Four years of determination and perseverance was rewarded last Friday night when the Macleay Valley Rangers Under-18s girls lifted the premiership trophy after overcoming a goal deficit to earn a 2-1 win over Wauchope.
The core of the playing group had stuck together through four tough seasons which saw them often take to the field short of a full team.
Despite the lack of numbers, the girls still reached the finals series in the past three years but defeating the top teams proved a task too difficult with sometimes only nine players.
However, this season was different, as the Under-18s girls had a full squad and were the benchmark team in the competition.
Martin Uhrig coached the side for the past four seasons and was immensely proud to be able to witness their development and the hard work pay off.
“I am proud of all of the girls but especially those who have been with me since the start,” Uhrig told the Argus.
“They would take the field with only eight or nine players sometimes but didn’t give in and just kept battling.
“They never stopped trying and that’s why I have kept coaching them.”
The Rangers finished the regular season as the minor premiers, seven competition points clear of second placed Port United Vixens.
Macleay Valley won their major semi-final against the Vixens 2-1 to book their place in the decider.
The Rangers faced off with Wauchope in the grand final, after they defeated the Vixens 3-1.
Macleay Valley started the contest strong and applied pressure to the Wauchope defence for the opening 20-minutes but Wauchope threatened on the counter attack and they broke the deadlock against the run of play.
The Rangers’ girls didn’t panic as they stuck to their game plan and continued to press forward.
After heading to the sheds at half-time trailing by a goal, they came out with more intensity after the break and quickly found the breakthrough.
A cross from Siobhan Musgrave found Jacinta Wright inside the 18-yard-box and she skillfully controlled a half volley into the back of the net.
Soon after a thunder storm hit and the match was forced to be postponed due to player safety.
After 20-minutes of waiting, the match resumed with 23-minutes left in the contest.
The Rangers were clearly in control and they took their first lead with 9-minutes left as Alice Morn was brought down in the box and she clamly converted from the penalty spot.
Macleay Valley sat back for the remainder of the match and defended Wauchope’s attacking onslaughts.
Also making the news: