Lismore Thistles show fighting spirit
LISMORE Thistles captain Elsa Mangan was full of praise for the fighting spirit showed by her side in Sunday's come-from-behind 2-1 win over Byron Bay in the FFNC Women's Premier Division grand final.
A brace from Lisa Casagrande medallist Madison Fiedler secured an extra time victory for Thistles at Crozier Field as they claimed a second successive premiership-grand final double.
Byron struck first in the closing stages of the first half through Amber Bristow who converted from the penalty spot to send her side into the break with a lead.
Just four minutes after the restart Thistles were level through Fiedler who broke free of the Rams defence and finished past Byron goalkeeper Ekala Boyd from close range.
Neither side was further able to impact the scoring in a hotly contested second half as the match was forced into extra time.
Thistles found a winner in the first half of extra time as Fiedler slammed home a Chelsea Mangan cross at the back post to seal a 2-1 victory and the title for her side.
Speaking post-match, Thistles skipper Elsa Mangan said she was delighted to come out on top in a tough contest.
"It was a really, really tough game, Byron had a great season coming up from second division and have stuck it to us throughout the year,” Mangan said. "We had good spells of possession throughout the match and remained positive after a slow start, we stuck to it and got the result in the end.
"It certainly wasn't easy and luckily we had Madi up front to tuck away those chances.”
Mangan praised the fighting spirit shown by her side that saw them overturn a half-time deficit to snatch victory in Sunday's match.
"It's really great when you win like that, coming back from behind, I guess it goes to show that the girls don't give up and they stuck to it throughout the game,” she said.
"The more momentum we got behind us, the better we got this afternoon.
"The pressure was on for us to keep the run of winning trophies going but all the girls are really positive and always ready to give 110 per cent.”
Sunday's grand final win adds to Lismore Thistles premiership and Anzac Cup triumphs this season as they wrap up the treble for 2018.