A final-minute winner has given Tasmania a famous victory and bragging rights over a Melbourne City XI.
Substitute Ben Hamlet struck the shot perfectly left of the City keeper to seal a 2-1 win at KGV Park in Hobart.
Hamlet, who was named emergency four days earlier, cleaned up a deflection from Launceston City star Dom Rossi’s initial shot on goal.
Rossi had moments earlier started Tasmania’s one last attack from the midfield that found South Hobart’s Hamlet for his ball inside the box.
“Dom Rossi knew what he was doing. Rossi had a couple of gos at it – he just needed to pause and wait for Hamlet to rock up and bang one in the back of the net in the last touch of the game,” Devonport assistant coach Nick Owen said in commentary on the FFT live stream.
While all eyes were on City’s A-League derby, the club’s line-up for Saturday’s friendly was made up of players missing the Victory clash and from its own youth team.
That also included former Riverside junior Nathaniel Atkinson, who came home to haunt his former state with a 26th minute equaliser.
He was on the end of a squaring pass, wrong footing the defence to chip a shot over a diving Devonport keeper Niko Giantopoulous.
Atkinson had accepted an offer late last year to enrol at the Melbourne City College of Football, joining the club’s youth side this season.
Tasmania had opened the scoring when South Hobart’s Darcy Hall punished the lacklustre City side at the back in the 14th minute with a one-two play with Hobart Zebras rival Jordan Muller.
The win had capped of a banner year for state coach Peter Savill, the Launceston City great leading Devonport Strikers to the Tasmanian premier league title and Lakoseljac Cup victory.
Earlier, Victoria had little trouble in knocking over Tasmania 5-0 in the opening women’s encounter.
The comprehensive result ensured the visitors retained the Bass Strait Cup.
Victoria were up by just one goal heading into injury time in the first half until an unmarked Alana Vatacky popped a ball over the keeper in the right top corner.
Cindy Lay had put the Victorians on the board after 23 minutes when she got on the end of a class through-ball beating the offside trap.
Vatcky added a second in the 58th minute when the striker found the right inside post for an easy put away.
Teammate Caitlin Pickett was left unmarked in the box and pushed one through the keeper’s legs for the fourth.
Bonnie Barnes during the second minute of injury time drove a long shot on goal into the left corner.
Northern Rangers’ championship player of the year winner Emma Langley started at the uncustomary centre back role, one of four Launceston City women’s Super League players to turn out for Tasmania.
She was joined by top midfielders Caitlin Storay and Bethany Bygrave, and striker Jazmin Gorrie on loan from Devonport.
Rossi just needed to pause and wait for Hamlet to rock up and bang one in the back of the net in the last touch of the game