Columbia loses semi
COLUMBIA’S dream of playing the final of the Mecano Cup has been ruined by Across the Waves for the second year in a row.
Columbia, led by player/coach Dave Arthur, has been unbeaten in the Wide Bay football competition this year, until Saturday.
Across the Waves is the same team that beat Columbia in last year’s semi-final in Bundaberg.
This year, with the home ground advantage, Columbia thought it was time for revenge and after Arthur scored in the 25th minute it looked like the Gympie team was set to take the game.
Arthur’s goal came after a cracking penalty shot.
His low hard drive beat a defensive wall set up by the Bundaberg side and then beat the keeper at the near post.
Columbia spokesperson Joel Freshney said the shot was a beauty and set Columbia up with a real chance of advancing to the final.
The game turned in the dying minutes of the first half when Across the Waves scored in a goal-line scramble.
Freshney said there were legs everywhere and Ben Mathison for Bundaberg put the ball in the back of Columbia’s net.
“It was an absolutely scrappy goal just before half-time,” Freshney said.
Columbia went to half-time still confident of taking the win, but good ball control by the Bundaberg side denied Columbia the ball.
“They kept possession really well,” Freshney said.
When Columbia did get the ball it still had plenty of chances to attack.
Liam Watson was denied a goal when his shot hit the post and Jason Lord kicked the ball straight to the keeper in a one-on-one situation.
“We had at least four good chances,” Freshney said.
Across the Waves second goal was a classy bit of play.
A clever flick pass through legs put Across the Waves Matt Martin one on one with Columbia keeper Troy Cochrane.
Martin converted to give the visitors a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute.
Freshney said Columbia then ran out of time.
He said his team was starting to build a lot of pressure on Across the Waves as it tried to defend their lead.
“If we had another 10 minutes we could have tied it up.
“We were coming home strong,” he said.
Freshney said despite the loss he was proud of his team’s effort, in particular defenders Cale Bond, Max Harling and goal keeper Troy Cochrane.
“They were a standout in defence,” Freshney said.
“Troy is one of the best keepers around.”