LITTLE separated all four Challenge Cup teams for the 2017 season and that ended up with a thrilling grand final on Saturday with the Pressed Earth Dolphins having to score the last two goals to beat Triton at HBF Stadium.
Following the Men’s Premier League season concluding in December with the UWA City Beach Bears defeating the Melville Sharks, the Challenge Cup was set up for the second half of the season minus those two clubs.
That left the Pressed Earth Dolphins, Triton, Phantoms and Barbarians as the four teams to compete in the Challenge Cup and the result was a super competitive nine-week season.
Dolphins were the leading team throughout but Triton, Phantoms and Barbarians had all taken it up to them leaving those three battling for the second place in the grand final.
Triton ended up earning that spot and then put in a strong performance in the grand final on Saturday setting up the thrilling finish.
It was Dolphins, though, who scored the only goal of the first quarter thanks to Peter Gaunt with the extra man advantage.
Triton drew level with two minutes remaining of the first half thanks to Matt Oberman before Dolphins took the lead just before half-time with a goal to Jeremy Carbone.
Triton again drew level with 44 seconds left before three quarter-time with a goal to Oberman in extra man.
Dolphins regained the lead to start the fourth quarter again after a Triton exclusion. It was Carbone scoring again and they led 3-2, but for less than two minutes as Triton drew level with Oberman’s third goal of the grand final.
Triton then went in front for the first time less than a minute later with an extra man goal to Bruno Barna.
Their lead lasted just 45 seconds, though, before Dorab Postmaster scored for Dolphins to bring the scores level again at 4-4.
It was a frantic finish but with 2:35 left the Dolphins scored the winning goal through Carbone and they held on to win 5-4 and claim the Challenge Cup premiership.
Carbone ended up scoring three goals in the grand final for Dolphins and Oberman had three for Triton.
MEN’S CHALLENGE CUP GRAND FINAL
Pressed Earth Dolphins 5 defeated Triton 4 at HBF Stadium
Fairest and Best Player: Harry Paterson (Pressed Earth Dolphins)