Nambucca Strikers outgunned by Urunga Raiders in Women’s Second Division

Seventeen year old Rhiannon Cooke Jones saved her fifth penalty of the season.


THE Nambucca Strikers went down 2-1 to the Urunga Raiders last Saturday at Coronation Park in the North Coast Football women’s second division.

The Strikers have been renowned for their slow starts and this week was no different as Urunga opened the scoring in the third minute.

The Strikers rallied and responded with a three pronged attack as Lily Woodward won the ball in midfield and laid it off to Alex Hapgood who beat her marker and laid on a beautifully weighted through ball for Lauren Heath to slot home for the equaliser.

The Raiders responded in the 35th minute when they were awarded a penalty.

“One of the things constantly being worked on and discussed at training but seems to be forgotten is hand balls and giving away penalties, the disease hit us again in the 35th minute when a handball in the box culminated in another spot kick, the sixth of the season,” said Strikers coach Rhys Jones.

“The Urunga penalty taker stepped in with a low shot to the keeper’s left, with lightning reflexes Rhiannon Cooke Jones dived instantly to save her fifth penalty of the season,” he said.

Rhys Jones praised his goalkeeper’s instincts and dedication.

“An outstanding achievement from a very experienced 17 year old who has already won a NPL championship, representing Sydney metro and Northern NSW.

“It only goes to show practice, hard work and dedication really pays off,” said Rhys.

It was Urunga who scored next and held onto the lead despite a Strikers onslaught which included a ricochet off the crossbar.

Coach Rhys Jones was philosophical.

“Time ran out and so did Nambucca’s luck.

“This game was a credit to both teams, it was played in great spirit, it was hard and tough with no player giving quarter the way football should be played.

“Urunga are a credit to their coach Dave Duvall who plays with skill, patience and resilience.

“While the loss does end Nambucca’s mini winning streak the team wasn’t disappointed, we are by far the most inexperienced team in the league, with 80 percent never played before, they are growing very quickly, learning all the time, we are not being beaten by 7 or 8 goals, but only by the odd goal.

“This team is developing and with experience and continued development will become a force in the league.

“Next game is against Woolgooga on Saturday at Coronation Park, Nambucca with a 1pm kick off,” said Rhys.




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