Sebastopol Vikings entered the Ballarat and District Soccer Association division one grand final confident, and rightly so, as it claimed a 3-1 win over Ballarat North United.
The Vikings had won 10 matches on the trot leading into the match and boasted a 3-0 record over Saturday’s opponents - after a tight first half the match went to script.
Corey Smith kicked all three goals while captain Jonathan Davey was awarded the best on pitch medal.
Coach Rod Oppenhuis said spoke of how proud he was of his group, and the club as a whole after it won the top three grades and enjoyed state league play-off success.
Oppenhuis said while it had plenty of belief it could take out the title, anything can happen on grand final day.
“It’s a great day for the club. Seniors, the women and the reserves winning a grand final, it’s a terrific day,” Oppenhuis said.
“We battled away today, we got the rewards in the second half so that was pleasing. We were reasonably confident going into the game, but they’ve all been battles.
“I’ve played in 12 grand finals and we’ve won ones we shouldn’t of and lost ones we shouldn't of – it’s just a different environment.
“Some people get lost in the moment, whereas others stand-up and that’s essentially what happened.”
Oppenhuis, who is also the president of the club, was rapt to see some of its younger brigade step-up on the big stage. Adding, given how long the season was, Saturday night was a great reward.
“It’s good to see all the young kids stepping up, they were a bit nervous early, which is what you’d expect in a grand final.
“These things take a couple of minutes to sink in as a general rule.”
Smith added class up front, and while he only played about 60 minutes due to knee issues, he proved crucial.
“Scoring three goals was a terrific effort, he’s classy, he’s played a lot of high-level football. The defence was solid and the midfield got on top in the second half, once we got up to 3-1 it felt like it was pretty much over, I think they had only one corner after that.”
Smith scored the opening goal as he sent a tricky cross came in from the free-kick, catching the goal-keeper in two minds as it found its way to the back of the net to be the only goal of the first half.
Smith followed it up in the first 10 minutes of the second half to make in 2-0. North then responded before Smith’s third goal sealed the game in the dying stages.
ALL GRAND FINAL RESULTS
Under-13 division one: Ballarat North United 3 d Vikings 2
Under-13 division two: Vic Park 11 d Creswick 2
Under-15 division one: Vic Park d Ballarat Red (in penalties)
Under-15 division two: Buninyong 2 d Vic Park 0
Under-16 girls:Vic Park 5 d Ballarat North United 3
Under-17: Ballarat 3 d Ballarat North United 1
Division two: Vikings 5 d Vic Park Vultures 1
Division one women’s: Vikings 5 d Warrnambool 0
Division one: Vikings 3 d Ballarat North United 1
Some people get lost in the moment, whereas others stand-up and that’s essentially what happened.Coach Rod Oppenhuis