Meteors too good for Souths? last hurrah
METEORS spoiled the party for three departing Souths players by claiming the GDHA women's A1 title with a 2-1 win at Rigby Park on Saturday.
With Leanne Steele retiring and Paddy McNee and Simone Jenkinson leaving the area, Souths were determined to send their teammates out on a high but could not overcome the minor premiers.
Defence dominated the first half with Meteors' Sam Bartlett and Rae Webber keeping out some enterprising attack from Lexie Armitage and Jenkinson.
Similarly, Souths pair Ruth Armitage and skipper Lisa Green were largely able to keep Meteors attackers Jill Mathison, Bianca Nathan and Jo Homann in check.
Instead it was the evergreen Sue Rayner who broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute when she was on the spot to knock a deflection off Souths goalkeeper Stephanie Leggio into the box.
Meteors struck again just four minutes into the second half with Rayner again playing a key role, making a long break down the left flank before crossing perfectly to Nathan who pushed home her shot for a 2-1 advantage.
In addition to Rayner, Meteors were also well served by youngster Jami Long who produced her best effort of the season and goalkeeper Sam Bowers.
Souths were rewarded for their efforts with a late goal to Steele, giving her a memorable moment to go out on, but the game ended before play could re-start, giving Meteors a hard-fought victory.
Armitage, the Souths coach, said her side was unlucky not to have won and attributed the excellent work of Bowers as one of the major reasons they didn't.
"It did actually feel like we were going to win at one stage,'' Armitage said. "But it was a good game, we had our chances but they just didn't happen for us.
Meteors coach Roy Smith was pleased with the manner of Meteors' win, particularly his players' ability to stick to the game plan.
He said his entire side had played solidly and he felt his side had control of the match throughout.