First finals appearance in 10 years for Sale United

SALE United and Traralgon City have taken third and fourth places respectively in the Gippsland Soccer League finals series after great wins on the weekend.

Sale United staged a great comeback to overturn a 3-1 deficit against Falcons with half an hour to play, laying on four goals to win 5-3.

Falcons was playing a counter attacking game relying on player-coach Mauro Deluca and Scott MacKeown as target men.

Just prior to the interval a neat Falcons build up led to the first goal for the match as the floating cross was converted past Richardson.

Immediately from the restart, Ray Allred capitalised on a great through ball leveling the scores. The visitor continued its counter attacking game plan and was rewarded a penalty when Deluca was adjudged to be fouled in the penalty box and he coolly converted by kick.

Moments later a charmed run by Deluca resulted in Falcons’ third goal, beating Richardson at the near post giving the visitors a commanding 3-1 lead.

With their season on the line, the Swans found another gear and were rewarded a penalty which was converted by captain Ross McWhirter.

Tommy Nguyen chimed in with a clinical strike to level scores before Callum Clancy rounded the Falcons keeper to send the Swans into the lead.

In the shadows of full-time, Nguyen iced the remarkable victory, scoring his second to send the Swans into their first finals campaign in 10 years and delighting the large home crowd.

TRARALGON City sent a message to the other finalists with a 7-0 flogging of Newborough-Yallourn United.The Roosters lead at half-time thanks to two goals from Mark Fairbrother.

Fairbrother took his tally to four after the break and was also joined on the goal scorers list by John Kuol, senior debutant Dylan de Hommel and Adam Batt.

CHURCHILL United was far too good for Fortuna in their top of the table clash on Saturday afternoon, winning 5-2 before formally claim the 2012 league championship trophy.

Churchill was on the back foot early when David Embleton forced home a goal mouth scramble after 15 minutes of play. The Rams pulled level 10 minutes later when Jesse Kennedy scored.Golden boot winner Luke Cheney then scored a double for Churchill with two sublimely chipped goals which left Fortuna keeper Dean Hamilton scrambling.

Churchill extended its lead in the second half when a long free kick from captain Jamie Robson bounced into the goal with Hamilton left red faced.

The Orangemen pulled a goal back when Joel Pirotta found the net, but when Cheney rounded out his hat-trick, it was all over as the prolific goal machine took his season tally to 25.

Churchill capped a fantastic year with undefeated championship wins in the youth and senior women’s leagues on top of the senior men’s triumph.

MONASH produced a stellar second half effort to down Tyers 6-2.The home side began brightly with Daryn Cummings continuing his rich vein of form in front of goal early.

The goal spurred Tyers into action, but it failed to test debutant keeper Matt Borthwick. With minutes remaining in the half the Lightning drew level after Monash was unable to clear their lines and Thomas Plunkett scored.

The second half saw the Wolves switch up a gear and youngster Jarred Sultana grabbed his first senior goal, followed seconds later by Cummings extending the lead with Tyers turning the ball over from the kick-off. Midfield dynamo Ash Birrell further extended the lead before Cummings sealed his hat-trick for the hosts to lead 5-1.

The visitors grabbed a consolation via the boot of Josh Membrey.

Young gun Ethan Lawrence restored the four-goal buffer with a neat finish to consign the Lightning to the wooden spoon.

MOE United was unable to get the points it so desperately needed and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Traralgon Olympians.

Moe finished the season in fifth and missed the finals after sitting in third place for much of the year. The Olympians will also be disappointed in its season, finishing sixth after most pundits thought they’d challenge for the title.

Kenny Higgins scored the Blues goal, while Lee Dastey put Moe on the board.