EXPECTATION is heightening as Emerald’s six-a-side soccer grand final looms between classic rivals Strikers and Good as Gold.
The finalists are no strangers to the biggest game of the season and both know how close the finals football can be.
Last year’s final had both teams deadlocked at full time, then with still no result after two halves of extra time, Gold eventually won on penalty shootout.
Twelve months on, the two sides will lock horns in the rematch and neither has lost any of the intensity.
The preliminary final between Gold and D’oh had players and spectators alike on the edge of their seats, as D’oh came back from 2-1 down mid-way through the second half to level the scores from a direct penalty.
It seemed no-one was safe from the fierce competition at play, not even the sideline spectators, with one local reporter, who will remain nameless, sent flying after a powerful shot at goal deflected off the posts.
Do’h persevered with only five men but in the end they were no match for the freshly substituted Gold players, who finished strongly with two late goals to extend their lead out to 4-2 by full time.
Strikers captain Darren Strutz-Grimmond held no reservations about the intensity of match play between the two sides and fully expects Tuesday night’s final to be every bit as tough as their past encounters.
“Last year we were ahead one-nil and then ended up losing but it’s always hard leading because the other side has got that incentive to come back,” he said. “But don’t get me wrong it’s not that we wouldn’t want to score first.”
He said the sides are that evenly matched that the game will definitely come down to the wire.
“Anything could happen.
“We’ve both got a healthy level of respect for each other.”
The women’s grand final between Red and Swat is also tipped to be a thriller.
Seasoned match official Brad Stanley said both teams had shown they have the depth and ability to go all the way.
“Red is very solid. They’ve got a couple of outstanding players who will really give them a lift,” he said. “And Swat are a very athletic side who are capable of anything.”
Ladies kick-off at 6.30pm at Morton Park, followed by the men at 7.30pm.
“Anything could happen... We’ve both got a healthy level of respect for each other.”
Strikers captain Darren Strutz-Grimmond
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.