BOMADERRY have fallen just short of a place in the top four after wrapping up their season with a 1-nil win over Shoalhaven United at Bomaderry Oval on Saturday.
It was a significant turnaround from last time the two sides met, where United gave them a 7-1 thumping.
Unfortunately for the home side it was not enough to get them in the finals, but their coach Doug Foley was still pleased they ended their season on the best possible note.
“We hadn’t beaten United this season, so it was very good to get the win, especially after the flogging we got in the last round,” Foley said.
“I couldn’t fault anyone, they were all so happy and enjoying themselves and that just made them play so much better,” he added.
Bomaderry’s goal came in the first half, thanks to a perfectly placed cross from Carik Taylor, which held up for Dave Hampton to put in the back of the net.
With Manyana going down against Culburra, United could have taken second spot with a win, but now find themselves in a sudden death situation next week.
United coach Trevor Skingle was disappointed not to finish second, but said they deserved to lose.
“I don’t know if it’s because we knew we were already in the semis, but we were pretty dreadful,” Skingle said.
“Our keeper James Spackman was easily the best one out there and if it wasn’t for him making some good saves, we would have lost by more.
“Full credit to Bomaderry. I have a lot of respect for Doug Foley and with the way they played, they’re very unlucky not to have snuck into the four.”
While Bomaderry were able to get the three points, they also needed Illaroo to take some points off Shoalhaven Heads if they were going to jump into fourth.
They came close, but Heads did just enough to hold onto fourth with a 2-1.
“There was only one goal in it, but they tried very hard, so good on them,” Foley said.
“It’s a little bit unlucky for us, but it’s been an absolute pleasure coaching the boys this season,” he added.
Foley said it was hard to pick the bets players from the bunch, but nominated Cameron Nelson, Matt Kellett and Ben Foley as the standouts.
United will now face Heads in the minor semi next week, where Skingle is hoping they can bounce back.
“I’m still quietly confident we can get the job done, we’re just going to have to do it the hard way now that we’ve lost that second bite of the cherry,” he said.
“Heads have been a bit of a bogey side for us in recent years, so I think it is going to be our biggest challenge.
“If we can get past them, I think we’ve got every chance, but we’re just taking it one game at a time.”
Interestingly, the only time Skingle has won a grand final as a coach was when his team finished in third, when he was at Bomaderry in 2001.
This feat was clearly forgotten by a Bomaderry official on Saturday, who Skingle said was getting stuck into him all game about how he’ll never win a grand final.
“I’m not sure who he is, but I think he needs to check his facts, because the last time Bomaderry won a grand final was when I was coach,” Skingle said.
“I’d be more than happy for him to come and introduce himself to me on the sidelines some time over the next couple of weeks.”