Wollongong United downed rivals Cringila Lions 2-0 at WIN Stadium on Sunday to take out the Illawarra Premier League Youth Grade title.
Nixon Nourie scored early in the second half before Alexander De Santis made it two late on.
It was a cagey opening with both teams feeling their way into the fixture.
United had the first shot of the match seven minutes in when Nourie took on a shot from range that sailed over the bar.
Cringila’s Stiven Sitnikoski lined up a free-kick midway through the half that also cleared the bar.
Wollongong United came the closest of either side to the first goal when Riley Simpson rattled the crossbar with a powerful free-kick 26 minutes in.
The game was significantly delayed half an hour in following a serious injury to Wollongong United player James Dejkovski.
Sitnikoski shaped to shoot in the final minute of regular time for the Lions but curled it over the crossbar once more.
The teams went into the break with the deadlock still to be broken.
United got off to the best possible start in the second period opening the scoring a couple of minutes in.
Nourie displayed some neat footwork in the middle of the box before rolling a smart finish into the bottom left corner.
The Lions looked to respond to going behind seven minutes later when Sitnikoski fired another free-kick, this time forcing Jake Charlston to punch the ball away.
Cringila pushed forward again in the 58th minute when James Jovanovski skipped past a defender in the box, but his consequent shot bounced past the right post.
The Lions continued to put the pressure on in the 64th minute as Jovanovski raced in behind the right channel and blasted goalwards, however, Charlston repelled with a strong left hand.
Opportunities kept trickling through for Cringila as they pursued an equaliser.
Cringila attacker Innocent Rubibi drove into the left of the box 79 minutes in, but his shot rolled past the left post.
Four minutes later, Jovanovski missed agonisingly wide of the right post again as his effort bent wide.
United started to push the ball the other way with a minute of regular time to play when Adam Vrtkovski almost caught out Benjamin Manevski with a long-range chip, that the goalkeeper tipped.
From the resulting corner, the ball dropped to De Santis who slid in an accurate finish into the bottom left corner and secured the title for Wollongong United.
Wollongong United FC 2 (Nixon Nourie 47′, Alexander De Santis 90′)
Cringila Lions FC 0
Player of the Match: Brent Mccance (Wollongong United)
Wollongong United FC: 62. Tian Tolevski, 2. Mitchell Manevski, 3. Brent McCance, 8. Nixon Nourie, 13. James Dejkovski, 16. Panupong Paokhem, 20. Jackson Grant, 22. Jarrod Lasala, 28. Riley Simpson, 30. Adam Vrtkovski, 43. Alexander De Santis
Substitutes: 29. Zachary Hyham, 33. Brandon Nugara, 51. Dante Spaseski, 53. Seth Green, 61. Jake Charlston
Yellow Cards: Manevski 54′, Vrtkovski 86′, Lasala 90+3′
Red Cards: Nil
Cringila Lions FC: 1. Benjamin Manevski, 20. Brock Reeves, 29. Thomas Cleverly, 39. Dean Dimoski, 44. Roman Kalmanidis, 45. Gabriel Krsteski, 47. Kieran Kuzmanoski, 63. Stiven Sitnikoski, 64. Sebastian Dobre, 66. Jack Dimovski, Christian Vujic
Substitutes: 11. Innocent Rubibi, 26. Alex Mitrevski, 31. James Jovanovski, 48. Jackson Nolan, 56. Nicholas Shalala, 80. Ryan Tasevski
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Date: Sunday, 17th September 2023
Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: Ethan Zvargulis
Assistant Referees: Damien Dennelly and Damien Delovski
4th Official: Hayden Michlamayr
Report by Tim Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_
Photos by Graham Brown