EASTERN Suburbs Hakoah Futsal Club claimed a spectacular sweep in season deciders on Saturday at Valentine Park, going three from three in Football NSW State League Futsal grand finals.
On a day few East Hakoah fans will forget, the club capped off a memorable campaign with triumphs for the Under-12 Boys and Under-13 Girls sides, as well as the all-conquering men’s team.
The Under-12 boys got Hakoah started for it’s attempt at a trio of titles as they preserved their undefeated season by overcoming a tenacious Sydney Fustal Club 2-0.
Easts began with their customary swagger but were made to work hard, with a single goal separating the teams at the break. Ethan de Melo had assisted an opening for Adam Strasser who coolly finished and put Hakoah ahead.
An action-packed second stanza saw the Easts gain some breathing space as Zachary Sapsford capitalised on another slick pass from De Melo.
The Under-12s concluded the season as minor premiers and champions, a deserved result for coach Adriano De Melo and his rampaging squad.
In the Under-13 girls grand final, Hakoah recorded a miraculous 4-2 win over a previously unbeaten South Coast Taipans team that had dominated the league during the regular season and claimed the minor premiership.
With a Taipans opening goal in the first two minutes followed by a second minutes later, the match was following the favourites’ script.
However, the Easts’ girls refused to back down and somehow found the spirit to peg back four unanswered goals. Brigid Sullivan scored twice, while Emily Rawson’s goal swung momentum towards Hakoah.
Sinead Hayes’s crashing drive completed the best move of the match, with her shot ricocheting off the post and a defender before the ball finally crossed the line.
Coach Simon Maher was full of praise for the girl’s extraordinary resilience after the astonishing comeback.
Finally, it was Hakoah’s undefeated men’s team looking to maintain its barnstorming form in the final, just managing to do so with a 1-0 win over a desperate Raiders side.
Robbie Ezekiel pounced in the seventh minute to put Easts ahead before the game turned into an epic stalemate in which both goalkeepers excelled.
Hakoah’s Max Nightingale pulled off several breathtaking stops to keep his side Easts in front. Star striker Jarrod Basger rattled the frame, while his brother Dylan came close to extending the lead, but in the end Ezekiel’s goal proved the difference.
The win is a fitting reward for coach Doron Pozniak and his team, which have grown stronger as the season progressed and carried off both premiers and championship medallions.
Pictured: The victorious Hakoah Under-12 side