It was a heart-breaking loss for the debutants who deserved to lift the trophy after an amazing year where they finished second in the regular season to the Ravens and then stormed into the grand final in style.
The Ravens won the recent finale 1-0 at Football NSW’s Valentine Park, Glenwood. It was an extra-time goal from Zoe Zaczek which sank the brave Hills team, who had tried everything in a vain bid to break through the defence.
Hills United FC coach Alan Tasses was disappointed but appreciated the never-say-die attitude of his players.
“It was a fantastic game,” Tasses said. “We had plenty of chances but couldn’t take them. “Both teams didn’t want to give an inch which is typical of a final. The club are really happy with our progress in the first year and making the grand final was amazing.
“The club have supported the girls and the girls have shown their support through their effort.”
Hills United FC captain Desiree Galea, who retired after the final, and team-mate Alix Roberts both missed chances at putting their team ahead in the first half.
At the other end, Hills goalkeeper Sarah Easthope made saves to keep the score line blank as the Ravens threatened to break free.
In the second half, Roberts created a scoring opportunity, finding substitute Isabella Sciberras, who, however kicked right at Ravens custodian Romina Parraguirre. In another close miss, Aisling Davidson clipped the post with her effort as luck deserted the Hills outfit.
In the first period of extra time, the Ravens sealed their title when Maggie O’Reilly’s cross was tipped by Hills keeper Easthope into the path of Zaczek who slotted the ball in, as her team-mates celebrated.
Hills United FC never gave up with Sciberras hitting the post while Ellen Berios struck wide with her effort. There was one last chance for the Hills but substitute Kaylie Shannon was unable to find the net.
Ravens defender Astreia Denby won the Player of the Match award. Ravens coach Andrew Galbraith said: “It was a fitting finale to a long season. The two top teams fighting it out to the end. A real final and a struggle.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]