It was a moment of magic – a screamer from 30 metres out – from Warners Bay player-coach Cassidy Davis that decided the inaugural Northern NSW Women’s State Cup.
The long-ranged goal concluded a historic three-day tournament at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility last weekend that saw Warners Bay run out champions after their 1-0 win over Merewether United.
Last time the two teams met, in the Herald Women’s Premier League grand final in August, United were named champions after coming from behind to spoil Warners Bay’s lead on the day, but a similar comeback never eventuated for the Merewether outfit on Sunday afternoon.
The three-day event began on Friday evening, with 16 teams in the running and over 30 games played.
It was the first of its kind in Northern NSW, an event that saw teams from Football Far North Coast, North Coast Football, Tamworth and Armidale all travel to the Speers Point facility to face-off against the best of the premier league.
The first games were between local teams, with a 5-1 win for Warners Bay over Wallsend and a hat-trick for grand final hero Cassidy Davis opening the group stages.
A bumper second day saw many of the WPL teams through to the knockout rounds looming on Sunday, and a standout performance from North Coast Football saw them bag 12 goals in three games against Barnsley United, Newcastle University and league champions Merewether United to top Group C undefeated.
Wallsend and Warners Bay then moved on in the quarter finals with victories over Thornton and Mid North Coast respectively, before meeting in the semi finals.
Warners Bay booked their spot in the decider with a 5-2 victory over Wallsend, while in the second semi final Merewether claimed revenge over North Coast with a tight 2-1 win.
The rest is the first entry in Women's State Cup history.
Cassidy Davis, currently the coach for Warners Bay, was proud of all the teams that had travelled for the tournament and put in good showings across the weekend.
“It was good having all the teams come in from across the Northern NSW to play, there were some really talented teams and a few that surprised us with their quality,” she said.
“It was a bit of fun, but toward the end we had to get a bit more serious and really push hard to win the first ever State Cup. It’d be great to aim for a women’s version of the FFA Cup, and these initiatives are the first step toward a nationwide competition.”
NNSWF’s Female Development Officer, Nyssa Suchanow, was also pleased with how well the event played out, and said that it represented NNSWF’s commitment to Female Participation.
“It’s a huge step, it just shows that Northern NSW Football is committed to moving the game forward,” she said.
“I don’t think this is a competition that is established in other States, FFV has an established competition, but for us it’s a really big, positive step and I think the girls here today saw that we’re trying to make the experience better for them, and to give them opportunities to have some form of equity in regards to the comparison between women’s and men’s football.”
The W-League is next on the agenda for women’s football in Northern NSW, with the Newcastle Jets’ Women facing the Western Sydney Wanderers Women at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday, October 29.
Women’s State Cup Results
- Grand Final: Warners Bay FC 1 (Davis 9′) def. Merewether FC 0
- Semi Final 1: Warners Bay FC 5 (Stapleford 9′, Davis 17′, Kingsley 23′, Squires 42′, Pender 50′) def. Wallsend FC 2 (Hall 6′, Copus-Brown 31′)
- Semi Final 2: North Coast Football 1 (Skinner 45′) def. by Merewether FC 2 (Quinlan 30′, Hartree 50′)
- Quarter Final 1: Warners Bay 4 (Davis 14′, Stapleford 19’, Kingsley 35′, 43′) def. Mid North Coast 0
- Quarter Final 2: Wallsend 1 (Phillips 24′) def. Thornton Redbacks 0
- Group A: Warners Bay 9, Wallsend 6, Cooks Hill United 3, Far North Cost 0
- Group B: Thornton Redbacks 9, Mid North Coast 6, New Lambton 3, Armidale 0
- Group C: North Coast 9, Merewether United 6, Barnsley United 6, Newcastle University 0
- Group D: Adamstown Rosebuds 9, Mayfield United 6, Garden Suburb 1, Tamworth 1