Denley fight back to score sudden-death win
GRINNERS: It was smiles all round as Denley came from behind to win against Millthorpe on Saturday in the over 35s final.
A weekend of come-from-behind wins in Orange had an early start in the Over 35s football competition on Saturday when Denley Moor clawed back the Millthorpe Tigers’ two-goal lead to win the elimination final.
Before the win, Millthorpe’s tally for the season stood at 4 victories to one over Denley, but the Barnstoneworth side kept up its series of finals wins.
Fresh from last week’s close win over premiers Gladdyatahs, Denley went into the match with boosted confidence only to find themselves 3-1 down at half-time to an on-fire Millthorpe combination.
With the Tigers ranks depleted by injury and down to the bare eleven by the end, Denley struck back with goals from Phil Bennett and the second of a double from Matt Barr late in the match to send the game into extra time.
The extra 15 minutes each way almost found a breakthrough when winger Matt Barr was felled in the box. The resulting penalty saw injured Denley striker Harley Smith step up to the ball. The forward’s decision not to opt for either side, but send the ball up the middle found the Tiger’s keeper waiting, and the scores were locked 3-3 at full-time.
The first penalty kick from each side was successful, but Denley keeper Pat Driver blocked Millthorpe’s second, sending the sideline supporters into raptures. When the Tigers sent their next shot wide and Denley converted, the balance tipped and Denley Moor’s turnaround end-of-season form claimed yet another win, up 4-2 on penalties.
Denley will meet club-mates and minor premiers Barnstoneworth United in the over 35s grand final at Brabham’s Stedman Stadium at 12.50 on Saturday.
A close match is tipped. United has won the last two games between the two sides, but in both (2-1 and 1-0) a single goal has been the difference.
In the A-Grade final, Barnstoneworth United’s winning streak came to an end on Saturday.
Last year’s premiers battled bravely but went down 3-2 to Millthorpe Tigers.
Goals from Adam Radburn and Max Drion kept them in the match til the end.