September 3, 2012
By Martin Stern
Football South Burnett
After finishing last in all grades last season, Nanango did the impossible on Saturday and won all three Grand Finals … an unprecedented feat in South Burnett Football.
The Nanango 1st Division side also went through the season undefeated.
All three games were close and exciting and the large crowd which turned out for the Evolution Solar Grand Finals were treated to some champagne football. The day started at 1:00pm with the 2nd Division Grand Final and culminated with the 1st Division Grand Final at 5:00pm.
1st Division: NANANGO 2 (Chris Walters 16th, Kieran Mangan 65th) defeated WESTS 0
The First Division game was expected to be fast, fiery and close and it lived up to all these expectations plus more.
Wests almost scored a minute into the game when a Joel Cooper header skimmed over the crossbar. Wests continued to put pressure on Nanango in the first ten minutes of the match but to no avail.
In the 16th minute Chris Walters found himself free on the left flank and chanced his arm with a shot that sailed past Wests’ keeper Jack Fleming.
Fleming would have had limited vision as he was looking straight into the setting sun.
The remainder of the first half was fairly even with Nanango having a slight upper hand.
The second half started as the first had finished, fast and furious. In the 65th minute, Kieran Mangan put his team two goals ahead with a solo diagonal run, found himself one-on-one with the keeper and made no mistake.
The remainder of the match got fiery and several players were yellow carded.
In the 70th minute a shot from Wests’ Brandon Smith was saved and he was denied again towards the end of the game with good saves from Nanango keeper Karl Pichlis.
To their credit, Wests never gave up and played quality football. They really put it to Nanango but in the end the Nanango line-up was just too strong.
Best for Nanango were Paul Strong, Chris Walters and Kieran Mangan while for West, Aidan Maher, Harry Sterling and Marty Perrett were the pick.
* * *
2nd Division: NANANGO 2 (David Ashby 8th, Luke Dobe 28th) defeated WESTS 0
In Second Division, Nanango attacked from the outset and were rewarded in the fourth minute when David Ashby put them ahead after taking on and beating a few defenders.
Nanango continued waves of attacks down both flanks but it was Luke Dobe who split the Wests’ defence up the middle and scored his first goal of the season to give Nanango a 2-0 lead.
Wests had few chances and Jack Fleming came close to pulling one back for Wests but was saved by the Nanango keeper Brendan Stern.
In the second half, Wests came to life and in the 49th minute Jack Fleming put the ball in the back of the net for Wests but the goal was denied, judged to be a handball by the referee.
In the ensuing corner it was Fleming again that came close but was denied once again and Nanango went on to win 2-0.
Best for Nanango were David Ashby and Karl Pilchis while Hamish Walker and Jack Fleming were Wests’ best.
* * *
Women’s: NANANGO 1 (Cassie Kelly 15th) defeated GUNNETTES 0
Again Nanango came out swinging.
Nanango moved the ball around with great intent and purpose and put the pressure on Gunnettes. Cassie Kelly had made several runs down the left flank where she found herself in a lot of space.
In the 15th minute on one of her many forays she pulled the trigger and the ball flew towards the Gunnettes goal and was deflected off Chrissy McBride into the back of the net.
In all fairness to Chrissy, the ball looked like going in anyway. A couple of minutes later, Katie Parsons was denied by the Nanango keeper.
The second half was much of the same but both teams began to tire.
The one goal was enough to give Nanango the premiership.
Best for Nanango were Cassie Kelly and Jacqui Downey. Best for Gunnettes were Katie Parsons and Angela Soanes.