The 2019 pre-season saw teams traveling to Hyde Park in Gore. The Wanderers Club turned on several weekends of excellent hospitality and warm conditions.
Old Boys had teams entered in both the Social and Competitive men’s competitions. The Social team led by Gordy ended up as beaten finalists while the Prems under Reuben had some mixed results and narrowly missed out on the finals on goal difference.
Both teams opened the campaign with comfortable wins over Gore teams. The Social team opened with a 5-1 victory which included goals from new recruits Terry & Celso. The Prems needed a 2nd half comeback to surpass Gore 3-1 after going behind early from the penalty spot. Goals to evergreen Frankie and his youthful partner Liam.
The second week saw the Social team taking on Queens Park, a rematch of last season’s Charity Cup final. This one would be won by Old Boys 2-1 with goals to Fozzie and Julio. The Prems had an up and down 2-2 draw with Thistle. Danny opened the scoring early before a pair of Thistle goals saw them back in the lead. The guys pushed hard, and Kris had a penalty saved. In the 2nd stanza both teams ran out of juice and Frank once again showed his value with a calmly taken shot.
In a quirk of the draw both teams could lose their final matches and miss the finals. Gordy and co duly stepped up and dispatched Thistle 4-0 after leading 1-0 at half time. A Thistle send-off helped things along. The Prems made a hash of their game with Queens Park failing to be present in the early stages of the game and succumbing to a 6-0 loss with goals coming in quick succession in each half. Thistle unexpectedly lost to Gore but maintained a better goal difference to go through to the final.
The Social team went into their final with Park as the only team across both comps who were unbeaten. Unfortunately, a couple of players were missing through injury and absence and it was a 12 strong squad that travelled to Gore for a fourth week running to take on Park. In an entertaining match neither side could quite gain the ascendency. It would take some late bad luck with an own goal that separated the teams just minutes before a penalty shootout.
Shout-out to all the players that did get up to Gore consistently and those from Div2 that supported the teams. Plenty of work to do in training to iron out some defensive frailties for DG and some more finishing work for Div 1 ahead of the season.