Boomers have secured an unlikely Cup Final win against long lasting rivals Albury City in the AWFA women’s finals.
The girls finished second after a 22 round season and cruised comfortably through to the final after winning games against Myrtleford and Albury United. The girls topped off a great season with 116 goals for, and only 18 goals against. This gave them the best goal difference for the home and away season.
This gave Boomers yet another clash at the Cup after losing to Albury City in a penalty shoot-out last season. Maddy Harris finished off a great through ball after just 9 minutes and it was that goal that decided the match which was end to end for most of the game.
Albury city had a few chances but a determined Gemma Noordewier shut down several attacks whilst a Cup Final debut for Samantha Bushnell saw some vital saves.
Elsewhere on the park Bella Claxton, Gracie Wilson-Cooper, and Christina Stefanou all held tight in defence to grind out the gutsy win.
Our seasoned veterans Beth Kennedy, Janae Hinds, Torey and Kiera Hayes all showed there experience in finals to help throughout the field and stop a bombardment of attacks as well as create attacks of our own.
Coach Stephen Hayes said his side had plenty of belief heading into the final considering how close the last meeting was.
“That being said, these cup finals are completely different ball games,” Hayes said.
“It’s the luck of the chances on the day and being able to take the limited chances you might have.
“We managed to get one in early which took the pressure off a little bit, but to Albury City’s credit, they kept working away to try close the gap and equalise.
“Early on we were up their end considerably, we just needed a person to take an extra step to get close enough and put it across the line.
“All of a sudden, three girls combined to get a bit of football going down that end and put Maddy through which made a huge difference.
“They threw four forward to go after it and we had to absorb that pressure.”
Maddy Harris was awarded Best on Ground after a huge performance, and a match winning goal. She kept calm to slot the ball past the keeper in a one on one situation. “It was a real team goal with all the pressure in the first 10 minutes, lucky enough I was in the right place at the right time really,” Harris said.
“It really gave us strength for the rest of the game.”
“We had nothing to lose because we’d lost both games to them throughout the season.”
Joey Cartwright also showed her dominance through the game, and combined well with the midfield often on the tail end of through balls and attacking plays.
Breanna Kusic was a new inclusion to the squad coming over from Albury City along with Stefanou and Wilson-Cooper. A decision that has paid dividends for the trio. Also stepping up to the big stage was Lauren Antonello and first year Ella McFarlane who were a big part of the season and success of the team all year.
Steve Kusic assisted Steve Hayes for the season in what some would say was a yin and yang duo. As coach Hayes showed his hunger for another cup win, Kusic was able to be the relaxed, calm head on the sideline which work well for the two as well as the team.
Unfortunately one regular player could not be a part of the side on the day. Alarna Parascos who has played and won many finals was sidelined through a knee injury she received in the last encounter with Albury City during the home and away season, but still a part of the winning formula that was Boomers 2017.
Congratulations ladies on yet another stand out year!