Western Australia’s City Beach Bears have won the Boy’s 14 & Under National Club Championships with a strong 10-3 victory over Sunshine Coast Gold on the final day of competition at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
Earlier in the day fellow Western Australian club team City Beach Blacks won the Plate final in a 4-3 affair against the Drummoyne Devils, while the Cronulla Sharks went home with bronze, beating Sydney University Blue 6-3.
In the gold medal game it was the Sunshine Coast who started on the right foot as captain James Gillfeather put the home side on the board first. However the Queensland side only led momentarily as City Beach Bears returned serve with two goals to be leading 2-1 at the first break.
While the intensity in the water was close, it was City Beach who extended their lead to score three unanswered goals in the second term, as the Sunshine Coast continued to find a way around the strong defence of the Western Australians.
The Bears continued to hold the momentum in the third period, despite Harrison Fry scoring a second for the Sunshine Coast. Matthew Murphy of City Beach stole the show late in the quarter with a huge solo effort in counter attack to help his side to an 8-3 lead at the final break.
The Bears put the victory beyond doubt in the final quarter, with Ben Marshall scoring his third goal of the game, while teammate Riley Maurich scored his second with a cross cage shot late in the game.
While the Sunshine Coast had put in a valiant effort, their coach Uros Kralj said that the team weren’t able to put in the better performance on the day.
“It was the boy’s first final, and I think they may have put a bit too much pressure on themselves,” Kralj said.
“Despite that, I was very proud of them, they are the first Sunshine Coast team to make a grand final and it just didn’t go our way today. We need a bit more experience, and luckily there is always next year.”
City Beach Blacks withstood a fourth quarter comeback from the Drummoyne Devils to win the plate final 4-3, after holding a 3-1 lead at three quarter time.
It had been a slow start to the game with only City Beach finding the back of the net, thanks to Charlie George who scored his first of two for the game. George scored again in the second term, while Eddie Taranto put Drummoyne on the board, the score 2-1 at half time.
Despite the close score at half time, the third term was again all in the favour of City Beach, who looked to Stanly McFarlane to put them two ahead at the final change.
A lively fourth term saw McFarlane pick up his second goal, as Jack Pringle and Taranto converted for Drummoyne to bring the Sydney team within one of the lead.
While the late charge had been impressive, it was inevitably the full time buzzer which halted the Devils, their comeback slightly mistimed as the City Beach withstood the challenge to win the game.
Referee: Bridget Leeson-Smith
Goalkeeper: Hayden Molla (Cronulla Sharks)
MVP: James Gillfeather (Sunshine Coast)
1st: City Beach Bears
2nd: Sunshine Coast Gold
3rd: Cronulla Sharks
4th: Sydney University Blue
5th: Hunter Hurricanes
6th: UNSW Wests Black
7th: Sydney Northern Beaches Breakers
8th: City Beach Reds
9th: Melville Sharks
10th: Melbourne Collegians
11th: Adelaide Jets
Plate Winners: City Beach Blacks
Plate Runners-up: Drummoyne Devils
15th: UTS Balmain Tigers
16th: Brisbane Barracudas
17th: ACT Fins
18th: Tasmania Red
Bowl Winners: Triton
Bowl Runners-up: River City
21st: Polo Bears
22nd: Sunshine Coast Blue
23rd: Central Coast
Shield Winners: Sydney University Goal
Shield Runners-up: Adelaide Stealth
27th: UNSW Wests White
28th: NYP Dragons/Geelong
29th: Tasmania Green