Lady Raiders ride their luck

September 13, 2017

MOAMA-ECHUCA Border Raider women tuned up for a tilt at the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League finals with a 1-0 win against Golden City in Deniliquin on Sunday.

It wasn’t the Raiders’ most impressive performance but they kept their winning form rolling with a seventh victory in eight games, completing their regular season campaign in third position on the table.

Both teams attacked throughout but only Courtney Lagdrove would break the deadlock with a 34th minute strike.

Coach Darryl Brown said even the winning goal had taken a fair slice of luck.

‘‘The goal scored by Courtney Ladgrove, if we’re honest it came off the top of her foot and sailed over the goalkeeper’s head,’’ he said.

‘‘It was probably lucky, but we probably deserved it at that stage of the game so we’re taking it.’’

The sides traded shots at goal throughout with neither able to add to the scoreline, Brown full of praise for his own goalkeeper.

‘‘They all should thank Bronte Smith in goals, she won the game for us,’’ he said.

‘‘She was outstanding, she saved probably four certain goals, ones I’m not sure how Golden City didn’t score.’’

Smith’s desperation sealed the game for the Raiders late in the game, diving on a spilled ball after a corner and winning a free kick for a high boot which cancelled a Golden City goal.

But Brown said the team’s flat performance didn’t shake his confidence in the side.

‘‘We struggled. I don’t know what it was, but we got through it. We didn’t concede and wouldn’t let them take the win away from us,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m still confident. What I love about this team is you ask them to stand up and they do. I’ve got no doubt in two weeks time they’ll be in the mood to win and never go out thinking about anything else.’’

The women face Shepparton South in an elimination final on Sunday week to be played at Jack Eddy Oval.

The men’s division one season wrapped up also against Golden City, going down 2-6 in a solid display.

Golden City started quickly with two goals before Fletcher Kelly pulled a goal back in the 21st minute.

Austin Linahan scored soon after half-time to make the score 2-3, but the Raiders couldn’t stay with their opponent in the second half.

‘‘We continually attacked and had a few one on ones with the keeper, they were clearly the better side but they didn’t slaughter us like last time,’’ Brown said.

‘‘It was a pretty good game to watch, the score looks one sided but it wasn’t like that.’’

Brown said the club’s season as a whole had been full of promise.

‘‘It wasn’t one of our best but it was still a good season,’’ he said.

‘‘Our juniors have been outstanding, with two championships from four teams and three of the four teams in finals.

‘‘We’ve taken a new group of women to third and now finals, and there’s great signs with our youth side.

‘‘A lot of our players have gone through hell this season, but they’re still lining up for us for another game.

‘‘Teams around the league respect us, we could have not put in a division one side with a lack of numbers but we did, and there’s respect there knowing we’re probably going to get done most weeks.’’

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