By Shane Jones
It was quite the weekend for The Waves under-16 goalkeeper Sam Hodgkinson.
He went from the devastation of losing one penalty shootout on Friday night to being the hero in another on Saturday afternoon.
Hodgkinson saved two penalties as The Waves claimed the under-16 title against the United Park Eagles.
After scores were level at 3-3 following normal time and no goals were scored in extra time, the dreaded penalties decided the match.
The Waves and UPE both scored their opening two penalties before The Waves missed their third.
UPE then scored its next two, likewise The Waves, to give the Eagles the chance to win with their final penalty out of the five.
Hodgkinson would save that one before The Waves scored the next one, which started a sudden death shootout, to lead 5-4.
The Waves goalkeeper would save the next penalty to hand his team the win, one night after losing another penalty shootout to UPE in the senior Wide Bay North Division 1 Cup.
“I was definitely nervous, but I just pushed through, picked away and it panned out,” he said after the contest.
“For me it was just to play my game, pick the way (the shooter would go) and go.
“It was euphoria (when we won).”
Hodgkinson felt for his opponents who lost that way.
“(In penalties) it’s not that one team is better,” he said.
“That’s the way it goes sometimes and one team has to win.”
The Waves were lucky to get to extra time after equalising late to make it 3-3 against UPE.
But sometimes you have to ride the luck to be successful.
“It’s been a tough year all round,” The Waves coach Rick Irvine said.
“We didn’t beat UPE until the semi-final and then beat them on the day that mattered.”
Irvine paid tribute to his rivals.
“I’ve said it all week it’s a close grand final, they are a great footballing side,” he said.
“They are coached really well.
“In the end sometimes the bounce of the ball, a goal, a referee decision, its the luck of the draw.”
Irvine said with the teams success in two grand final wins, and teams in three of them, the future boded well for the club.