IT WENT precisely to script – Yoogali SC won the day, Dane Ballard snatched a double and another ugly chapter was written into local sport’s most bitter rivalry.
In a clash marred by six yellow cards and a push-and-shove free-for-all among supporters after the final whistle, Yoogali SC took away the only prize that mattered – a spot in this weekend’s first grade grand final against Hanwood.
Goal-scoring wunderkind Ballard was again the hero for SC, scoring a freakish in-step volley goal in the first half and burying the knife deeper with a penalty in the dying minutes.
FC had its chances – the best of them a cannonball free kick from Archie Watkins that hit the crossbar – but SC’s class and consistency was telling in the end.
“We probably deserved more goals but in the end I would have been happy with 1-0 – we got the win,” SC coach Sante Donadel said.
“There’s always feeling between these two sides but what we play for is a grand final and we’re in it now.
“We just need to prepare well this week.”
The victory was sealed by Ballard but built on defence, with Hudson Fanani at the back and midfielder Mitch Bagiante starring for SC.
FC dominated territory in patches but wavered in intensity and discipline.
“We were in it for a long way but they
were more hungry and were on top for much of the game,” Yoogali FC coach Rocky Marando said.
“It was a great derby game and full credit to them.
“Everyone tried hard but we needed to be at our very best to beat them and we probably weren’t today. I’m still really proud of the boys.”
He said late withdrawals from FC keeper Daniel Lico and key midfielder Anthony Sergi made the side’s job even harder.
FC captain Luke De Valentin again stood tall, while fullback Sitiveni Watkins had one his games of the season.
Police were called to EW Moore Oval after supporters – and a number of players – were involved in an altercation outside the changerooms after full-time.
“There’s a lot of feeling and a lot of history between these sides,” Marando said.
Earlier, Yoogali SC grabbed its spot in the reserve grade grand final after a thrilling 4-2 win over Yoogali FC, the highlight an extraordinary long-range goal from SC veteran Paul D’Arcy.