South Canberra FC had to settle for a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Majura FC in the latest round of the Women’s Masters competition, having been denied at the death at Kambah on a brisk Sunday morning.
After a scoreless first 30 minutes, South Canberra’s Nicola Mitchell got them on the scoreboard after a through ball was played that met her right foot for a strike on goal.
Returning to the field after sitting on a 1-0 lead at half-time had the Bees convinced that they would come away with the three points when in the 78th minute, Clare Whittingham executed a cross into the goal box for Mitchell to get her second of the day with a tap-in.
With only three minutes remaining though Majura created magic with Kim Williams breaking the defence line to place the ball in the bottom right corner. To secure the draw, Williams struck again with another goal that met a through ball that stripped the win away from South Canberra.
Nevertheless, the Bees’ spirits were not dimmed, with coach Jo Gillespie very pleased with the performance of her team and the effort shown in the game.
“It was superb. I thought it was really good. I was just disappointed for the girls in the last few minutes where Majura just wanted the ball a little bit more,” Gillespie said. “But the girls played their hearts out, I can’t ask for anything else or anything more than that. Very proud.”
Gillespie believes that this match against Majura was the best that the South Canberra side have played all season, the round coinciding with the club taking part in the #PlayinPurple campaign which contributed to raising the awareness of pancreatic cancer. The Bees had their purple socks on to show their participation in the cause.
South Canberra is aiming high, with their sights set on winning the grand final but they know that it will not be an easy task alongside some challenging opposition.
“I think they lift when they play against teams like Majura because everyone plays for each other, it was the best game,” she said. “I would say our strongest competitors in the competition would be who we played today, Majura. We play Burns next week, but we’ve beaten Burns, even though they are leading the competition.”
Gillespie voiced her views on possible ways the Master’s League can be improved and mentioned consistent referees and more participants would help the growth of the competition.
“I think the Master’s League would be improved with consistent referees available for games. It’s hard when we don’t get sent referees,” Gillespie said. “I honestly believe that people who are eligible to play master’s should do so rather than playing higher divisions. I think if people did that, we would get more teams.
“The Woden team struggle for players each week, but if it wasn’t for them to come into the competition, we wouldn’t have had a Masters’ league at all. So that made up the six teams to make this league possible.”
Gillespie and her team hope more women can be involved in the veteran league in the coming years to see such a great competition continue to bring people together to play the sport they love.
Words: Sonia Emanuel