Midfields the key to soccer cup glory for closely-matched Albury City and Boomers

ULTIMATE GOAL: Boomers' Janae Abel and Albury City’s Brogan Broadway will be hoping to get their hands on the women's cup on Sunday after what promises to be a hard-fought final. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS
ULTIMATE GOAL: Boomers' Janae Abel and Albury City’s Brogan Broadway will be hoping to get their hands on the women's cup on Sunday after what promises to be a hard-fought final. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

If there is one thing Albury City and Boomers can agree on, it’s they both want Sunday’s cup final decided in 90 minutes.

The match will be a replay of the 2016 final, which City won on penalties after an eventful game which had finished 4-4 after extra time.

The City women had built a 3-1 lead, but Brogan Broadway admitted they had a lapse of concentration in last 30 minutes.

“That’s something we’re sure as hell not letting happen this year,” she said.

“The girls know they’ve got to be on and competitive for a full 90 minutes, even more so if it happens like last year, to get that win.”

City will not change its tactics for the final, relying on an all-round effort to shut down Boomers’ stars and complete what would be a perfect winning season.

“This weekend is really just going to be that finish and the girls want it – there’s nothing worse than having such a great season all the way through, then to fall short at the very last game,” Broadway said.

“When our midfield’s working, not much is getting past us.

“We know Boomers, they’ve got a strong midfield – they’ve got Torey (Saisanid), they’ve got Beth (Kennedy), they’ve got Maddie (Harris) in there – so I think whoever wins the midfield, wins the day.”

City will be looking for a strong performance from midfielder Bridget McDiarmid, fresh off her star player win on Wednesday night.

Boomers defender Janae Abel said the award was well-deserved.

“I think it’s great that Bridget won star player in a team that’s undefeated, it goes to show she’s legit the best player of the league,” she said.

Her own team was struggling with a high number of injuries, including Bella Claxton with a sore ankle injury and Lauren Antonello with a hip complaint.

Going into Sunday’s final as underdogs, Boomers will rely on Beth Kennedy, who Abel described as “an engine room” in the midfield, and a quality defence, led by Grace Wilson-Cooper and Gemma Noordewier.

They will take confidence from the narrow 1-0 loss last time the teams met in July, when Boomers hit the post three times in their efforts to topple the champions.

“We’re very competitive, we love to win and we love the game that Albury City bring … It’s a great match up, it really is, it’s going to be a great cup,” Abel said.

“We have this bad luck with Albury City unfortunately, we can’t seem to put the ball in the back of the net and we give them one opportunity and they put it away.

“We believe we can take the cup, we’ve just got to raise that bar once more and empty the tanks on the weekend and walk off with nothing left.”

The senior women’s final will kick off at 11am Sunday at Jelbart Park.

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