Gunns Under 12s take out soccer premiership

Back Coach Andrew Glasson, Camille Murru, Alexandra Murru, Elizabeth Brindle, Nico Bet, Harry Stewart, Brodie Page, Charlie Bray, coach Tony OConnell (kneeling) Karma Dechen, Tom Whitty, Dempsey OConnell, Isaac Page, Mac Glasson, Bryce Tandy (front) captains Tom Glasson and Luca Bet.
Back Coach Andrew Glasson, Camille Murru, Alexandra Murru, Elizabeth Brindle, Nico Bet, Harry Stewart, Brodie Page, Charlie Bray, coach Tony OConnell (kneeling) Karma Dechen, Tom Whitty, Dempsey OConnell, Isaac Page, Mac Glasson, Bryce Tandy (front) captains Tom Glasson and Luca Bet.

Having qualified for the grand final the previous week in extra time 2-0 Gunns Mensland Under 12s put their followers through a similar heart-racing grand final in the Young district competition last Saturday.

As has been the case a lot this year, Gunns dominated field position and shots on goal but couldn't put the ball in the back of the net - leaving the door open for their opposition Steadfast Homes of Young to steal the title.

However, Gunns' defence has been their strength all year.

Over the past month the Forbes Gunns have beaten the first, third and fourth-placed teams, scoring nine goals and conceding none whilst playing classy and entertaining soccer.

Running with the wind and downhill in the first half of Saturday's grand final, Gunns had four one-on-one chances with the Steadfast goalkeeper, who produced some brilliant and fortunate saves to keep his team well and truly in the game.

Karma Dechen, Isaac Page, Camille Murru and Luca Bet all challenged the Steadfast goal only to be denied, to the frustration of their supporters.

The half finished in a somewhat frustrating score of nil-all but the message at half-time for Gunns was that the good soccer they were playing wins games.

Some more urgency and maintaining the pressure in the midfield and Steadfast defence was the key to taking out the game.

Despite numerous raids into the opposition's goal area, shots at goal were rare for Gunns in the second half.

Fortunately at the other end, Gunns keeper Bryce Tandy pulled off two classy saves to keep the supporters' hopes alive.

Gunns' defence of the two Toms, Charlie, Harry and especially Brodie Page, limited the Steadfast strikers, Elizabeth Brindle and Dechen held the middle whilst Alex Murru played exceptionally well on the edges.

Dempsey O'Connell and Mac Glasson created chances towards the end of the half but at full time it was somehow still a draw nil-all.

Having been in this position last week, Gunns knew that any goal before half-time meant victory and went back out into extra time fired up and with a renewed energy.

Running with the wind and the slope again, Gunns maintained their dominance and after four corners in the first five minutes of extra time, a header from Dechen rebounded off a Steadfast player before pressure from Stewart saw the ball make its way over the line.

From here, Gunns' dominance continued and Steadfast had little chance of a score.

Gunns were victors 1-nil in extra time.

This is the second year Gunns have competed in the Young district's competition and your correspondent might be biased, but he believes they have played the more skillful and entertaining soccer during this time.

The squad had nine new faces this year: they gelled well and each team member played their role to be a complete team and really grow as a force in the competition, growing to a peak in the last month or so.

Season award winners: Best and fairest Tom Glasson, most improved Elizabeth Brindle, coach's award Bryce Tandy.