Photo: Sproule Sports Focus
Edgeworth Eagles 2 (McBreen 27’, 71’) defeated Broadmeadow Magic 1 (Virgili 12’)
Sunday 4th September 2.30pm
Daniel McBreen played a starring role as the Edgeworth Eagles became the first side since Highfields Azzurri in 1993/94 to win the minor and major premiership in consecutive years. After going behind early in the match and missing a penalty midway through the second half the Eagles were resolute and simply too good in the end for an experienced Magic outfit.
It was Broadmeadow though, who took the lead early on in the match. A trademark of their season was early goals, and their leading goal scorer James Virgili was quick to put Magic in front. It was a fortuitous goal, to say the least, as Edgeworth keeper Jim Fogarty tried to clear a pass back from Ayden Brice. Fogarty shanked it straight to Virgili who calmly slotted his shot into the right corner to put Magic in front.
Edgeworth’s reply was swift, within 15 minutes of going behind they returned fire through their experienced striker Daniel McBreen. Bren Hammel whipped in a corner to McBreen at the back post who headed back across Nick Hartnett’s goal to level up the scores inside the opening half hour.
Almost immediately Dylan Holz put a headed chance for the Eagles into the right post which bounced wide. Neither side could find another goal before the break as they went in deadlocked at 1-1.
Early in the second half, the Eagles created some opens through the middle of Broadmeadow’s defence and when Dylan Holz sliced through into Magic’s box and was bundled over by Jon Griffiths inside the box. As he did in the Grand Final last year Bren Hammel stepped up to the spot and went the same way he did against Hamilton keeper Danny Ireland 12 months ago. Although this time his shot cannoned off the left post and ricocheted back to the Edgeworth winger whose follow-up reaction shot was saved by Hartnett.
Many wondered whether that was the moment, which Broadmeadow could capitalise on and go on and win the game. But, Daniel McBreen entered once more. As Bren Hammel ran down the right side of the ground he played a low cross in towards McBreen who deflected it past Hartnett to give Edgeworth the lead for the first time in the Grand Final – one they would not relinquish.
Paul Sichalwe had a late chance for Magic, but could not get his shot away inside the box before Edgeworth defenders smothered him. It was a deserved victory for the Eagles, fighting back from behind to win their second Grand Final in a row.
Speaking to BarTV Sports post-match Edgeworth coach Damian Zane praised his squad.
“They are a great bunch of boys, I’ve said it all along and I truly mean it. It’s not just the first-grade team but the squad that we have. We worked hard and we deserved it in the end.”
In regards to coming from behind to win the match, Zane thought even though they went behind early he felt his side were right in the contest.
“[That first goal] wasn’t the best one to concede. But, I think Macca [Daniel McBreen] said to me at half-time and I agree, that we were in control of the game and we felt we could get it back. We know we have got goals in us, it was just a matter of not conceding again.”
For Broadmeadow and departing coach Robert Virgili, it was a bittersweet afternoon.
“Overall I think this season we huffed and puffed and nearly got there. We had a few boxes we wanted to tick and didn’t really tick them. But, I’m more or less looking at the last five or six years we have been at the club and we have had a lot of success. The club is in great hands, as we see today with all three grades in the Grand Final. Ruben [Zadkovich] will certainly take it to another level next year.”
On the afternoon though Virgili conceded Edgeworth were too good.
“We had a good start and could have gone to two [nil], but credit to them, they deserved it in the end. I think we could have held the ball better than what we did and probably our execution in the front third could have been better than what it was. That’s what it is, again, overall we could have been better but it is what it is.”
While the PlayStation 4 NPL Northern NSW season is over for the Eagles, they will play the Jets in a trial match next Sunday at Jack McLaughlan Oval, before travelling to Victoria in two weeks to meet PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria champions the Bentleigh Greens in the PlayStation 4 NPL Finals.
Northern NSW Football would like to congratulate the 2016 PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Grand Final Winners
First Grade: Edgeworth Eagles FC
22 Years: Emerging Jets 18 Years
19 Years: Broadmeadow Magic FC
17 Years: Broadmeadow Magic FC
15 Years: Adamstown Rosebud FC
14 Years: Football Mid North Coast
13 Years: Emerging Jets 12 Years