The Eden Killer Whales simply outclassed Pambula in the women’s football grand final on Sunday.
The Killer Whales took charge from the outset against the Penguinettes and never looked back to claim a crushing 5-0 result.
In a coup for the Eden club, the under 14s also fought back from a half-time deficit to win the day in extra time.
In the women’s match, the Killer Whales took control of the midfield and mounted increasing pressure on the Pambula backline.
The match opener came fairly early in the first half when Eden mid Debbie Heron forced the Pambula defence out to the left edge, but she found room to cross to a waiting Mel Mitchell, who drilled an accurate kick into the Penguins’ net.
With the weight of momentum, the Killer Whales continued relentlessly peppering the Pambula goal with shots, while many were stopped from range or defended as the Penguinettes flooded into their own back lines.
However, Eden’s mid was just too clean and controlled with Talia Westley weaving her way around multiple defenders to neatly sink a kick into the left corner of the goals.
Pambula rallied to a few forward runs of their own, but met Kate Mitchell and Kim Peters in defence to turn away most runs.
The few attempts that did slip past them were capably halted by Kamilla Grubesic in the box.
With the ball returned to the middle, Eden again won the contest and soon were rewarded with a free kick outside the box.
Mel Mitchell fired a reaching kick that bounded off the crossbar, but fell to an eager Debbie Heron, who cleanly finished Eden’s third with time to spare in the first half.
As the clock whittled down to the break, Eden striker Amber Seckold put her own name on the scoreboard, after she chipped the ball cleanly over a slide tackle attempt from the Penguinettes and beat the Pambula keeper one on one.
The Penguinettes were given a reprieve as the whistle sounded half-time with the Killer Whales leading 4-0.
However, early in the second half, Eden still had the weight of possession and all but shut down any hopes of a comeback when Mel Mitchell fired a corner kick that curled into the net to lead 5-0.
Club president Adam Donaldson said it was a joyous day for the Eden Club after, earlier fighting back in extra time to win the under 14s crown 3-2 over Merimbula.
An added boost was the presentation of association best and fairest winners, where opposition coaches awarded points.
Eden gun midfielder Talia Westley was named the association’s best in the women’s draw, while Killer Whales reserve grader Liam Broder also took the honours
Eden under 14s reap spoils of their hard work
Early goals to Merimbula in both halves had Eden on the back foot, but the team never quit.
“Eden were chasing Merimbula the whole game, all of the goals were scored within minutes of the whistle, at half-time, full time and then just before the end of extra time.,” president Adam Donaldson said.
Mr Donaldson said the team had shown exceptional ability in the early stages, but gave credit to the Grasshoppers, who certainly made the team work.
“Eden looked quite dominant in the early stages, but Merimbula got a nice through ball and their striker claimed the first goal,” he said.
The Killer Whales claimed the equalizer about a minute before the break.
However, the Grasshoppers took the edge again in the second half off a scrappy hustle for possession in front of goals.
The Killer Whales were still contending well, with Donaldson saying they posted a number of great attacking runs, but a few shots hit the crossbar, while others were denied by the Merimbula keeper.
“It was a real credit to both sides, their goalie did well, but Eden just kept coming,” he said.
The equalizer again came late in the piece with scores locked at 2-2 as the whistle blew.
The young side had made it to the grand final on the back of two penalty shootouts – and after a scoreless first period of extra time Donaldson said it looked like they would face another.
“But they have never given up all season and it’s almost been their trademark to fight back,” he said.
“Lachlan Mitchell fired a great through ball for Liam Griffin and Liam put the ball in the back of the net to win 3-2.”
Mr Donaldson the premiership was made “all the sweeter” as a core group of the team have been playing together for many years.
However, he also praised their resilience, versatility and teamwork.
“It’s capped off a great year for them, they’re strong across the park and some of their passing was the best I’ve seen this year.”
Donaldson said keeper Cody McCamish had come into his own this year with some great saves, while also commending Isabelle Dickson’s immense development in her first year of football.