PFA Executive Member & Central Coast Mariners Captain, Alex Wilkinson celebrating with team mate Tom Pondeljak

In the most thrilling final week of the A-League regular season to date, the Central Coast Mariners pipped archrivals, the Newcastle Jets on goal difference to claim the Minor Premiership.

The 2-0 win over the Wellington Phoenix on Saturday, kept Lawrie McKinna’s men in the driving seat before the remaining games on Sunday. Goals from Socceroo John Aloisi and Adam Kwasnik were enough to take the Mariners to the top of the A-League table by a solitary goal over the Jets.

With the top four teams starting the weekend on equal 31 points, all four games provided nail biting and end to end action. In the end, Kwasnik’s late goal and Danny Allsopp’s second half equaliser forMelbourne led to heartache for Sydney and jubilation for the Mariners.

On Sunday, with Sydney FC held at home by the Melbourne Victory and the Queensland Roar losing away in Adelaide, that meant the guys from Gosford held on to claim their inaugural A-League Title. The win came as a double bonus as Central Coast also qualified for the 2009 Asian Champions League.

The Mariners now face Newcastle in the major semi-final, while Sydney and Queensland face off in the minor semi-final. A rematch of the inaugural A-League grand final is potentially on the cards, with Sydney and the Mariners avoiding each other a minor semi-final. The Roar and the Jets are bidding to contest their first ever grand final.