WSLA Grand-Finals: Winter 2021
The Women’s Supa-Liga A Grand-Final saw the West Cobras finish the winter 2021 season as Supa-Liga Champions for the first time! In a back and forth encounter both teams could have complaints about some of their players not being composed enough in front of goal. However both teams were also bailed out early on by saves from their respective goal keepers with Annie Leyland for the Cobras and Noi Pukkaew for Chico5, both keeping the score even with good saves.
In the 10th minute Shelby Cochran slowed a Chico5 counter-attack by shepherding the usually lethal Amanda Litana, away from goal, and allowing Leyland to claim the ball. As Chico5 had been making a sub, Leyland say Lauren Continibali with space on the left hand touchline and put her throw out into the space in front of Continibali and the Cobras flanker made no mistake. The cool finish between the legs of Pukkaew broke the deadlock and eased some of the caginess both teams had displayed early on.
From then on there were more clear-cut chances though the game never opened up because of the excellence of the shot stoppers and also because of desperation defending form the likes of Sarah Ranieri, Mel Shepherd and Taylor Reid for the Cobras and Cainna Dietz, Tania Oyaarzun and Ingrid Gomez-Bassallo for Chico5.
In the end, Taylor Reid put the match beyond doubt in the final seconds with a long range strike into an empty net and what was a fast paced match was brought to a close. Both sets of players could say they put in every possible effort to win but on this occasion the Cobras women were successful!