North Coast Football grand final girls 16s

Back row - Lilli Storm, Lilli Mosco-Klipin, Paloma Birch, Abby Hardinge, Aliza Jones, Sophie Russell, Mirija Landolt, Claudia White
Front row - Jessica Bailey, Lucy Alkemade, Bella Ashley and Summer Storm
Back row - Lilli Storm, Lilli Mosco-Klipin, Paloma Birch, Abby Hardinge, Aliza Jones, Sophie Russell, Mirija Landolt, Claudia White Front row - Jessica Bailey, Lucy Alkemade, Bella Ashley and Summer Storm

When the 16 years girls football team made the North Coast grand final this year celebrations were cut short. Due to the scheduling of the game for 6pm on Friday September 8, it was apparent that the team would lose four key players for the game.

Previously, the 15 years girls 4x100m relay team (containing three of the team’s key players) had won the North Coast final in style and qualified for NSW CHS State Athletics Championships held at Homebush.

Even though the carnival ran over three days, the relay was held on Friday afternoon meaning the girls could not get back to Coffs Harbour in time for the football grand final. Despite many appeals to North Coast Football the final could not be moved as Woolgoolga (grand final opponents), were unwilling to play at any other time.

Down to 12 keen and enthusiastic players, new tactics were needed for Friday’s grand final. The girls arrived at the stadium happy and excited to step up to the challenge.

In the change room and during warm-up preparations the talk was all positive and the environment electric. These 12 girls played an amazing game never giving up and supporting one another physically and with positive team talk. They started the game and found cracks in the Woolgoolga defense and came close to scoring a goal on more than one occasion!

At the other end the defense held firm and worked together to get the job done. Lucy Alkemade, the goalkeeper, took control of her area and was nothing short of amazing. The mid field worked tirelessly displaying their best form of the season.

Half time 0-0. More of the same in the second half. Full time 0-0.

After such a great game, the legs were starting to show the effects as the girls had to enter 10 minutes each-way extra time. After five minutes of extra time a lose ball saw Woolgoolga score. This meant that there were 15 minutes to equalise the score. Despite getting close the ball just couldn’t go in.

So Woolgoolga won the game! Or did they? The girls, the coach and all the parents and supporters were elated and so proud of the girls. It was an amazing performance and the Bellingen girls were the real winners – never giving up, doing their absolute best and supporting each other. This is what sport is about!