Women's NSL - Season 2004

Women's National Soccer League

Supplied by AWSA and transcribed by Thomas Esamie

Queensland Sting 11911321028
Northern NSW Pride 1182125826
NSW Sapphires 11614201019
Adelaide Sensation 112367209
Victoria Vision 111466217
Canberra Eclipse 112186237
Western Waves 6123595
Top Two sides (Sting and Pride) play the championship final. However the determination of the top two sides was made on the basis of the games excluding the Western Waves, who only played one round of matches. This was due to budgetary constraints. Here's the same table without the Waves results.

Queensland Sting 1081130925
Northern NSW Pride 1081124725
NSW Sapphires 10514171016
Canberra Eclipse 102176227
Adelaide Sensation 101366206
Victoria Vision 101364196
Though the finalists remain the same you can see the hosting rights for the final were only narrowly won by the Bananabenders. At the other end Canberra managed to climb two places.

Home Teamv Away Team
Grand Final (played December 18)
Venue : Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre, Brisbane
Queensland Sting
Claire Nichols, Kate McShea, Ellen Beaumont (Krystina Walker 70), Pam Grant, Claire Polkinghorne, Alicia Ferguson, Lana Harch, April Mann (Selin Kuralay 84), Jessica Mitchell (Kim Carroll 89), Sasha McDonnell (Alannah Reed 90), Karla Reuter
Goals : Jessica Mitchell 6, Sasha McDonnell 80
2 - 0 Northern NSW Pride
Erin Herd, Melanie Cotts, Gemma O'Toole (Tracy Baker 70), Emma Howes (Meegan Shepherd 30), Elizabeth Kermode, Lauren Colthorpe, Cheryl Salisbury, Lindsey Jones, Joanne Peters, Katie Gill, Ashley Wilson
Referee: Krystyna Szokolai
Queensland Sting has claimed a record fourth Women's National Soccer League championship following their 2-0 win over Northern NSW Pride at the Queensland Sport & Athletic Centre in Brisbane tonight.

In a fiercely contested and fast-paced contest, Queensland Sting scored goals early and late in the game through young strikers Jessica Mitchell and Sasha McDonnell to make up for last year's disappointment of losing at home to the NSW Sapphires.

Mitchell scored after just six minutes while McDonnell's goal came ten minutes from time with a strike from 15 yards.

Northern NSW Pride, playing in their first ever WNSL grandfinal, weren't without their chances and a key moment in the game came just prior to Sting's second goal when Pride's Elizabeth Kermode had a goal disallowed after being narrowly ajudged offside.

The match was a high intensity affair from start to finish and both sides showed why they have been the best two sides in the league this season and worthy grandfinalists.

It was Pride, through impressive striker Kate Gill, who had the first chance to score but her fiercely struck angled shot was very well saved by Claire Nichols. Almost immediately the ball was returned up field and Mitchell snuck in behind the defence and beat the advancing goalkeeper Erin Herd to the loose ball to score with ease.

Both teams continued to create chances in the first half and Queensland through McDonnell and Claire Polkinghorne had strikes on goal while for Pride Qantas Matilda Joanne Peters dribbled past several defenders in a surging run only to be stopped by a well-timed challenge from last defender Ellen Beaumont.

The second half started well for the home side and they looked as if they might double their advantage after good lead-up from Mitchell, Lana Harch's looping shot had to be fisted away for a corner by Herd from virtually under the crossbar as the goalkeeper was put under pressure by McDonnell.

Defender Beaumont came close to a surprise appearance on the scoresheet but her snap shot from close range went narrowly wide after good lead-up work from Kate McShea who played the ball in from the byline.

By the mid-point of the second half, the pace of the game perhaps dropped marginally as tired legs and the humidity took their toll but the entertainment continued with both teams pushing forward on every occasion and continuously creating scoring opportunities.

A key moment of the game came in the 79th minute when a superbly constructed Pride move resulted in Meegan Shepherd breaking into the box on the left and squaring for Kermode to apparently score from close range however the offside flag was raised and the goal disallowed.

To rub salt into the wounds for Northern, the home side broke down-field virtually from the ensuing play to score the clinching goal. With Northern pushing numbers forward in search of an equaliser, McDonnell found the space to break into the box and score with a quality strike.

Just a minute later Queensland could have wrapped up the match but McShea was denied a goal when her free kick from an acute angle from outside the penalty area rocked the crossbar.

Northern NSW pushed their opponents right until the final whistle and Qantas Matildas captain Cheryl Salisbury nearly scored with virtually the last play of the game but her glancing header from a corner was cleared off the goal line by Harch.

With two wins and a draw against Northern NSW, the Queenslanders were deserved winners of the 2004 WNSL championship and they accepted the trophy in a presentation which featured greats of the women's game Julie Murray and Elaine Watson as well as tennis icon Evonne Cawley.