Bellingen High 15 years and under girls football team have ended their run of successes in the Bill Turner Trophy knockout competition, losing 2-0 to Wollumbin High in the game played at Murwillumbah on Friday.
The Stone siblings Charli and Summer provided the match winners for Wollumbin but their defenders can lay claim to a major portion of the glory. Bellingen have scored 10 goals and conceded just two until Friday in three matches.
“Today’s game was a hard game, their defence was so good we failed to convert,” said Bellingen’s coach Liz Hoy post match.
“We usually manage to score quite a few goals in a game so that really made the difference.
“Their goalkeeper (Ciarn Larrescy) in particular was outstanding.”
Charli Stone, the younger and more diminutive sibling, opened Wollumbin’s account midway through the first half.
Older sibling Summer, a two-goal hero in Wollumbin’s Round of 32 win over Lismore’s Trinity College, applied the pressure on Bellingen’s goal as the second half’s intensity grew.
First a narrow angled shot from inside the 6yard box was saved by Bellingen’s ‘keeper Tallara Doye but with Bellingen chasing the match the defence was breached with five minutes to the final whistle.
Stone had made her way into penalty box and shot only for Doye to repel her effort on goal. A fumble by the keeper and an out stretched foot and the second and decisive goal was netted.
“Very proud of the girls, they played hard, they played fair and it is fantastic for a school like our with only 400 odd students to make it to the last eight in the Bill Turner Trophy,” said Wollumbin coach Sean Thompson after the win.
“We’ll train hard between now and the next game, regardless of who we play I know it’s going to be a tough game.”
The Junior High students, watching from the hill, rose to their feet - the applause and hoots almost deafening - for this was a defining moment for the school with just 476 students.
Bellingen is still in with a chance in the NSW CHS Girls Football Knockout, with the open girls playing on Friday in Sydney as one of the final eight teams remaining.