Sunday 23rd October, 2016 – Womens Football History
It’s a significant drive from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney to Football NSW at Glenwood, but all roads seemed to lead there and we were not going to miss history in the making.
Valentines Sports Park was brimming over with footballers from all over New South Wales. The only game we wanted to see was the Dunbar Rovers AAW Championship taking on Tarrawanna FC.
Both teams arrived on the field looking for victory. Tarrawanna took the lead in the 8th minute and whilst Dunbar defended brilliantly for the rest of the first half and had the opposition defence work overtime to prevent an equaliser, the first half finished at 0-1.
The second half saw a determined Dunbar exert further pressure on the Tarrawanna defence and it seemed only a matter of time for the equalising goal. It came in the 58th minute Belinda Seers placed her shot to perfection and we well and truly had a game on our hands.
The intensity of the game ramped up with both teams playing the game at its beautiful best. The football was competitive, high quality and worth the trip!
At the 79th minute, Dunbar were given the benefit of a decision by the referee of a back pass to the keeper after Tarrawanna player rounded the keeper to stave off a Dunbar goal and passed back to the keeper. An indirect free-kick was awarded to Dunbar inside the box and after being set up brilliantly by Dunbar’s Poppy Waterford, Francesa Fernades made sure of a goal by hammering one into the back of the net.
The next 11 minutes was tense football with both teams forging toward goal and defensive play being the difference between victory and defeat. The full time whistle could not come quickly enough. But it came with a 2-1 win!
What a sweet victory it was to know that Dunbar Rovers FC became the first Eastern Suburbs Football Association Womens Champion of Champions.
History was made and it was well worth the trip. We wish to thank ESFA Senior Football Board Director Jaleh Shafie for her attendance on the day and support of womens football.
Congratulations to all involved with the Dunbar Rovers FC AAW Championship team and their coach Gordon Johnston, whose halftime speech may need to be copyrighted!