Waratahs and Services Workies defended their Tamworth first grade premierships in contrasting fashion on Sunday.
Waratahs upset minor premiers Flames 3-nil to secure back to back womens titles before Services Workies launched a late fightback against South United to force the game into extra time and ultimately claim their eighth straight mens title 5-3.
Isaac Woodley’s tomahawk from an acute angle put Workies ahead with just over six minutes to go in the first half of extra-time, Isaac Farmilo then sealing the win with his third goal at a similar point of the second half.
Earlier he had dragged high into the net off a corner to give them a 1-nil lead after 20 minutes. Souths hit back a few minutes later with Will Turner grabbing the first of his double. Neither side was able to add to their tally before the break, but Souths struck inside the first minute of the second half, Nick McIlveen finishing off a well-worked corner to put them up 2-1.
That then became 3-1, when Neil Wood broke away down the left side, and after beating the last line of defence threw the ball across the face of Workies keeper Jason Watt to find Turner, who deflected it in.
With their reign under threat the premiers responded, and at one stage earned four corners in the space of a few minutes, but for no reward. Eventually they stuck one, Farmilo slamming in the rebound after Souths keeper James Hindmarsh had saved Ehren Hazell’s initial shot.
That gave them a renewed sense of confidence and with just over six minutes to go, Farmilo, off a corner, dragged the ball to the left to open up the angle and fired the ball across to find Ryan Martin on the right post.
“It was a very entertaining game,” Workies coach Andrew Farmilo said.
And tough. It was arguably the hardest of the eight, and trailing by two with just under 10 to play and the tally of missed opportunities growing, he admittedly wasn’t sure it was going to happen.
“It didn’t look like it was our day at 3-1 down, and we couldn’t score a goal,” he said.
Souths were brave in defeat and will be better for it next year, coach Greg Scott said.
“Everyone is proud of the year but disappointed because we went really close,” he said.