Report by Tommy Doleman
David Heagney’s goal was the deciding factor in Bayswater’s 1-0 win over Stirling in the QBE Night Series Grand Final at nib Stadium on Saturday to the delight of City coach Chris Coyne.
“It’s always nice (to win a trophy),” Coyne said. “It gives the players a reward for the hard yards and work they’ve put in since we started training in December.
“Credit to Stirling - they pushed hard in the second half and we got a little bit sloppy, but now we’re looking forward to getting into the nitty gritty (of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues WA season).”
Pictured: Gustavo Giron Marulanda in control. Photo: www.fotoenzo.com
Bayswater will open the defence of their PS4 NPLWA title against Perth Glory at Finance 365 Stadium (Frank Drago Reserve) on Saturday, March 19, while Stirling will kick off their campaign at home to Subiaco.
Pictured: Heagney (centre) celebrates his goal. Photo: www.fotoenzo.com
Stirling coach Rob Milevski said his team could hold their heads high after the narrow defeat.
“The boys were great tonight, especially in the second half when we put more pressure on them, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be,” he said.
“There are a lot of positives to take from this Night Series. We’ve had a good campaign, beaten some good sides from last year, and it puts us a good position going into round one.”
Pictured: Trent Kay challenges Robert Petkov. Photo: www.fotoenzo.com
Heagney’s cool finish on 26 minutes proved to be the winner but last year’s league winners didn’t have it their own way.
Long-range shots were the main feature in a cagey first 15 minutes as both teams struggled to settle on the ball.
Bayswater’s new shot stopper Fraser Greenwood was tested from distance by David Micevski’s free kick, before John Perkins reacted brilliantly to palm away Heagney’s drive at the other end.
Heagney did open the scoring moments later, though, as he kept his composure twice after collecting a long ball to slot past Perkins.
Pictured: Jamie Coyne in full flight. Photo: www.fotoenzo.com
David Micevski managed to get in behind on a couple of occasions and man-of-the-match Blamo Quaqua headed over as Stirling initially responded well to conceding.
Greenwood then stood tall to block Petkov from 5m after good work down the left flank, before opposite number Perkins was out quickly to thwart Heagney again.
Stirling carved out the first chance after the break but Teeboy Kamara couldn’t find the target as the ball fell his way in the area.
Brodie Martin was next to threaten for Stirling as he glanced a headed just wide after Kamara’s cross from the left.
Perkins denied Slobodan Vulin late on as Bayswater came close to doubling their lead, but by then they had already done enough, despite Jamie Coyne’s stoppage-time red card.
Stirling midfielder Quaqua was awarded the Robbie Dunn medal as the player of the match.
Bayswater City 1 (Heagney 26mins)
Stirling Lions 0
Saturday March 12, 2016
Local kick-off: 9:00pm
Referee: Steven Gregory
Bayswater: GK: Fraser Greenwood, 3. Jack ALLEN, 5. Andrew REALE, 6. Todd HOWARTH, 13. Trent KAY, 15. Brian FARRELL, 16. Jamie COYNE, 19. Alex WILD (17. Jamie MURPHY 65’), 20. Sam MITCHINSON, 21. David HEAGNEY (9. Gustavo MARULANDA 46’), 23. Andrija JUKIC (18. Slobodan VULIN 83’).
Substitutes not used: RGK: Devon SPENCE, 11. Declan HUGHES.
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Coyne 90+1
Stirling: GK: John PERKINS, 4. Blamo QUAQUA, 5. Graham DORAN, 6. Brodie MARTIN, 9. Robert PETKOV (12. Jason RUBIDGE 69’), 10. Daniel MICEVSKI, 11. David MICEVSKI, 14. David MURPHY, 15. Shane CASSIDY, 16. Abdul SESAY, 17. Teeboy KAMARA (8. David SESAY 82’).
Substitutes not used: RGK: Connor CAMPBELL, 3. Jovo PAVLOVIC, 7. Miki VUJACIC.
Yellow Cards: Sesay 90+3
Red Cards: Nil