Yaralla?s soccer finals finish hopes dashed
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
UNITED put paid to Yaralla's finals hopes with a 3-1 Gladstone Soccer Federation first division victory at United Park on Saturday.
Needing victory to remain alive in the premiership, Yaralla battled hard to overcome the absence of several key players but could not prevent United from claiming victory.
A couple of classy saves from Yaralla goalkeeper Andrew Newton kept the Redbacks in the game early and it was not until the 29th minute that United opened the scoring.
Defender Greg Donald put through a perfect long ball to find Andrew Robinson at pace. Robinson sent a wobbly pass inside for Adam Sumner who, in turn, gave on for an unmarked Ted Heywood to slot home. United had little time to revel in the feat with Yaralla hitting back just three minutes later.
Jonathon Schubert made a long break down the right wing and crossed for striker Adrian Ahwang to blast a shot through United keeper Dominic Padron Gonzales' hands to set up a 1-1 scoreline at halftime.
Both sides had their chances early in the second half, especially United with Robinson shooting wide from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute.
However, again it was not until the 29th minute of the half that United finally gave themselves some breathing space when Glen Camenzuli headed a cross past Newton for a 2-1 lead.
United completed the scoresheet with just three minutes remaining when a Graeme Turner break resulted in a goal to Donald.
Yaralla coach Mark Chadwick was disappointed at missing a finals spot but praised his side's efforts this season.
'We were missing a few key players but just didn't finish our chances or retain the ball,' he said.
'But we had a good year and the players enjoyed themselves. I'll do it (coaching) again next year if they want me.'
Defender Brad Hitchcock, Donald, Turner and Camenzuli were stand-out performers for United while Ahwang, Calum Douglas, Matt Belvedere and Trent Ibbotson battled hard for Yaralla.
In other first division results, Central Black produced one of the upsets of the season beating top team Clinton 3-2. Peter Doyle scored twice for the winners, while striker Alf Lang finished with a brace for Clinton.
The win ensures Central Black have avoided the wooden-spoon, while Clinton remain as the minor premiers.
An 88th minute goal to Peter Griffin sealed Central White a hard-fought 2-1 win against a gallant Wolves. Wolves now pick up the wooden-spoon, while Clinton Grubs had to work hard for their 2-1 win over an eight-man Valleys at Biloela.
Final Gladstone Standings First Division (bold qualify for finals) CLINTON 34, VALLEYS 26, UNITED 25, CLINTON GRUBS 25, Yaralla 19, Central White 16, Central Black 10, Wolves 7. Ladies Division BITS 33, CLINTON 27, UNITED 21, CENTRAL 4, Valleys 4