Underdogs, Hawkesbury City FC, have come out on top in Grand Final

Hawkesbury City FC Under 20 Men's team has been crowned champions of the National Premier League 3 NSW after winning a thrilling grand final against Dulwich Hill FC.

Finishing the season in sixth position, the Under 20's were the underdogs all the way through the finals, and no more so than in the grand final where they came up against the first seed.

Champs: Riley Brennan celebrates after scoring the winning and only goal against Dulwich Hill FC late in the second half of extra time, in the Under 20 Men's NPL 3 NSW grand final. Picture: Supplied.

Champs: Riley Brennan celebrates after scoring the winning and only goal against Dulwich Hill FC late in the second half of extra time, in the Under 20 Men's NPL 3 NSW grand final. Picture: Supplied.

They managed to defeat Blacktown FC and Sydney University FC in thrilling matches that saw them in penalty shoot-outs both weeks. This included recording a 15-16 victory against Blacktown FC after finishing 2-2 in normal time, in a match that saw both squads cycle through some of their players twice.

The semi final against Sydney ended 3-3 but luckily for Hawkesbury they were able to win quite easily in the shoot-outs 4-1.

Club treasurer and firsts coach Dean Bertenshaw said, "After three weeks of extra time in a row I thought the boys would have been very fatigued.

"They did very well to play the way they did in the match."

In the grand final, the scores were deadlocked at the end of regulation as neither side had manged to score.

Hawkesbury had unfortunately lost their leading goal scorer, Callum Elliot, to injury early in the match but the rest of the squad stepped up to continue the fight.

The scoreline remained equal after the first half of extra time expired.

With around five to 10 minutes left, a beautiful free kick at half way sailed over everyone's heads and into the box.

Aidan Roache managed to connect with it and send it at the goals but the Dulwich keeper saved it into Hawkesbury's Riley Brennan, who nudged the ball into the back of the net, sending the large Hawkesbury crowd into a frenzy as they upset the favourites once again.

Hawkesbury scored the only goal of the match midway through the second half of overtime, stealing a victory and the championship.

Champions: Hawkesbury City FC Under 20 Men's squad
defeated Dulwich Hill FC 1-0 in extra time.

Champions: Hawkesbury City FC Under 20 Men's squad defeated Dulwich Hill FC 1-0 in extra time.

"It was a very strong win," said Bertenshaw. "It was good to see a lot of the kids who have been with us for a long time get a grand final win.

"Most of the team had played throughout youth league and have played for Hawkesbury for a good five or six years.

"Riley, has been with the club since Under 14's, so it was good to see him get that win.

"There was quite a large crowd there for us which was great to see ... plenty of support."

This was Hawkesbury City's only side to make a grand final as other teams including the under 18 and 16 Men's unfortunately lost in the past few weeks.

"It was good to see so many of out teams advance to the finals," said Bertenshaw.

"Unfortunately, the others bowed out throughout the past few weeks."

Some of the top performers on the day were the stoppers Jacob Newman and Tom Kelly, who managed to defend the back brilliantly throughout the long game.

The under 20's squad is coached by Mark Sluiter, who was excited by the win.

"Well done to everyone who got out to support," said Bertenshaw.

"Congratulations to all the boys who played and been with us for some time."

Visit the Hawkesbury City FC Facebook page to check out photos from the match and a video of the winning goal.

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