JONATHAN Stynes struck deep into second-half stoppage time as Floreat Athena beat Cockburn City 1-0 in a dramatic Cool Ridge Cup Final at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday.
The clubs, who will represent Western Australia in the FFA Cup, played out a cagey opening period before chances fell to both sides in the second half.
Cockburn had the better opportunities until Stynes stepped up to become the hero at the death with a well-taken strike from inside the area.
Floreat coach Glen Grostate was delighted with the result and was satisfied to see his group of players rewarded for a strong couple of seasons.
“The boys deserve it for all the hard work they’ve put in on and off the training track,” he said.
“I think both sides worked out each other’s game plans early and I know we’re the winners on the day, but it was a great performance from Cockburn to take us all the way.
“Last season we were flying, we ran out of steam, but now we have some more depth and things are starting to go our way.
“Melbourne City (in the FFA Cup on August 2) is going to be a fun day for the club, but we still want to finish in the top four at the end of the season, so our attention turns to Stirling next week.”
Despite the loss, Cockburn coach Scott Miller was proud of his team’s effort and now looks forward to their FFA Cup tie with Melbourne Knights on August 10.
“We’ve got to a cup final quicker than we thought and as much as it sucks to lose it’s a learning experience,” he said.
“The boys played really well and put in a great shift today… and it was a great strike at the end of the day as much as it hurts.
“It’ll be a great to go over east and experience a proper away game, which most of the boys haven’t had a chance to do before, so we’ll go and enjoy that.”
In the Reserves Cup Final, Bayswater City came from behind to beat ECU Joondalup 4-2.
In the Under-18s Cup Final, Cockburn City beat Inglewood United 2-0.