Lions’ third grade dreaming of Blake Trophy grand final appearance

Charlie Crisp was one of Young's best in Saturday's elimination final victory over Wagga Thunderbirds.
Charlie Crisp was one of Young's best in Saturday's elimination final victory over Wagga Thunderbirds.

Young’s men’s third grade have escaped a scare from Wagga United Thunderbirds in the Blake Trophy elimination final.

A second-half goal scored by Lachlan Crouch was all that separated the Lions and Thunderbirds at Rawlings Park on Saturday, Young clinching a 2-1 win to progress to this week’s semi-final against Wagga United Crows.

On Saturday, Young were led through the middle by rookie Charlie Crisp, who has developed as a player and a leader, he broke down countless attacks from United and received support from player of the year nominee Tyler Hurcum.

About 20 minutes in, Young got a break through when another player of the year nominee, Javarn Hurcum, got an easy tap in at the back post.

It was 1-0 at the break.

Both sides came out attacking in the second-half and the Thunderbirds equalised thanks to a forward heading a ball on that had bombed down field by the goalkeeper.

Young then put the pedal down and lifted, pushing hard at the Thunderbirds goal and placing the defence under increased pressure.

The method proved successful when Young shot at the goal, and the ball ricocheted across to Lachlan Crouch who tapped the ball in past a diving keeper.

The final score was 2-1 to Young and amazingly Young had won the game without having even one shot on target. 

“The boys wanted this one bad. After last week’s loss, we all lifted but what is pleasing is how the younger players have developed. They are talking on the field, but chasing each attack, not letting the opposition settle and that is how we scored twice today,” Ray Mitchell said.

“We were just hungrier for the ball in their box. Next week will be tougher but we can get to the grand final.” 

The win places Young in a semi-final against top three side United Crows next Saturday in Wagga.

“One more win, boys, but more importantly, all three grades are now just one win from a grand final each,” Mitchell said.