Sutherland were unable to farewell departing legends Peter Mulcair, Blake Sanford and Gavin Bobyk with a premiership on Saturday, falling 2-0 to Moorebank-Liverpool in the Sydney Premier League grand final.
Sutho went two goals down inside the opening 12 minutes against the minor premiers at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush and, despite being the better side in the second half, were unable to erase the deficit.
Sutherland, celebrating their 50th anniversary and 25 years since their maiden first grade title, had been looking to win their first top grade premiership since 2012.
Coach Grant Hollyman, a 420-game club legend and four-time premiership winner as a player, was also in his final game at the helm.
Hollyman paid tribute to Sutho’s retiring trio and said there were a number of positives for the club to take from the season.
“I think it’s worth saying all three of our guys who are retiring were outstanding,” he said.
“Peter Mulcair was the best player for us… there was only one better way for us to send them off and that would have been with a win.
“To have the first three grades as well as the under-17s and under-15s through to grand finals, it was a very impressive weekend.
“We had one player in first grade that didn’t come through our junior program which is just magnificent. It just doesn’t happen.”
To have the first three grades as well as the under-17s and under-15s through to grand finals, it was a very impressive weekend.
Sutherland could have got back in the game before half-time if not for three brilliant saves from the opposition goalkeeper and an effort that came agonisingly back off the post.
While Hollyman said Sutho’s sleepy start had cost them, he was pleased with how they fought their way back into the contest.
“You can never be disappointed in the effort,” he said.
“Things could have gone very badly but they didn’t.
“We fought so hard for the next 50 minutes and were the better side but it just wasn’t our day.”
It was a disappointing day for Sutherland’s legion of fans who turned the whole western side of the ground blue in support.
Second grade went down 3-2 to Briars in their grand final, while third grade suffered a 3-1 defeat to University of NSW.