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Newcastle Olympic win the Herald Women’s Premier League grand final

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Newcastle Olympic completed an historic double with a 3-2 win over Warners Bay in the Herald Women’s Premier League grand final on Sunday.

The win put the icing on the cake for the women from Darling Street, who secured both the premiership and championship in their inaugural season in the competition.

The decider’s opening goal came six minutes into the match as Olympic’s Jemma House found the final touch on a pinpoint cross from Georgia Amess. The delicate volley from House gave the premiers a one-goal advantage.

Warners Bay wasted no time in finding an equaliser. A bolting run from Sophia Laurie played Warner Bay’s Jen Hoy into space, with the former W-League player too good for the Olympic defence as she weaved her way past goalkeeper Nat Wiseman.

Olympic captain Sophie O’Brien savours the moment. Photo: Jonathan Carroll.

Olympic returned serve on the scoreboard as the half neared completion. House was on the end of a near perfect cross from Georgia Little, making the half-time score 2-1 to Olympic.

Warners Bay appeared certain to level the score in the second half. Hoy and Annika D’Amico peppered the opposing goal mouth as Hoy found the posts, while D’Amico sprayed a long-range effort over the bar.

And just as Warners Bay looked destined to score, Olympic found themselves deep in Panthers territory. Panthers keeper Ally Boertje unable to clear the ball as Laura Hall tapped in to extend the margin for Olympic.

Panthers’ captain Elodie Dagg gave the Panthers hope of a comeback as she switched a midfield turnover into a genuine chance. The following strike enough to reduce the deficit to 3-2.

Newcastle Olympic take championship glory. Photo: Jonathan Carroll.

The closing stages were spectacular as Warners Bay pressed deep into the opposing half. Dagg looked certain to score as her strike forced a diving save from Wiseman, before Olympic’s Brooke Summers made a scrambling save to avoid the game going into extra-time.

A last-minute long-range effort from Hoy was not enough to square the score as Olympic recorded a memorable 3-2 win.

“It was an excellent game,” Newcastle Olympic coach, Harmonie Attwill, said post-match. “Warners Bay played excellent. They were dangerous all over the park and very structured. It was hard to break them down but luckily we did.

“You can’t expect 10 opportunities in a grand final – they’re going to be few and far between. So it was more a matter of taking the opportunities when they came. Or if we felt like they weren’t happening, we really had to create.

“And credit to Jemma. I’ve said that about her before – if something’s not going her way she finds a way to make it. And I do think she was the difference for us today.”

Warners Bay coach, Craig Atkins, was disappointed to lose but full of praise for a team he rebuilt this season after the departures of a host of talent.

“It was a fantastic effort from our girls and they showed why they deserved to be here,” Atkins said.

“They never gave up. They were fighting to the death and that’s the culture we’ve created this year. We’re looking forward to next year.”

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