A season to remember

Churchill completed an historic Gippsland Soccer League “triple treble” on Sunday at Latrobe City Sports Stadium, Morwell.

The Rams’ victory in the men’s, women’s and youth grand finals complemented minor premierships and cup competition triumphs across the grades as the club amassed nine trophies this season.

Churchill club president Stephen Breheny said it was an achievement unlikely to be emulated in future seasons.

“I don’t think that will ever happen again,” he said.

“To ice the season with the premiership is fantastic, but more so the previous accolades with the league championships for topping the ladder and cup wins.”

Churchill’s men secured their second consecutive premiership with a convincing 3-0 win over Fortuna, continuing their domination of finals this season after a 7-0 thumping of Falcons 2000 in the Battle of Britain Cup.

In a cagey opening 20 minutes there was an even battle across the midfield with both sides creating opportunities, before coach Luke Cheney broke the tug of war with a venomous strike that snuck under the crossbar.

The minor premiers began to take control and a calamitous own goal from Fortuna gifted Churchill a handy 2-0 buffer at the break.

Fortuna fired up after half-time and began creating fissures in the Rams’ defence as it searched for its first.

Hayden Tanti pushed Fortuna’s best opportunity into the side netting after Joel Baldwin’s pinpoint pass found him in space, and from there the side fell flat.

The Rams introduced Kwaku Dade off the bench and used his deft touch to open up the Fortuna defence, beating several players to set up Tim Dawson who put the issue beyond doubt with Chuchill’s third.

Churchill lost only one game all season and will be out to claim its third consecutive title next season.

“We’re aiming to keep the squad together (to go for three in a row next year),” Breheny said.

“We had some long term injuries this year so there were some really talented players that sat it out and they’ll be back in next year so it should be good.”

Steve Riess starred with a double in the Rams’ 2-1 defeat of Traralgon City in the youth grand final and the senior women finished the Churchill shutout with a 2-0 win over Tyers.

The youth side also claimed the Steel Youth Cup while the women won the Browne Huizer trophy in their respective cup competitions earlier in the year.

Fortuna defeated Trafalgar 3-2 in the reserves and Pegasus defeated Traralgon City on penalties in the second division.