THE spoils in the Ballarat District Soccer Association’s first division have been shared after Warrnambool Rangers won a surprise victory in the Cup grand final over division champion Sebastopol on Sunday night.
In a fast, frenetic match at Morshead Park, Warrnambool came back after trailing twice, to defeat Sebastopol Viking 3-2 on Sunday night.
Warrnambool coach Luke Mackenlay said it was an unbelievable feeling to win the Cup, particularly after being defeated in last year’s grand final.
“We realised we went into it as underdogs after losing to them in the first final,” Mackenlay said.
“This is the best performance the club has had in the senior men’s division since we joined the Ballarat league in 2005.
“I came to this club a couple of years ago. We had to build a new team, with a new bunch of players.
“We had some veterans at the club and for them it was a relief. To finally win the cup it is unbelievable. Can’t get over it.”
Throughout the year, Sebastopol was the best attacking team and Warrnambool the strongest in defence.
The score was nil-all at half-time on Sunday night as Warrnambool’s defensive game-plan paid dividends.
However when Justin Robson scored the opener for Sebastopol, the game opened up.
Lee Hunter then scored for Rangers but the Vikings re-took the lead when Ryan Rykers converted a penalty.
However, Warrnambool scored the last two goals of the match, through Lee Sharples and Xavier Lesock, to win the match.
As the top team after the home and away season, Sebastopol retains its title as league champion.
Mackenlay said the grand final was a fitting conclusion to the season.
“(Vikings coach) Paul (McClounan) and I talked about it the week before. We both hoped that our earlier game wasn’t going to be the best one and this an anti-climax.
“Thankfully it was an amazing game,” Mackenlay said.
“For Vikings, we know what it’s like to lose a grand final, but they are still the champions of the league so they won’t be too disappointed.”
In earlier matches, North United White defeated Forest Rangers 1-0 in the senior women’s grand final, while Sebastopol did not leave empty handed, defeating Ballarat 5-0 in the reserves grand final.
North United won the thirds grand final 3-0 against Maryborough.
BDSA GRAND FINALS
OPEN MEN DIV ONE: Warrnambool (Lee Hunter, Lee Sharples, Xavier Lesock) d Sebastopol Vikings (Justin Robson, Ryan Rykers) 3-2.
Best on Ground: Dylan Johnstone (Warrnambool)
OPEN WOMEN DIV ONE: North United White (Brooke Trainor) d Forest Rangers 1-0 in extra time. Best on Ground: Chloe Farnsworth (North United White)
DIVISION TWO: Sebastopol Vikings (Jarrid Gilbert, Tom Young, Ash Mitting, Jason Davies, James McClounan) d Ballarat Red Devils 5-0. Best on Ground: Ash Mitting (Sebastopol Vikings)
DIVISION THREE: North United Black (Joshua Pitcher 2, Benjamin) d Maryborough 3-0. Best on Ground: Joshua Pitcher (North United).