On Tuesday 26 September, the Open Boys Knockout Soccer team were successful in their quest for silverware, being crowned the Division 2 SA School Sport State Champions.
A semi-final against Craigmore High School kicked off proceedings on the spectacular ServiceFM synthetic pitch, whereby the winner would progress to the 1st place grand final. It was a shaky start by NIHS, going behind 1-0 early on in the first half as a result of superb Craigmore strike from outside the box.
It took some time for the boys from Norwood to find their feet in the match, however a penalty created by Alessandro that was clinically dispatched by talisman TJ aided their grounding. After the break, the boys well and truly found their groove, as Captain Liam coolly finished off a promising attack to put the team ahead 2-1. From there, it was a rather commanding performance, as the boys survived a late scare that crashed into the upright before Jake and Massimo put the game to bed, both firing into the Craigmore net to round out a 4-1 win and with that, progression into the final.
The script was written for an epic final whereby a talented Tennison Woods College stood in the way of NIHS championship. It was an impressive start early and it was evident that the boys were primed for the challenge. Inspirational leader, Liam set the tone from the outset and as a result was the recipient of an opportunity on goal that presented itself from just outside the box that he precisely put past the keeper with a low strike, resulting in an early 1-0 NIHS lead.
As the game wore on, NIHS remained in steady control for the majority, dominating possession and field position despite the occasional flash of danger from TWC. Ultimately, the pressure became too much to handle, as Anan, using his electrifying speed, pounced on a loose ball that had been played in behind the defence to slot home a second and deciding goal. The goal was a well-deserved sealer for the team and Anan in particular who had been controversially ruled offside for a goal that was disallowed shortly beforehand.
Ultimately, it was a just reward for the team who have been committed and united across the entirety of the competition, a memorable achievement that they will continue to cherish beyond their time at school.
A special thank you to coaches Amadeus and Chris who professionally and passionately coached the team across terms 2 and 3, dedicating a massive amount of time and energy that heavily contributed to the success of the team.