from the Captain of Football, Julian Imvriotis
1st XI Wrap up
It was a crisp and cool winter’s morning, and the morning fog instantly reminded everyone it was going to be a big day.
As the Waverley 1st XI players began to roll in, lining up just behind the home bench, they were instantly fired up when they began to view their Knox Grammar counterparts begin to line in, just behind the away bench. As the first half of the 2nd XI game began to draw to a close, Waverley 1st XI coach Patrick Darvill gathered all the Waverley players behind the far goal, and began what would be his final speech for the 2017 season. He concluded the speech, and the Waves boys were ready as they made their way promptly to the home change rooms. As the laces were tied, jerseys were slipped on, you could feel the sense of occasion with the tension in the air, and when the warm-up began, both players and coaches knew this was going to be a big one.
The warm-up concluded, and only silence emerged from the group of players. They made their way out of the home changing rooms, through a crowd of supporters cheering, and made the long journey over to the famous Queens Park 2. As they arrived, they were greeted by a tunnel that stretched out onto the half way line, and when the snare/base drums began to sound, and the screaming voice of Connor Stamatelatos exclaimed “Waverley, three cheers for the First Eleven…”, both the boys and the supporters knew it was going to be a tight contest.
The game began fairly evenly, with both teams displaying quality ball movement and rock hard defence. With the assistance of the crowd of rugby boys cheering for the boys in blue and gold, the Waverley team quickly took momentum into half time, and even though the scores were level at 0-0, Waverley looked promising in hatching a breakthrough.
The second half began, and Waverley again looked on fire. Around 10 minutes into the half, Waverley were awarded with a corner. An initial corner whipped in from Waverley’s very own Jack Hardwicke-Owen, saw the ball be deflected back out towards the side of the pitch, and in the run of play Jack Hardwicke-Owen played in a peach of a cross, only to be neatly guided into the back of the net, with an excellent header from Waverley’s captain, Mitchell Knight.
Waverley 1 Knox 0. This goal sent the crowd into a frenzy, and the rest of the game turned out to be an emotional rollercoaster for everyone. Throughout the second half, Knox created their share of chances, which sent the Waverley crowd into a nervous spin. In what then was seemingly the last kick of the game, Knox were awarded a throw in deep into the Waverley half. As the Knox left winger took a large run up, and threw the ball as far as he could, Waverley’s hearts stopped. The ball bobbled around the edge of the box for a brief second, when suddenly the ref put the whistle towards his mouth, and blew for full time. The Waverley players hands went up in the air in euphoria, and what then proceeded is a memory that will stay in the minds of many, for years to come. Both the group of Year 11 supporters, as well as the numerous rugby boys, ran from the side of the pitch and formed a large cluster around the 1st XI players, embracing the fantastic result.
Once the madness died down, and Waverley boys shook the hands of their opponents, the realisation had kicked in. Waverley College 1st XI had just been crowned CAS football champions for 2017. For the first time since 2009, the Thomas Grimson cup had returned to Death Valley, and all who turned up on that historic day, would remember that moment for ever.