West Canberra Lightning sealed the Women’s Capital Futsal League Premiership with a 5-1 victory over second placed UC Stars, the result meaning that no-one can catch the undefeated league leaders with two rounds of the regular season remaining.
They had to come from behind to do so though, Eliza-Jane Norris intercepting early on to fire a low strike past Kailey Tonini in the Lightning goal, but from there on in the Lightning had control of the contest.
Jennifer Bisset, who has enjoyed a stellar season in front of goal, struck two thunderbolts past Stars’ stopper Vanessa Burdett to move onto fifteen goals for the season and the lead in the Golden Boot race, and those strikes, added to by an unfortunate own goal from Kate Walker late in the half, had the Lightning halfway there.
Jason Farrell’s team secured the top spot with two goals in the second stanza, the first a second own goal of the game as Maddie Steinacker turned a Dianne Wilson square ball past her own ‘keeper, before Krista Hagen rounded it all out with the fifth goal two minutes from time.
North Canberra Fire began their weekend double-header in fine style with a vital 3-0 victory against South Canberra Swift in an epic encounter that was much closer than the final scoreline suggests.
Both teams had chances but the respective goalkeepers, Cristina Esposito and Emily Pearce for Swift and Jessica Giovinazzo for Fire, were in top form and refused to be beaten in a first-half that ended goalless.
The breakthrough came with ten minutes to play as Nikita Perry found space inside the area to steer a shot beyond Pearce into the top corner, a goal that forced the Swift to push forward and attempt a leveller.
Fire managed to ride the storm and increased the lead four minutes later with a beautiful goal from Bessie Reithmuller. Receiving the ball with her back to goal, Reithmuller spun and struck a wonderful hit in off the underside of the bar.
And the Fire sealed the points moments later as Natalie De Marco backheeled a stunning flicked finish past the luckless Pearce.
A second win, less than 48-hours later, was just as hard-earned as Fire had to overturn a two-goal deficit to see off the ANU Apex, the match ending 6-4 in favour of the Fire who were staring down the barrel of an upset for a large percentage of what was an exhilarating contest.
Apex, seeking a first point of the season, stunned the Fire when Karen Milewska fired them into a third minute lead and, despite Reithmuller equalising from close range, goals from Grace Davey via an outstanding free-kick, and Sheridan McElligott had Apex 3-1 up and in good stead.
Fire have plenty of goa threat though and Natalie De Marco pulled one back before the break whereafter strikes from Maya Osmond and Nikita Perry edged Fire in front. McElligott levelled for Apex, but late goals from Nicole Jalocha and Reithmuller sealed a far from comfortable win for Fire.
ANU Apex claimed their first ever CFL points with a 10-4 victory over Queanbeyan-Palerang Power in a match in which Roxie Swart scored five times for the victors. Whilst Apex were victorious, the Power were again gallant and pushed hard, scoring more in a game than they have managed in any other this season.
Swart was in top form for ANU with her goalscoring streak moving her onto seven for the season. Her first was the third for the Apex as Phoebe Fraser and Sheridan McElligott got ANU off to a flier.
The Power refused to buckle however, and Justine Armstrong pulled one back, but Swart ensured Apex led 6-2 at the interval, Renee Kite pulling one back for the Queanbeyan-Palerang in the first stanza after Clare Molony and Alexandra Serras had netted goals for ANU.
After the break the Apex were denied by the quality of Tanya Joveski in goal, but McElligott and Swart added to their tally. Armstrong and Kite got their second for the Power but it wasn’t enough and Apex were fully deserving off their first ever win.
Friday 20 January
South Canberra Swift 0 North Canberra Fire 3 (Perry 30’, Reithmuller 34’, N. De Marco 34’)
Saturday 21 January
North Canberra Fire 6 (Reithmuller 11’, 36’, N. De Marco 19’, Osmond 29’, Perry 30’, Jalocha 35’) ANU Apex 4 (Milewska 8’, Davey 15’, McElligott 19’, 32’)
UC Stars 1 (Norris 6’) West Canberra Lightning 5 (Bisset 6’, 14’, Walker 18’ (og), Steinacker 26’ (og), Hagen 38’)
Sunday 22 January
ANU Apex 10 (Fraser 6’, McElligott 8’, 23’, Swart 9’, 18’, 23’, 24’, 29’, Molony 9’, Serras 20’) Queanbeyan-Palerang Power 4 (Armstrong 10’, 28’, Kite 19’, 40’)
15 Jennifer BISSET (Lightning)
14 Brittany PALOMBI (Lightning)
12 Reilly YUEN (Stars)
9 Amy MCLACHLAN (Lightning), Bessie RIETHMULLER (Fire)
8 Rebecca KITING (Lightning)
7 Stella DE MARCO (Fire), Becky RIZZO (Stars), Roxie SWART (Apex), Own GOALS
6 Cara CERUTI (Swift), Natalie DE MARCO (Fire), Krista HAGEN (Lightning), Sheridan MCELLIGOTT (Apex), Eliza-Jane NORRIS (Stars), Sofia PALYWODA (Swift)
5 Nicole JALOCHA (Fire), Mikayla VAN DEYK (Stars), Dianne WILSON (Lightning)
4 Justine ARMSTRONG (Power), Talia BACKHOUSE (Swift), Jamie BERKELEY (Lightning), Emily DANIEL (Stars), Tayla HAMPSON (Stars), Nikita PERRY (Fire), Samantha PRICE (Swift), Madeleine STEINACKER (Stars), Sabrina TOUFEXIS (Swift)
3 Maia CAMERON (Power), Isabella HINDMARSH (Swift), Renee KITE (Power), Ginger OLIVER (Swift), Alexandra SERRAS (Apex)
2 Leah CARNEGIE (Swift), Kaitlyn COLWILL (Swift), Grace DAVEY (Apex), Cassia MCGLASHAN (Stars), Kate WALKER (Stars)
1 Elke AITOLU (Fire), Phoebe FRASER (Apex), Emily JENSEN (Apex), Sally KISS (Power), Stefi LEJINS (Fire), Holly MCPHERSON (Power), Karen MILEWSKA (Apex), Clare MOLONY (Apex), Maya OSMOND (Fire), Erika PENNYFIELD (Lightning), Lauren QUACH (Power), Shayma TAWEEL (Apex)