North Perth United rounded off their title-winning campaign with an emphatic 8-0 drubbing of Subiaco in the Belt Up Amateur Premier Division at Woodville Reserve on Sunday.
Four goals from Niall Murray and two goals apiece for Oscar Kelly and Patrick Montgomery confirmed Subiaco’s relegation to Division One for 2019.
North Perth coach Alex Carter was pleased his side were able to celebrate their season in the right fashion.
“It was an enjoyable day with no pressure,” Carter said.
“Sometimes it can go two ways when there’s no pressure – you can take it for granted or you can go about your business as per usual. And I think we did for most of the time and the boys had a lot of fun.
“I think when you’re in the position where you’ve got that mindset – and you’ve had that mindset for such a long time – it’s hard to sway from that.
“So it wasn’t too hard to get the boys motivated for today but we also made a point that it is a bit of a celebration day and to really try and enjoy it.”
Kelly was the top goal scorer for North Perth this season with 16 goals and Carter added: “Oscar’s one of the longest stalwarts at the club. He’s probably in all fairness, and if you ask him he’ll probably say the same thing, had an up and down first half of the year.
“But when it really counted at the business end in the last four or five weeks he’s been outstanding.”
And Carter says it will be “no problem” to keep the squad together over the off-season.
“The boys are enjoying what we’re doing and enjoying training and the atmosphere.
“We’ll keep most of the squad together. There’s a few older bodies so we’ll try and get some young blood through the system but the boys are all happy sticking around.”
It didn’t take long for Kelly to get involved as he got on the end of a cross from Sean Lahert but saw his shot saved by Subiaco keeper Jeff Cornez.
Cornez was again forced into action as he brilliantly saved a Murray shot from close range.
The opening goal eventually came after 32 minutes courtesy of Murray after he nudged home a Kelly shot, wrong-footing Cornez.
Cornez made two more saves in quick succession following shots from Murray and William Pender.
But the floodgates would open in the second half as Murray completed his hat-trick with two goals in two minutes.
Murray beat his defender and passed the ball into the back of the net before jumping highest to glance his header past Cornez.
Cornez made another great save from point blank range before Jamie Serra had to keep out an Alex Ha shot down the other end.
Kelly then moved into a more central role and it proved fruitful as he collected the ball near half-way and ran straight into the Subiaco box before being brought down by Jakub Chrusinski who was the last man and received a straight red card.
Kelly stepped up to take the penalty and hit the underside of the bar with the ball landing over the line on the second attempt after the penalty had to be retaken due to an illegal run-up.
A minute later and Kelly was in the thick of it again as he got on the end of a square ball and blasted home to make it five after 75 minutes.
Montgomery was next to join the party when he got on the end of a cross from Dan Conway and made no mistake from close range.
And Montgomery made it two when he tapped home a rebound following a Paul Gabel shot.
The scoring was completed in the 91st minute when Murray claimed his fourth as he lobbed Cornez before Serra tried to drive a free-kick from distance and Gabel missed an open goal.
“It was definitely an impossible task, there was nothing that we could do about it. North Perth are quality and it is what it is,” Subiaco coach Keegan Roos said.
“First half it was only 1-0, second half the red card made it tough and again not having a consistent team. We had three, four players out from last week.
“The commitment was just not there from us this season. A lot of players left us, top quality players, so we had five or six who all left us this season and we could not replace them.
“It’s (Division One) obviously different, it’ll be difficult to win the league and play 22 games which against top sides is not an easy task.
“Stirling Panthers are a really quality side; they’ve been third for the last few years. Joondalup (United) and Quinns are top sides that deserve to be in prem.
“They’re not there so that’s a good thing for us but there’s a few other sides that are quite tough.”
Subiaco’s relegation from the Amateur Premier Division came on the same day their NPL WA side were also confirmed as going down.
North Perth United 8 (Murray 32min, 48, 49, 91, Kelly 74 pen, 75, Montgomery 86, 88)
Sunday, September 16
Referee: David Bruce
Assistant referee: Robert Riall
North Perth: 26. Jamie Serra, 20. Thierry Berard (15. Dan Conway 46), 4. Patrick Montgomery, 16. Keith Mullins, 3. Mickey Doherty (2. Sam Nicol 53), 8. Ago Mujic, 7. Paul Gabel, 11. Sean Lahert (21. Edin Nalic 53), 10. Oscar Kelly (C), 18. William Pender, 9. Niall Murray
Substitutes not used: 1. Liam Reid
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Subiaco: 1. J Cornez, 4. J Chrusinski, 13. J Clarke, 10. D Browne, 3. D Grose, 5. A Ha, 14. N Richards, 8. R Taylor, 12. J Miko, 15. B Baine, 7. T Mudzambanda (2. M Elwood 46)
Substitutes not used: 18. A Jones, 16. A Mittla, 9. T Sgambellari
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Chrusinski 73