Inch by inch, Cobras get home
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
AT the highest level, Touch football is merely a game of inches.
A desperate tag here that just stops an opponent running through a gap or a tantalising pass there that just escapes the clutches of a despairing defender.
When a match enters a drop-off situation though, suddenly the gaps are no longer only inches wide but they become gaping holes that are near impossible to close down.
After a 5-all draw in yesterday's Open Women's final, the match was anyone's and it was merely a case of whether the Brisbane Cobras or the Sydney Mets would take advantage of the wide open spaces on offer when the player numbers were reduced.
Once the teams were reduced to only three players each it was the Cobras that grabbed the title.
With Mets defenders being drawn in around the ruck, 17 year-old Samantha Hopkin found herself in an acre of space down the left side with only 20 metres left to cross for the title winning touchdown.
"I didn't think I would get there, it seemed to take ages," an excited Hopkin said.
"I thought their girl was right behind me so I just went as hard as I could but I felt like my legs weren't even moving."
When the refs confirming whistle blew to signal the start of the Cobras' celebrations, coach Peter Bell was gushing in his praise and admiration for his girls efforts.
He was quick to point out that a 17 year-old like Hopkin was more the rule rather than the exception in this team.
"We're a very young team, we got flogged last year, we didn't even make a final and we made the decision to re-build and we brought a young team here," he said.
"Led by our Australian player Kelly Woods, we just played in a very tense final and at full-time you've just got to try and keep your head. Full credit to the young girls because they did that."