Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Warriors triumph over gutsy Launceston United

Photo:  Olympia striker Charlotte Chambers on a collision course with  Launceston United defender Madeline Lohse. [PlessPix]

(Women’s State-wide Cup Final, KGV Park, Monday, 14 June 2021)

Olympia Warriors 3 (C Chambers 43, M Chambers 48, 82)

Launceston United 1 (J Robinson 8)

HT:  1-1   Att:  800   Ref:  J Hamilton

Olympia Warriors:  Ponting;  I Cane, M Cane, C Chambers, M Chambers, L Gubb, H Johnson, I Michael, N Leszczynski, Ollerhead, Scott (Subs:  Cranfield, Goscombe, Hart, McConnon, Russell) [Coaches:  Matt Kilsby, John Fiotakis]

Launceston United:  Carnie;  Dickinson, Gilpin, Gray, Gunton, James, Jones, Lohse, Luate, McCallum-Smith, Robinson  (Subs:  Duff, Duffy, Hill, Reitsema, Smith) [Coaches:  Frank Compton, Lynden Prince]

Photo:  Olympia defender Natalie Leszczynski gets the measure of Launceston United's Laura Dickinson. [PlessPix]

This Launceston United side, in their inaugural season in the top flight, have plenty of heart and fighting ability.

That was clearly shown in the semi-final when they came back from 2-0 down against Kingborough Lions United to win 3-2 with a goal in the last minute.

In this cup final. They got off on the right foot when Jessica Robinson, a former England youth international, fired them ahead in the 8th minute, her bouncing shot deceiving keeper Kacee Ponting.

Robinson was everywhere in this match.  She defended deep, controlled midfield and attacked dangerously.  She certainly ranks as one of the best half a dozen female players in the State.

Photo:  Launceston United's Jessica Robinson (right) gets past Olympia's Isabelle Cane. [PlessPix]  

United should have added a second goal in the 32nd minute, but Madison Gilpin somehow placed her shot wide when well positioned near the left-hand post.

Two minutes before the break, Charlotte Chambers, a defender-turned-attacker, equalised for the Warriors with a low shot from the right that bounced inside the far post beyond the diving keeper, Sydney Carnie.

United had played a physical, direct style of football without any frills, while Olympia had had little success from their usual fast, technical style of play.

Photo:  Olympia's Madison Chambers (left) can only watch as Launceston United's Jessica McCallum-Smith gets to the ball first. [PlessPix]  

The second half belonged to Olympia’s Madison Chambers, who will be heading to the U.S.A. next month.  Not only did she score twice, but she also hit the post with a thunderous shot.

Three minutes after the resumption, Carnie was unable to catch a backwards header from a team-mate and juggled the ball without actually holding it, allowing Madison Chambers to nip in and force the ball over the line to give Olympia a 2-1 lead.

The Warriors had got the breakthrough they needed and they enver looked back.

Photo:  Olympia's Inocent Michael and Madison Chambers gang up on Launceston United's Laura Dickinson. [PlessPix]  

In the 71st minute, Madison Chambers was unlucky when her fierce drive from the left came back off the left-hand post with Carnie beaten.

Madison Chambers was causing panic every time she got the ball and she would skip past two or three opponents in midfield before haring into attack.

Olympia didn’t skip a beat, even when captain Inocent Michael departed the scene before the end because she had to go to work.

In the 82nd minute, Madison Chambers made the game safe when she sprinted down the left flank and beat Carnie at the near post to make the final score 3-1 for the Warriors.

Photo:  Olympia's Madison Chambers is presented with the Women's State-wide Cup. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Launceston United's coaches Lynden Prince (left) and Frank Compton. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Olympia Warriors coaches Matt Kilsby (left) and John Fiotakis hold the trophy. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Cup Final referee James Hamilton (second from left) with assistants Nathan Hill and Emma Hall, and fourth official Sam Pepper. [PlessPix]

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