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Women’s State Cup FInal

Football West News

Northern Redbacks can land the first half of a league and cup double on Sunday when they take on Balcatta in the Women’s State Cup Final at Rockingham’s Lark Hill.

Redbacks are firm favourites for the league title, knowing two wins from their final three matches will put them out of reach.

But first they face a Balcatta side who clinched their place in the final with a 2-0 win at Queens Park on Wednesday this week.

Redbacks have held the whip hand over Balcatta this season, winning three and drawing one of their four league matches.

However head coach Conrad McKelvie is taking nothing for granted.

“We’ve had the wood over them but it’s never been an easy game,” McKelvie said.

“They are set up to counter, as they showed in the Top Four Cup Final last year. They can never be underestimated.”

Redbacks, who beat Fremantle City 3-2 in their semi final earlier this month, have pleased McKelvie with their attitude throughout the campaign.

“We have been good without being as good as we want to be,” he said.

“It’s been a very tough league and we’ve shown great resilience when the chips are down. In games where we’ve had a bad first half we’ve managed to turn it round … the girls are smart, they listen and try to implement our game plan.

“Whenever we are down, we are not out.”

Balcatta head coach Lisa Tana is unsure whether having had a difficult midweek semi final will affect her players come the big day.

“It’s a very quick turnaround but we will deal with it and hopefully we’ll go in on a high after the win,” she said. “I suppose we’ll find out after the game.”

Tana must do without her first-choice goalkeeper Gabrielle Dal Busco, who received a red card in Wednesday’s win. “Again, we’ll just get on with it,” she said.

“Redbacks are a good team and they play good football. But everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to the final.”

Sunday’s match, which kicks off at 5pm, will be preceded by the Metro Cup Final between Perth Saints and Mandurah City.

Before that are three Smarter than Smoking Junior Girls Cup Finals – the Under 14s, Under 16s and Under 18s, all of which will feature Redbacks.

“It’s going to be a massive day,” McKelvie said.

“We will be down there at nine o’clock in the morning and be there until seven in the evening. Apart from the two hours for the Metro final we’ll have a team playing which is great for the club.”

– All of Sunday’s finals will go straight to penalties should the scores be level at full time.