Annual Challenge Cup in Nambucca Heads hailed a major success

Nambucca Strikers (left) on the attack against Macleay Valley Rangers in the women’s competition.

THE Annual Challenge Cup in Nambucca Heads attracted teams from as far as Sydney competing in men’s, women’s and men’s over 35s divisions.

Nambucca Strikers President Ricky Welsh provided insights into the three-day event at Coronation Park from 15-17 March.

“Teams competing for this year’s cup were West Pymble and Rydalmere from Sydney, local teams from Port United, Kempsey Saints, Macleay Valley Rangers, Urunga, Coffs United, Coffs Tigers and Sawtell, in addition to Armidale City Westside and a local team made up fo ex-Nambucca Strikers women players.

“This made for a healthy and fierce competition over the weekend.

“The matches were close and hard fought, and a lot of the finals went to penalty shoot outs.”

In the over 35s division it was last year’s defending champions Sawtell who went back-to-back, defeating Coffs Tigers in a close 1-0 match of end-to-end football.

The Urunga Raiders produced a flawless weekend of football, scooping the top women’s prize and avenging last year’s defeat by Coffs United.

“In the women’s final it was Urunga who prevailed 4-0 over Coffs United in a rematch of last year’s cup final,” Welsh said.

“Coffs United were unable to go back to back coming up against a strong Urunga team who were out for redemption on last year’s cup final loss.

“In a close first half it was Urunga who gained the upper hand in the second half to run out winners and lift the trophy for a tenth time.”

The men’s competition was a nailbiter, with Port United edging past Sydney’s West Pymble in the final.

“The men’s final was a hard fought tussle between powerhouse West Pymble and a youthful Port United.

“In a see-sawing battle Port United were able to secure an early goal to take the lead 1-0.

“As the game went on West Pymble threw everything they had at Port United but the grit and determination shown by the much younger team shone through and Port United were able to hang on to the 1-0 lead to secure the cup, after being a bridesmaid for the previous four years.”


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