VIDEO: The Nerang Eagles have finished the year with one of the gutsiest wins in recent memory, clawing back from 3-2 down to take a gallant 4-3 win and deliver another cup to the club’s trophy cabinet.
The Nerang side came out all guns blazing and put away two high-quality early goals in the Grand Final thriller, held on Sunday away in enemy territory at Ormeau, much to the dismay of the home team and their vocal supporters – full match highlights video below.
Coach Gary Stone said that he was sure the side was on course for a 5-nil thrashing at that point … and that’s when things went sideways.
In a hard-fought and physical match that resembled more of a back-and-forth battlefield sortie in certain stages, Ormeau hit back with a perfectly executed free-kick header which found the back of the net and easily the title of goal of the match.
An unlucky penalty against Nerang meant the boys went into the break at 2 a piece, and faced a lengthy challenge ahead if they were to wrap up the game. Lady luck struck again for Oremeau in the second half as the All Stars went 3-2 up and took over the driver’s seat, themselves coming back from behind to be suddenly eyeing off the title and the trophy.
Push and shove, swinging momentum and some incredibly close shots hitting crossbars and posts had the crowd on their feet as the nerves of both teams were tested. There is no doubt that this had all the hallmarks of a spectator spectacle and is front-runner for match of the year, at least from the fans perspective.
With just minutes to go, the Ormeau goal keeper slid in with a challenge that missed the ball and its mark, clipping our man inside the box and earning Nerang the second penalty shot of the game despite protests from the Ormeau keeper that he made no contact. Nerang’s Samuel Shepherd made no mistake and confidently hammered the ball into the top of the net, sending the crowd into overdrive and the game into extra time at the 90-minute mark.
Stone rallied his troops and expertly used his substitutions to inflict maximum damage against an increasingly-frustrated Ormeau side – a reflection of his decades of superior game experience, both on the field and at the sideline.
Late in the first 15-minute period, a perfectly executed play involving precision and coordinated passing, a lofty header from Shepherd and crushingly good finish saw the Eagles smash in a goal off the post and around the Ormeau goal keeper. AS for the match-winning strik? It was from the boot of none other than Eagles icon Klaus Jeffrey, who would later show that his engine was running on an empty tank and the smell of an oily rag at the time.
Not at all a team to make anything easy, the toughness and resolve from the All Stars was relentless and they took this game to the final whistle with their foot on the accelerator, much to their credit, and their frustration.
Late in the second quarter and just minutes from the end, an extremely unlucky hand ball by an Eagle’s defender put Ormeau on the spot for the second time in the match, all but certain to equalise again and send it to penalties.
Cue the grasshopper – our goal keeper Shaun Cleaver – who showed incredible heart and gutsy determination to shut down Ormeau with three shattering sequential saves, locking them out in one of the most frantic goal-mouth scrambles we’ve seen in a long time. We’ll let the video (below) cover that one for you all.
The final whistle signalled the sound of victory for the Eagles and a fitting way for the club to finish its regular season in the Football Gold Coast competitions. With a swathe of trophies this year for several notable premierships and grand final wins, every player at the club has delivered an inspiring performance to see the Eagles rise and rise again. Bring on 2018!
Congratulations to Ormeau who fought the hard fight and made Nerang earn every bit of it, inch by inch at times. Both sides can, and did, walk away with their heads held high after this clash.
To the victor goes the spoils, and celebrations were already underway as they boys left the field to receive their medals and the all-important 2017 Football Gold Coast Sunday Metro Cup. The team bus was awash with song and celebration, which carried over into the clubhouse, running late into the night.
In the battle of the real estate insignias, our LJ Hooker Nerang came out on top of the Ormeau’s Ray White chest banners haha! And again, thanks to our major sponsors for backing the Eagles again this year, LJ Hooker Nerang with over a decade being with the Eagles, Bitzios Consulting, Ladbrokes who came on board this year, Glass Now in Nerang, the local Nerang RSL and Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management just across the road from LJ Hooker to name but a few. There’s also a huge list of other sponsors and supporters who have backed the Eagles, you can find out all of our sponsors on both this website and over at the Academy of Football Australia website. We urge you all to support those businesses that back the Eagles!
Two for two, Coach Gary Stone has delivered a double of Grand Final wins for his U12s and his Metro sides, and an U12 Premiership as well for the club this year. Along with Klaus’ winning goal on Sunday, we’re sure the old boys were looking down with great satisfaction and joy watching the Eagles live up to the legacy and history of the club. All that shouting must be doing something right!
The Metro Sunday team has managed to deliver a swag of trophies to the club in recent years, showing the depth of experience and pure heart our Eagles bring every single time they walk out on the pitch.