A wonder strike from Renee Tomkins sealed the national title for Erkin Osman’s NSW Thunder’s Open Women’s side. The 2-1 win was a reverse of the Thunder’s meeting with the ACT Cobras in the group stages and allowed the women to successfully defend their 2011 victory.
ACT had the better of the early exchanges and they created a number of chances before finally taking the lead through Michaela Day. The deficit didn’t seem to phase Thunder who worked their way back up the field and earned a penalty that was neatly converted by Stephanie Haim.
With scores level at half time and both sides looking assured in defence, it was always going to take a piece of brilliance to break the deadlock. That brilliance came though player of the match Tomkins who received the ball on her chest from a corner and coolly volleyed the ball low into the far corner.
Some scrambled defence on the NSW goal line late in the match denied the Cobras any chance of victory and accentuated the commitment of the Thunder players.
“We started off the tournament pretty slow but from then on we had four wins in a row,” coach Osman said.
“They’re all very good at attacking and defending so the tactics didn’t really have to change throughout the match.
“There were two or three girls who played for the first time in the women’s side and they are very excited about winning it.”
Renee Tomkins was named player of the final.
NSW Thunder 2 (Stephanie Haim (pen), Renee Tomkins) def. ACT Cobras 1 (Michaela Day)
NSW Thunder road to victory
- Round 1: drew Queensland 2-2
- Round 2: defeated by ACT Cobras 1-2
- Round 3: defeated Southern NSW 3-1
- Round 4: defeated ACT Colts 2-1
- Round 5: defeated NSW Lightning 2-1
- Semi Final: defeated ACT Colts 4-1
- Grand Final: defeated ACT Cobras 2-1