ACT WPL: Belconnen United do it all again with Grand Final win

ACT Women’s Premier League 
Grand Final
Belconnen United 1 (Ellie Raymond 55’) Canberra FC 0
Deakin Stadium 13:00

Belconnen United are the 2016 ACT Women’s Premier League Grand Final champions after defeating Canberra FC 1-0 in their encounter at Deakin Stadium on Sunday. An early second half goal from full back Ellie Raymond was enough to seal the victory for Belconnen United who now complete their treble for the year, winning the Federation Cup, League Title and Grand Final. 
It took a while for the grand final showdown to get started, as both teams didn’t give anything away in the first half. Belconnen United attacker Jessie Williams had over three shots on goal in the opening 25 minutes, all three attempts wide of the goal. Canberra FC (CFC) had to result to long distance shots due to the opposition pressing high and it took until the 30th minute for CFC to get a shot on target through midfield maestro Chantel Jones. Belconnen United’s attacking trio of Chloe Callaghan, Jessie Williams and Michaela Day were causing headaches to the CFC defence and if it wasn’t for keeper Georgia Stewart, the Blue Devils could’ve been up by a couple goals. 

The attackers had numerous occasions in front of goal to score but fluffed their shots. Canberra FC had some chances late in the half; midfielders Emma Bestek and Jennifer Bisset were looking strong going forward but were lacking that final execution in the final third. The first half would end with nothing separating the two sides and a yellow card to Chantel Jones for dissent. The second half started off differently with a higher level of intensity shown by both sides. It took just ten minutes into the second half for the Blue Devils to break the deadlock. Fullback Ellie Raymond headed home the opener after a late run at the back post. 
Canberra FC who were looking to win their first ever WPL grand final, stepped it up a gear after conceding the goal. Midfielders Jones and Kate Thornton were spearheading the attack, and were unlucky not to score in the last 15 minutes. Blue Devils keeper Maja Blasch was called into action on a number of occasions as Peter Kavouras’s instructed his side to go all out attack to get an equaliser. 

Blasch was called into action again in the remaining five minutes, when both Jones and Bestek had close chances on goal to get the equaliser. Blasch was a beast in goals and nothing looked like getting past her or the stubborn Blue Devils defence. Belconnen United would hold on in the end and won 1-0 against a resilient opponent. The rematch from last year’s ACT WPL grand final would end with the same result and Belconnen United ending their season with a treble of trophies (Federation Cup, League Title and WPL Grand Final Champions).

Belconnen United: 4. Amy SPENCE, 16. Cara CUTAIA, 10. Chloe CALLAGHAN, 14. Ellie RAYMOND, 7. Jessie WILLIAMS, 2. Katie WOODMAN, 3. Lauran KEIR, 11. Maddy WHITTALL, 1/9., Maja BLASCH, 8. Michaela DAY, 5. Sofia MERKOUREAS

Substitutes Used: 12. Nicole JALOCHA

Canberra FC: 8. Emma BESTEK, 10. Jennifer BISSET, 2 Alice CHURCHILL, 33. Hiwot JOHNSTONE, 23. Chantel JONES, 3. Megan MCFARLAND, 6. Amy MCLACHLAN, 11. Ella-Jane RILEY, 5. Kate THORNTON, 13. Brigette WRIGHT, 1. Georgia STEWART

Substitutes Used: 7. Kirsty BABINGTON, 9. Grace GILL