Oak Flats Falcons have taken out the 2020 District League First Grade championship with a commanding 3-0 victory over Thirroul.
A taste of summer on Saturday saw fans from both cohorts flock to Thomas Gibson Park, with many Falcon supporters eager to witness their side claim the District league title for the first time in 42 years.
The formula was simple for the Falcons – win the game… win the title. The Falcons were keeping a thriving Unanderra side at bay by just one point on the competition standings, and with the knowledge that Unanderra held a hefty advantage in points differential, a win was paramount.
Having not lost since round 3, the Falcons were in good stead to achieve this and extend on their seven game winning streak, a streak that ultimately catapulted them into first position and stands as the largest in the 2020 competition.
The Falcons dominated the ball early, putting on a midfielding clinic, maintaining possession through the middle as well as pursuing the left hand touch line with success. Falcons’ left wing back, Tom Mindzas, showed great promise during this period.
After 25 minutes of play, the Falcons were the first to draw blood. Continuing the onslaught along the left flank, Kyle Del was given a graceful lob pass into the box, and with a strong, composed dribble, Del found himself with a golden opportunity at goal. At the corner of the six-yard box and holding off a defender from behind, Del sent it low and hard, sneaking it between keeper and near post to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
With momentum clearly in favour of the Falcons, it looked as though a second goal was on the cards as Bojan Caric’s attempt during one on one scenario slid across the face of goal.
Feeling like a second goal was imminent, Caric didn’t have to wait long for a shot at redemption. A sensational long ball from Daniel Munilla from deep in his own half sent Caric on a run, and a showdown between he and Thirroul keeper, Liam Harris, was in full effect. With both worlds colliding, as well as a Thirroul defender in the mix, a touch from Caric saw him shed that defender and see himself past Harris. Caric showed little mercy for the open goal, netting the second of the match for the flying falcons.
In the 40th minute, a strong hustle play from Jarryd Vinton gave Caric another opportunity 20 yards out. Caric spared no grace on the ball, thumping it at goal however drifting it wide.
The Falcons were soaring, and just two minutes later, what seemed like a certain goal went begging. In a case of déjà vu, Del found himself with the ball in the same spot as he did for his first goal, however he wasn’t able to replicate the finish.
The scorecard read 2-0 to the visitors at the half.
The second stanza would play a similar note, with the visitors enjoying a healthy share of possession and space with the ball.
It wasn’t until the 63rd minute however that the falcons were able to further impress the scorecard. In a seemingly unsuspecting play, a deflection from a would-be cross fortuitously landed at the feet of Munilla in the box, and with just one dribble, the workhorse, Munilla, put ball and net together for the Falcons third goal.
A line-up re-shuffle for Thirroul led to a string of good possessions, with Arthur slotting back into his standard wing-back role whilst known goal-scorer Sohei Oto was injected into the front line.
In the 75th minute Thirroul finally got a sniff at goal, as Arthur’s corner found the head of Todd Davidson in a decent attempt at goal, denied only by the classy glove work of Ryan Franks.
The final period of the match followed a similar thread as fatigue began to set in. Damage control in the form of Liam Harris was required, as a couple of late runs at goal were foiled by the keeper to maintain a respectable score line.
After another exquisite showcase from the competition leaders, they notched yet another win in 2020, with the final scoreline reading 3-0 in favour of the visitors.
Whatever the next few games may bring, with all at Oak Flats hoping its a Grand Final win, a piece of history was made for the club and the Vinton name with the win over Thirroul.
In its 45 year history, this is only the 2nd time Oak Flats has won the First Grade League Championship. The first was in 1978 and that team went onto win the Grand Final.
It has been a long wait and one man that can testify to that is the 1978 winning coach/player Mark Vinton. Mark continues to play for Oak Flats notching up an unbelievable 38 years as a player with the last 16 in the Masters team. As well as 10 years as a coach, taking the reins of the Youth team this year.
Mark was ecstatic with this year’s win, probably more than as a coach or player for the club, but as a proud father. His son Jarryd was the captain of this years winning team.
Saturday 3rd of October at Thomas Gibson Park
District League – First Grade
Oak Flats Falcons: 3 (DEL 25’ CARIC 33’ MUNILLA 63’)
Thirroul: Liam HARRIS, Ashley HAWKES, Cooper BRINDLE, James HUTTON, Alan MADDOCK, Angus NICOL, Joshua HUTTON, Todd DAVIDSON, Tyler ADAMS, Nathan MUCCI, Daniel ARTHUR
Subs: Jonathan DE LYALL, Sohei OTO, Jarrod WALTER, Grant OVERTON
Oak Flats Falcons: Ryan FRANKS, Brenton LLOYD, Tom MINDZAS, Aden WADE, Jarryd VINTON, Christian CAPPETTA, Bojan CARIC, Kyle DEL, Daniel MUNILLA, Jamie STEVENSON, John TILDON
Subs: Marko BUBANJA, Alex BAUSCH, Gavin OBRIEN, David KOTRC
Report by Fletcher Winning
Photo courtesy of Oak Flats Falcons