Redbacks clinch title with champagne performance

Northern Redbacks goalscorer Renee Leota. Photo courtesy Vince Caratozzolo and Football West

Monday, September 12, 2016

A polished display brimming with experience and class saw Northern Redbacks defeat a youthful Balcatta side 5-1 and claim the 2016 Bankwest Women’s State League Premier Division championship.

Report by Paul. J Laverty

This was their second consecutive title and secured them the double following their State Cup triumph over Melville City.

“The girls have worked hard,” said proud Redbacks coach, Tim Hodgson.

“We were fairly ordinary at the start of the season and had to change our system but it’s just reward now.”

The win was never in doubt as the impressive Demi Vance smacked the crossbar early on just before she laid a perfect low ball onto Renee Leota’s path who converted with ease on 14 minutes.

Vance was again the provider moments later when her driving run and cross from the right was slotted home this time by Nadene Caldwell.

Vance was denied from point-blank range with a fine reflex save from Gabby Dal Busco in the Balcatta goal but got her reward for her industrious performance latching onto a Nicola Williams through-ball on 37 minutes and placing the ball beyond the keeper’s grasp.

Hopes of a second-half comeback were thwarted early on when swift link-up play between Leota and Carla Bennet sent Vance through once again and she repeated her cool finish.

The home side didn’t give up with Melanie Doeglas rattling the woodwork from a tight angle before Madisyn Olguin scrambled the ball over the line to give Balcatta hope.

They laid siege to the Redbacks goal with Olguin again testing keeper Kathleen Waycott with a rasping drive before Caitlin Doeglas struck the rebound agonisingly over.

It was too-little too-late, though, as the away side sealed the points and the title when Caldwell pounced on a slack back-pass and subsequent sliced clearance by Dal Busco to put the icing on the cake with her second strike.

Balcatta coach Andrew Di Carlo was keen to use his side’s second-half display as something to build on for next season.

“We’ve got a great group of girls, great culture and a solid foundation, and hopefully we can move on to bigger and better things next year.”

But he was keen to pay tribute to their championship-winning opponents.

“They’re definitely the benchmark of the competition.”

Balcatta 1 (Olguin 71min)
Northern Redbacks 5 (Leota 17min, Caldwell 21 & 90, Vance 37 & 54)
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Grindleford Reserve
Kick-off: 3.00pm
Referee: Mark Williams

Balcatta: 1. Gabby DAL BUSCO, 2. Chelsea WINCHCOMBE, 3. Tahlia D’OPERA, 4. Cass HARVEY, 5. Lexi NJIRICH, 6. Monique GODDING, 7. Tess DE LEO, 9. Michelle JOHNSON, 10. Caitlin DOEGLAS, 11. Melanie DOEGLAS, 12. Tiahna SCANDRETT, 14. Ash PANAIA, 15. Madisyn OLGUIN, 17. Nadia HARVEY
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil

Northern Redbacks:  1. Kathleen WAYCOTT, 2. Jessica WHEATMAN, 3. Larissa WALSH, 4. Nicola WILLIAMS, 5. Eleanor BLACKMORE, 6. Carla BENNETT, 7. Lauren RILEY, 8. Demi VANCE, 9. Chloe ALAGA, 10. Jacinta COLEMAN, 11. Emily DUNN, 14. Renee LEOTA, 15. Emily HENDERSON, 16. Nadene CALDWELL, 17. Jade KLEPPE
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil