Bronwyn Studman scored the only goal as the Northern Redbacks booked their ticket for the Women’s Top Four Cup Final with a tense 1-0 win over Balcatta at Grindleford Reserve.
Just 10 days after clinching the Women’s Premier Division title, Redbacks secured their chance at further silverware when they meet Queens Park in next Sunday’s final.
In warm conditions, it was the hosts Balcatta who started the brighter as Liana Cook and Caitlin Doeglas forced Redbacks goalkeeper Morgan Aquino into early action.
The standout team of the women’s competition all season, Redbacks soon grew into the game and took the lead after quarter of an hour as Studman bundled Cara Bennett’s corner over the line.
The visitors almost doubled their advantage when Tiana Botha rounded Balcatta goalkeeper Gabby Dal Busco before having her shot cleared off the line.
Keen to force a way back into the contest, Cook and Christiane Astorp went close for Balcatta before the half-time break.
Cook was again involved after the change of ends and she flashed a shot wide from a tight angle.
Balcatta continued to press in search of an equalising goal as Doeglas and Astorp forced Aquino into more action in the Redbacks goal.
At the other end, Redbacks had the chance to create some breathing space as Botha ran through the Balcatta defence only for her one-on-one effort to be saved by Dal Busco.
With time running out, Top Four Cup holders Balcatta had one final opportunity but Doeglas shot wide.
Star player: Morgan Aquino (Northern Redbacks)
Northern Redbacks 1 (Studman 15min)
Sunday, 29 September, 2019
Referee: Andrew Gill
Northern Redbacks: 1. Morgan AQUINO (GK), 3. Larissa WALSH, 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 6. Carla BENNETT, 7. Kim CARROLL, 8. Shawn BILLAM, 9. Katie MOTH, 13. Melanie DOEGLAS (12. Grace MONTEIRO 81), 14. Renee Leota (16. Sophia NEAL 43) 15. Tiana BOTHA, 17. Ali BENNETT (11. Emily DUNN 59)
Substitutes not used: 5. Jeneile ST PIERRE, 10. Kaitlyn BELLANCA
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Balcatta: 1. Gabby DAL BUSCO (GK), 5. Kim McCARTNEY, 6. Monique GOODING, 7. Epril NOSSENT, 8. Christiane ASTORP, 9. Liana COOK, 10. Tessa DE LEO, 13. Caitlin DOEGLAS, 15. Melissa SHEPHERD, 16. Alana VERONI, 17. Nadia HARVEY (14. Ashleigh Panaia 87)
Substitutes not used: 2. Monique D’OPERA, 3. Cassandra HARVEY, 4. Laura CRUZ, 11. Baxter THEW
Yellow cards: Dal Busco (63), De Leo (90)
Red cards: Nil