Saturday, August 31, 2019

Zebras win Women's Super League title with victory over Warriors

Photo:  Olympia's Madison Chambers (right) tries to get past Zebras' Georgia Burt [PlessPix]

(Women’s Super League, KGV Park, Saturday, 31 August 2019)

Hobart Zebras 2 (A Berry 61, J Williams 95)
Olympia Warriors 1 (O Bomford 53)

HT:  0-0   Ref:  J McInerney

Hobart Zebras:  Cook  -  Kannegiesser, Mason, Steventon, Gill  -  Ferrier, Burt, Rand  -  Hulton, Berry, Nichols  (Interchange:  Delaney, Fulton, Graham, Ponting, Williams)

Olympia Warriors:  Farrow  -  Puli, Michael, Leszczynski, Teale  -  Williams, Russell, Bomford  -  Davies, C Chambers, M Chambers  (Interchange:  Prokopiec, Pinkewiecz, Quinn)

Photo:  Zebras' Kayla Mason tries to stop Olympia's Madison Chambers [PlessPix]

Hobart Zebras haven’t beaten Olympia Warriors in three meetings this season and all they needed to clinch the title was a draw in this final Women’s Super League match.

They did better than that.  They won 2-1 with a Jessie Williams goal deep into stoppage time at the end of the game to claim the 2019 title.

Williams and Olympia’s Amy Prokopiec arrived at the ground later after playing an AFL women’s match at Bellerive.  Both came on after an hour of this game.

A media person who attended the AFL women’s game told me that the attendance was about half that at KGV Park, which makes one wonder whether the popularity of women’s AFL is just a media beat-up.

Photo:  Zebras' Jessie Williams prepares for battle [PlessPix]

The tactical approach in this game was fascinating.  Zebras coach Chris Hey used Daniel Kannegiesser at right-back to counter the speed of Olympia’s left winger, Madison Chambers.  Chambers switched regularly with Bonnie Davies on the right flank, but neither was able to score.  Both are usually amongst the goals for the Warriors, so Hey’s tactics were vindicated.

Olympia were the better side in the first half and might easily have led 4-0, but poor finishing and good defending by Zebras ensured the game remained goalless at the interval.

Selina Steventon was outstanding at the heart of the Zebras defence and she was well supported by central defender Kayla Mason.

Zebras best chance of the first half came after just 3 minutes when Lily Hulton broke down the left, but a fine tackle by Sophie Leszczynski put an end to the danger.

It was all Olympia for the remainder of the half.  Madison Chambers and Bonnie Davies often found a way past Kannegiesser and Rachel Gill on the outside, but their resultant crosses or shots came to nothing.

Photo:  Olympia's Innocent Michael, who had an excellent game at centre-back, tries to stop Jessie Williams from crossing [PlessPix]

Olympia’s constant pressure told in the 53rd minute when Olivia Bomford scored from a free-kick that beat keeper Shelley Cook at her left-hand post.

Allie Berry equalised in the 61st minute after she raced down the inside-right channel and lifted her shot over Olympia keeper Jenna Farrow, who was way off her line.

Both sides then introduced their AFL players and it was Zebras’ Williams who had an immediate impact with her fine touches and pace.

At 1-1 it was Zebras’ title, but to their credit, they did not shut up shop and continued their search for a winner.

That came in the 95th minute when Zoe Nichols worked her way through the middle and release Williams down the left.  Williams advanced on goal and deftly found the back of the net with an out-side of the right-foot shot that beat keeper Jenna Farrow.

The champagne flew after the trophy presentation as Zebras celebrated another title.

Photo:  Zebras' Zoe Nichols and Allie Berry enjoy the celebrations [PlessPix]

Photo:  Zoe Nichols and Danielle Kannegiesser stop a run by Olympia's Madison Chambers [PlessPix]

Photo:  Olympia's Charlotte Chambers shoots for goal as Zebras' Rachel Gill and Selina Steventon track back [PlessPix]


Anonymous said...

Walter I think you may be right about the spectators at AFLW and our
our women’s league. The thing is the AFL gets much more coverage in our
papers so they have the opportunity to continually push and promote the
the AFLW attendances whether truthful or not,
I hear from people involved in AFL locally that they struggle to get
supporters to the local games.
It’s a continuous ongoing media beat up .

Anonymous said...

Our sport is doing better than sometimes we give ourselves credit for...

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Chris Hey and the Zebras Girls, sounds like a fantastic effort against more fancied opponents so all the sweeter the win!

Chris has put together a fair resume since being sacked by the Zebras after taking them to second, the highest finishing position i have seen them in the past 5 years or so, i wonder if that decision has been rued in the period since!

Well done again

Anonymous said...

Isn't a blatant shirt pull as the last defender preventing a goal scoring opportunity a red?
The ref saw it , he waved advantage.
Why didn't he issue a card of any colour at the next stoppage?