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Raiders and Eagles into grand final after semi-final wins

THE Boambee Eagles have qualified for the inaugural Coastal League One Women grand final in dramatic fashion, winning 3-2 in an extra time thriller against the Coffs City United Lionesses in their semi-final at Ayrshire Park.

Three goals in the final ten minutes of regulation time saw the match head into extra time, as both sides showed the desperation needed to make a grand final.

A Lionesses penalty goal after a challenge in the box saw them take a 1-0 lead into half-time.

The intensity ramped up in the second half as the physicality increased as both sides knew the opportunity on offer and played accordingly.

The final frantic minutes saw the Eagles equalise twice, locking the scores at 1-1 with ten minutes to go before a goal square scramble only a minute later saw the Lionesses hit straight back to take a 2-1 lead with just minutes remaining.

Hannah Clift-Wilson saved the day for her side with a late equaliser, as the sudden death semi-final headed into extra-time locked at 2-2.

A grand stand finish ensued with Ayrshire Park on a razors edge as both sides looked for the match winner.

And it would be the Eagles who would book their grand final ticket, as a ball into the box six minutes into extra time was tapped in by Allissa Tate for her double and the match winner.

Eagles coach Neil Witherdin was exhausted after watching such a roller-coaster of a semi-final.

“It was very draining to say the least, and I didn’t even play in it but I was very drained after watching it,” he said.

“It was intense, and the whole game was exciting, and credit to both teams playing through the extra time.

“I’m really proud of the girls, and it was a very competitive game and congratulations to Coffs for a great season coming up from 2nd division.”

The Eagles will now play the Urunga Raiders in the inaugural Coastal League One Women grand final on Saturday afternoon at the Ce.x Coffs International Stadium.

The Raiders qualified for this season’s grand final after a 5-2 win against the Macleay Valley Rangers in their semi-final at Urunga.

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