Yoogali SC 2
Hanwood FC 1
YOOGALI SC claimed the Real Juice Cup on Sunday by beating Hanwood FC by a one goal margin for the second year in a row.
Two goals from Scottish import and last year's Griffith District Football Association (GDFA) best and fairest Derek McKechnie capped off a dominant tournament for the reigning premiers.
Yoogali SC walk away with $4000 for their troubles, which coach Sante Donadel said would go a long way.
"Obviously sponsorship is hard to find for every club so $4000 will be very handy, it gives us a bit of breathing space for equipment, players and that sort of stuff.
"We've had a long preseason which has been going for a couple of months now, so today was good for the players to see where they're at against the rest.
“Obviously we are going to give it a good shot again this year.”
Just three weeks until both sides play each other again in the season opener, Donadel said his team would look to improve three key aspects.
“We have to work on our fitness and sharpness and ball control, we need to hold the ball more possession wise,” he said.
“I’m happy with the way the boys have been training and our fitness level has been pretty good, but we have to be 100 per cent going into the season opener against Hanwood again in three weeks.
“The word going around is a lot of teams are getting imports and making their clubs stronger which is what we’ve always wanted, the stronger the competition the better.”
Despite rain throughout the day conditions remained dry for the final but the players had to contend with strong wind and a slow pitch.
Three goals in the first half had the crowd enthralled but after four matches over two days, tired legs got the better of both sides in a scoreless second half.
New Hanwood FC president Brian Bertolin said the difference between the sides was quality finishing.
“Over the two days our finishing wasn’t up to scratch, we know that we need to sharpen up in the final third,” Bertolin said.
“Yoogali defended very well during the game, in the second half they put some extra numbers down the back which made it hard to score.
“Yoogali took their chances, that was the difference.”
Yoogali SC were completely dominant in the lead-up to the grand final, whereas Hanwood FC were given a fright in their semifinal but they managed to scrape through 3-2 in golden goal against Griffith City.
“Our performance against Griffith City was a little scratchy but we came back from 2-1 down so it was good to get over the line in golden goal,” Bertolin said.
“Obviously any team wants to win a final and no one wants to be runner up – the money wasn’t much of a consideration.”
Both Donadel and Bertolin praised the tournament’s concept but were disappointed three GDFA sides didn’t enter a side.