Polonia pounce on cup silverware

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
Great Southern Soccer Association’s Federation Cup winners Polonia.
Camera IconGreat Southern Soccer Association’s Federation Cup winners Polonia. Credit: Laurie Benson

Polonia have won their first Federation Cup since 2015 after overcoming a strong challenge from Albany Rovers last Saturday night in the Great Southern Soccer Association men’s top-tier final.

Polonia were crowned league champions, only losing three games all year, while Rovers were the surprise package of the cup competition.

Polonia forward Tom Carrington found the back of the net in the 10th minute when he worked his way into space down the right side of the field and curled the ball past the keeper to put his side ahead.

Rovers' Tom McKenzie tries to pull away from Polonia's Tom Hunt.
Camera IconRovers' Tom McKenzie tries to pull away from Polonia's Tom Hunt. Credit: Laurie Benson

Thomas McKenzie was yellow carded late in the first half for a dangerous challenge.

Both sides defended well under extreme pressure for the rest of the first 45 minutes, as Polonia held onto their 1-0 lead at half-time.

Rovers did everything they could in the second half to level the scores but Polonia’s defence was up for the challenge.

Rovers' Brad Chapman clears.
Camera IconRovers' Brad Chapman clears. Credit: Laurie Benson

Rovers received two yellow cards within two minutes, one going to Jayden Thomas and the other to Rovers coach Justin Bielecki.

For a large amount of the second half, Rovers dominated possession but were not able to get into an attacking position and conjure a good shot on goal.

Polonia put Rovers on the back foot for the last 10 minutes of the game, as they had a number of scoring opportunities narrowly miss.

Rovers' Daniel Lee and Polonia's Nathan Griffiths contest the ball.
Camera IconRovers' Daniel Lee and Polonia's Nathan Griffiths contest the ball. Credit: Laurie Benson

The score did not change in a thrilling last 20 minutes of play as Polonia held on to win the Federation Cup 1-0, their first success in the knockout since beating Caledonians four years ago.

The victory capped a superb season for Polonia as they secured the cherished league and cup double.

Polonia’s Tom Hunt was awarded the match ball for highly influential display, a constant threat for Rovers, while Jared Wiegele and Oliver Trichilo were important in helping their side prevail.

Bradley Chapman was solid in defence all night for Rovers along with McKenzie and Andrew Henson was also a good contributor.

Earlier in the day, Albany-Bayswater overcame a brave Polonia team to win the men’s reserves cup final.

Men’s reserves cup winners Albany-Bayswater.
Camera IconMen’s reserves cup winners Albany-Bayswater. Credit: Kerry Harvey

With scores locked at 1-1 at half- time, the game could have gone either way. James Opuni netted his second goal to hand Albany-Bayswater the 2-1 win.

Old Boys won the men’s social/vets competition by forfeit over The Vets.

The Vets were unable to field a full side after injury hit them in last week’s semifinal win.

Men’s social/vets cup champions Old Boys.
Camera IconMen’s social/vets cup champions Old Boys. Credit: Kerry Harvey

The two teams still played an unofficial game to close the season.

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