Bluedogs rip it up in women's soccer final
A DEVASTATING performance from star midfielder Hollie Jarrett inspired Bangalow to take out the Far North Coast Ladies' Premier Division football grand final on Friday night with a 4-0 win over Alstonville.
Playing in front of a large crowd at home, minor premiers Bangalow went into the game as favourites.
It was Alstonville that started stronger, dominating possession and field position early.
However, despite having few chances, it was Bangalow that took the lead 20 minutes in when recently crowned Player of the Year Jade Bianchetti pounced on a long ball from defender Tanika Hand to calmly slot home the opening goal.
Alstonville continued to press forward and with the skilful Chelsea Coleman pulling the strings, Villa seemed certain to score.
In a hectic 20-minute period, Villa had a goal disallowed for offside and missed a penalty. They also had shots saved, hit the post and go just wide. But Bangalow were able to hang on to keep their narrow lead intact at the break.
Twenty minutes into the second half, Bangalow suffered a serious setback when Bianchetti pulled up with muscle strain.
Villa had the momentum, but that is the time when champions respond, and Jarrett rose to the task, busting past the Villa defence with a powerful solo run and finish to score a fantastic second goal.
Villa showed enormous character to keep fighting, but late in the half the injured Bianchetti finished from an acute angle to make the score 3-0 and break Villa's hearts.
It was a goal worthy of a final, but incredibly the best was still to come when Jarrett rounded off the scoring with a sensational left foot volley from outside the box right on full-time to give Bangalow a 4-0 win.
Bangalow coach Paul Hanigan paid tribute to stars Jarrett, Bianchetti and Hand, but also nominated 14-year-old rising talent Molly Parker as among his best on the night.
"Alstonville really pushed us hard the whole game, but I think our class up front told in the end," he said.
Villa Coach Rob Sheehan was proud of his side's performance after losing Rhianna Corney early with serious injury.
"Credit to Bangalow for the win. They continued to pressure us and in the second half eventually wore us down," he said. Sheehan nominated Coleman, Woolfe, midfielder Lora Damen, and Erin Hunstman as his best on the night.