The men’s CIS Football Grand Final played on Hensley Athletic Field in East Gardens followed the women’s CIS Football Grand Final between Ravenswood School for Girls and Pymble Ladies College. Pymble had soundly beaten Ravenswood 4:0
St Pius X were acknowledged by those people in the crowd that know a lot more about football than I as the team to beat and clearly the partisan crowd thought so too; Pius fans had drums, bongos, air horns and someone orchestrating the crowd chants. They were ready for a big match.
So everyone was surprised sixty seconds after the whistle when Barker put one in the back of the net. To be honest, I think the Barker football team were as surprised as the fans.
The game then settled down in to a tussle in the midfield with teams well matched. However, it became clear that the Pius forwards were deadly; they just needed an opportunity delivered to them from the mid-field. Those chances were denied by the in-form Barker goalie who was having to work hard to keep Barker in the match.
Pius’s chance came after thirty minutes when a Barker defender fouled a Pius player in the ten yard box, earning him a yellow card and Pius a penalty. Sending the goalie to his left, the ball was slammed along the ground in to the back of net on the right hand side bringing the scores to 1:1.
The rest of the half set the scene for the rest of the game; Pius were playing for space, controlling the ball well, whereas Barker was becoming more speculative with their plays.
Half time the scores were 1:1
8 minutes in to the second half Pius drew the Barker goalie way off his line, attempting to clear a ball which had beaten the defenders. However, the Pius striker easily stepped around him and had an easy open goal which he didn’t miss. 2:1 to Pius.
That opened the flood gates and it became a goal scoring bonanza for St Pius. Fifteen minutes in to the second half, Pius scored from a corner which sent the crowd in to a frenzy, letting off flares and sounding horns, much to the annoyance of the ground managers.
Pius had found their channel: down the right side of the pitch, cross in to the middle and fire the ball home. Goal four came this way with a good shot to finish the manoeuvre and goal five followed the same formula but was headed in.
Goal six was slammed in to the net with a bicycle kick!
Mercifully, that was the end of the humiliation for Barker; losing 6:1 to St Pius X.
St Pius were a very happy team, closely connected to their fans and delivered a demonstration in football, emphatically winning the CIS Grand Final.