It was the fairytale finish 2016 deserves.
Pulling off a stunning upset to cap the season, Barnstoneworth United knocked off the previously undefeated Waratah FC in last year’s Orange District Football Association All Age A grade decider to win the premiership.
That form hasn’t continued on in 2017 though.
Proving they’ll be every bit as tough as the side that went on to make last year’s grand final, FC racked up a super impressive 5-2 thumping of the defending premiers at Waratah Sportsground last Saturday.
The three-goal victory continues the sky blues’ strong run over the course of the last three weeks, which also includes a 6-2 drubbing of Waratah United and a 1-0 win over Saints Turbulence in round four.
In other round five results, Millthorpe continued its winless start to 2017 courtesy of a 3-1 loss to the Saints, while the Old Boys completed a crucial 4-2 win in the Tahs derby, knocking off United in a comprehensive and entertaining clash at the sportsground.
Ex-Services also returned to the winners list, edging Waratah Wildcats in a dour affair at Bernie Stedman Field, out at Jack Brabham.
Meanwhile, in the ODFA’s over 35s premiership, Barnestoneworth United is showing signs of settling into its new line-up with a win over Denley Moor in the latest round competition, the clash doubling as a night game.
United had an unsteady start to the season, going down 5-1 to Denley in the opening round.
But Friday’s night match, played under the nights at Waratahs stadium, saw the tables turned.
Boosted by players from the former Brighouse team, United are putting together a possession-based playing style which is starting to pay off.
It was a very even first half. It took until the closing minutes before a well-placed Wes Miller corner soared into the box.
United’s Andy Holmes continued his push for the golden boot, flying high with a powerful header which gave keeper Pat Driver no chance.
Denley kept up the pressure at the other end as the second half began, United’s keeper Matt Savaro made a diving save to push a shot from Richie Shields wide of the net.
Holmes almost made it two from a penalty, but the hit the post.
Soon after Chris Jacobs floated a ball from nowhere over the keeper’s head to make it 2-0.
Both sides had their chances, but Denley defender John Barrie held off the attacks.
Despite a wealth of substitutes, United’s bench of seven compared to Denley’s one reserve, United couldn’t extend the lead, the match finishing with a 2-0 win.
Meantime, the Millthorpe Tigers are undefeated and last year’s premiers Gladdyatahs are winless after the first three rounds.
Tigers were too good on Saturday, beating Gladdies 3-0.
In one of the highlights of the B/C grade comp, Barnestoneworth B showed why they are the top of the leader board with a convincing win over Waratahs Ducks.
The 11-0 plucking, saw Barnstoneworth United B Grade defeat the Waratahs side.
Jeremy Boulton scored 4 top rate goals on the day, Wade Manning, a hat trick and Blake Boulton finding the back of the net twice.