IT was not just the A Grade game which provided a spectacle on Sunday when the Limestone Coast Football Association wrapped up its pre-season tournament with the Steeline Cup grand finals.
Gambier Centrals’ home ground at Bishop Road was abuzz with soccer fans and players from the region, with five entertaining matches contested.
The Under 12 final between Centrals and International kicked off proceedings and although the home team was expected to win comfortably, scores were locked at nil-all at half time.
It was an impressive display by the future stars of the league and comments were made by umpires on the quality of the game, with comparison to the skills and passing of a senior game.
After the break Inter ran out of legs and despite a goal to Marcus Gajic, Centrals stormed home for a 4-1 victory.
Finn Dickson was in accurate form and converted all four of the Lions’ goals.
The Under 14 match preceded the A Grade decider and saw Centrals with a dominant 9-1 win over Inter.
It was a solid display by the Lions, as they broke the Inter domination which had taken over the grade for the last three years.
Diamond Min was in fine form through the midfield for Centrals and created several of his team’s attacking plays.
He also hit the scoreboard with two goals, along with Mee Reh Htoo.
For Inter Freddie Muller managed to find the back of the net in the second term, but it was too little, too late as Centrals dominated all areas of the ground.
An upset was had in the Under 17 cup final, after Apollo headed into the match as hot favourite, but was unable to claim the silverware.
It was not to be and an impressive start from Inter saw a 4-0 lead established in the first 20 minutes of play.
Apollo settled somewhat from there and the score remained unchanged before half time.
A change of momentum saw Apollo threaten the lead in the second half, especially after several Inter players were rested in preparation for A Grade commitments.
Apollo banged through two goals for the half and put the pressure on its opponent, but the black and blue held firm to seal the win and claim the cup.
Noah Koko Htoo led the way on the scoreboard with two goals, while Austin Rossi and Reece Cowling scored one each.
Apollo’s Tyler Ackland and Harry Wilson scored their team’s goals.
The only match of the day which was not won by Inter or Centrals saw Apollo’s Reserves claim a 2-0 win over the Lions.
A deadlock for most of the first half was broken when Apollo scored just before the break to carry a 1-0 advantage into the second term.
The side managed another goal in the second half, with Erike Irakoze and Sharnay Than the scorers for the match, while a strong defence was able to keep Centrals from converting.
Teams will now look forward to this Sunday’s opening round of the premiership season.