It’s Falcons vs Moe for cup glory

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FALCONS progressed to the Battle of Britain Cup Final after beating Tyers 3-1 in the semi-final on Saturday afternoon at Traralgon City.

The Birds were not really stretched by a feisty Tyers side, but the Lightning played above themselves to be competitive against the potential champions.

Goal scorers for the winners were James Mills, Jamie Pistrin and Nonda Lazaris.

Falcons will now play Moe for the cup.

Falcons will be going for their seventh Battle of Britain Cup, while the Red Devil’s (the current holders), are also going for the same number.

It will be only the second time these two competitive teams have met in a Battle of Britain Final.

The previous time was 2016, when Falcons won 2-1.

Traralgon City currently has the record with eight Battle of Britain Cups.

The Battle of Britain Cup was first played in 1952 when the RAAF donated a trophy for teams in the then Gippsland Soccer League. The original trophy was made at East Sale and comprised bomb casing fragments as a dedication to the World War 2 Battle of Britain.

Originally, the cup was presented by the CO at the East Sale RAAF base.

It has only been played in first division, but over the years there has been invited teams outside the LVSL compete, teams such as Wonthaggi, Korumburra and a Koorie United team have featured in Cup matches.

IN the reserves, Falcons had a crushing 9-0 win over Churchill.

Those to hit the scoresheet were in the Shopwell Trophy were: Liam Johnson (3), Enrique Sbaglia (2), Jamie Fava, Stefan Sbaglia, Zoran Winkelman and Scott McKeown).

Fortuna beat Newborough/Yallourn 1-0 in the other semi-final.

Goal scorer was Mark Pavich.



MOE United blasted their way into their second consecutive Battle of Britain Cup Final after an emphatic 6-0 win over local neighbours Newborough/Yallourn at Burridge Reserve on Sunday afternoon.

In perfect football conditions, the Red Devils completed a dominate match, which was setup in the last 25 minutes of the first half.

The opening 20-odd minutes saw very little goalmouth action at either end, until a beautifully time cross by Brendall Ruddell sent Matt Shearing clearly through, but his shot was well saved by keeper Justin Allman, who minutes later was forced to leave the field with a hamstring injury and was replaced by reserve keeper David Gilbert.

The Combine then received a double-blow when coach and Combine forward Clayton Bell was forced out of the game with a calf injury.

The Combine’s best and only real chance to break the deadlock came in the first half came after 20 minutes when Shayne Pavich unleashed a brilliant swerving drive to the top corner from 30 metres out, only to be denied by a superb save by veteran Moe keeper Peter Albanese.

Within minutes, Moe United grabbed a 1-0 lead when a Matt Shearing through ball towards Riley Winkleman saw Winkleman work hard to win the ball from two defenders and shoot the ball home from close range.

Forty minutes into game, a sweeping run on the left wing by Joe Stewart saw him cleverly side step a Newborough/Yallourn defender and lay off an inch perfect pass for Luke Bathgate to slam home Moe United’s second goal.

Moe United were coming forward in a wave of attacks, putting the Combine under heavy pressure, and with the frustration getting to the Combine defence, it led to Combines top midfielder Ash Birrrell unfortunately receiving his marching orders for a retaliation offence.

Moe United rounded off a brilliant first half, led up front by the hard work from Shearing, who’s constant run into the Combine’s box created havoc, which saw his run towards goal and eventual shot hit the upright post, but an alert Connor Dastey was on hand to slot the ball home to give the Red Devils a 3-0 lead at the halftime break.

Early in the second, Dastey won a challenge of the ball in the forward half, then sent his pass to Winkleman who calmly squared the ball to Luke Bathgate who slammed the ball home for his brace to make the score 4-0.

United, with yellow cards in play, substituted Luke Bathgate, Noah Kane and Chad Shelley for the Cup Final, bringing on Harley Robinson, Campbell Dastey and Lachie McKenzie.

Moe continued their assault on the Combine’s goal, with substitute Robinson on the end of numerous chances but unable to convert those attempts.

Shortly after, NYU were reduced to nine players after Johnathon Cook received his second yellow card for dissent.

Seventy minutes into the semi-final, an attacking run by Robinson saw his cross pick out Winkleman, who’s first time shot was blocked by keeper Gilbert, but the rebound was seized upon by Dastey for his brace and put the Red Devils 5-0 up and on their
way to a second successive Cup Final.

With the Combine on their knees, more disaster was to hit the home side when Ryan McCluskey received his marching orders for dissent, reducing his side to only eight players.

United were now playing with three extra players and continued to threaten the goal.

Winkleman was again involved in a scoring opportunity when his run forward found Robinson who blasted his shot over the crossbar from close range.

Robinson then atoned for numerous misses in front of goal when his pass found Winkleman for his brace when he made no mistake to make the final score 6-0.

Best for the Combine were Steve Birrell, David Gilbert and Shayne Pavich.

Best for the victors were Nick Fogarty, Shearing, Winkleman and Dastey.

Unfortunately, Moe United will be without captain Fogarty for the final, after he was booked in the 70th minute following his only foul for the day.

IN the NAN Bosma 2nd Division Semi-Final, Moe United were easily defeated 8-0 by a strong East Gippsland side.

Best players in a tough match were Reg Poxon, Dane Baldwim and Kayne Heusmann.