Sutherland Sharks have finished the season with Derby honours after claiming the Leader Cup with a 5-2 win against rivals Rockdale City Suns.
It was a second big win in as many weeks for the Sharks but it proved too little too late with the side missing out on finals football with an eighth place finish.
For Rockdale the loss was a final nail in the coffin in what has been a horror second half of the season.
Jordan Morfitis opened the scoring for the visitors while Jerry Skotaadis also found the back of the net to give Sutherland a 2-0 lead at the interval.
It was more of the same in the second half with Lokolingoy claiming a goal while Bai Antoniou also claiming a brace.
Alec Urosevski fired in two gaols in the dying stages of the match but they proved to be mere consolation goals.
It was an expansive star to the match with both sides not holding back in the opening exchanges.
Sutherland had the best of the early possession and pounced on a Rockdale error to take a 1-0 lead after only eight minutes.
Suns defender Nick Petrillo paid the price for a poor touch with Lokolingoy pouncing on the Rockdale last man before firing his shot into the woodwork with Morfitis on hand to tap in the rebound.
Gale force winds made play difficult but it didn’t stop both Rockdale and Sutherland from trying their best to keep to their attacking style.
Antoniou was proving dangerous on the left wing for Sutherland with his pace and dribbling creating chance after chance.
However, it was Skotaadis who would be the man to double the Sharks lead.
The central midfield received the ball 30 yards from goal and drove into space before unleashing a rocket of a shot which sailed into the back of the net.
Sutherland took the 2-0 lead into the break and was in control of the contest after a solid first 45 minutes.
It was more of the same from the visitors after the restart and it took them only five minutes for Antoniou to make it 3-0.
Lokolingoy beat his marker on the right wing before firing the ball into Antoniou who turned his man with a skilful pirouette and smashed the ball past the keeper.
Rockdale tried to fight their way back into the contest but lacked the clinical passing required to break down the Sharks defence.
71 minutes in Lokolingoy heaped even more woe on the home side as he scored Sutherland’s fourth of the match.
The burly striker found space and accelerated past two defenders before skilfully side-footing the ball past the onrushing keeper.
Urosevski finally found a breakthrough for Rockdale in the 78th minute when he headed home from close range.
The Suns’ star then went on to net his tenth goal of the season only three minutes late to cut the deficit to 4-2.
A loose touch from Mateo Poljak proved costly with the Suns quickly pinching the ball before it was delivered to an unmarked Urosevski to score from inside the penalty area.
With the match seemingly all but settled, Bai Antoniou would strike again to claim his second of the match.
The young winger rising high over his marker to nod home a Sutherland set-piece to stretch his team’s lead to 5-2.
The final whistle couldn’t come quick enough for both sides with Sutherland finishing their season in style and Rockdale going out with whimper.
Rockdale City Suns: 2 (Urosevski 77’, 81’)
Sutherland Sharks: 5 (Morfitis 8’, Skotadis 42’, Antoniou 50’ 85’, Lokolingoy 72’)
Sunday, 11 August 2019
Ilinden Sports Centre, Rockdale
Referee: H Jomaa
Assistant Referee: B Wright & M Allum
Fourth official: S Kelly
Rockdale City Suns: David Bradasevic, Patrick Savor, Leigh Egger, Nick Petrillo, Jake Trajkovski, Sasa Macura, Idris El Hafiane, Jonathan Grozdanovski, Jordan Figon, Panny Nikas, Alec Urosevski
Substitutes: Nikola Taneski, Trent McClenenhan, Aleks Canak, Max Rowston
Sutherland Sharks: Anthony Bouzanis, Blair Brown, Quentin Cheng, Harry Sutherland Patrick O’Shea, Mateo Poljak, Jerry SKotadis, Raul Beneit, Charles Lokolingoy, Bai Antoniou, Jordan Morfitis
Substitutes: Mitchell Evans, Brodie Clarkson, Alexander Lopez,
Player Ratings have now been hidden due to the second half of the season commencing.