URUNGA’S undefeated season was given its reward with a win in the women’s grand final but they were made to earn it, eventually winning 3-2.
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The Raiders were hot favourites to overcome Boambee in the season climax at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium.
But the Eagles who’d won the previous four grand finals weren’t going to give up their crown without a fight.
Even though Urunga had conceded only four goals for the year, Raiders goalkeeper Jessica Snow was wary of the Eagles particularly after Kylie McDonald opened the scoring early to give Boambee an unexpected lead.
“I was on edge from the first minute. When they scored early I was very scared but you can’t count Boambee out,” Snow said.
“Being undefeated there’s that little bit of weight and you can’t get complacent, you have to work that little bit harder.
“There were a lot of scary moments.”
Nerves were settled in the 20th minute when Breanna Martin equalised from the penalty spot.
Boambee keeper Allissa Tate chose the right way when she dived to her left but Martin’s shot was too sharp.
It was a 10 minute period of dominance before half time that swung the match in Urunga’s favour.
First Kate Janzio Fry scored and then just before the half time whistle Willow Neal found herself in a one-on-one with the keeper before calmly slotting the ball in to give the Raiders a 3-1 lead and some much needed breathing space.
If Urunga was feeling relaxed at the resumption, a second goal from McDonald had the nerves jangling again as she halved the deficit.
The Raiders had opportunities to score more goals in the second half but Boambee defended like their lives depended on it and kept Urunga scoreless in the final 45 minutes.
The never say die attitude almost paid off as the Eagles had two chances close to the final whistle to equalise and send the match into extra time.
It wasn’t to be but Boambee coach Neil Witherdin said he was proud of the determined effort his girls produced.
“The newer girls and the younger girls were a little bit overawed in the first half. I think by the second half we were a lot better and we actually won the second half,” Witherdin said.
By Brad GREENSHIELDS