Newcastle Jets Youth made history by securing the Northern NSW NPL Premiership with a 1-1 draw against Weston Bears FC at Rockwell Automation Park on Saturday afternoon.
Both Weston and the Newcastle Jets Youth entered Round 18 of the National Premiers Leagues well aware that they needed to leave everything on the field come full time.
The second placed Weston needed a win to be crowned 2014 Premiers, whereas the first placed Jets who led by two points needed just a draw.
The match started at an extremely high intensity with both sides looking to get one over their opponent early. The large, vocal crowd was treated to end-to-end, attacking football.
Neither side could manage a goal despite the number of chances, and they went into the half time break locked at 0-0.
A minute after the break the Rockwell Automation Park crowd erupted as Carl Thornton headed the home side into the lead.
Weston were looking dangerous all game from Nathan Morris set pieces and finally one came off as his corner from the left hand side found Thornton who drove a header past Hartnett.
Later in the half Nick Cowburn curled in a stunning free kick from distance; however the goal keeper was ruled to have been fouled, so the goal did not stand.
Leading 1-0 in the eighty-third minute, the Bears had just seven minutes remaining until the Premiership was theirs. That was until Tom Whiteside equalised.
He threw his boot towards a loose ball after Tim Pratt saved a Reece Papas free kick that was destined for the top left hand corner.
Whiteside and his teammates celebrated their joy, aware that they were moments away from becoming Premiers.
After Weston pressured the Jets goal for the remaining six minutes plus stoppage time, the full time whistle sounded with the sides locked at one apiece.
The Jets had done it. They held on. In just their third season they were the NPL Premiers.
A short ceremony took place following the match in which NNSWF Chairman Bill Walker, CEO David Eland and Senior Club/Referee Development Officer Gary Fisher presented the Jets with their trophy. Both captains, Nick Cowburn of the Jets and Carl Thornton of Weston, shared kind words for their own team, coaches, the crowd, the referees, and their opposition. It was a pleasant end to an intriguing match.