Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Suns soak up success

It was a memorable night for Goulburn Valley Suns on Saturday with the team posting its first home win and the impressive performance of teenager Riley Hamilton on debut.

MATTHEW GALEA July 22, 2014 3:15am

Bryan Vanega takes on Green Gully’s Ratip Cileli. Vanega’s goal proved the difference between the Suns and his former side.


It was a night to remember for Goulburn Valley Suns as the fledgling club picked up the first home win of its inaugural season.

Goulburn Valley had to grit its teeth and get down and dirty to take a 3-2 win at McEwen Reserve against the visiting Green Gully.

In front of a bumper crowd, the Suns thrilled in a fantastic first-half performance, shooting to a 3-0 lead courtesy of goals from local heroes Frankie Lagana and Craig Carley, as well as a ripping volley from ex-Gully midfielder Bryan Vanega.

Vanega’s goal proved the difference between the sides, after the Suns were forced to survive a bruising second half which started with Carley being sent off for a suspected elbow.

Goals from Andy Vargas and Ratip Cileli made the score 3-2 with 25 minutes to go and what at half-time looked like a cruisey win suddenly became a backs-to-the-wall effort.

‘‘The last 15 minutes felt like an hour,’’ Vanega said.

‘‘It felt like we were running around and chasing them for so long and the referee wouldn’t tell anyone how much time was left.’’

Vanega said there was mixed emotions involved in facing his old club and said he copped his fair share of stick.

‘‘I got a bit. Not as much as some of the others, but I got my share. I just tried to keep quiet,’’ Vanega said.

Vanega let his feet do the talking instead and when Ben Clarke picked up the ball on the left wing and took off on one of his trademark mazy runs, the attacking midfielder knew his chance would come.

‘‘I saw Benny take off and I knew he’d already caused a bit of havoc, so as soon as he went I said ‘here we go, I’m going for this’,’’ Vanega said.

‘‘It was a difficult one. I find it hard to read the flight of the ball, but I was happy to make contact and send it across the face of goal.

‘‘It came off the foot really well, so it was a great moment, especially against the old club, but really I think it was important for the whole team, because we needed some reward for effort.’’

The match was also a special one for 16-year-old Riley Hamilton, who made his first senior start for the Suns.

Hamilton was outstanding in the first half, before having to come off after falling ill at half-time, much to the pleasure of senior coach David Davkovski.

‘‘He did a fantastic job at right-back ... he’s a standout. Sixteen years old, NPLV, playing alongside Naum Sekulovski and Simon Colosimo — I wish I had that opportunity at his age,’’ Davkovski said.

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