Port Albany, Phoenix chase maiden cup glory
Phoenix and Port Albany will be chasing their maiden women’s premier cup title when the two sides clash tomorrow night as part of the Great Southern Soccer Association finals weekend.
All six competitions will hold their respective cup finals across Friday and Saturday, and opponents Phoenix and Port Albany, which are relatively new clubs, will headline the Friday night triple-header.
The women’s premier, women’s reserves and women’s social cup finals will be played at the North Road grounds.
Phoenix are brimming with confidence, having knocked out reigning cup champs Denmark in the elimination final and then produced a strong second half to get past Polonia in last Friday’s semifinals.
Phoenix midfielder Jade Dekker said her team were looking forward to the cha-llenge against a young and skilful opponent in Port Albany.
“It’s very exciting to be a part of the big day,” the 17-year-old said.
“It has been a highly competitive league, so you never know what to expect.
“At 2-2 in the semis, it was scary there for a moment but we’ve had a good season and got quite a few wins.
“Port Albany are a younger team, a lot of quick girls and they are a strong team all in all, so it should be a great game.”
Phoenix, who finished third on the league standings, have won all three encounters against Port Albany this season, with the closest result coming in round seven when they won 4-3.
Striker Chelsea Roth will play a key role in Phoenix’s hopes of lifting the silverware, having scored 18 goals in 12 games this season.
Port Albany are out to exact revenge for last year’s cup final defeat at the hands of Denmark, and young captain Amber Williams said her side would go in as underdogs.
“This is our second year in (premier) division, but it is good to have change in the finals,” Williams said. “We have 14-year-olds and a lot of up-and-coming girls, so we are definitely the dark horses but we have improved throughout the season.”
The 17-year-old right-back said Phoenix would be tough to topple. “They are a strong side with older girls who will test us out,” she said.
“I don’t think we have beaten them this season and we’ve had quite a few losses, but we will give it our best shot.”
Port Albany beat Royals in the semifinals and will look to go one better than last year, having lost 2-1 in the decider.
League champions Denmark will start hot favourites in the women’s reserves cup final, tackling Mt Barker United for the trophy.
In the women’s social cup, Polonia Red and Grammar Blue will face off.
Meanwhile, there will be a new Federation Cup champion as Rovers and Polonia square off in Saturday night’s cup final for men’s premier teams.
Polonia last made the cup final in 2017, losing to Caledonians, while Rovers’ last appearance in the decider was a heavy 7-0 loss to Phoenix in 2016.
Having comfortably won the league title, Polonia will be favourites over Rovers, who won just three league games but downed Phoenix 1-0 in the semifinals to get their chance at glory.
Albany-Bayswater will meet Polonia in the men’s reserves final, while in the men’s social/vets semifinals on Tuesday, the Vets won an extra-time thriller over Rovers Social to book their place in Saturday’s final against Old Boys.
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