it was going to be close at all, we looked much the better team, but in the second half they looked miles better than us.”
He said Glen Innes, having nothing to lose at half time, had come back with “all guns blazing”, while Inverell had begun to fall asleep over the break.
“They capitalised on that, which, good for them, but we probably shouldn’t let that happen.”
Kyle King was rewarded for his hard work in centre back, and was named the Players’ Player.
“In the 20 minutes of bad football that we had when they scored three goals, it probably could have been six or seven if he wasn’t there,” Chilcott said. Glen Innes will take on TAS this weekend for the right to challenge Inverell in the grand final.
Second grade also lost more ground than they would’ve preferred in their match against Armidale’s Demon Knights (DK Dads). While the locals took home the win at 2-1, it was a game full of missed opportunities.
“We had all the run of the ball pretty much the whole game, but didn’t seem to do much with it, didn’t seem to score,” Chilcott said.
“We got up 1-0 and then it stayed 1-0 for probably 50 minutes, and in that 50 minutes, we probably could have scored 10 goals, but we didn’t. We scored to go up 2-0 with probably 20 minutes to go, and they scored with 10-15 to go and then the last 15 was a bit scrambly everywhere, I think.”
In contrast to the rest of their season, grade two’s strength lay in their defence instead of their goal scoring abilities. Anthony Alliston stepped up in centre back, and kept DK at bay, earning a Player’s Player.
Chilcott felt DK only had one opportunity for a goal in the entire game, which they took during its final 10 minutes.
“Last week I said all we do is score goals and we can’t score at the moment, so we might do a bit of shooting practice for the next two weeks,” Chilcott said.
After averaging around six goals a game throughout the season, he said it was off-putting for the locals to miss “probably 20 good chances”.
DK will now take on Armidale City for the grand final spot.
The location of both grand final games is currently undecided.