Man-of-the-match Joey Gibbs produced two goals as Blacktown City were crowned PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues champions at Dorrien Gardens in Perth on Saturday night.
Gibbs’ double and a goal from Mitch Mallia were enough to seal a 3-1 win over Bayswater City, whose consolation came from the head of Gustavo Giron Marulanda.
Blacktown coach Mark Crittenden felt his side had deserved a victory on a night when his front men were ruthless.
“It’s a tough trip,” he said. “Today just seemed to go forever with the time difference and they’re a good, big side. It was a good even game, I just thought our front third was the difference.
“This is massive for the club. We’ve put so much time and effort into the boys. We’ve changed our squad around a little bit. We’ve had massive support from back home. We’ve got great sponsors and owners and for all the people who help out, this is for them as well.”
Blacktown led 2-0 at the half-time break but Bayswater looked like making a game of it with a goal six minutes into the second period. But Gibbs’ second goal, just four minutes later, was a dagger into the heart of the home side.
Bayswater coach Chris Coyne praised his side’s second-half effort but was disappointed they had been unable to turn Marulanda’s goal into more than a consolation.
“I’m grateful to the boys for coming out in the second half and putting a shift in,” Coyne said. “They really came out and had a pop but I think we lost the cup in the first half.
“I said to the boys if they’re willing to go forward, you’ve got to run with them and see if they want to go the other way with you. But you can’t expect to score four against a champion team.
“I’m immensely proud of the players, proud of the club and coaching staff but it was one hurdle too many. I can’t complain because they’ve given me everything all year.”
Bayswater had progressed to the final with a gritty 2-1 Elimination Final win over West Adelaide in the city of churches and a 6-0 home thumping of Tasmania’s Olympia FC in the Semi-Finals.
Progression for Blacktown came via a 4-1 crushing of Canberra FC and a 2-1 Semi-Final victory over Queensland outfit Moreton Bay United with both matches won on their synthetic home surface.
But they had no trouble adjusting to the Dorrien Gardens pitch and Patrick Antelmi, Travis Major and Mallia were soon causing problems with their attacking forays.
Just four minutes in, Mallia was provider but the bounce of the ball left Major swinging at the air with the goal at his mercy.
There was a sense of inevitability about the opening goal as Major created an opening for Gibbs to slot home with a simple finish.
Soon after, Bayswater goalkeeper Devon Spence was twice called into action to spoil at Mallia’s feet and then comfortably gather Sasa Macura’s effort.
Almost immediately at the other end, David Heagney fired Bayswater’s first meaningful shot at goal with a curling effort that flew wide and minutes later he headed wide from a Todd Howarth corner.
But the Blacktown threat was obvious and Mallia accepted a second invitation to get his shot away to fire past Spence to double the visitors’ lead.
Blacktown went into the break with a comfortable lead but they were on the back foot early in the second half.
Howarth delivered a terrific free-kick from the left and Marulanda stooped to send a header flying past goalkeeper Nenad Vekic in the 51st minute.
But any hopes the home side had of turning the tide came unstuck just four minutes later when the ever-menacing Gibbs, who won the John Kosmina Medal as the game’s best player, produced another poacher’s finish to virtually end the contest.
Bayswater tried in vain to edge closer but Blacktown refused to be party to the fightback.
Brian Farrell had a shot tipped over by Vekic and Howarth again supplied a cross from the left that had Blacktown in trouble but Marulanda was unable to force the ball home.
The match threatened to boil over midway through the second half after Farrell and Antelmi clashed but order was quickly restored.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2015 Grand Final
Bayswater City 1 (Giron Marulanda 51min)
Blacktown City 3 (Gibbs 13, 55, Mallia 26)
Saturday, October 3
Dorrien Gardens, West Perth
Referee: Matthew Cropper
Assistant Referee 1: Josh Manella
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Southern
Fourth Official: David Bruce
Bayswater City: 1. Devon SPENCE (GK), 2. Declan HARGREAVES (12. Adam TONG 62min), 6.Todd HOWARTH, 9. Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA, 13. Trent KAY, 15. Brian FARRELL, 16. Jamie COYNE, 17. Borbor SAM, 20. Sam MITCHINSON, 21. David HEAGNEY (14. Danny DIXON 59), 23. Chris SALDARIS.
Substitutes not used: 10. Damien CATALANO, 19. Alex WILD, 25. Jason SALDARIS (GK)
Yellow cards: Howarth 65min.
Red cards: nil.
Blacktown City: 1.Nenad VEKIC (GK), 3. Giorgio SPERANZA, 4. Yianni FRAGOGIANNIS, 6. Matthew LEWIS, 7. Travis MAJOR, 8. Sasa MACURA, 9. Joseph GIBBS, 12. Daniel ARAUJO (21.Yianni PERKATIS 58min), 14. Mitchell MALLIA, 16. Patrick ANTELMI (11. Danny SEUNG-JOO CHOI 76), 19. Zachary CAIRNCROSS.
Substitutes not used: 10. Christos TOMARAS, 13. Tristan PRENDERGAST (GK), 18. Jonathan GROZDANOVSKI,
Yellow cards: Major 55min; Cairncross 65; Perkatis 78.
Red cards: Nil
-Report by Jonathan Cook