Impervious to the icy wind, Bellingen High defeated Coffs Harbour High 5-2 today at Connell Park, winning the Mid North Coast area final in the Bill Turner Trophy, a school football competition for girls 15 years and under.
“There’s over 400 public and private schools involved and we’re in the final 32,” said coach Liz Hoy, adding that some of the Bellingen players were only 12 years old.
Asked to nominate standout performers in the game, Liz said it was a great team effort with all players contributing and it was difficult to single out the best performers.
However, she did mention Sophie Boyd (fantastic in the midfield, scored two goals), Ashley Sticker (co-captain, scored one goal), Summer Hogan (scored two goals) and Elena Leek (strong in defence).
Liz also made special mention of keeper Aoife Carey, who’d been slotted into the hot seat even though she’s just started playing.
“Our regular keeper was injured a few weeks ago and we had to get Aoife in, and she did an amazing job,” Liz said. “It’s only her second game of soccer ever.”
Captains Ashley Sticker and Mia Craggs agreed everyone had worked for the win.
“We played really hard,” Mia said. “We all did.”
“We all really wanted it,” said Ashley.
As the winning Mid North Coast area team, Bellingen now goes on to play the winner of the Lower North Coast, Great Lakes College, Forster.
Around 800 school teams from NSW, Qld, ACT and Victoria participate each year in the Bill Turner Cup (open) and the Bill Turner Trophy (girls), both of which have a knockout format with early round matches starting in Term 1.
Bill Turner valued fitness, fun and fair play and the competition pays tribute to these values.
The Bill Turner Cup (open) is in its 40th year. The Bill Turner Trophy (girls) is in its 28th year.