Perfect conditions at Kingston Heath on Saturday created an exciting atmosphere for the Preliminary Final of the 2015 Women’s Premier League. A vocal South supporter base on the sideline was regularly called into action as disciplined structure, quality passing and attacking football was on display by the girls in blue. Tiffany Eliadis and Jamie Pollock both found the net and their three goals catapulted South Melbourne into the Grand Final, creating the opportunity to go back-to-back.
The opening stanza of the first half demonstrated why Ashburton United were on the pitch and a force to be reckoned with. They controlled possession and spread the ball wide on both flanks to create early opportunities. The defence of South held strong and around the fifteen minute mark the defending title holders started to settle. From there on, it was classy, it was impressive and it was all South.
The first to strike was Tiffany Eliadis, who made a run down the grand stand side of the pitch, past the Ashbuton bench, beating two defenders into the area and firing a shot across the face of goal and into the net.
The positive football continued and on the brink of half time, Jamie Pollock found herself free with the ball gently rolling across the grass, just outside the area almost directly in front. Two steps and her right foot launched an unstoppable rocket through the defence and into the net. At the break, it wasn’t so much the two goal lead but the imposing presence South had on the pitch which signalled there was no doubt about the outcome of the match.
In the second half it was more of the same. Ashburton lifted and displayed glimpses of brilliance common throughout their successful season. United were unable to break down South, whose free-flowing passing game provided possession and dominance. A free kick lofted into the area by Lisa Farquhar found Pollock at the back post, who was able to tap the ball down under the outstretched arms of Ashburton keeper Melissa Maizels .
The third goal appeared to break the spirit of Ashburton. With twenty minutes left on the clock they didn’t give in and continued to stretch forward into the final third searching for that elusive goal. It wasn’t to be their match or their day as the final whilst bought an end to their 2015 campaign.
For South Melbourne, the journey continues and a place in their second consecutive Grand Final has been secured. Preventing back-to-back titles are the high flying Boroondara Eagles. The Eagles’ 2015 season has been impressive, successful and amazing to say the least. The star studded purple machine has had a week off and will be a formidable opponent in the decider.
The Grand Final will be at the David Barro Stadium at the Veneto Club in Bulleen. Kick off is 2pm on Sunday 27 September.