Saturday, September 19, 2009

Clarence United are the new State champions

Photo: Clarence United celebrate with the trophy

South Hobart 1-3 Clarence United


Clarence United blew South Hobart away in the first half and led 3-0 at the interval.

It should have been five or six goals because Clarence were guilty of some glaring misses, and they also hit the woodwork.

Five minutes before half-time, South Hobart suddenly seemed to realise they were on the back foot and needed to get back into this game then if they were to win.

They gradually took over and dominated possession, but as has happened so often this season, they could not score.

Normally, a side that is leading 3-0 must be considered favourites to win, but one always sensed that South Hobart could get back into this match.

In the second half, Clarence relied on the occasional counter-attack, but it was mainly backs-to-the-wall stuff and they ultimately held out to win the Forestry Tasmania Finals Series grand final.

Luke Huigsloot, Sam McIntyre, Ben Hamlett, Chris Hunt and Joseph Stevens were superb.

They overshadowed the South Hobart midfield and, indeed, ran rings around their opponents with their pace, passing and vision.

McIntyre at one stage beat two opponents with a dip of the shoulder and acceleration, while Huigsloot was prepared to put himself in danger to win the ball, and his finishing was lethal.

The speed of Hunt and Hamlett was too much for South to handle, while Stevens, who has really blossomed in the latter half of the season, showed great skills, a clear head and clever play.

Luke Cripps did not have a great game as his first touch was a bit off the mark, but when the side needed him at the penalty, he did not let them down, scoring with aplomb.

Cripps moved back into defence late in the match as Clarence defended their lead, but he has done his work by that stage.

Mattias Toghill, Matt Lewis and Julian McMahon were reliable at the back, while Ben Parker, the captain, was a little wayward in his distribution but led the line with bravado.

Keeper Michael Moschogianis was playing his last game for the club before retirement. He made some fine saves, but also conceded the penalty by bringing down Daniel Brown, which earned him a yellow card. It might easily have been a red.

In injury time, Clarence brought on their three substitutes, Adam Knapek, Ben Phillips and Nick Mayne, but it was merely an attempt to use up time.

South made positional changes after the break, with Liam Scott moving into a right-midfield role and leaving only three at the back - Hugh Ludford, David Cooper and substitute Nathan Wardle, the latter having replaced Jim Pennicott at half-time.

It increased the pressure on Clarence, but ultimately it was poor finishing that prevented South from getting back into this game.

Kostas Kanakaris was more guilty than most. He missed at least two clear-cut chances.

Clarence were in top gear from the beginning and one felt it was only a matter of time before they scored against a sluggish South.

In the 17th minute, Hamlett came close when his shot from 22 metres hit the outside of the left-hand post.

Five minutes later, Hunt should have scored after a fine attack, but the ball was deflected for a corner which proved fruitful.

Hunt sent the corner over from the right and Huigsloot was left unmarked to head home and give Clarence a deserved 1-0 lead.

In the 25th minute, a push in the back of Hamlett by Pennicott resulted in a penalty, which was coolly despatched by Cripps to make it 2-0.

Clarence might have had a third goal in the 29th minute when McIntyre put in a low cross from the right, but, incredibly, Hunt shot over the bar.

South did not have their first shot until the half-hour mark, when Brown fired a powerful drive from long range high and wide of the target.

Four minutes later, Cripps cut the ball back from the right and Huigsloot, arriving late, struck a perfect shot past Mark Moncur from the edge of the box to make it 3-0.

In the 36th minute, it should have been game, set and match when David Cooper had a sudden rush of blood to the head and played a free-kick square across the field just outside his own penalty area and did not see the lurking Hamlett.

Hamlett gleefully accepted the pass and advanced on goal, but the alert Moncur, who was to prove South’s saviour on more than one occasion in this match, was off his line in a flash after seeing the danger and he produced a superb save to deny Clarence a fourth goal.

Moschogianis proved his worth, too, when he turned a marvellous volley by Shae Hickey over the bar just before the interval.

This was a period of increasing South dominance and, from the resulting corner, Lewis cleared a goal-bound strike from Ludford off the line.

Three minutes after the resumption, a poor defensive header by Clarence following a cross from the left gave possession to Kanakaris, but he missed the target when a goal appeared inevitable.

A quick counter-attack by Clarence in the 53rd minute should have resulted in a goal. McMahon played a long ball out of defence to Cripps, who beat Cooper but played the ball a little too far behind the unmarked Hamlett on the right instead of into his path.

This gave Moncur time to anticipate what was going to happen and he rushed outside his box and blocked at Hamlett’s feet and conceded a corner.

In the 73rd minute, Kanakaris missed an open goal, while seconds later, Cooper shot just wide as South continued to pile on the pressure.

Julius Ross came on for Ricki Eaves with 15 minutes remaining as South coach Ken Morton tried to swing the game back in his side’s favour.

Ten minutes from the end, South earned their penalty, which Ludford stroked home to make it two goals the difference.

Nick Di Falco replaced Josh Heerey seven minutes from the end as South played their final card.

It seemed a mere token gesture, however, as Clarence survived and South were left to rue their poor start and their missed second-half chances.

