The champion Columbia football side, sporting the moustaches they are growing for good luck, (back from left) Joel Freshney, Dion Egden, Josh Nicol, Max Harding, Kurt Long, Liam Watson, Andy Lipke, and Paul Arthur. (Front row from left) Doug Rose, Tony Arthur, Harry Johnson, Cale Bond, Troy Cochrane, Jason Lord, Dave Arthur.
The champion Columbia football side, sporting the moustaches they are growing for good luck, (back from left) Joel Freshney, Dion Egden, Josh Nicol, Max Harding, Kurt Long, Liam Watson, Andy Lipke, and Paul Arthur. (Front row from left) Doug Rose, Tony Arthur, Harry Johnson, Cale Bond, Troy Cochrane, Jason Lord, Dave Arthur. Contributed

Watson stars in premiership win

A TWO goal man of the match performance by Columbia's Liam Watson helped his team win their third grand final in a row.

Columbia disposed of Diggers 4-0 in a lopsided Gympie Football Division 1 Men's grand final at One Mile.

The experienced Columbia side dominated possession over the young up-and-coming Diggers outfit for most of the match.

Columbia players Dave Arthur and Joel Freshney sang the praises of Diggers goal keeper Paul Friske who kept the underdogs in the game.

Freshney said Friske was one of the best on the park.

"He kept them in the game, he did some great saves one on one," Freshney said.

"He was an absolute star."

Freshney said Friske's performance almost rivalled Liam Watson's Steve Manthey Player of the Final performance.

Watson was in fine touch, scoring two cracking goals in the final.

The midfielder's first goal was a classic individual effort.

From outside the 18 yard box Watson beat a Digger's player before unleashing his powerful right boot.

The ball went like a bullet into the top right corner of the goal.

His second was a great team goal, one of the best of the season.

Watson beat two Diggers' defenders before laying the ball off to Dave Arthur.

He then continued his run in behind the Diggers' defence and Arthur pulled off the perfect one two pass to give Watson space.

Watson then put he ball past Friske to score a clinical goal.

Other goals scorers for Columbia were Jason Lord and Dion Egden.

Arthur said his team played some of their best football in the final.

"We gelled the best we had all year," Arthur said.

"Our attack was fantastic, our defence solid and our ball distribution was awesome.

"It was a credit to Diggers they held us out for so long.

"They have been the other team to beat all season, it was a deserved final."

Lachlan Manthey was one of the young Diggers' players who played well against Columbia.

He said his team dropped its head after the first goal.

"We played better in the second half.

"We had a couple of good chances but we didn't get a goal."

He said his coach Ricky Manthey was happy with how the team played.

"Jeff Holmes had a good game at the back and Shaun McGee played well even though he was injured."

He said most of his team was still under 20 years old and had a lot of learning to do.

"Hopefully we will be a bit older and know how to take on the men a bit better next year," Manthey said.

"If we get fitter and stronger we can give it a real shot next year."

He said most of the team would still be together.

Some players are expected to try out for the Gympie Fire Under-19 side.

Gympie Times


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