The Waves drought ends with Cup glory

The winning The Waves team in the Hitz 93.9 Bundaberg Cup Division 1 final. 236479 Pictures: SHANE JONES

By Shane Jones

Sometimes in life things go in the perfect roundabout and everything balances out.

For The Waves, their success in the Hitz 93.9 Bundaberg Cup in Division 1 against Bingera did just that.

The side won its first tournament since 2017 in a thrilling contest on Monday night in one of Bundaberg’s oldest tournaments.

The Waves won in a penalty shootout after scores were level 2-2 after 120 minutes.

In a repeat of the 2019 final, called the Triple M Division 1 Cup, the two sides again went to penalties but, this time instead of Bingera winning, The Waves got their first trophy since winning the same competition four years ago.

The Waves started well, scoring first and holding a lead until half time.

Bingera then fought back, equalising through Joel Haack with a header in the box, in the second half.

Both teams then tried to find the winner but couldn’t be split as 90 minutes ended.

Bingera then took control early in extra time as Haack scored a second with another header in the box.

But the Stripeys started to tire as injuries took their toll.

The team had to make three substitutions to replace injured players before having another two players suffer injury during extra time.

The fatigue took its toll as The Waves, through captain Callum Hillier, equalised in the second half of extra time to take the game to penatlies.

The Waves then made all four of their penalties with Bingera missing two.

Matthew Mceachran shot over the bar before Jason McEwan’s shot was blocked to hand The Waves the win.

“It’s a good feeling, we’ve got silverware back at the club,” Hillier said.

“I think we’ve been pretty unlucky throughout the last couple of years, we’ve got all the way to the end and narrowly lost a lot of the times.

“It’s a credit to Bingera they put 110 per cent effort in and it was unfortunate it went to penalties in the end and there had to be a winner.”

Hillier said the team didn’t give up, even though the side was down in extra time.

“When they scored the second goal we were on the front foot and it was a set piece and Joel Haack got up in the air and like he does a lot of times he scores.

“He is the aerial threat in the team.

“But I don’t think it changed the game at all, we didn’t drop our heads, we kicked up a gear like we needed to.

“It showed, we ended up scoring a goal and winning the game.”

Hillier said the team also had it’s penalty plan set up, which proved to be pivotal.

“We’ve got a set penalty regime, I suppose, and we stick to it every time,” he said.

“All the lads are confident with whoever steps up and it shows, we didn’t miss one and Sam Collinson saved a cracker.”

And Hillier hopes one cup win can lead to more premierships.

“We’ve been on the cusp a lot of the times and this year we’re playing good football, it’s going to be hard for other teams to stop us,” he said.

“There is more to come, I think we’re only stepping up.

“It’s time to get more silverware back to the club.”

Bingera captain Josh Medcalf said fatigue hurt the club but it wasn’t an excuse for them not winning.

“It’s a tough way to lose, I’m sure neither team wanted to win that way,” he said.

“Losing a player in the first 20 and two players in the second half hurt us badly but that’s football you have to deal with that.

“I couldn’t ask anymore from the boys, they put in such a big effort.”

Medcalf instead said not taking their chances was the difference.

“It just sums up our season so far,” he said.

“We get chances, we create one on ones, but can’t finish.

“In the first half we could have been 4-1 up but The Waves get one chance and take it and we get four and cant take one.”

Bingera now has to prepare for a match on Saturday against Sunbury knowing it has injury concerns.

There might be a few out for the clash.

The side plays at 6pm at Martens Oval.

In other games, Doon Villa plays The Waves, SC Corinthians play United Park Eagles, Fraser Flames play Granville and KSS Jets play Diggers.