Tigerettes fall short in close finish grand final

Runner-ups: Tuncurry Forster Tigerettes went down to Cundletown in the final of the Women's Soccer League.
Runner-ups: Tuncurry Forster Tigerettes went down to Cundletown in the final of the Women's Soccer League.

The Women’s Soccer League came to a nail biting close at Taree’s Zone Field on Friday night with a grand final between Cundletown Jets and Tuncurry Foster Tigerettes that lasted 100 minutes and ended in a penalty shootout.

In the first 40 minutes, the Tigerettes marked tight and Cundletown couldn’t realise the speed of striker Jenna Ryan (who played with a broken ankle).

All game, the Tigrettes looked threatening with solid play out wide by Meaghan Lambert backed up by Jodie Eacott. Only the Jets’ patient and persistent defence led by Arwen Williams kept Tuncurry Foster at bay.

Twenty minutes into the second half, Tigerettes’ Jessica Henwood emerged from bunched play in the box with a goal in the top left corner.

Ten minutes later, the Jets' Carissa Black retaliated with an equaliser, tying the score at one-all.

The second half came to a close with tough, tight play as both teams battled for possession.

Spectators lining the hills of the Zone field prepared for the evenly matched contest to continue into extra time. 10 minutes each way with no golden goal.

At fulltime there was no score and both teams assembled for the penalty shootout. 

Chairman of Football Mid North Coast Mike Parsons said that over four matches during the season, the teams had played 360 minutes of football and still they could only be separated by a penalty shootout.

The goalkeepers, Emillie Cullen for the Jets and Kayla Simpson for the Tigerettes, limbered up for the inevitable- a ruthless decider for the 2017 season.

The goal shooters for each side were Sammara Schmitzer, Megan Couper, Sarah Pederson, Jodie Eacott and Jessica Henwood for the Tigerettes and Cass Wilks, Carissa Black, Emillie Cullen and Sarah O’Connor for the Jets.

Jets coach Sally Geary explained that Cundletowns’ Emillie Cullen only plays keeper for the Jets in big games.

She was breathtaking on Friday night, saving four of the five dot shots during the penalty shootout ending the game 2-1 with a win for the Cundletown Jets.