Glenfield Rovers were the dominant team and finally that reflected on the scoreboard. The Andy Clay coached side won a classic New Zealand Women’s Knockout Cup Final today at QBE Stadium when they defeated Eastern Suburbs 5-4 in cold and wet conditions.
Rovers’ Dayna Stevens and Georgia Brown scored their second goals in the 64th and 66th minutes respectively to give the Northern Football side a 5-3 lead, before Suburbs’ Hannah Pilley found the back of the net for her second to keep their faint hopes of a first title alive. Glenfield held on for the win – their fourth New Zealand Women’s Knockout Cup title from the past six finals as they underlined their dominance in the national knockout competition.
“There is a huge amount of elation within our team right now,” said Clay. “It felt like one of those horror movies where we killed the Mummy but it kept on coming back to life, that was what it felt like today with Eastern Suburbs. Credit to them for that. We controlled the game for the most part, we hit the crossbar four times and coughed up a couple of easy ones but in general I thought we deserved the win.”
There were a number of impressive performances from players from both sides, but Kate Loye was a standout for the Rovers and was awarded the Maia Jackman Trophy for the Player of the Final. “I feel very privileged to get this trophy, but it definitely was not just me. There were so many good performances out there and it is just nice to be part of such a cool team.”
Rovers started the brighter of the two teams but it was Eastern Suburbs who took the lead against the run of play in the 12th minute. Rovers’ keeper Hayley Bindon had a moment to forget when she looked to clear and passed the ball straight to Erin Roxburgh and then brought her down in a clumsy challenge. Anna Marie Keighley correctly called the penalty and Jacqui Hand put it away.
Glenfield bounced back when Georgia Brown found the back of the net in the 28th minute. Kylie Jens delivered a dangerous ball into the box and Brown was on hand to get just enough on it to poke home and beat Suburbs keeper Corina Brown.
Suburbs looked dangerous on the counter-attack and they took the lead soon after when Kate Seatter hit a long range speculative shot which hung in the air for an age. Bindon got a hand to it but could not prevent it crossing the line.
Rovers responded like a team who had been here before. Hannah McKay Wright delivered a super shot which was just as well saved by Brown with an athletic effort in goal. But Dayna Stevens was on hand to tuck it home to get back on level terms. It remained 2-2 at the break, with Rovers creating most of the play but Suburbs making the most of their goal scoring opportunities.
Rovers were the first to strike after half time when skipper Tessa Berger was on hand in the box to deflect a shot in with her body to see her team in front for the first time.
It seemed inevitable, with the way the game had played out, that Suburbs would respond in kind and they did when Hannah Pilley went one on one with Brown. Her shot was partially saved and play continued before Keighley correctly ruled the ball had crossed the line.
Rovers bounced back when Stevens scored her second of the afternoon with a straightforward header in the box and then for the first time in the game for either side a team had a two goal lead. Stephanie Skilton, another of Rovers’ best this afternoon, laid off a fine ball for Brown in space who struck a powerful shot past Bindon to get out to a 5-3 lead.
Pilley scored with 15 minutes left to play to set up a tense finish to the match, but Rovers were good enough to close it out and a few moments later they were lifting the trophy for their fans.
NZ Women’s Knockout Cup Final
Glenfield Rovers 5 – 4 Eastern Suburbs – HT 2-2
GF: Georgia Brown 28’, 66’ Dayna Stevens 36’, 64’, Tessa Berger 56’
ES: Jacqui Hand 12’, Kate Seatter 35’, Hannah Pilley 58’, 75’
Glenfield Rovers: 18. Hayley Bindon, 3. Claudia Bunge, 5. Kylie Jens, 8. Dayna Stevens, 9. Kate Loye, 11. Stephanie Skilton, 12. Liz Savage, 13. McHale Perkins, 14. Georgia Brown, 15. Tessa Berger, 16. Hannah McKay Wright,
Subs not used 2. Sonja Ban, 6. Serena Murrihy, 7. Grace Evans, 10. Sydney Bultitude, 18. Briar McNamara
Eastern Suburbs 20. Corina Brown, 2 Kate Carlton, 3. Erinna Wong (19. Amber Whitely 75’) 5. Rebekah Van Dort, 6. Jacqui Hand, 9. Erin Roxburgh, 10. Grace Jale, 12. Nicole Mettam (15. Amy Waters 68’), 13. Kate Seatter, 16. Lizzie Ellis, 17. Hannah Pilley
Subs not used; 11. Jaimee Twichel, 18. Emily Gillion, 21. Celia Patterson