SPORTING HIGHLIGHT: Meteor Rites goal keeper Jean Van Vegchel left the goals to give Meteors Hayley Holmes a cuddle and advice before a nervous Holmes got the shot passed her to win the game.
SPORTING HIGHLIGHT: Meteor Rites goal keeper Jean Van Vegchel left the goals to give Meteors Hayley Holmes a cuddle and advice before a nervous Holmes got the shot passed her to win the game. Mike Richards GLA100916SFNT

OPINION: Sports 'womanship' the real winner

OPINION: WRITIN RETURN, with Greg Bray

IN GLADSTONE the magpies are a-swooping and the cane toads are a-hopping so it must be finals season.

And last Saturday we rocked up to watch the womens soccer grand final: Meteors versus Meteor Rites.

It was friend versus friend as both teams were filled with players who had played with each other for years.

It's a bit hard playing against a team that knows all your best moves and weaknesses.

The game went down to the wire, scoreless.

In extra time they hammered long-range shots at each other, but none found the back of the net. The winner would be decided by dot shots, the cruellest way to win, and lose, a grand final.

One goal keeper, one kicker. Shot after shot.

The crowd sat on the edge of their seats, cheering and clapping as each kick was taken.

Then it was down to the last player. Young Hayley, who placed the ball, then looked up at the goalie and stopped dead in her tracks.

In the goal box stood Jean, her old coach, team mate and friend.

As we waited in breathless silence, Hayley started crying and straight away Jean raced out to hug her. It truly was a magical moment and the mesmerised crowd clapped on in appreciation.

Someone, possibly me, yelled out, "Call it a tie ref!", but Jean returned to the goal box and Hayley took the winning shot.

Officially, Meteors had won the cup, but the real winner was sports "womanship".



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