IT is that time of year again when football moves to Ison Park, South Nowra, for the Shoalhaven District Football Association final series.
This year’s final series has the potential to be one of the best ever, with evenly matched sides in all grades and great playing strength throughout.
Six different clubs have made it to the finals.
Shoalhaven United and Illaroo have all three of their teams in and have the chance to win all three grades which has only been done three times in the past by Culburra, Shoalhaven United and Shoalhaven Heads.
Sussex and Shoalhaven Heads have two each while Culburra and Gerringong have one team participating.
Shoalhaven United are the competition champions in first, second and third grade.
This is an incredible effort in what has been a close competition in all grades. The fact they won firsts by seven points, seconds by the same margin and thirds by 14 is even more noteworthy.
Last week’s final round certainly had several twists and turns, with the final position in the top four not decided until the last five minutes of the competition.
At the start of the day the top four consisted of Shoalhaven United, Bomaderry, Culburra and Sussex.
Only Shoalhaven United and Sussex were guaranteed a spot, however by 3.30pm Culburra had joined them after defeating Milton, which left Bomaderry, Illaroo and Huskisson fighting it out for the final position.
With Bomaderry and Gerringong level and United leading Illaroo midway through the second half, it appeared that Huskisson would be playing finals football. But Illaroo had other ideas.
When Andrew Timbs first equalised and then scored the winner with under five minutes to go, they had given themselves a chance.
When news filtered through that Bomaderry had only managed a draw, Illaroo had not only knocked Huskisson out of the race, but had replaced Bomaderry in the top four.
This was an exciting end to what has been an incredibly close competition.
The strength of this year’s competition can be judged by the teams that have missed the finals.
The best attacking side in Huskisson and the best defensive side in Bomaderry have both missed out, while the defending premiers in Gerringong won’t be playing finals either.