A season that included 25 straight victories has ended with Arncliffe Aurora’s under-13s side crowned Champion of Champions.
The 50th anniversary of Football NSW’s Champion of Champions finals were played at Valentine Sports Park on Sunday with 19 matches across a number of age groups.
The tournament is NSW grassroots football’s most prestigious as teams from far and wide converge on Glenwood for the chance to earn the title of the state’s best.
Arncliffe took on Football South Coast club Lake Heights in their decider, with the match scoreless at half-time.
But shortly after the break Mohamed Awada made up for an earlier miss when he found space and directed a low shot home from the edge of the penalty area to give Arncliffe the lead.
Ali Mourtada then doubled Aurora’s advantage when he was the first to react to a loose ball, firing it into the net to secure Arncliffe a 2-0 victory.
The result capped a huge season for the Arncliffe side who won all 20 of their St George Football Association regular season and finals matches to win their premiership as they were crowned SGFA’s best team for 2018.
Four more wins in the preliminary rounds saw Arncliffe reach the Champion of Champions decider.
Arncliffe president Sam Hassan said the club were proud of their young team.
“The team played the 2018 season with great pride and represented the club and community in an exemplary manner,” he said.
“They were undefeated throughout the regular season winning every single game whilst displaying rare talent and the qualities of a true champion team both on and off the field.
“Winning the St George Football Association championship did not satisfy their hunger for success, they were driven to be the best team in NSW.
“This team stepped up to the stage and once again played their hearts out [at the Champion of Champions]. They not only won on the field but won the hearts of every opposition team they played, earning great reviews from supporters and competitors alike.
“The club received many commendations on the sportsmanship, discipline and skill this team displayed week in week out.”
SGFA had a second victorious team, with Hurstville City taking out the over-45 men decider.
A Steve Karavatakis double helped the Minotaurs down the defending champions, Northern Suburbs club St Michael’s Lane Cove 2-1.
Elsewhere, it was double success for Cronulla Seagulls who won both the under-21 men and under-18 women’s titles.
In the under-18s women’s match, Cronulla downed Nepean club Glenmore Park 1-0 thanks to Ava Orman’s last-gasp winner.
The Seagulls had already won their respective Sutherland Shire Football Association minor premiership and premiership as well as the State Cup. Their Champion of Champions triumph made them the first Cronulla team to win all four titles in a season in the club’s 60-year history.
In the under-21 men’s match, the Seagulls beat Hills District club Norwest FC 3-1 thanks to a Mitch Lucas double and Darcy Medway prodding home from a goalmouth scramble.
Como West Jannali went down 2-0 to Dunbar Rovers in the men’s over-35 final, while Connells Point Rovers lost the under-21 women’s decider 3-0 to Northbridge FC.