Far South Coast Football Assocation minor premiers Eden Killer Whales ladies suffered their first loss of the season to equal second-placed Wolumla going down 2-nil at Wolumla on Sunday.
The Eden girls’ preparation was less than perfect for the dead rubber, with it looking like they would go into the match short up until 10 minutes before kick off.
Thanks to Mel Mitchell returning from a weekend away, and Lee Harris coming back from injury early, the club managed to scrape together a full side.
Travelling to Wolumla for the third time this season Eden won the toss, but somehow ended up running into a gusty wind.
Assistant coach for the Wolumla Tigers Kirsty McPaul said Eden were the team to beat, and they had a strong opening passage of play.
“Eden dominated the first 10 minutes,” McPaul said.
With a depleted bench, Eden tired towards the end of the half when Wolumla started to dominate play.
Eden would have been happy with the nil-all score line at half time.
Coach Alex Schmich encouraged his girls to muscle up in the second half as Wolumla were relying on their physicality.
While Eden typically play more of a passing game, they needed to stay in the contest physically as well.
The second half got off to a terrible start for Eden with Wolumla’s striker breaking free of her marker to slot the ball past keeper Mil Grubesic, who was doing an amazing job just to take the field due to illness.
Eden looked certain to equalise midway through the half with Amber Seckold putting the afterburners on to latch onto a Debbie Heron pass, only to have her shot deflected by the Tigresses keeper, who would have known little about it at the time.
Eden kept their cool creating opportunities with shots from Shari Griffin and a couple of Mel Mitchell corners only just missing the head of Jaimie Christensen.
Janine Chester looked to be away only to have her legs taken out from under her, with what looked like a certain free kick to Eden within scoring range, but somehow ended up being Wolumla’s free in an apparent off side.
It looked like it wasn’t going to be Eden’s day.
Having come from behind before, Eden was never really out of the match until Wolumla created a carbon copy of their first goal.
McPaul said it came down to the determination of keeper Kathy Brisbane and a strong midfield performance that closed victory for her team.
“Kathy diffused many corner kicks and penalty shots which wasn’t easy in the windy conditions,” McPaul said.
The game was just out of reach with 10 minutes to go.
Full back Bronwyn Schmich worked tirelessly in defence and had an outstanding game.
Tanya Waites proved her worth as a true team player slotting from full back to midfield and striker without fuss.
Shyanne Walker chased everything down, but just couldn’t convert and the score locked in at 2-nil at full time.
McPaul said her team was more focused and had a harder-working attitude than previous weeks.
“They really lifted in the second half and everyone played well,” she said.
The Killer Whales will take on the now third-placed Pambula Penguins at Pambula on Sunday.
The Eden girls will be smarting from their loss, but looking at getting through the last match of the season injury free.
The Whales will also be focusing ahead to the rematch with Wolumla in the major semi final.