THE Stags are through to the semi-final round of the Champion of Champions competition after they defeated Maroubra’s Heffron hawks 5-0 at Cookbundoon yesterday.
It is the furthest the side has ever progressed in the under-21 age group of the competition that sees the top side in each NSW Association compete to be the best amateur club in the State.
The Stags had previously made the quarter finals last year. They will now head to Sydney next weekend against a side yet to be confirmed.
After recently taking out the Highlands Premier League, coach David Jones was ecstatic for his team that included nine players from the grand-final winning side.
“What’s exciting is that the Highlands now know about Stags, and now Soccer NSW will be looking at who Stags,” he happily told the Post after the victory.
Heffron arrived from Sydney’s Maroubra at Cookbundoon with only nine players available due to illness, injury and commitments.
This resulted in the side being severely disadvantaged, although they did well to keep the score at only 1-0 going into half-time. The only goal coming for the Stags thanks to a Jason Broadbent wonder strike.
Rightfully though, the Stags should have capitalised more on their dominance and advantage.
“We expected that it might be a bit hard, and they (Heffron) played the same tactics that I would have done, which is park the bus,” Jones explained.
“I talked to the guys in the sheds at half-time and said that we need to turn up the tempo, knock the ball around a lot quicker and make them work, and they did that.”
Stags captain Jarrod Twaddle knocked two goals in to make it 3-0 for the Stags half way through the second half.
Not to be outdone, Broadbent, who was the club’s leading goal scorer in the Highlands competition, knocked a goal for a brace.
Jake Mutton finished off a dominant performance from the Stags to make the final score 5-0.
“Considering in the grand-final a few weeks ago I got hurt really early on (corked thigh), I couldn’t have the impact I would have liked then. So it was good to come out today and sort of redeem yourself,” Broadbent said after the game.
“When Jarrod (Twaddle) had the two goals and I only had the one, I wasn’t going to let that happen, I had to get another one. No way can he score more than me.
“We’re tied in this comp now. I can’t let him beat me, not at all. He’ll hold it over me forever.”
Striker Mamboy Muta is expected to return from injury for the Stags come the semi-final.
“He’s a real good ball player, we missed him heaps today,” Jones said.
In the previous game, Crookwell went down to Wollongong team – Coniston - 10-2.
It means Crookwell’s Champion of Champions run has ended in the third round.