Lionesses get extra-time success
WHILE the men's grand final will pit the number one and two sides against each other, the women's competition throws together an equally interesting duo, the top team of the year versus the defending champs.
There is no doubt Woolgoolga deserves to be in the women's grand final and will go into the match as favourites in much the same way Coffs will in the men's but the fact that the Wildcats will be playing the team which causes it the most trouble is about as good as organisers could have hoped for.
Certainly Boambee, the number two side this year, will feel disappointed not to be playing this Saturday but its 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Woolgoolga in the major semi-final last week would have been a mental barrier had it made it to the big day.
As it is Coffs City United will get to defend its crowd after a lengthy battle against Boambee at Ayrshire Park on Saturday.
It could so easily have been different as Coffs started the match slowly and found itself behind to a wonder strike from Kylie MacDonald in the first half.
Truly a spectacular goal, MacDonald took the ball down the left side and curled it in from just inside the 18-yard area.
The ball struck the far post and rebounded into the net as the home crowd went wild.
The scoreboard returned to parity soon after when the Lionesses were awarded a penalty which Chloe Wighton dispatched.
But by half-time the Eagles had slightly the better of play even though scores were level.
The second half was a different matter as the Lionesses clearly had the better of play and scored twice to prove it.
Leading 3-1 with about 10 minutes to go, the win seemed in the bag but then near disaster for the defending champions.
Boambee scored twice in the final minutes of the match to send it to extra time.
Buoyed by the comeback and with all the momentum, the Eagles came out firing in the first period of extra time.
Boambee thought it had found the winner when Keira Plumbe put the ball into the net only to hear the referee's whistle blow for hand ball.
Needless to say, none of the home spectators agreed with the decision and let their feelings be heard.
To everyone who watched the game, including the coaching staff, this seemed to knock the stuffing out of Boambee.
At this point the Eagles' heads dropped and Coffs United pounced.
The Lionesses struck twice in extra time and sealed victory 5-3.
Matches like this are won or lost at key moments and some of them are quite small but momentous at the same time.
In extra time, Boambee ran out of steam while Coffs United lifted.
Coffs United never quit during this match and played well enough to win it before the full-time whistle but decided to make it exciting for the rest of us.
Boambee had several corners which could have resulted in goals on another day but couldn't get the vital final touch on them.
Overall, Boambee played the better first half while Coffs dominated the second, except for the last few minutes.
Extra time was anyone's until that crucial moment when Coffs reasserted its authority and that is what has made them a champion team.
Can the Lionesses defend the crown on Saturday?
Lifting a notch is exactly what Coffs United does in grand finals and the Lionesses most certainly do when they play Wildcats.