Corio win Geelong Community Cup at last
(Click on the photographs below to enlarge them)
Corio have appeared in the last five finals of the Geelong Community Cup and its predecessors, and lost the lot, but on Sunday night at Myers Reserve it was sixth time lucky as they downed newcomers Golden Plains by two goals to nil. Vedran Stojanovic was the hero with both goals one in each half in a game that the green machine dominated without being able to relax as Golden Plains refused to concede defeat.
Corio was nearly at full strength for the final, though striker Jasmin Ikanovic started on the bench. That allowed Stojanovic to play in a more advanced role after his brief cameo in the semi-final. In the twentieth minute the big man strode on to a through ball and gave Hamish Flavell in the Plains goal no chance. A few minutes later he put over a deep low cross from the right but Elton Savice could not reach the ball and it squirted away for a goal kick. Corio had more of the play, but Golden Plains defended well and broke quickly when they could. There was no further score in the first half.
Andrew Longo of Golden Plains had a shot that just cleared the cross-bar in the 49th minute, and three minutes later there was an incident in midfield that resulted in bookings for Longo and Nicholas Anderson of Corio. The resultant free kick to Golden Plains was headed over by Shayan Zarne. Ikanovic came on for Savice in the 56th minute and was quickly in the action shooting just wide a minute later. Michael Boyar carved out another opening for Corio and Stojanovic applied the finishing touch. Lucas Bonifacio tried to lob Corio keeper Simon Smyth but the effort just cleared the cross-bar. In injury time Corio skipper, Ronnie Clayson was booked for a severe challenge on the edge of the penalty area but the free kick was blocked and with that Golden Plains gallant campaign ended.
In the match for third place, Geelong Rangers showed some of the cutting edge that was missing in the semi-final and had a comfortable four-nil win over Bell Park. Bell Park lost Anthony Nekrep inside the first couple of minutes with a leg injury that forced his replacement by Ibi Matjara. The reshuffled defence was breached twice in two minutes. Ryan Supple converted a cross from the left in the 10th minute and when Rangers caused a turnover in the Bell Park half, Zac Harry ran through to score a minute later. Mijo Marinovic had a chance to reduce the deficit for Bell Park, but the big man sclaffed the ball wide of the post (Sclaff is a Scottish word for a mishit slice). Left back Colin Hamilton had a run and a long shot that hit the top of the cross bar as Rangers kept pressing. A combined move down the left gave Harry his second opportunity which he converted. Rangers should have gone four-up in the 49th minute but Daniel Earley put his penalty kick wide of the left-hand post. Matt Humphries came on as substitute and finished a driven cross from the left with a precise grounder.
Victorian Minister for Sport and football devotee, John Eren, presented the medals to players and officials and handed the Community Cup to Ronnie Clayson, who led the Corio celebrations with gusto.