VIDEO: Frenchville take out CQ Premier League grand final win
THE CQ Premier League's minor premier Frenchville saved one of its finest performances of the season for when it mattered the most, the grand final.
Frenchville clinically dismantled opponent Clinton FC 5-2 at Ryan Park on Saturday night.
Despite going down an early goal in the opening exchanges, it hit back quickly and a man-of-the-match performance by midfielder Jordan Miller in the second sealed the convincing win.
And it could have been worse for Clinton, had Frenchville managed to capitalise on some solid opportunities late in the game.
"By the end we were well on top," Frenchville coach Justin Kilshaw said.
"We were unlucky not to have scored two or three more. It could have really blown out," Kilshaw said.
The game, as expected, was tight early on.
Frenchville was down 1-0 after Gladstone pushed plenty of players forward and Frenchville defender Jordan Rose tried to clear the ball, could not get to it and a deflection had the ball sail past Frenchville keeper Robbie Day.
But minutes later Frenchville striker Michael Freeman stole the ball form a Gladstone defender and laid it off nicely for fellow striker Michael Cay to step inside his man and smash it home to equalise.
Ten minutes later Tim Zimitat broke free down the right for Frenchville and sent Freeman clear on the edge of the box. His finish was first class and it was 2-1 Frenchville.
Then a goal-mouth scramble had Frenchville defender Liam Gerraghty attempt to head the ball clear, but he did not make good contact and the ball went backwards into his own goal. It was 2 all.
Not long before half-time Frenchville put the ball in behind the Gladstone defence and Frenchville's third striker Mekwan Chatmankon sprinted away with it but was brought down inside the box.
Cay stepped up and slotted the ensuing penalty and the teams went to the break with Frenchville on top 3-2.
It was all Frenchville in the second half, led by Miller, whose class shone through.
The Frenchville midfielder's superior pace and skill had him score two goals in quick succession to seal the convincing victory for Frenchville.
Miller's first was sublime. His free kick curled past everyone, including the Gladstone keeper, to go high into the far corner of the net.
And with Cay marking the Gladstone centre-back Chris Hill, who likes to push forward and has caused Frenchville headaches in the past, Miller was able to get in behind him.
Cay tracked Hill defensively and nullified his impact. But this left space in behind him which Miller exploited perfectly, picking up a loose ball there and he was too fast for the Gladstone defence, driving home the winner.
"It certainly was one of our best performances this year," Kilshaw said.
"A big game and our big game players really stepped up," he said.
"Our strikers really
contributed and won us the game, as we had planned.
"Jordan Miller put the icing on the cake with an outstanding second half, a man of the match effort."