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Queens Park one step from Treble

Report by Edward Nixon

Queens Park’s unbeaten season continued as they booked their spot in the Women’s Top Four Cup Final with a 3-1 win over Fremantle City at Grindleford Reserve on Sunday.

Katrina Jukic (2) and Tia Stonehill scored to set up a final against Balcatta next week, where Queens Park will be looking to clinch the Treble having already won the league and State Cup.

“Through to next week – nothing changes, same game-plan, same football and do the job then,” Queens Park coach Ben Anderton said.

After scoring a record 103 goals during the normal season, Queens Park needed just seven minutes to break the deadlock – Jukic powering home with a smart finish on the turn.

Jukic was a threat all afternoon as he linked up with winger Jamie-Lee Gale on a regular basis.

The title-winning Queens Park dominated all the early possession and had no trouble creating chances – Gale, Sadie Lawrence and Jayme Gibbons forcing Fremantle goalkeeper Kaylin Geelhoed into action.

Fremantle secured a top-four finish after a strong normal season and were a threat on the counter – Mikayla Lyons almost catching Queens Park napping just before the half-hour mark.

The champions soon started to claw back the momentum as winger Stonehill got more involved.

Queens Park’s pressure would pay off as they doubled their advantage before half-time – Jukic’s curling effort finding the back of the net.

With 45 minutes to save their season, Fremantle came out energised after the break with Lyons pouncing on a loose ball to cut her side’s deficit in half.

The game then became a midfield tussle as neither team wanted to relinquish possession.

With half-an-hour to play, Queens Park started to create more clear-cut opportunities. Stonehill pushed a couple of efforts wide before Jukic missed a chance to bring up her hat-trick as her one-on-one effort was well saved by Geelhoed.

With City throwing bodies forward in hopes of saving the game, Queens Park killed off the game with three minutes left as Stonehill slotted home to book her side’s spot in the final.

Despite the semi-final exit, Fremantle coach Thomas Richard said a fourth-place finish can be marked as a successful season.

“I think it’s the first time Freo have finished in the top four so it’s quite nice,” Richard said.

“We’ve got to look at teams like Queens Park as an example of where we want to be.”

Queens Park 3 (Jukic 7min, 41’, Stonehill 87’)
Fremantle City 1 (Lyons 47’)
Grindleford Reserve
Sunday, September 23
Kick-off: 3pm
Referee: D Reeves

Queens Park: 1. Danielle CORNISH, 2. Angelique STANNETT, 6. Jamie-Lee GALE, 8. Sadie LAWRENCE, 9. Tia STONEHILL, 10. Nicole CAMPBELL, 12. Kathryn SCHUBERT, 13. Bec BENNETT, 22. Jaymee GIBBONS, 23. Katrina JUKIC, 31. Stacey LEARMONT
Substitues not used: 3. Grace SMITH, 11. Grace BETTI, 19. Molly BOLTON, 21. Bec DiCarlo
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Fremantle City: 1. Kaylin GEELHOED, 4. Courtney OWEN, 9. Chelsea JOHNSTONE, 15. Issy BRIDGER, 17. Corrine DENTON, 24. Emma GAUTREY, 26. Laura WALTMAN, 27. Mikayla LYONS, 35. Steffi NADILO, 36. Evie MARCHETTI, 40. Aija BENT-TRINDER
Substitutes not used: 29. Alex FOSTER, 38. Lynn DOMEN, 42. Peggy WOTHERSPOON
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil