Down to the wire at Nirimba Cup

This article has photo gallery Published on CPL Max Bree (author), ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer)

Location(s): Randwick, New South Wales

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, HMAS Stirling, HMAS Kuttabul, HMAS Anzac (F150)

Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Sarah Hickling from HMAS Albatross strikes the soccer ball for a penalty shoot-out against HMAS Anzac during the finals of the Nirimba Cup soccer competition held at Randwick Barracks, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez)
Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Sarah Hickling from HMAS Albatross strikes the soccer ball for a penalty shoot-out against HMAS Anzac during the finals of the Nirimba Cup soccer competition held at Randwick Barracks, Sydney.

The team from frigate, HMAS Anzac took home the Nirimba Cup following several nail-biting soccer matches and penalty shoot-outs at Randwick Barracks in Sydney in mid September.
 
Teams from nine different ships and establishments came together for a shot at the cup but Anzac co-captain Petty Officer Electronics Technician Steven Sheakey didn’t expect his side to dominate.
 
“I wouldn’t say we were confident going in,” he said. 
 
“We knew we were up against some strong establishment sides.
“We’d played together in South-East Asia last year so we knew we had a good team.”
 
Anzac
 was rattled early after they lost to Western Australia’s HMAS Stirling 1-0 in a group round match.
 
“We fully expected them to kick on and go the full distance,” Petty Officer Sheakey said.
 
Despite the setback, Anzac made it through to the semi-finals and defeated Sydney’s HMAS Kuttabul Fleet Support Unit 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out.
 
This brought Anzac into the final against HMAS Albatross.
 
“Everyone was pretty lethargic before the game,” Petty Officer Sheakey said. 
 
“Knowing how well we played in the previous games, we knew if we stuck to our game plan that it would probably come close.”
 
The final was tightly contested and at full-time neither team managed to get points on the board.
 
“They played a pretty attacking style while we were playing a counter-attacking form of football and you saw that in the final scores,” he said.
 
This led to another penalty shoot-out where Anzac’s shooting skills shone through for them to take the win 4-2. 

“Those things can go either way, it just depends how good your feet are on the day,” Petty Officer Sheakey said.

“It’s the first time Anzac has won it and it was great to lift the trophy for the ship.” 
Petty Officer Sheakey was also awarded the most valuable player of the tournament.
 
Co-captain, Lieutenant Commander Luke Van Aaken said Petty Officer Sheakey saved four of eight goals in the shoot-outs.
 
“He was like the base of the spine; everything ran out of his defence,” he said. 

“He was easily the best player on the ground in every game we played.”