ALBION PARK v THIRROUL | WD1 R12 | MATCH REPORT
Albion Park claimed their fourth-straight Women’s Division 1 league championship on Sunday with a 4-0 win over Thirroul.
It was an afternoon of extra significance at Terry Reserve with the sides celebrating NAIDOC by wearing jerseys featuring Indigenous artwork for the match which was preceded by a Welcome to Country and a traditional smoking ceremony.
Renee Crowe was in good touch with a goal either side of halftime while captain Brittany Ring and youngster Keilin Fagan also found the back of the net.
The Thunderbirds were the first to get a shot away when Kirsten Ward broke away in the fourth minute. Ward was unable to round goalkeeper Aleisha Chessell before blasting her effort over.
The opening goal came in the 23rd minute courtesy of a pinpoint pass from Casey-Leigh Suttle which saw Brittany Ring through on goal. The Park forward noticed Ashleigh Orvad rushing to close her down but Ring had the composure to lob the ball over the goalkeeper to give the home side the lead.
Park had a decent chance to net their second seven minutes later when Eliza Cowan was played through, however, she was closed down by a brave intervention from Orvad before the follow-up shot was cleared by the Thirroul defence.
The second would come in the 36th minute, with Crowe producing an emphatic finish to beat the Thunderbirds goalkeeper.
Orvad kept her side in the contest in the final five minutes of the half with the Thirroul number 1 making saves off Crowe and Cowan.
Ring had an excellent opportunity to pick up a brace when she got on the end of a dinked free kick from Taryn Ruiz. The Park skipper looked to chip Orvad once again, however, the goalkeeper was able to produce a smart save.
The match, and the championship, was wrapped just before the hour mark when some nice link-up led to Crowe being released through on goal with the attacker making no mistake with her finish.
The final goal of the afternoon came in the 71st minute after Thirroul failed to deal with a Chessell dropkick with the ball finding Fagan who buried it into the net.
The three points sees Albion Park hold an unassailable lead over University given Park’s superior head-to-head record.
After the match, Ring explained how it was a great feeling to defend the league title given the senior figures who departed the club last season.
The Park goal ace also said the side will be aiming to finish the regular season with a win against Fernhill in two week’s time.
“It was a sloppy win but you have got to win ugly sometimes but we are really happy with the year we have had and to wrap up the league title today,” she said.
“The girls we lost last year and their experience couldn’t be replaced but all the girls who have come in and come up from second div have done their job. It’s a very special one, we had no expectations for the year so to [win the league], it’s awesome.”
“We’ll take each game as it comes. We have one more left so we want to finish on a high and we’ll see who we get in the semis – it’s sudden death so anything can happen.
As for Thirroul, they remain a point outside the top four with two games to play with the side facing Fernhill next weekend before meeting fourth-placed Kiama on the final day of the season.
Albion Park 4 (Brittany Ring 23’, Renee Crowe 36’ 59’, Keilin Fagan 71’)
Albion Park: 1. CHESSELL Aleisha, 8. COWAN Eliza, 15. CROWE Renee, 4. DUFFY Claire, 5. HALSEY Carrie, 13. HANLY Jessica, 12. RING Brittany, 16. ROSSI Jessica, 3. RUIZ Taryn, 2. TASEVSKI Chelsea, 11. ZIROGIANNES Sophie, 7. TOSCAN Sarah, 18. FAGAN Keilin
Thirroul: 37. BAKER Cara, 45. BLACKETT DAnielle, 19. BOWEN Hannah, 22. GEHRKE Claytyn, 25. HOCKING Chloe, 24. MAR Keely, 14. MOTT Kaitlin, 44. NYE Taneesha, 1. ORVAD Ashleigh, 38. ROSE Jenna, 34. ROYTER Mahalia, 21. RYAN Jamie, 31. VAUGHAN Grace, 23. WARD Kirsten
Date: 27 September 2020
Venue: Terry Reserve
Referee: Thomas Ahling
Assistant Referees: Hayden Michlmayr and Kate Lea
Report and photos by Dylan Arvela, on Twitter @dylanarvela