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Balcatta face huge task to stop Queens Park

Football West News

Balcatta must find an answer to the question no side has been able to solve this season when they play in Sunday’s Women’s Top Four Cup Final – how do you beat Queens Park?

The Cannington side will complete an undefeated campaign and secure the Treble if they justify their heavy favourites tag at Grindleford Reserve.

The Premier Division champions and State Cup holders have already beaten Balcatta twice this season, with the other fixture in Round 12 finishing as a 2-2 draw.

Balcatta coach Lisa Tana, whose side at least have home ground advantage, acknowledged: “That is a good question which no one has been able to answer.

“A few of us have come close, holding them to a draw, but that is about it. It’s about taking your chances when they are presented and then defending very well.”

Balcatta’s defence stood up well last Sunday when they held off Northern Redbacks 2-1 in the semi final.

“I wouldn’t say it was our best performance in terms of possession but defensively definitely,” Tana said.

“I would like to see us keep the ball a bit more but I was pleased with how we took our chances.”

Tana says Queens Park offer a threat right through the team but did single out striker Kat Jukic.

“She has taken her game to a new level,” Tana said.

“But if we just focus on her then there are players like Tia (Stonehill) and Jamie-Lee (Gale) who will take advantage. We have to be really switched on.”

Jukic scored twice in Queens Park’s semi final victory over Fremantle City last Sunday and her coach Ben Anderton echoed Tana’s admiration for her player.

“You can’t go past Kat Jukic, our top scorer,” he said. “She has been in great form all season. There’s also Sadie Lawrence in the middle of the park.”

Anderton said the prospect of going unbeaten was driving him and his players on and there was no danger of complacency.

“I’ve made sure we won’t fall into the trap of complacency,” he said. “It’s been a long season and I’ve been trying to focus on the mental aspect in training.

“Going through the season unbeaten and becoming the first women’s side to win the Treble would mean so much for us with what we’ve been trying to accomplish in the last two seasons.

“Being unbeaten, especially when you know in any given match anything can happen, would be a great achievement. We’ve had a few games which were quite close but we’ve managed to come away with a win or a draw.

“We’ve played them three times this season – two wins and a draw. Both of the wins were quite convincing [3-0 and 6-1].

“They have had a strong finish to their season and knocking out Northern Redbacks in the semi final. But we have seen weaknesses in their side where we believe we can hurt them.”

FIXTURE

Sunday, September 30
Women’s Top Four Cup Final
Queens Park v Balcatta (Grindleford Reserve, 1pm)