EX-SERVICES are the 2013 Bathurst District Football Association A grade Women’s champions after edging out Cowra on penalties in their grand final on Saturday at Proctor Park.
Goals at opposite ends of 90 minutes saw the scores locked at 1-all on the siren and the deadlock wasn’t broken in extra-time either, sending the match into a shootout and the Orange team were too strong.
Cowra kicked their first but missed the next three, while Ex-Services slotted all three to secure the win.
The Cowra players were shattered to lose after putting up such a valiant fight for 110 minutes, but Ex-Services know all too well how they feel, after finishing as runners-up to City Colts in the last two seasons.
Ex-Services coach Richard Gathercole said it was extremely satisfying to break through, even if it was closer than they had been hoping.
“After losing the last two, it’s a relief to win one. We had players out there who didn’t have a break, they played 110 minutes and that’s a big effort,” Gathercole said.
“I was confident we could win but it just wasn’t’ falling our way.
“Penalties are a hard way to win or lose. It’s too much pressure for the goalkeepers, but we had been practicing just in case it happened.”
Cowra coach Steve Ford said he felt extremely sorry for his players.
“I hate penalties. I would have rathered another five each way with golden goal,” Ford said.
“I thought we were on top most of the game but we couldn’t put a goal in. We had our chances, one from in front that missed, but they were the class team of the year, only lost once to us, so good on them.
“I’m so proud of my girls and the way they have played.”
Orange had been hoping to take an early lead and did so when Alex Quick drove a low shot in past the goalkeeper. But a second goal proved much harder to come by and after going to the break with their 1-0 lead, it continued to be the difference in the second half.
Cowra kept themselves in the contest and found an equaliser with just minutes left. Kristy Ford latched onto a nice cross from a throw in.
They had the momentum and kept pressuring the Orange defence but after 90 minutes, the scores were still locked.
There were few chances in the first half of extra-time but Cowra looked the more likely to score in the second 10 minute period.
In the end though, it all came down to penalties.
Ex-Services saw the way the match was headed and they pulled striker Elise Garlick off late in extra-time and got her into goalkeeper’s kit in a planned move. Gathercole said they had trained during the week with Garlick in the box and felt she was the best option.
Although the first got past her, she then took her team’s first kick and made no mistake. Cowra’s second went over the bar, while Orange’s went in. Garlick then stopped the next shot, saw her team slot their third and won the match when she blocked Cowra’s fourth attempt.
It was an outstanding effort from the part time keeper, who had also proved extremely dangerous up front during the match. Cowra captain Ford was inspirational for her team, while 15-year-old Rachael Lynch also showed she has a bright future.
n EX-SERVICES 1 (Alex Quick) defeated COWRA 1 (Kristy Ford) on penalties 3-1.