New Lambton have claimed the Women’s Premier League title in 2019, with a 4-1 win over Wallsend at Arthur Edden Oval clinching the top spot for the Eagles three rounds out from finals.
The result wasn’t confirmed until late on for New Lambton, however, as Wallsend charged out of the gates against the soon-to-be premiers in the Round 18 meeting.
The Eagles were first off the mark through Lauren Allan early. The advantage was cancelled out by Olivia Kennedy in the first half.
Keelan Hamilton knew he was facing a team armed with nervous legs considering the momentous moment they were barrelling towards. He sat his team down at half time and delivered them a message: Take a couple of deep breaths.
“We were playing with a lot of nerves in the first half, Wallsend applied a lot of pressure which kept us on the backfoot and a lot of the girls were weighed down by the weight of expectation,” Hamilton said.
“We sat down in the first half break and I let them know ‘Yep, it hasn’t gone perfect so far, but there’s plenty of time for us to get on top in the game, and if it doesn’t go perfectly there’s nothing to stress about either.’ We just had to take those deep breaths.”
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New Lambton found their opening after a scramble in front of Wallsend’s goals opened up a chance for Stacey Day. The Eagles veteran pinged the chance home, and two goals late for Tara Andrews sealed the deal for the league leaders on Sunday afternoon.
“For us, it’s been an excellent season, and to the girls I say: you’ve won the hardest one to win, the premiership. We’ve won the hardest one, and we can’t let our standard drop off that level know heading into the semifinals. Anything can happen in a knockout game so we want to get there in good form and give ourselves the best chance at a grand final.”
Also on Sunday afternoon, Jasmyn Hughes and Taleah Mountford struck late for Thornton to secure the Redbacks a 3-3 draw against the travelling Football Mid North Coast outfit, while Merewether edged rivals Adamstown 1-0 thanks to Rhali Dobson.
Finally, South Wallsend and Warners Bay battled to a 1-1 standstill at Walker Fields. Jenna Kingsley provided the late equaliser for the Panthers, who retain their place in second with the lock score in Round 18.
TABLE: New Lambton (50), Warners Bay (38), South Wallsend (35), Merewether (34), Wallsend (29), Adamstown, Thornton, Mid North Coast (7).