The Urunga Raiders have capped off a magnificent season with victory in an epic Coastal League One Women grand final.
The Raiders prevailed in a penalty shootout against the Boambee Eagles in their grand final at the Ce.x Coffs International Stadium, as the two sides couldn’t be separated after 110 minutes with the scores locked at 3-3.
The grand final victory was their 17th win in as many matches in the first season of the new competition, as the Raiders won the inaugural Coastal League One Women’s grand final.
It was a back-and-forth affair with the Eagles taking the lead on three occasions, with the Raiders finding the equaliser each time, including unbelievably in the first minute after both of the Eagles first two goals.
The Eagles opened the scoring in the 16th minute courtesy of a cracking long-range volley from Kylie McDonald, with the Raiders hitting straight back from the kick off to equalise through Kate Fry.
The Eagles took the lead again just minutes later when a swinging corner kick led to an own goal, with the Raiders responding again straight after the kick off with a Kate Fry double locking it up at 2-2.
McDonald got her double in the 35th minute to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead going into halftime.
The Raiders began the second half probing for an equaliser, with their weight of possession eventually taking its toll.
Just as they had twice in the match, the Raiders found an equaliser, as a nice run down the wing and ball into the box lead to an own goal and a 3-3 score line in the 68th minute, setting up a grand stand finish.
It would be the Raiders who would hold their nerve better after a scoreless extra time, winning the penalty shootout to become the first winners of the Coastal League One Women competition.
Raiders coach Trevor Martin said he was proud of his sides ability to respond after going behind, and also their ability to deal with the pressure.
“I’m really proud of them as every time they scored, we responded,” he said.
“We’ve had all the expectation on us having won all our games this season, and that was part of the pressure that people thought we were going to win.
“And they definitely dealt with the pressure, and the fact they had us down all game, we never thought we were going to lose.
“We were only down once all season previously (1-0 to Boambee), and that was also part of the pressure, how we would handle it going behind.
“I said at the start of the season our goal was to go through undefeated, and it’s good to look back and say that we did.”