CSUFC entered the 2018 finals with 3 out of the 4 teams still competing for glory playing in must-win clashes.
After a major schedule overall the first team to kick off the finals was Second Grade Ladies taking on Oberon at Proctor Park on Sunday. The girls started strong, dominating possession for the first 20 minutes before Oberon were able to score an unlikely goal against the run of play. Unfortunately the Vixens conceded a second goal soon after and were well and truly on the back foot. Early in the second half they found themselves 4-0 down and decided to throw caution to the wind. They were able to create plenty of chances but lacked the killer instinct in the final third. Final score 4-0 Oberon.
The other game played on Sunday was First Grade White up against Lithgow Workmens Club away in Lithgow. After a tight, physical first half the score was 0-0. Lithgow opened the scoring in the second half from a freakish free kick that even the great Bryan Warren couldn’t keep out. The Stags were able the get the match back level after a cross from Mitch Nightingale was deflected into the net. The match entered extra time and CSU were the first to strike but conceded almost immediately, scores once again level 2-2 at the end of extra time. Pressure was on in the shootout as skipper Felix Croshaw blasted the opening penalty into the cross bar, thankfully he was not made to pay as Lithgow also missed with their opening attempt. From here the finishing from the stags was all class and Bryan Warren stood tall in between the posts making 2 penalty saves. CSU won the shootout 3-0.
The first of the midweek games saw 4th Grade Men and Panorama FC duke it out in another exciting clash. After trailing 1-0 Angus Floyd scored a very tidy free kick and the match lifted in intensity. Chaos ensued in the dying minutes as Panorama had a goal disallowed and this meant the game progressed into extra time. With fitness a testing factor in the added period plenty of boys struggled with cramp but fought on valiantly. Unfortunately for the Stags they conceded with mere seconds left on the clock, ultimately going down 2-1.
First Grade Ladies played the last of our finals matches for week 1 in their Major Semi against Panorama FC. Emily Thurlow opened the scoring for our girls and scores were locked 1-1 at half time. Panorama came out the better side in the second half and edged in front 2-1 courtesy of a free kick just outside the box. Scores were evened up once again after Annabel Meadley made easy work from the penalty spot. With extra time once again on the horizon Emily Thurlow was able to get on the end of a ball over the top and chip an advancing keeper to see the Vixens in front 3-2.
After this mixed bag of results both 2nds Ladies and 4ths Men have unfortunately been knocked out. 1st Grade White have set themselves up with a Grand Final rematch against Panorama Red to book a place in another Grand Final. 1sts Ladies progress directly through to the Grand Final and will enjoy the week off.