Womens grand final replay
By PAUL CHAMBERS,STEVE ARCHBOLD and BRAD GREENSHIELDS
FINALS time is here and a new competition begins.
Current form goes out the window as does previous games against finals opponents.
The women's first grade major semi final sees perennial rivals Coffs United Lionesses against Corindi Red Rock Breakers.
In a repeat of last year's grand final the top two teams in the competition will go head to head for a place in this year's grand final and results in most recent matches between the two sides suggest the Breakers have the upper hand.
Lionesses coach, Gordon Barton, has stressed this point to his players in the build up to the game.
"The last four times we have played them in the league this year and last year we have lost, so although we are minor premiers we know how tough the game will be and we will not be complacent," he said.
"Our current form is good after a slow period so we are really looking forward to the game. We have a very young, immature team, with four of the girls still under 16, but they have a lot of ability and are capable of winning as long as they work hard as a team."
The only negative in the build up to the game is the fact that the change in original kick off times may rob the team of two players who now have a clash with work commitments and may miss the game. If this problem can be sorted out Coffs will be at full strength.
The Breakers coach, Rod Touzel, was also very excited about the game.
"We have been in pretty good form recently and for a young team we are travelling well," he said.
"It should be a very close game as both teams are very similar to one another. We are both young, skillful and enthusiastic teams with very few weaknesses and, as usual at finals time of the year, it will be the team that performs the best on the day that will win the game."
COFFS UNITED: Erin Herd, Amy Harrigan, Hanna Smith, Danielle Winders, Casey King, Rachael McVicar, Nicole McVicar, Ellie Hall, Laura Hall, Janelle Young, Mikaela Atkins, Stacey McComas.
CORINDI RED ROCK: Liddy Baulac, Kate Dickson, Grace Myers, Gemma Byard, Lauren Fitzgerald, Rani Bartlett, Alexis Touzel, Tara Famularo, Lib Gourrie, Hannah Moody, Emma French.
WHEN Dorrigo were beaten 13-0 earlier in the season by a rampant Coffs United Lionesses, coach Kym Preece didn't feel the need to hit the panic button.
A few months later and the girls from the mountain top are mounting a serious premiership challenge as they prepare to take on Boambee Eagles in the minor semi-final today.
Preece said there has been nothing between the top four women's sides this season and it could all come down to one moment of brilliance or a defensive error.
Preece, who has been involved in soccer in Dorrigo for 17 years built his new side around experienced duo Barb Webster and Sally Marsden and mixed in players from the 2004 under 16 and under 14 teams to begin a rebuilding phase after the team was wooden spooners the pre- vious year.
With Boambee boasting a lethal strikeforce of Kristy Hosking and Amanda Jordan, Dorrigo have spent most ofn the week on defensive drills in an effort to shut them down.
THE Boambee Eagles have already had a week's practice in do or die matches.
Just to make today's playoff, the Eagles last week had to win against the Coffs Coast Tigers and did so with aplomb ramming home six goals.
That should not have been a surprise to anyone though considering the Eagles finished second in the goals for column, only falling behind the top of the table Lionesses in that regard.
Like Dorrigo, the Eagles are a much improved outfit this season and Bombee's president Dean Evers says that it's due to the strong injection of junior talent into the Premier League squad.
"Our sudden rise in stardom has a lot do with the young under 16s that have stepped up to the plate this year," he said.
"Both our under 16 teams this year have finished on top in their division.
"I'd just like to think we're more of a champion team than a team of champions though."
Dorrigo Cedars: Jade Buchanan, Barb Webster, Melanie Mackie, Kira Fahey, Tanya Mackay, Sally Marsden, Emma Cooper, Bridie Fahey, Holly Bennett, Ashling Faye, Ashleigh Mackie. Coach Kym Preece.
Boambee Eagles: 1. Maria Priori, 2. Anna Lowe, 3. Karen Sipple, 4. Cathy Doherty, 5. Dianne McGowan, 6. Kayla Russell, 7. Kristy Hosking, 8. Sam Mackay, 9. Fiona Rigden (capt.), 10. Amanda Jordan, 11. Jess Barrett. Reserves: 12. Kylie McDonald, 13. Jess McKillop, 14. Caitlyn Watson, 15. Zoe Bale, 16. Emma Manning.
Coach: Graham Cruickshank.