District League outfit Shell Cove will meet Premier League powerhouse Bulli in the final of the Fraternity Club Cup after both sides progressed through their respective semi-finals at Memorial Park on Tuesday night.
Shell Cove created a piece of club history by knocking out Helensburgh who had won all their matches in the tournament leading up to this stage.
Shell Cove took the lead five minutes before half time through a Tommy Markovski header before there was a lengthy delay after teammate Aleks Najdovski suffered an injury.
The Thistle were given a lifeline in the 72nd minute when Kade Kinsella converted a penalty despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Tom Matthews – the goal Kinsella’s 10th of the tournament.
The sides couldn’t be split meaning a penalty shootout was required to decide who would go through to the final.
Matthews was the hero for Shell Cove with two blocks before Shayne Ardle converted the fourth penalty to see the side prevail 4-2.
In the second semi-final, it was Bellambi who were trying to cause an upset against Bulli, but it was the Balls Paddock club who would run out 3-0 victors.
Bulli pushed ahead five minutes into the match through striker Ben McDonald who tapped home Guy Knight’s floating header.
Julio Miranda’s side were reduced to 10 players just before half time with defender Jack Harris seeing red which gave Bellambi a peek at getting back into the match.
The Rosellas weren’t able to carve out any clear cut chances with the player advantage and Bulli would go on to score two late goals, first through Knight from the penalty mark and then Joel Beattie.
It is Shell Cove’s first appearance in a Fraternity Club Cup final and they will be the underdogs in a match against a Bulli side who last featured in the preseason showpiece in 2018 where they were beaten 5-0 by Wollongong United.
The final kicks off at 2.30 pm at Wetherall Park.
By Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela
Photo by Richie Wagner