The Kempsey Saints women’s team will look to utilise team comradery to upset the Port United Strikers in the grand final this Saturday.
The Saints have lost all three meetings with the Strikers this season with their latest encounter ending in a 2-1 loss in the major semi final.
However, the Saints were able to bounce back in style with a 4-2 victory against rivals Kempsey Hornets on the weekend.
Saints coach Matt Baker says his side played close to its best football against the Hornets but he is confident they will step it up another notch when they take on Port United for the fourth time this year.
“The girls were dominant throughout the opening 15-minutes but the Hornets took it to us and were able to score a breakaway goal,” he said.
“But that didn’t get the side flustered and we were able to hit straight back through Abigael Baker before Antwinette Dunne put us ahead just before half time.”
The scores were level early in the second half but the Saints proved too classy in the end and earned progression to the grand final.
The Saints finished the regular season in second place on the ladder and Baker said “hard work and playing for the person beside you” has been a successful mentality.
“I have coached a lot of teams but this is by far the tightest and strongest group of players I have been a part of, there are no individuals in the side and we attack and defend as a team,” he said.
The Saints will need to use this unity to be able to break apart the undefeated minor premiers who are just as strong across the park.
A lot of their success comes from their defence and Baker believes it begins with their goal keeper who has only conceded 5 goals this season.
“I don’t expect much in the contest, it could come down to their keeper. She is the best in the competition and has pulled off insane saves in the games we have played against her,” Baker explained.
“If we lose this weekend, the Port girls will have to play extremely well because the girls are buzzing with confidence and are excited for the match despite coming out on the wrong end throughout the year.”
The Saints have goal scorers all across the park and have the capabilities of turning the tables against the Strikers.