A flight from Turkey, bus ride and broken down car couldn’t stop Gemma Imrie from being part of the women’s cup final yesterday.
And the Albury City star midfielder didn’t let her team down.
City finally beat the Boomers’ hoodoo — a second half strike by Tayla Page enough to reverse the trend that has seen them runner-up in the cup to their bogey side in the previous two years.
Imrie said it was simply third time lucky.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it, I got into Sydney airport last night about 6.30pm, got to Canberra at 10.30pm after catching the bus, then I was up and on the road at 6am only to get a flat battery at the Dog on the Tuckerbox,” she said.
“But I’m not about to go and get some sleep now — we’ve waited three years for this.”
Keeper Brogan Broadway was another celebrating — two saves against the stinging boot of Torey Hayes keeping City in front.
“I must have grown a couple of inches — that first shot hit my hands and went into the air behind me,” she said.
“But the sound of it hitting the cross bar was fantastic and then it just landed in front of me.”
City coach Peter Hovar said he couldn’t have been more proud.
“It was played in our territory in the first half and we were on the back foot,” he said.
“But we talked at half-time about what the midfield needed to do and the girls lifted.
“In the end the game changed and both of us went the long ball — we knew we had girls with pace who could run into space and when Boomers started pushing up the field it opened up for us.
“Great saves by Brogan Broadway, she was coming off a high with her under-12 girls winning earlier in the day and despite some heart-in-mouth moments at the end she was in the right spot at the right time.
“Gemma only got here 15 minutes before the game, played the full 90 minutes and put in some crucial tackles in the midfield.”
Boomers coach Steve Hayes said his team was disappointed that their reign had come to an end.
The winners of the past five cup finals would have re-written the AWFA record books with another cup yesterday.
“We pride ourselves on playing a team game but that just didn’t happen today,” he said.
“We have had a great year winning the league title but we were flat.
“Our passing was off and the goal they got probably went against the run of play but in soccer you takes your chances and that is what City did there today.”