Kemblawarra Fury wrapped up the League Championshipfor 2016 with a 1-0 win over Wollongong United at Macedonia Park on Sunday.
A 51stminute goal from Fabian Iacovelli paved the way for the Fury to successfully defendthe title they won last season in the penultimate round of the campaign.
Rivals Bulli’s 2-2 draw against strugglingCringila opened the door for the merged-club to claim the silverware with a win on Sunday and they took the chance.
The three points give Kemblawarraan unassailable five point lead at the top of the competition with one round remaining.
Fury coach Luke McGuire was thrilled.
“It was a goal for us at the start of the year,” he said.
“In semi final football anything can happen on the day but this is about being the most consistent over the course of the season.
“Full credit to the boys and the club for getting everybody on the park every week. It is positive.”
The Fury were made to work hard for the win by a United outfit whose finals aspirations were ended by a nine point deduction for a breach of the competition’s visa player rules.United had the better of the early chances and should have went ahead through Jake Leighton.
One of several young players in the host’s line-up, Leighton hit the post inside the opening five minutes when the goal was beckoning.
Clear chances were few and far between for the majority of the half before the game picked up a gear in the shadows of half time.
In the 43rdminute, United’s Klime Sekutkoski nearly took advantage of some sloppy defence only to be denied by Fury keeperDavid Poeira.
Less than a minute later Kemblawarra’s Nathan Jagelman fired over from long range.The Fury eventually found the front six minutes after the break when Iacovelli finished off a cross to the back post.
Both sides had opportunities to add to the scoresheet, but scrambling defence at both ends meant the 1-0 scoreline would hold.
“We are down on some troops at the moment and have got a small squad so to get through today was a big step for us,” McGuire said.
“One down, a couple more to go.”
Wollongong United coach Oliver Vrtkovski was pleased with the display of his young squad which was without Billy Tsolovos, Brendan Reilly and Matt Floro.
TALISMAN: Fury skipper Alvin Ceccoli has had another strong year in Kemblawarra’s title winning campaign. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS
“We got no finals to play for so for me it was a good opportunity to see a lot of the young boys stepping up from the youth team which has deservedly won the league,” he said.
“We did that today and we were quite exceptional.
“The scoreline could have been 4-3 in our favour but that’s the way it goes.
“We hit the post, squandered a couple of chances in front of goal. So did they.
“It is disappointing that we didn’t at least get a point but there was a lot of positives.”
Kemblawarra will finish their regular season next Sundayat home against Port Kembla while United travel south to Albion Park.
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