Around the Clubs

Denied and defiant: North Coast women up with the best at State Cup

July 8th, 2021

Played hard, done good, deserved better, and … will be back.
That was the story of the North Coast team at the Women’s State Cup at Newcastle at the weekend.
The North Coast girls were the only side to best the eventual winners, Maitland Magpies, but unfortunately never saw the finals.
Originally slated to be a pool of four – with two WPL sides and two community – COVID saw some sides pull the pin.
That left North Coast in a reduced round robin with Maitland and New Lambton – both WPL outfits.
No problem. At least at first, as they cruised past the Magpies 2-1 in the opening exchange and Maitland’s lone goal came from a free kick.
But North Coast picked up some key injuries in the encounter – losing their gun striker and central midfielder.
In their second outing, against New Lambton, their opponents hit hard early, on their way to a 3-1 win.
Under the hastily revamped structure, only one side – Maitland – were deemed to progress, and our North Coast stars were denied the chance to move on to the Community Plate despite their obvious quality.
“It was a bitter pill to swallow and Andrew Woodward (NCF general manager) went in to bat for us,” North Coast coach Trevor Martin said.
Our team – young and with talent across the pitch – may yet have the last laugh.
“The girls were amazing. They played better than I’ve seen them play before,” Trevor said.
“It’s a team with not a lot of experience and they will improve.
“The Newcastle coaches were saying ‘why aren’t you down here (in the WPL)’.
“I have no doubt that if we had of been able to keep our first 11 out there we would have won (the State Cup). We just need to train regularly. The talent is there.”
For the record, after scraping through to the semi-final on goal difference, Maitland saved their best for last to overpower Newcastle Olympic 3-1 in the final at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Sunday.
In the plate final, Nelson Bay edged Kempsey Saints 1-0.

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