With one round remaining of the Ballarat and District Soccer Association division one season, Sebastopol Vikings have sewn up the league title.
The Vikings entered the round one point clear on top of the table, and following its 4-0 win over Daylesford while second and third-placed sides Ballarat North United and Forest Rangers suffered defeats. Which sees Sebastopol move four points clear and it cannot be caught.
Coach Rod Oppenhuis was pleased to have wrapped up the title, something the group did not set itself for pre-season, while he attributed the achievement to the team’s depth.
“It’s pleasing to finish on top...we didn’t really put any expectations on ourselves,” Oppenhuis said.
“We didn’t expect to finish on top, we just aimed to make the finals.
“It’s been one of those years where it’s been really competitive...there’s not much between the top five sides.
“We’ve got a little bit more depth. Some of the other sides may not have as much depth as us, I think everybody’s first 11, is as good as anyone else (of the top five teams).”
Vikings will now turn its attention to Forest on Sunday ahead of finals.
Oppenhuis said while the league title was great, it meant nothing come finals time. The last two year’s ladder leaders have failed to make the grand final, underlining the evenness of the competition.
Vikings will be hoping to break the trend.
“There’s no guarantee you’re going to make the grand final just because you finish on top – it’s that even.
“But we’ve given ourselves a double-chance, so that’s a bonus.”
Liam Dawson kicked two goals in the 4-0 victory, he has 22 for the season making him the league’s leading goal-scorer.
In other results, Warrnambool edged out Ballarat North United 2-1, Buninyong defeated Forest while Victoria Park comfortably accounted for Bacchus Marsh.
In the women’s division one action, Sebastopol Vikings have also taken out the league title before seasons end.
The Vikings defeated second-placed Warrnambool 1-0 on the weekend to put it four points clear and, like its male counterparts, clinch the title.
The women’s competition boasts a clear top four while the finalists are quite spaced out, with Ballarat and Ballarat North United rounding out the top four.
Vikings will certainly be the team to beat. While it is only four points clear on the ladder, it has a superior goal differential, scoring 122 goals and conceding just eight for the season.