Valiant effort by Demons Under 18s

The young Northern Demons Under 18s last Saturday lost its preliminary final 1-3 to Eastern United at Karbeethan Reserve and missed out in playing in the Coopers Stadium grand final after the Red opponents probably being the better team on the day. The Demons were playing their third final in as many weeks and had travelled far and wide and after a 1-0 win over Gawler, then defeated Modbury Vista in a thrilling penalty shootout 5-4 before Saturday's second meeting with United in the past month or so.

However, in Saturday's final it was an unfortunate 10 minute Demons own goal via Divan Verdoorn after a right cross that gave its opponents the 1-0 lead and in a half of soccer that went onto develop as one that the Joseph and Dominic Sciancalepore coached Reds seemed to be on top of their Athelstone opponents. However, the second half started badly for the Northern Demons when Eastern United striker Jason Marone won the ball before going onto score for a 2-0 lead at the 47th minute before an instant rebound reply by the Reds saw Ben Spadavecchia scoring at the 49th to have the preliminary final buzzing with interesting standing and United leading 2-1.

The Demons chased hard for the equalizer and in a final that Eastern United had club soccer director Diego Pellegrini on the touch line giving invaluable directions to his team that also played their Reserve goalkeeper. But while the Demons made several chances and never capitalized on them United did the opposite and took them with Marone getting his second goal at the 62nd minute to go 3-1 up and making the Reds' task of recovery very difficult.

The Demons tried valiantly as it pressured United in stages but like Joseph Sciancalepore described that his team missed opportunities and his opponents took them well in a final that the result was meant to be. But the Northern Demons had a good ride in the finals and enjoyed their wins over Gawler and especially its penalty win against Modbury Vista. Well done to the young Reds.

BEST PLAYERS: DEMONS: B.Spadavecchia, B.Sciancalepore, P.Cumming, J.Noble. EASTERN UNTD: J.Marone, N.Parente, J.Caperna. GOAL SCORERS: DEMONS: B. Spadavecchia. EASTERN UNTD: J.Marone, D.Verdoorn (og)

PRELIMINARY FINALS RESULTS

League - GAWLER EAGLES 0 VIPERS FC. 3 (Karbeethan Res)

Under 18s - NORTHERN DEMONS 1 EASTERN UNITED 3 (Karbeethan Res)

Reserves - MODBURY VISTA 1 COVE FC. 0 (Karbeethan Res)

GRAND FINAL - Coopers Stadium

League ADELAIDE HILLS v VIPERS FC.

Reserves ADELAIDE HILLS v MODBURY VISTA

Under 18s COVE FC. v EASTERN UNITED

VIPERS IN RIGHT MOOD FOR GRAND FINAL

Last Saturday's preliminary final in State League 2 continued along the same lines it has over the past few weeks with the Andrew Burgess' coached Vipers FC winning a third final and winning a berth against the league's minor premiers Adelaide Hills. Both the Craig Leith coached Adelaide Hills and Vipers FC have won promotions to State League 1 next season and going on their respective finals performances this Saturday's big final promises to be an entertaining and highly competitive game of soccer.

The Hills conquered Gawler in the two-legged qualifying final with a draw and then a 2-1 win whereas the Vipers supplied entertaining soccer and good goal scoring with the Woodville team kicking a total of nine goals in three final wins against the Demons, Cobras and last week defeated runner-up ladder team Gawler Eagles 3-0. The Hills had a goalless draw with Gawler in the first final then defeated the Eagles 2-1 and in this finals series has only kicked two goals and that compared with Vipers FC high scoring against a variety of opposition is not healthy enough coming into a big grand final.

And after observing two of the Vipers FC wins on consecutive weeks before its 3-0 win over the Eagles suggest that there could be another former amateur league team winning Saturday's grand final and join past winners in the likes of Seaford and Fulham United. But the Hills team who just missed out on promotion last season gets another opportunity to play in the higher league and the Woodside-based team will be ready and quite able to make a return back there.

It's been an interesting season and the best two teams will fight Saturday's final out in the biggest day of FFSA soccer where other finals will see the Modbury Jets play Cumberland United who together will play NPL next season, while in the evening Premier League final Campbelltown City have the chance to go back to back when facing Adelaide Comets.

- JOHN BELLIFEMINI