Croatia crowned league champions

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Croatia were crowned league champions with three games to go after their mauling of Lions on Sunday.

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Croatia were crowned league champions with three games to go after their mauling of Lions on Sunday.

Croatia were crowned 2017 league champions at Croatia Park with three games remaining with a 7-0 mauling of Lions on Sunday.

Croatia scored after only two minutes to settle the nerves as Estevan Verdoorn leaped like a Gazelle to power his header past the keeper for a 1-0 lead .

Soon after it was two as Longin squared the ball for Kelly to knock it past the keeper and Longin made it three as he blasted home from close range as the home side took a commanding lead early in the game .

Lions’ best chance came when Kinnear flashed one just past Tudhope's upright but after 30 minutes Eston met Dixon's cross to accurately steer his header into the top corner and just before half time Longin's solo effort saw him eventually slot it past substitute keeper Welgraven with the outside of his boot to see the home team 5-0 up at the break.

In the second half Cash got in the act as he scored from close range from a Kelly cutback and Longin completed his hat trick in good style with a neat finish. As the final whistle blew Croatia celebrated its first championship in four years and a first as a coach for Danny Ferguson after taking the mantle in 2015.

Croatia celebrated its first championship in four years ...

In the reserves Croatia were also crowned league champions for the third consecutive season with a 7-2 win over Lions. The highlight of the game was a brilliant four goal haul to Phil Cash Snr with a 20 minute cameo in the second half.

Lions looked to shock Croatia early as they raced to a two-goal lead with strikes to Murphy and Berkett but Croatia eventually broke them down to run away comfortable winners with singles to Dalbosco, Faulds and Rigg to go with Cash's haul.

In Saturday's game Westlands and Steel shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw at Dakalanta Park. Westlands took the lead through Rhodes but Steel hit back with strikes to captain Green, his tenth of the season and a first A grade goal to young gun Keegan Fay.

With 10 minutes to go Westlands equalised as Mills deft header found the top corner as both sides settled for a draw. In the reserves Steel had a 3-0 victory over the Red Devils and Port Augusta saw off Wanderers 5-3 in a thriller.

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS 

Pictured are Matt Oberthur, back, left, Kevin Kelly, Drago Garma, Phil Cash, Caleb Faulds, Joy Hwata, Ritchie Eston, Estevan Verdoorn, Aaron Rigg, Jesse Mikic, coach Danny Ferguson, president Mitch Krzmatic. Vinko Longin, front, left, Caleb Delauo, Divan Verdoorn, Jamie Tudhope, Sean Sheedy, captain Daniel Dixon, Sean Kelly and Ben Longin.

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