The Far North Queensland Premier Women’s League took an unlikely turn at the weekend, opening up the 2016 Premiership race which is shaping up for a nail-bitting season finish.
In one of the biggest upsets of the season, third-placed Leichhardt Lions claimed the three points over the previously undefeated Southside Comets during last weekend’s round 15 fixture.
Both teams were missing regular names to their starting line-ups, but it was the Lions who capitalised first from a Comet’s defensive mistake, with Lion Emma Fletcher intercepting a pressured clearance from Comets keeper Novella Dennis to see the ball in the back of the net, marking the scoresheet first for the visitors.
The Lions enjoyed a 2-0 lead coming out of the first half thanks to a goal from co-captain Natalie Fichera. It could very well have been 3-0 coming in to the second, but a missed one-on-one opportunity for the visitors kept the game in close contention.
The Comets managed to find the net in the last quarter and weren’t without the chance to even the scoresheet via their own missed on-on-one opportunity.
The defeat places Edge Hill top of the table with a two-point lead, but the second-placed Comets have a game in hand left to play.
The pressure is now on both teams to collect maximum points in their remaining four matches to ensure they enter the potential Premiership-deciding Round 17 fixture with even chances.
The Edge Hill outfit left a strong message during their home fixture against bottom-placed Stratford United at the weekend, putting 19 goals away and conceding a home goal for the 19-1 result.
The Tigers have netted a whopping 94 goals, 55 ahead of the Comets, which means a draw for the Comets in any of their upcoming fixtures will allow Edge Hill to equally enjoy a draw, and a win against Southside will see the Tigers take out the Premiership in the tipped Round 17 decider.
Edge Hill have the bye in this weekend’s fixture which will allow the squad to anticipate Southside’s result against fourth-placed Innisfail Cutters.
Having previously drawn to the Cutters, Southside will need to shake-off last week’s upset to ensure a vital win over their opponents to keep their Premiership hopes strong.
Southside will make a special trip to Callendar Park in Innisfail, as the FNQ Premier League aligns with the National Premier League’s FNQ Heat vs Redlands United Round 19 fixture.
The NPL match will be played away from the FNQ Heat’s Cairns-based home ground vis a special arrangement to coincide with Innisfail United’s 30th club anniversary.