THE Football season has started and balls are flying into the back of the net so it's only appropriate to stick with the same sport as last for this week's, 'The Victory Lap'.
The Macleay Valley Rangers women's side came into the 2019 Northern League Grand Final with a spring in their step, after a successful normal round campaign saw them finish undefeated.
Coming into the match, coach Emma Tamblyn, expressed the need to combat how physical their opponents, Port United, would be.
"They are a hard and physical side to play against but we have beat them twice this year so we know we can do it again," she previously told the Argus.
Throughout the 2019 season, the Rangers side had achieved 17 wins and one draw with a 4-0 win in round eight against United and a close 2-1 victory against the Port Macquarie based side in the grand final qualifier.
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"To be so close to a perfect season is pretty awesome, it's a credit to the hard work put in by my team", Tamblyn said going into the big dance.
"It will be pretty special."
Pretty special it turned out to be, with the grand final win not coming easy on that fateful Saturday in late August last year.
Within the first 10 minutes Port United hit the lead with a long range effort sailing out of reach of goalkeeper Ashley Llewellyn.
Throughout the rest of the first half Rangers dominated possession but all their attacking plays proved unsuccessful. Shots hit the crossbar, saves were forced from the United goalkeeper and an open goal was missed as the scoreboard read 1-0 in favour of Port at half-time.
Changes were made by Tamblyn at the break with Alyce Morn going into striker.
The second half saw a more free-flowing approach from the Rangers as pressure began to mount on Port.
Not long after half-time the tactic to move Morn into striker proved to be a genius decision as she scored two goals in two minutes to give Rangers a 2-1 lead.
From there the Rangers squandered opportunities to force a bigger lead with the final 15 minutes seeing United press hard for an equaliser as Macleay scrambled hard in defence.
Rangers managed to hold on, ending an unbeaten season in the most perfect way - a final score of 2-1 in the Women's Northern League grand final.
"We were under a lot of pressure towards the end but we wanted it more than them. We played with a lot of heart and desire," Tamblyn said.
"It was pretty amazing to finish the season undefeated, it isn't something we set out at the start of the year to achieve but it was in the back of my mind as a possibility towards the end of the season."