Albion Park secured a place in the grand final of the Women’s Division 1 with a 2-0 victory against Thirroul at Ian McLennan Park on Sunday afternoon. Both of the reigning champions’ goals came within minutes of each other just after the half-hour mark. In the 32nd minute, Brittany Ring was played in behind the Thunderbirds’ and slid a finish under the onrushing Ashleigh Orvad. Three minutes later, Albion Park doubled their advantage as Taryn Ruiz made no mistake from the penalty spot sending her effort into the left-hand side of the net.
Albion Park showed intent from the start and in the first minute, the side created an opening. Brittany Ring finding space inside the box on the right-hand side and firing a shot that was well-saved by Ashleigh Orvad. Eight minutes later, the side pushed forwards again down the right-hand side with Brittany Ring played in one-on-one with Orvad but dragged her shot wide of the left-hand upright.
Thirroul responded to this early pressure in the 11th minute as Kirsten Ward had a fantastic opportunity to open the scoring. A ball in from the left-hand side fell at the feet of Ward inside the box with her original effort being saved by Aleisha Chessell. However, Chessell spilt the ball back into the path of the Thunderbirds’ forward but she was unable to finish seeing her follow-up effort fall wide of the goal. With a quarter-of-an-hour played, Albion Park carved open another chance as Ring picked up the ball – this time on the left-hand side and elected to shift the ball inside onto her right-foot and force an important save from Orvad at her near post.
Albion Park’s pressure finally told in the 32nd minute as Ring got her goal. A ball played in behind found Ring centrally inside the box who showed great composure to slide the ball under Orvad and see it roll into the net. Three minutes later, Albion Park doubled their advantage as Taryn Ruiz converted from the penalty spot sending her shot into the left-hand side of the net.
This saw Albion Park go into the break with a 2-0 lead and just 45 minutes away from another grand final appearance.
Chances were few and far between in the second period but just after the hour mark, the Thunderbirds had a chance to halve the deficit when Cara Baker put a cross in from the left-hand side finding Keely Mar free inside the box who took aim but saw her shot blocked. Ten minutes later, Albion Park went looking for a third goal as Ring took aim from near the halfway line from a central freekick which required Orvad to make a save. Five minutes later, Thirroul were dealt a major blow as captain Claytyn Gehrke was sent off making the Thunderbirds’ task even harder.
Albion Park went on to secure a 2-0 win and a place in the Women’s Division 1 grand final.
Albion Park 2 (Brittany Ring 32’, Taryn Ruiz 35’)
Albion Park: 1. CHESSELL Aleisha, 3. RUIZ Taryn, 4. DUFFY Claire, 5. HALSEY Carrie, 7. TOSCAN Sarah, 9. SUTTLE Casey-Leigh, 11. ZIROGIANNIS Sophie, 12. RING Brittany, 13. HANLY Jessica, 15. CROWE Renee, 16. ROSSI Jessica, 17. GREEN Ariel, 18. Keilin Fagan, 19. BURNS Cody
Thirroul: 1. ORVAD Ashleigh, 3. HOCKING Chloe, 5. BLACKETT Danielle, 7. WARD Kirsten, 8. BAKER Cara, 10. BOWEN Hannah, 11. GEHRKE Claytyn, 12. MEUSBURGER Asha, 13. MOTT Kaitlin, 15. VAUGHAN Grace, 16. ROYTER MAHALIA, 17, ROSE Jenna, 18, MAR Keely, 19. RYAN Jamie, 20. WILMANS Ambrosia
Date: 18 October 2020
Venue: Ian McLennan Park
Referee: Caleb Blanch
Assistant Referees: Martin Rowney and Ruby Blanch
Report by Timothy Gibson
Division 2 Russell Vale vs Bulli 3 – 3 (7-6 on penalties)
In what proved to be a tightly fought and high scoring encounter Russell Vale prevailed over Bulli in a penalty shoot out after both teams were locked at 3-3 at full time.
Russell Vale opened the scoring in the first minutes of the game and took the lead on several occasions only to see Bulli equalise. In teeming rain Bulli with incisive runs down their right flank by N10 looked like they were finishing the game the stronger of the two however it was not to be and penalties ensued. Congratulations to Russell Vale who move onto next weeks Grand Final.
FSC WYL Shellharbour vs Bulli (11-0)
In an ominous sign Shellharbour scored twice in the first 5 minutes. Undaunted by this setback Thirroul lifted and went into half time 3-0 down.
A flurry of goals in the second half saw Thirroul eventually going down to a better structured opposition 11 -0. Congratulations to Shellharbour who have been the team to beat all season and now move into the Grand Final next week.