Clinton in huge defensive effort
CENTRAL Football Club blew its chance to make it successive premierships in the Gladstone CQ Premier League on Saturday night.
In a close contest it was Clinton which spoiled the preliminary final party for Central, coming from behind to eke out a 2-1 victory.
Central kept the Clinton Park faithful quiet by establishing a 1-0 lead by halftime and coach Dave Longden said it was a tight first half with his team gaining back possession after Clinton dominated the first 10 minutes or so.
"They threw everything they had at us in the second half," he said.
It's the first year goal-keeper Longden had coached the Premier League team and he said he was proud of the effort the team had put in training throughout the season and of a few changes they had made. "They gave it their all on the night," he said.
Longden said Greg Purdon and Liam Kirk played well on the night.
"The game was worthy of a grand final," he said.
Clinton coach Derek Horton said he got what he expected out of the game.
"They (Central) always scrap really hard against us," he said.
"They attacked through their strikers."
Horton said his side improved their game in the second half, with Man of the Match, Ryan Bellert, scoring two goals.
Horton said Marc Wheeler and captain Brendan Kanofski were outstanding on the night and rock solid in defence.
"I think the defence really saved us," he said.
"I'm really grateful we had the win and get another chance against Nerimbera."
This Saturday, Clinton will play Nerimbera in the grand final at Ryan Park from 4.30pm.
The teams had met in the semi-final with Nerimbera winning in a penalty shootout.
"If we play well I don't think they'll be able to hold us out like they did last time," he said
Horton said it was disappointing that where the final was to be played was predetermined but that the club would be supplying a couple of buses for the trip to Rockhampton.
He said there would be a lot of supporters present, especially with Clinton's reserve side who were undefeated in their season facing off against Frenchville in their final beforehand from 2.30pm.
"Everyone's really looking forward to it," he said.