ALBION PARK v UNIVERSITY | WD1 GRAND FINAL | MATCH REPORT
For the seventh consecutive season, Albion Park are the champions of The Grange Women’s Division One, clinching the 2020 title with a 2-0 victory over University at a drenched Ian McLennan Park.
The match began in a frantic manner with both teams pressing for an early goal, with long kicks well over halfway from each goalkeeper moving both sides from end-to-end quickly.
However, it was not until the 16th minute of the match that first good chance arose when Albion Park’s Brittany Ring whipped in a cross to the back post where Renee Crowe was lurking but despite making good contact with ball, she headed the ball wide of the upright.
Five minutes later, Albion Park had another good chance to score when Ring ventured into the penalty area and fired a shot from the edge of the six-yard box but failed to hit the target, hitting the side netting instead which initially deceived the capacity crowd.
Ring was in the action again in the 37th minute when she was played in behind University’s back four and through on goal. Being closed down by the goalkeeper and scrambling defence, Ring expertly tucked the ball into the back of the net despite losing her footing when striking the ball to give her side the lead.
Albion Park extended their lead in the 63rd minute when Keilin Fagan went on a barnstorming run, shaking off two foul tackles on her way to goal as the referee played advantage on both occasions. Once past the defence, Fagan calmly placed the ball into the bottom left corner to the jubilation of her teammates and the Park faithful.
63’ GOAL ALBION PARK!
Keilan Fagen shakes off a couple of University challenges to go through on goal and double Park’s lead.
Albion Park 2 University 0
— Football South Coast (@FSC_Official) October 25, 2020
From the following kick-off, University had a chance to immediately reduce the deficit when Kya Stewart slid a ball across the box out of the reach of the goalkeeper but failed to find a teammate to put it into the back of the net.
Chasing a comeback, Uni continued to throw players forward for the rest of the match to little avail. Their best chance came with six minutes remaining from a corner when Paris Ford was left unmarked in the box but headed her shot straight into the arms of Park goalkeeper Aleisha Chessell.
Ultimately, Albion Park were too strong for the Unicorns, stamping out all of their promising attackes to secure a league and grand final double for the fourth straight season.
After the match, victorious coach Ricard Macca Davies said he was very proud of his team’s performance and felt the key to their prolonged success was continued hard work and a team-first attitude.
“I thought we played our game, we didn’t give [University] any room, we won the ball, we got to the ball and the two goals we scored testified the pressure we were putting on them,” Davies said.
“You’ve got a group of girls who want to play. They put the effort in and it is always going to work.
“You can have a brilliant, champion player but if they don’t want to put the effort in it is not going to work. I’ve got a champion team that want to work for each other.”
Albion Park 2 (Brittany Ring 37’, Keilin Fagan 63’)
Phyllis Knight player of the match: Brittany Ring
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, 9. SUTTLE Casey-Leigh, 14. TASEVSKI Chelsea, 11. ZIROGIANNIS Sophie, 7. TOSCAN Sarah, 17. GREEN Ariel, 18. FAGAN Keilin, 19. BURNS Cody.
University 7. BATTIN Elise, 21. BROWN Rhianna, 20. CARTER Lexi, 17. CLARK Lilliana, 15. CONSTABLE Cayla, 18. CRIGHTON Lucy, 8. FORD Paris, 12. HEDDITCH Annalise, 2. KALOS Zoe, 5. KLENKA Jinneecka, 4. POLHILL Pimwadee, 6. PRIOR Lisa, 19. TOISON Lisa, 31. FARRUGIA Hannah, 11. STEWART Kya, 3. BALA Nina
Interchange rule applied.
Date: 25 October 2020
Venue: Ian McLennan Park
Referee: Demi Goddard
Assistant Referees: Casey Flemming and Anna Phipps
Fourth Official: Tara Brown
Report by Nic Wilson, on Twitter @_nicwilson
Photos by Ritchie Wagner