Yoogali SC defeat Hanwood in GDFA first grade final

Yoogali SC has taken out a close encounter with Hanwood to become back-to-back champions of the Griffith District Football Association first grade competition.

It capped off what has according to coach Luke Santolin been a difficult season.

“We start this season with four players,” he said.

“There was a period where we didn't think we would be able to put a team on the park and for the first half of the season, we could only train one night a week so the feeling of achievement today is hard to describe.

“We desired to be champions I feel comfortable saying that and I am just so happy as the leader of this team.”

It was a goal before half time from Mairo Tikerberi who made the most of a miscued shot from Issac Donadel to place the ball past Nathan Maddison in goal which proved to be the decider in a 1-0 win.

Donadel was one who stood out for Santolin.

“They were smashing him and yet he kept turning up again and again,” he said.

“He is 17-years-old and is already a player that is a leader in our club.”

Hanwood were not without chance throughout the game, but it was their conversion of their opportunities in the final third which cost them.

Even when Yoogali had Tikerberi sent off, they were unable to find a way to breach the defence which was a pleasing aspect of the game for Santolin.

“I think they (Hanwood) all the chances and all the possession,” he said.

“I think we gave away so many free kicks that it was almost inviting them to score and they hit the post. So to get the goal on the sucker punch gave us something to defend.

“The heart shown by the boys with 10 men for the majority of the second half. What a team of absolute champions.

“When the final whistle went I didn't know how to feel that was the hardest game of football I have ever played against an intense and powerful Hanwood team.”