SWQ Thunder v The Gap

The Gap Women sealed the inaugural PlayStation® 4 NPL Queensland Senior Women’s Premiership in style with a 9-0 win over SWQ Thunder Women at Clive Berghofer Stadium on Saturday.


Five first-half goals started the party early as Gators claimed the title in the competition’s final round, extending their unbeaten run to 13 minutes in the process.


For Thunder, defeat is their second straight following a three-match winning run and keeps the Toowoomba team ninth with a catch-up fixture remaining.


Ruth Blackburn set the visitors on their way with the opener inside five minutes, tucking home Gabe Marzano’s byline cutback from close range.


Thunder defender Tiffany Dibley’s last-ditch tackle kept Suzy Roeger from immediately doubling the advantage but Gators did manage a second in the 13th minute with Bec Price credited for bundling home a Marzano corner.


Two goals in the space of six minutes then all but sealed the silverware for Rob Askew’s aside as Lilly Bremner and Marzano both completed fine moves to make it 4-0.


Marzano again had a hand in the fifth before the break, combining with Jess Dillon to tee-up Ruth Blackburn for a classy left-footed finish.


Goalkeeper Jessica Broadfoot and the Thunder defence ensured there were no further goals at half-time, but could do little prevent Jess Dillon from firing home five minutes after the restart.


The hosts steadied for a further 20 minutes as they sought to capture positives heading into next weekend’s final outing but were ultimately outclassed as Gators added another three.


Charli McLennan first sprung the offside trap to square for a Bethany Ashton tap-in, before fellow substitute Leah Curtis controlled well and drove her side’s eighth into the bottom corner.


The scoring was completed in the 83rd minute when Ashton strode clean through and poked home Gators’ final goal of the regular season.


The Premiers now switch attention to capturing the double in the Finals Series, beginning against the competition’s second-placed side in a fortnight.


Speaking after the match, Gators coach Rob Askew spoke glowingly of his team’s “historic” achievement.


“Delighted to win it. Now that we’ve done it I think we can relax a little bit and focus on the finals without any pressure on us because I think we’ve achieved our major goal,” Askew said.


Thunder coach Craig Burgess complimented the opposition and illustrated his belief in his own young team.


“The girls know where they need to be to play at this level. Now it’s just taking the next step and moving forward as a unit,” Burgess said.


South West Queensland Thunder FC Women 0

The Gap FC Women 9 (Ruth BLACKBURN 4’, 32’ Bec PRICE 13’ Lilly BREMNER 19’ Gabe MARZANO 25’ Jess DILLON 50’ Bethany ASHTON 70’, 84’ Leah CURTIS 77’)