The dream comes true

SHARE

League and cup double wraps up Meadowbank’s golden season
Every football side’s dream is to claim a league and cup double in a season – and that is exactly what Oamaru’s Meadowbank United has done in 2016.
In a pulsating South Canterbury Cup final at Timaru’s Sir Basil Arthur Park on Saturday, Meadowbank clinched a hard-earned 3-2 extra-time victory over West End, thanks to a last gasp goal from veteran Meadowbank defender Darrell White.
It is the first time the cup has crossed the Waitaki River and it will take pride of place in the club’s bulging silverware cabinet, which also holds the South Canterbury Football League title, secured in late July.
West End took an early lead in the decider, but Meadowbank was quick to hit back after sustained pressure in the box resulted in a penalty which was duly converted by Sullivan Martin.
However, the home side regained the lead with only seconds remaining in the first half thanks to a deflection from a shot that managed to find the back of the net.
Despite dominating the second half West End were unable to convert their chances, which left the door open for Meadowbank to equalise.
And equalise they did, via a superb cross from Mitchell Greaney which was headed in by Paul Holmes with seconds left on the clock.
Martin and Matt Haywood have been prolific goal-scorers from Meadowbank this season, and if you could put money on anyone scoring in a do-or-die situation, it would be them.
However, it was veteran centreback White who snatched the extra-time winner, after a cross rebounded off his chest and into the net.
What made his goal even more remarkable was the fact he had been moved from the defensive line to the front after he suffered from severe cramps in his legs.
Meadowbank coach Simon Willetts said White’s goal capped off a fine win
“It was a tough fought game – the guys put everything into it and it’s obviously paid off in the end.
“It was an awesome feeling. I was really, really happy for the guys that had done all the hard work. We had guys cramping up that could hardly walk off the field after 120 minutes.”
Despite claiming both the South Canterbury cup and league titles, Willetts felt it was not quite the perfect season.
“We won a couple and lost a couple, so it wasn’t the perfect season … there was a lot of pressure, but I knew the guys could do it.”
Meanwhile, Meadowbank also won big at last week’s South Canterbury Football Awards in Timaru.
Martin was named player of the year, while Willetts won the prize for coach of the year.
Haywood won the golden boot for being the season’s top goal scorer, while Andy Lane was recognised for his services to football and Alison White won the administrator of the year award.
Meadowbank also won the fair play award for the third consecutive season, while the club’s women’s side was presented with the women’s league runner-up trophy.