Sarah Carroll’s first-half strike proved enough as Northern Redbacks beat Queens Park 1-0 to be crowned Women’s Premier Division champions with a game to spare.
Redbacks went into Thursday’s rescheduled game at Coker Park knowing three points would be enough claim the title at the home of the defending champions and the nerves were on show early on.
Queens Park had the better of the early exchanges and Emily Henderson crashed a long range effort onto the crossbar. With Shannon May, Ellie Lamonte and Katarina Jukic pressing the Redbacks midfield and defence, th visitors had trouble developing play.
But then Redbacks took the lead against the run of play with their first effort on goal.
Carla Bennett caught the Queens Park midfield napping and played a sumptuous ball into the path of Sarah Carroll. The striker raced through on goal and kept her composure to give the Redbacks the lead.
Former Perth Glory midfielder Shawn Billiam almost made it 2-0 moments later but her curling effort drifted narrowly wide.
The second half took a more frantic end to end pace as than the first as both sides looked for what would have been a decisive goal.
Renee Leota played in Tiana Botha but the Queens Park keeper Rebecca Bennett reacted quickly to snuff out the half chance.
Jukic and the home side grew into the game but found young Glory keeper Morgan Aquino in terrific form. The Young Matilda denied Jukic twice, with the second a scrambling save from a corner kick.
Kim Carroll and Larissa Walsh were resolute at the back for Redbacks, marshalling the defence as Queens Park pushed forward.
Queens Park had two final flurries. The first was when Jamie Lee Gale fizzed a low cross across the goal but substitute Tia Stonehill narrowly failed to connect with the ball after a lung bursting run.
The second came deep into injury time as Gale rose highest at the far post and lofted a header at goal which forced Aquino to pull off the pick of her saves with a fingertip save onto the crossbar.
The result was Redbacks first win of the season over Queens Park and avenged their Night Series loss.
Redbacks will receive the trophy following their final match of the season against Football West Hyundai NTC on Sunday.
Star player: Morgan Aquino (Northern Redbacks)
Queens Park 0
Northern Redbacks 1 (Carroll 17min)
Thursday, September 12, 2019 Coker Park, Queens Park Kick-off: 7pm Referee: John Westmorland Assistant referee: Jordan Waterman
Queens Park: 13. Rebecca BENNETT, 4. Natasha RIGBY, 16. Jenna ONIONS (9. Tia STONEHILL 60), 12. Kathryn SCHUBERT, 7. Emily HENDERSON (20. Jamie DUNCANSON 78), 5. Shannon MAY, 8. Sadie LAWRENCE, 22. Jaymee GIBBONS, 10 Ellie LAMONTE (32. Thalia ORGAN 68), 23. Katarina JUKIC, 6. Jamie Lee GALE Substitutes not used: Nil Yellow cards: Jukic 23 Red cards: Nil