Newly promoted Yoogali SC emphasised just what a threat they will be to the National Premier League next season with a convincing display in downing closest rivals Queanbeyan City 3-0 in a thrilling Capital Premier League Final in front of a packed Riverside Stadium on a gloriously sunny Spring afternoon.
Joe Preece, named Player of the Match, scored twice and created the other for Mason Donadel in a clinical display which, but for some outstanding goalkeeping from City stopper Nicholas Middleton, and some careless finishing, could have been even more comprehensive than the final scoreline suggested.
Yoogali certainly had the better of the opportunities in the opening forty-five minutes and might have twice been ahead before the deadlock was broken. Firstly, Josh De Rossi saw his fierce effort pushed away by Middleton in the goal before the Queanbeyan shot-stopper blocked a Mason Donadel effort after he was teed up by Preece.
That led to the 21st minute corner from which Yoogali struck. A beautifully flighted cross from Darren Bailey was met at the back post by Isaac Donadel, whose header back across goal was met by Joe Preece who, under pressure, bravely headed back across goal and into the far corner.
Shortly afterwards Michael De Paoli as called into action at the other end as Nico Abot threatened to level, but it was Yoogali who went closest before the break, Preece rounding Middleton but from an acute angle clipping the base of the post.
The second-half saw Yoogali begin to exert their command on the match to a greater extent, especially when Queanbeyan were forced to come out and take the game to their opponents to get back into the contest, leaving themselves dangerously exposed to the counterattack.
On another day De Rossi could have bagged a treble, his one-man battle with Middleton won by the pink-shirted City goalkeeper, Middleton saving superbly from both Preece and De Rossi in the 69th minute and denying De Rossi again with nine minutes left on the clock.
De Rossi also smashed an effort over the bar when well placed, and Yoogali were often thwarted by the defensive nous of Mat Ryan, a colossus in the back for Queanbeyan, alongside the hard-working and industrious trio of Marko Savkovic, Vasko Petrovski, and Gianni Corrigan.
Yoogali put one hand on the trophy with nine minutes of the second stanza gone when Preece, sent wide on a break, teed up Mason Donadel to sweep a majestic finish high over Middleton and into the far corner, before Preece broke clear with three minutes remaining and placed a precise finish into the net for his seventeenth of the campaign in all competitions.
It was no more than Yoogali deserved. A whole new dawn awaits.
Sunday 24 September
Queanbeyan City 0 Yoogali SC 3 (Preece 21’, 87’, M. Donadel 54’)
Queanbeyan City: 1. Nicholas MIDDLETON, 5. Domenic GIAMPAOLO, 6. Marko SAVKOVIC, 7. Hussein FUREJE (37. Steven SRBINOKSI 68’), 14. Gabriel AYUEL, 17. Brandon TALIANO (25. Nikola TRAJKOVSKI 46’), 22. Nico ABOT, 30. Gianni CORRIGAN (16. Abderrahim DELLAHI 63’), 57. Dylan COLBERTALDO, 72. Vasko PETROVSKI (27. Daniel MUKEVSKI 63’, 35. Mate SAVKOVIC 74’), 76. Mathew RYAN
Yoogali SC: 1. Micheal DE PAOLI, 3. Luke PANDOLFO, 5. Rueben DONADEL, 6. Joshua DE ROSSI, 7. Mason DONADEL (4. Andrew VITUCCI 90+2’), 8. Joe PREECE (9. Jake FATTORE 90’), 10. Isaac DONADEL, 11. Darren BAILEY, 12. Robert RIMMER (16. Jacon DONADEL 79’), 14. Lucas FABRIS (2. Dom GALLUZZO 90+2’), 19. Samuel RACITI
Substitutes not used: 21. Luke ARMANINI
Match Officials: Bruno KEHL (Referee), Scott BOON (Assistant Referee 1), Cailin LOVEDAY (Assistant Referee 2), Gareth BIGGS (Fourth Official)
Discipline: YELLOW CARDS: 11. Darren BAILEY (Yoogali SC), HC: Goran JOSIFOVSKI (Queanbeyan City)
RED CARDS: None