In front of a sell-out crowd of over 60,000 fans, Bridge Bandits were today declared Champions of IV.15, Season 36.
Fans rejoiced as black and orange confetti rained from the roof of Bandits Battleground; OrangeStar’s men getting the just reward for their efforts over the past four seasons. “It’s been a long, hard road to this point,” said OrangeStar in a press conference after the celebrations. “Last season, we got within two games of the title, but fell apart at the last. This time, after an appalling start, we managed to regroup. I’d like to personally congratulate the boys on all their efforts.”
Bandits secured first place today after Ravo Maniacs defeated Almonds AllStars, putting second place five points behind OrangeStar’s men, who defeated Wanganui Athletic 5-0. 14-year-old James McInlay, Bandits’ mascot for the season, was invited to hold the league trophy aloft in front of the packed stadium. “It’s a dream come true,” he said, before bursting into tears.
The results from this round give Bridge Bandits an unassailable five point lead with just one match to play, and pushes the side inches above the automatic promotion line. “We’ve always been a very determined club,” manager OrangeStar told the press. “We want to continue to move upwards in Oceania. Getting to Division Three now is a must.”
With Bandits sitting marginally above the auto-promote line, a win against long-time rivals Ravo Maniacs will be enough to see OrangeStar’s side move automatically to Division Three in a few weeks time. Any other result will most likely force a qualification match against a fifth- or sixth-placed Div III team.
With Francisco Zarzalejos and Johnny Nesjan leading the IV.15 Golden Boot standings, and OrangeStar leading the IV.15 Tipping Contest, Season 36 has been nothing short of a dream for this South Australian side. The one thing that will complete the dream of the fans and players though, is promotion to Division Three. A dream that is, hopefully, not too far away!