Melbourne Knights have comfortably defeated sibling club North Geelong Warriors 2-0 at Knights Stadium on Sunday to claim the Stipe Tabak Cup.
Stipo Andrijasevic opened the scoring in the 17th minute as he powered through a hole in the Warriors defence. The attacker kept his nerve to place a shot past Daniel Zilic and open his league account for the season.
Andrijasevic then turned provider 15 minutes later, as his forward pass saw Chris Talajic played in on the left. The winger checked onto his right foot and then released a low strike to make it 2-0.
Ivan Grgic provided the first effort on target in the 14th minute with a towering header that goalkeeper Daniel Zilic showed quick reflexes to palm away.
Zilic made another fine save to deny Andrew Barisic’s glancing header in the 26th minute, before the Knights striker couldn’t keep his effort down when connecting with Robbie Zadworny’s excellent cross.
Yusuf Yusuf was the Warriors’ biggest threat in the first half and nearly pulled one back on the stroke of half time only for Chris May to smother the close-range shot.
The second half offered fewer chances as the Knights held on to their advantage.
Matt Townley saw a free kick fly narrowly wide of the top corner for the visitors with ten minutes remaining.
Shortly after, substitute Rodrigo Covarrubias nearly scored a goal of the season contender. The striker met Andrijasevic’s cross with a spectacular overhead volley that just dipped a fraction wide.
It was in the end a comfortable day for Andrew Marth’s side who reaffirmed their position in fourth.