Lions reach new high for season as they bank a premiership
SPIRITS were high at the start of the Noosa Lions Premier Men's match on Saturday after the Reserve Grade 11-0 thumping of Nambour Yandina United, but even higher after the match.
It wasn't just their 4-1 victory but the news that second placed Woombye had lost to Caloundra, sealing the premiership for the Lions for the second successive year.
Both sides played an entertaining brand of football on the night with NYU showing some real enterprise in the middle third, that kept Noosa on its toes for the full 90 minutes.
Despite missing a suite of early chances Noosa's two wing backs, Tim Hollingworth and Chris Jancevski, ran amok, providing quality balls into the box all night. Strikers Matt Thompson and Matt Needham were on the spot to claim a pair each.
Sitting 12 points clear with only three rounds to go, the undefeated side celebrated with gusto in the change rooms and a deservedly chuffed coach Kevin Aherne-Evans was quick to point out that he was "incredibly proud of this squad”.
"Whether we won the competition or not, their effort on a weekly basis over the past two seasons has been a pleasure and a joy to be a part of,” Aherne-Evans said.
"We have played 39 league games over the past two seasons and incredibly so far we have won 31 of them.
"This level of consistency is an immense achievement. To have the capacity to do it week after week is a true reflection of a quality side.
"That is why I believe winning the league is more important than the finals series.”
He said with a bit of luck a side could have been average for half of the year then win a few games and be classed as champions.
"It is laughable,” he said.
"I invite all our members and supporters to come down for final home game of the season this Saturday to celebrate the success.”
Earlier, three under-17s made their Senior Men's debut in Reserve Grade against NYU.
Harrison Plumb, Jackson Schultz and Isaac Metherell were not overawed by the occasion and contributed both in defence and attack.
In a tight tussle with Buderim for second place on the ladder, the side's 11 goals are likely to ensure they have the best 'for and against' record in their comp in 2018.
To round off the weekend, Noosa Lions players Seb Hayes, Declan Parkinson, Ben Moffat, Chloe Murray and ex-Noosa players Armani Barber and Keelan Bentley represented Sunshine Coast schools teams in Maroochydore.
Both the Sunshine Coast boys' and girls' team finished runners-up in the State Under-12 titles.
Technical director Kevin said he was proud of the way they represented the club and region.
"The conduct and effort of our players over the four days was outstanding.”
Seb Hayes and ex-Noosa lions FC goal machine Armani Barber have made their Queensland squads to play in the Nationals in September.
"Dec Parkinson and Chloe Murray received the coach's player of the tournament for the Sunshine Coast while Ben Moffat received the MIP of the tournament for the Sunshine Coast squads,” he said.
"We are fortunate to have so many good young players in our region and this achievement for the players makes our club very proud.”