And so, Clarence United, who finished fourth on the southern ladder, completed the double of Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy and Forestry Tasmania Finals Series trophy, both of which are state-wide competitions.

Andrew Brown's time has finally come. After at least five years of effort, he has finally given Clarence the success they have been waiting for.


· South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:

“I’m very disappointed.

“In the first half, we were very sloppy and second to the ball.

“They were sharp and played with a lot of good energy, and punished us.

“I’m not too sure about the penalty. I think it was a push in the back. But, having said that, it’s been given.

“But, the free header from the corner was a poor goal to concede and then, obviously, the third goal made it very difficult for us.

“In the second half, I thought we had enough chances to claw our way back in to it.

“Disappointed, but congratulations to Clarence, and I’m sure everyone will come back a lot stronger next year.”

· Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown, said:

“We’re playing very well for the game.

“We’ve felt like we’re getting closer and closer to South Hobart for a number of weeks.

“We were at full strength, almost, so we felt very confident if we stuck to our game plan.

“I didn’t expect it to be three nil at half-time, but then the game plan was always to shut down the game.

“We knew how well South Hobart can strangle people.

“Watching them play against the Knights showed some of their vulnerabilities.

“Once we went three nil up, I knew the game was won and what we did then was just insurance.

“Tactically, it was disappointing to give a penalty away towards the end, but I’m very proud of the young boys.

“We’ve been on a big long, long run and to do the State-wide Cup, and, I think it’s the State Championship - it says that on the shield - double, is a wonderful, wonderful moment for young people.

“I’ve got 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds that have no idea what it represents.

“But, hopefully, as they mature and get older they will look back with fond memories on this year that we’ve had.”


South Hobart: Moncur - Pennicott (Wardle 46), Ludford, Cooper, Scott - Eaves (Eaves 75), Brown, Beecroft, Hickey, Heerey (Di Falco 83) - Kanakaris (Substitute not used: Kruijver)

Goals: Ludford 80 pen

Clarence United: Moschogianis - Toghill, Lewis, Parker, McMahon - S McIntyre (Knapek 90), Stevens (Phillips 91), L Huigsloot, Hunt - Cripps, Hamlett (Mayne 94) 9Substitute not used: Sweetten)

Booked: Moschogianis 80

Goals: L Huigsloot 22, Cripps 25 pen, L Huigsloot 34

Att: 400 (Finals Series Grand Final, KGV Park, Friday, 18 September 2009)

Ref: K Barker


Brian Roberts said...

Congratulations to Clarence .

At the end of the series they had the scalps of the Northern / Southern Champions plus the Southern runners up dangling from their belt which must prove something.

The most effective team in the end of season series .

Dick Adams said...

So the "best player in the state" Liam Scott looked to be a liability the whole game. I suppose some poeple don't live up to expectations.

And where's all the chatter about this match?? 1 comment so far is a bit sad
I hate the all Clarence supporters but at least brag about being state champions

First one was a good goal nonetheless but South left a lot to be desired in their defensive efforts likewise in attack. Beecroft and Hickey looked impeccable as always

That albino left footer for clarence had a good game ending with some assists

the real phoenix rover said...

Dick adams u only hate clarence supporters bcoz we r a real club that can win trophies unlike the rest of u maggots!!!



Charlie White said...

Congratulations to Clarence, a fantastic result and reward for lots of hard work. Well done Browny and the boys for sticking to their guns and trying to play a brand of football that suits them and is effective. Wouldn't we all like to finish a season in the form that they have shown in the last third of the season! I'm sure there are a few sore heads over the river this morning! Well done Moz, a great way to end for one of the good guys in our game.

Dick Adams said...

the real phoenix rover.. see you're the sort of fan i dislike. Telling us to support a div 4 team!! simply no one cares about the team

though i'm sure walter would love to write up about the brilliant football played in that competition

Dick Adams said...

nice one mate

you should become a comedian

Anonymous said...

the real phoenix rover, Clarence hadn't won a thing before this year. looks like mum forgot to leave the internet lock on?

harden up maggots said...

chalky 23 in 2007 clarence 19s premiers 2008 clarence under 19s knockout cup winner 2009 clarence 19s knockout cup winners yet agen statewide cup winners and state champions ow by the way where was morton on friday night during the presentation he wasnt on the field with the rest of south hobart??


congratulations to Clarence a good side, we had the pleasure of playing them twice this season, hope we meet again soon

Tom said...

Huge congrats to Clarence on the State Championship. Completely destroyed South in the first half an hour. The rest was just about hanging on which they did really well. South looked lost without Upton! Liam Scott was absolutely lost. Brilliant skills but terrible defender and went completely missing when South needed him. Hilarious when he was seen trying to verbal and push Cripps around. Maybe stick to the football Liam, or at least choose someone more on ur fighting level. ie anyone who played in the warm up match.

Really looking forward to Corey Smith’s match report...

The Gonky said...

Would like to also congratulate South Hobart for a fantastic season, and while I'm naturally glad CUFC got the buttered confection they played well.

Upton missing was a huge out.

Dick Adams, CUFC doesn't 'brag' mate - the Football does the talking, and I'm pretty sure most people heard that clear enough.