A sensational solo effort from Marcus Beattie propelled Bulli to the Bert Bampton Cup crown on Sunday afternoon after the northern suburbs powerhouse outlasted Albion Park White Eagles 1-0 at Crehan Park.
Beattie’s moment of class in the 82nd minute came as the hard fought clash looked set to be headed towards extra time.
The speedy attacker picked up the ball on the left side before angling towards goal and finishing with aplomb.
It helped Bulli to their first piece of significant silverware since winning the League Championship in 2014. The title is the first of three major trophies the high flying club are within reach of claiming this season.
“We don’t hide from the fact that we have the clear objective that we want to win every competition we are playing in,” Bulli coach Matt Bailey said.
“This is the first one in a number of ones that we hope to win. The group is really good. We have six players out through injury, suspension and being away today which tests the depth of the squad, but we managed to produce a result like that. It is a fantastic environment at this club so for me, next week we divert our attention to the league, but tonight we will enjoy ourselves.”
The victory was made all the more special for Bailey, who’s wife Vanessa gave birth to the couple’s third child on Saturday morning. The first year coach returned to the sidelines on Sunday to watch his side battle hard for victory against a determined White Eagles side. Park had the better of chances in the opening stages and almost went ahead in the 20th minute when Shohei Okuno’s curling free kick drew a fine save from Yuwa Kuwata.
Bulli’s best opportunity of the first half came two minutes before the break as Dylan Lewis cut the ball across to Beattie.
But the latter couldn’t hit the target from eight yards.
The White Eagles went even closer in the 55th minute when a rasping effort from Hikaru Kawasakiya crashed into the crossbar.
It was as close as they’d come in what was a nervy second half.
Bulli would finally break the deadlock with eight minutes remaining.
Moments after Lewis had a goal denied for offside, Beattie made no mistake to extinguish the White Eagles challenge.
“Our front third were much better in the second half and I think that resulted in us closing out the game with a fantastic goal,” Bailey said.