Inverell High School’s open boys football team are CHS north-west regional champions after defeating Duval High School 3-0 in the final.
The boys had their best performance of the year, in a fast, high intensity game that lived up to the expectations of a regional final.
Inverell High looked to have the better of the opening 20 minutes over their much highly fancied rivals. Hard-working striker Jack Stafford continually pressured the Duval defense, looking very dangerous. He deserved to get onto the score sheet.
Zac Campbell consistently made runs down the left wing and this led to Inverell’s first goal midway through the first half via Orrick Youll. Youll whipped in a corner which deceived both defenders and the goalkeeper – rattling into the netting inside the far post.
Duval’s response was a series of long balls to their strikers, but the Inverell defensive line of Brady Mather, Hamish Migheli, Jayden Williamson and Zac Nedianu were equal to the challenge.
Moments before halftime, robust winger Nic Soreson displayed his commitment to the team by throwing himself in front a cracking Duval shot – stopping it inches from the goal line.
The teams went into halftime break with Inverell leading 1-0. After a motivating halftime speech from coach Matthew Rose, the boys came out firing with desire and effort.
Duval came out in the second half and began to throw everything at Inverell. Just when it looked likely that Duval were back in the game, stand-in goalkeeper Mitch Stewart changed the momentum of the game, with what proved to be the major turning point.
A screaming shot from a Duval striker was seemingly headed for the back of the net, when Stewart pulled off the save of the century. At full stretch and completely horizontal above the ground, Stewart’s efforts saved the goal and it seemed to lift the Inverell High to another level.
Through composure and hard work, inverell’s midfield dominated the more experienced Duval midfield.
Inverell midfielders Youll, Piaget Abayo and Dom Wales continued to hound their Duval counterparts, forcing numerous turnovers.
Midway through the second half, the versatile Hamish Migheli scored what can only be described as a top-shelf goal. Migheli received the ball, beat two Duval players before unleashing a 25 metre thunderbolt that rocketed into the top corner of the goal and sent spectators into raptures.
Inverell wasn’t finished there. Within five minutes they had their third goal. Sean Walters was rewarded for his non-stop efforts with a corner.
The boys were hard working, and came out with a positive attitude, non-stop effort and intensity, and they played with such pride alongside each other.Matthew Rose
From the ensuing corner, Brady Mather pulled out a real “trick play” and faked a header. Waiting behind him was Will Obrien, who confidently headed the ball into the back of the net, giving Inverell an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Substitute players Lachlan Smith, Danny Blake, and Sam Flood all made valuable contributions.
Rose described the victory as sensational.
“The boys were hard working, and came out with a positive attitude, non-stop effort and intensity, and they played with such pride alongside each other,” he said.
With the team now into the final 16 of the state, they will take on a Sydney team in the next round.