Olympic Kingsway, league newcomers, will start the forthcoming season with great esteem after winning the NPLWA Men’s Night Series in spectacular fashion.
At Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday, Olympic Kingsway and Inglewood United engaged in stiff competition for ninety minutes but were deadlocked at 1-1 for the second time in a fortnight, only before Kingsway took the penalty shoot-out 4-2.
It was the ideal pre-season for David Tough’s Green Machine, who remained unbeaten throughout the competition and established their distinct progressive style of play.
The Night Series gave Andres Oliveira’s men, who topped their group with relative ease, the chance to forge new partnerships, including the deadly one between Michael Domfeh and Harry Evans.
It was Domfeh who scored the game’s first goal in the fifth minute when a blocked shot from Harry Evans fell conveniently into his direction.
The chances from both sides continued as the half edged to a close; however, it was Rene Kisesa’s ill-timed lunge that brought Cian Hirrell down inside the box, giving Ciaran Byrne the chance to level his side from the penalty spot, which he did ever so smoothly.
Kingsway dominated large spells of the second half, probing at an Inglewood defense that reverted to a familiar five-back to ensure there was no last-minute heartache. Nevertheless, it was United who put the ball into the back of the net, only until referee Shane Skinner reversed his decision following a short discussion with his assistant and ruled the goal out.
Kingsway, who had lost the Night Series final in each of the previous three seasons, prevailed in the penalty shootout, with substitute Oscar Barry scoring the winner.
Inglewood United 1 (Michael Domfeh – 5th minute)
Olympic Kingsway 1 (Ciaran Byrne – 42nd minute)
Olympic Kingsway won 4-2 on penalties