Gloucester Soccer Club's Drifta 16s travelled to Taree on Saturday, September 7 to face the Tuncurry Tigers in the Football Mid North Coast's southern juniors grand final.
Previous games between the teams have been very tight, with their last game going into extra time from a 0-0 score line. Drifta upset the Tigers' undefeated season 3-2 in a penalty shoot out, and the grand final face-off was just as tight. Drifta started strong in attack with Kayden Schumann drawing out Tuncurry's keeper to shoot diagonally past him in the opening minutes. The Tigers fired back from kick off, catching Drifta off guard in one of the quickest goals ever. Team captain, Kelly Groves took a penalty shot, after Josh Anniwell was fouled inside the box, slamming it into the bottom corner of the net out of reach of the keeper.
Cody Howard and Beau Blanch provided plenty of action up front, while Aiden Hawkins and Sam Leimgruber combined well together. Drifta thought they had it in the bag with only minutes remaining on the clock, but Tuncurry levelled the score 2-2 slipping past Drifta's defensive line.
Both teams returned with strong defensive tackles, with players injuries starting to show. The Tigers found the back of the net and a strong tackle inside the box in the second half of extra time brought on a penalty, which they claimed, bringing the full time score 4-2.
More photos on page 12