Lakeside Lions pull off finals upset

Come-from-behind victory: Lakeside's Zachary De Jesus runs with the ball during his team's win over University. Picture: Georgia Matts.
Come-from-behind victory: Lakeside's Zachary De Jesus runs with the ball during his team's win over University. Picture: Georgia Matts.

The Lakeside 13 boys have overcome a 2-nil halftime deficit to upset University in the opening round of Football South Coast junior football finals. 

Facing a first-round exit from the playoffs, the boys were able to turn their performance around in the second half to stun their more fancied rivals 5-2. 

The Lions will now face Port Kembla after they lost 3-1 to premiers Lake Heights in the major semi-final. 

Coach Lui Massanova said the victory was the result his team needed to believe they could win the competition.  

“Going into Saturday’s game, we hadn't beaten University this year at all,” Massanova said. “We were down 2-nil at half-time, had a bit of a talk to the boys at half-time and they came out in the second half and we ended up winning 5-2.

“The boys are full of confidence now, they believe they can go all the way.”

The Lakeside boys weren’t the only team to pull off an upset over the weekend, with a number of other underdogs surprising their more fancied rivals.

The Thirroul 12 girls overcame Port Kembla 1-nil to keep their season alive and earn a preliminary final date with Helensburgh. Shellharbour defeated Helensburgh 3-0 in the major semi-final.

The Fernhill 15 year old boys also kept their season alive with a minor semi-final upset victory, prevailing over Unanderra 3-1. Fernhill will take on University on Sunday morning after their 1-0 loss to South Coast United in the major semi-final. 

The six-team 14 boys division one finals series was filled with upsets, with first-placed Figtree falling to Shellharbour Blue 2-1 and fourth-placed Woonona falling to fifth-placed Shellharbour White. Third-placed University prevailed over Balgownie 3-nil. 

This weekend will see the two Shellharbour sides face off for a spot in the grand final, with University taking on Figtree. 

It was business as usual in the 15 girls, with top seeds Shellharbour and Thirroul bucking the trends to record victories over their lower-seeded rivals. After defeating Kiama, Thirroul will face Woonona on Sunday.

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