Upper Macleay Yowies claim Northern League title, defeating Port United 1-0 in shortened grand final

Vision: Upper Macleay Yowies player Paddy Dixon looks forward in attack with the ball at his feet. Photo: Penny Tamblyn.
Vision: Upper Macleay Yowies player Paddy Dixon looks forward in attack with the ball at his feet. Photo: Penny Tamblyn.

The Upper Macleay Yowies claimed their second Northern League title in three years with a 1-0 victory over Port United in a shortened grand final at Willawarrin.

Saturday’s match was stopped nine minutes into the contest with a Port United player suffering a broken leg.

Time isn’t added onto the game for stoppages and there was 23-minutes left of play after the United player had received treatment.

Yowies coach Martin Ring expressed there was no malice in the tackle which caused the broken leg.

“It was just a normal tackle and unfortunately the United player came out of it worse for wear,” Ring said.

The Yowies had begun to show their dominance as they pushed forward prior to the injury but the scores were locked at nil all.

Ring said his team decided to “attack, attack, attack” once play had been restored.

“We were confident we could press forward and apply pressure to United’s defence,” Ring said.

Play resumed and the Yowies were quick to find the back of the net, however the linesman’s flag was raised for offside and the scores remained locked.

However, Upper Macleay remained on the front foot and the deadlock was broken.

Darren Cameron-Love received a through ball, beat the goalkeeper who had came off his line and he calmly slotted the ball passed two United defenders and into the goal.

The Yowies refused to sit back and defend their lead, pressing forward for the remainder of the contest and they didn’t give United a sniff of an equaliser.

Ring believed it was a perfect end to a near perfect season.

“The United coach told me after the game we were the benchmark side all season and we deserved to win,” Ring said.

“We had a slow start to the year but we kicked on from round three and I always knew we were a good chance of winning.”

The Yowies were successful in the 2015 grand final but collapsed the following season.

Ring is hoping the side will learn from its mistakes in the past and they will be able to build a dynasty in the competition.

“We spoke about going back-to-back, it is definitely our goal now and the majority of the players will be back and I will stay on as coach,” Ring said.

“After we won in 2015, we though it would be easy the next year and we were too cocky.

“We need to be confident in our abilities but still respect our opponents.”

The Yowies finished the season as minor premiers and only lost one game all year.