SHE’S A GEM: Jade Bianchetti is one of Bangalow’s key players.
SHE’S A GEM: Jade Bianchetti is one of Bangalow’s key players.

Bluedogs girls will take some beating

BANGALOW will be out to enhance their reputation as the region's top women's soccer team with a win over Alstonville in the Callan McMillan Memorial Shield final at Oakes Oval, Lismore, tonight.

The Bluedogs hold the shield and have dominated the women's game on the Far North Coast in recent years, winning the past three premiership doubles.

Their already strong ranks have been further boosted by the signing of Laani Winkler Harding, who had been with Palm Beach in the women's National Premier League.

The talented midfielder will play a key role for Bangalow, but they could be missing exceptional striker Jade Bianchetti, who is battling injury.

Bianchetti has won the Player of the Year and Golden Boot awards for the past three years in a row and would be sorely missed if unavailable.

Her strike partner Hollie Jarrett will be another key player for the Bluedogs, along with central defender Isabelle Braly.

After an 8-2 win over Villa in their pool game the Bluedogs will start as hot favourites but coach Paul Hanigan remains cautious.

"Villa is a good side with some quality players such as Brooke Sheehan in defence and Emily McCann up front, so we certainly have no room for complacency," Hanigan said.

In addition, Villa boast the experience of Erin Huntsman, who has the remarkable record of playing in every Callan McMillan Shield final and grand final since 2010.

Her combination with Jess Woolfe in midfield will be important as they look for an upset, with coach Andrew Illife hoping their speed will help.

"We have a lot of quick, younger girls in the side this year and we'll look to use our pace, but it's going to be tough against a side as good as Bangalow," Illife said.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm, following the Open B division final where Casino will take on Byron Bay from 5.45pm.

The two big guns of FNC premier league men's soccer will clash in the Anzac Cup final tomorrow night when Richmond Rovers take on Byron Bay.

Between them they have won the past five premier- ship titles, but success in the cup has proved elusive for both clubs.

Rovers last won the title seven years ago, while it's nine years since the Rams last held the trophy aloft.

WINNERS

  • 2015 Bangalow
  • 2014 Bangalow
  • 2013 Alstonville
  • 2012 Alstonville
  • 2011 Alstonville
  • 2010 Alstonville
  • 2009 Richmond Rovers
  • 2008 Lennox Head
  • 2007 Byron Bay
  • 2006 Byron Bay
  • 2005 Lismore Workers
  • 2004 Richmond Rovers
  • 2003 Richmond Rovers
  • 2002 Lismore Workers
  • 2001 Tweed Heads
  • 2000 Byron Bay


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