THE Huskisson-Vincentia Seagulls ended a 20-year Shoalhaven District Football Association first grade drought on Saturday by defeating the Bomaderry Tigers 2-1 in the grand final.
After a physical, end to end start to the fixture, the Seagulls opened the scoring in the 15th minute.
A Lewis Archibald thunderbolt from distance was deflected off Dale Russell past the Tigers goalkeeper Kane Moon and into the back of the net.
The Tigers then stepped it up a notch and their first real chance came four minutes later when Sam Baxter's shot was deflected just wide, after a sharp one-two with Jordan Haddow.
As the match progressed, the intensity lifted, as shown by Brad Bailey and Michael Hampton both being yellow carded in the 25th minute for an altercation, which saw tempers flare from both sides.
The Tigers continued to pepper the Seagulls' defence, as a strong run by Ben Seyffer and two close shots by Baxter and Haddow led to a handball in the box by Huskisson.
Off the ensuing penalty, Brendan Kellett sent Scott Fagerlund the wrong way to level the scores 1-all in the 38th minute.
#Huskisson#Vincentia coach Rob Hawker discusses his side’s 2-1 win against #Bomaderry in the #Shoalhaven District #Football Association grand final at #IsonPark - ending a 20-year first grade premiership drought. @footballnsw@SCRegisterpic.twitter.com/hyva3uK55T— Courtney Rhys Ward (@CortRhysWard) September 21, 2019
But that even ledger didn't last long, as the Seagulls retook the lead just five minutes later.
A crossfield ball was left by Hampton, straight into the path of Gary Masteron, who struck the ball sweetly into the net with his left foot.
This saw the Seagulls regain their one-goal cushion, which they held until half-time.
Ten minutes after the resumption, Huskisson missed a golden opportunity to double their lead, when Masterton crossed it into the box but Michael Hampton couldn't finish from close range.
One minute later, the Seagulls again came close after a scramble in the box and if not for Russell putting his body on the line for Bomaderry, the lead would have been extended.
Following a yellow to Haddow and another heated altercation, the Tigers had a brilliant chance to level through Baxter and would have, if not for a brilliant save by shot-stopper Fagerlund.
Minutes later, Tigers counterpart Moon pulled off a just as sharp save on David Hampton's flick-on.
Husskion's continued speed down the flanks saw Daniel Frew yellowed for a late challenge in the 75th but the Seagulls couldn't extend the lead from the ensuing free-kick, just outside the box.
The #Huskisson#Vincentia#Seagulls celebrate ending their 20-year #Shoalhaven District #Football Association first grade premiership drought by defeating the #Bomaderry#Tigers 2-1 in the 2019 grand final at #IsonPark. @footballnsw@SCRegisterpic.twitter.com/2BkG1drsvS— Courtney Rhys Ward (@CortRhysWard) September 21, 2019
As the game entered stoppage time, Tigers had one last chance to level up the scores but Russell blasted a free-kick over the bar, as the Seagulls courageously held on to win 2-1 and claim their first Blackmore Bolden Shield since 1999 while handing Bomaderry their second straight grand final loss.
In the drought-breaking win, Masterton, Michael and David Hampton and centre-back Gary Niemeier were standouts, as Russell, Frew, Baxter and Kellett did all they could for Kevin Jackson's side.
This first grade victory was just one of two for Rob Hawker's club, who also won the reserve grade premiership.
In the decider, a Nick Gelle strike in the 17th minute was enough to see the Seagulls down Shoalhaven United.
But Husskison missed out on making it a clean sweep on the day in the third grade final.
After neither the Seagulls or Manyana could break the nil-all deadlock in regulation time, the match went into extra-time.
It was here where Wanderers' Ross Nicholls scored the decisive goal in the 89th minute, to secure his club the title.