Ballarat clinches Ballarat district soccer association division one league championship

BALLARAT has set its sights on a league cup double after clinching the Ballarat District Soccer Association's division one league championship.

The powerhouse secured the title with a 2-0 final round win over Vic Park on Sunday.

An Isaac Harbour header in the final 10 seconds of play put what had been an enthralling contest to bed.

The two sides entered half-time locked at 0-0.

Daryl Tauschke broke the stalemate in the 60th minute when he drew (and converted) a penalty for holding inside the box.

" We needed to win to definitely claim the league title, and Park needed to win to get a place in finals," Ballarat coach Tony Clayworth said. "It was like a finals match, really."

Warrnambool finished second on the ladder with 52 points, two behind Ballarat. Last year's league champions closed the gap to Ballarat considerably in the second half of the season, defeating the latter twice in their past two outings.

Forest Rangers ground out a third placing with 22 points. Vic Park, despite the loss, held on for fourth spot courtesy of a marginal goal differential over North United.

Clayworth said the club's attention now turned to repeating last year's successful premiership cup tilt.

"Finals are a different game," he said. "I don't think you can read too much into the form coming out of the home and away season. It very much comes down to the players on the day, but we're obviously very confident."

Ballarat will face Warrnambool in a thrilling semi-final this weekend, with the league's two top goal scorers in Michael Lockyer (Ballarat) and Martin Van Rooy (Warrnambool) set for a showdown.

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