North Coast to fly state flag

NORTH Coast Football (NCF) C.ex Group Youth League 15 years boys team are celebrating a famous win over Newcastle to become the Northern NSW representative team at the Australian finals of the Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC).

NCF and Newcastle are the two top-ranked teams in the Youth League competition and met in Taree (Sat) in a one-off match to decide who will carry the North NSW name to Melbourne next month.

NCF went behind early to a well constructed Newcastle goal in the 15th minute, however NCF restored parity just before the break through a set piece.

NCF was awarded a corner in the 30th minute which was taken expertly by Riley Dillon. It flew flat to the far post where Jacob Hughes rose to meet it.

‘Hughesy’ pulled off an exquisite header which found the back of the net for 1-1 at half-time.

The second half was hot and hard as the match grew into a midfield battle. The NCF middle three of Kale Teece, Tom Gardiner and Jacob Hughes were outstanding.

The full-time whistle went even before the corner could be taken and with no extra time being played under the rules of the day, it was straight to kicks from the penalty mark.

Newcastle kicked first and both teams successfully converted their first two attempts. Then, at 2-2, Tom Gardiner pulled off what turned out to be the only save of the penalty shootout.

Coach Jeff Hughes described the scene which followed as amazing.

“It was just like the Socceroos,” he said.

“The entire team ran to Tom Sherwood and congratulated him and then they all jumped around in a big huddle, just like you see on TV. It was an incredible day.”

The NCF C.ex Group 15s boys will fly the Northern NSW flag at the Australian finals of the MUPC in April. The squad is: Riley Dillon, Tom Gardiner, Jamie Hough, Jacob Huges, Patrice Jutzi, Jacob Leslie, Matthew Logan, Lachlan Moye, Nicholas O’Mullane, Tom Sherwood, Mote Sonter, Kale Teece and Jerry Whish-Wilson.

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