Slice of Cheese

Lions Stun Ulverstone To Make Final

Solstice Digital

The Kingborough Lions caused a major boil over as they brought Ulverstone’s undefeated 2018 to a crashing halt in their Statewide Cup Semi Final. A lone goal from Emille Tatton was enough to secure the Cupset for the Lions, as they booked their ticket to the June 11 decider where they will face Taroona.

There was no hint of an upset looming in the first 10 minutes as Ulverstone quickly gained control of the game and created 3 chances in quick succession. All 3 shots ended up being fired straight at Olivia Gardner however as the Lions came through the opening salvo, unscathed.

The Lions then had the chance to take the lead in rather fortuitous circumstances. A contentious penalty was given to the Lions, only for Georgia Anderson to make the stop on Laura Davis. The penalty was then retaken, supposedly due to encroachment from Anderson, who had moved forward far less than most keepers do. She then duly saved the retake as well, doing superbly well to readjust after initially shifting to dive to her right, sticking out her leg and denying Davis’s shot that had been fired down the middle.

The game was developing into an open affair, with Ulverstone creating chances but missing them, whilst looking vulnerable back the other way. Only some outstanding defending from Emily Nellis  prevented a Lions second, before De Smit fired one wide of an open net on the follow up.

Gardner continued to frustrate the hosts, denying Gorrie again as Ulverstone worked their way back on top of proceedings. But when Gorrie volleyed wide from one she would normally bury shortly before half time, the sense of frustration was starting to build as they headed into the sheds at 0-0.

If that sense of frustration had dissipated at all during the break, then it was cranked right back up five minutes into the second half as Gardner twice made fine reaction saves to stop Gorrie, her best two of the game, (and there were many) which came in quick succession. The saves provided a huge boost to the Lions, whose belief grew as the minutes ticked by, whilst they deflated the hosts.

Off the back of that, the Lions went up the other end and did what Ulverstone could not, Emille Tatton outpacing Sam Hardy before clinically firing home the game’s first goal.

Ulverstone eyed the quick response, but as it had in the hour that proceeded it, a goal was proving elusive with Gardner pulling off another strong save to stop Moore’s back post header.

With time ticking, the Lions had their best period of the game in the final 20 minutes, doing a good job denying space in behind the lines that had led to so many of Ulverstone’s early chances and defending stoutly. For all Ulverstone’s profligacy in this game, it was still a brilliant defensive effort from the Lions that contributed to it.

There was one final twist remaining, with the game throwing up late drama. In the final minute of the game, Jazmin Gorrie beat three defenders all ends up, taking it from wide on the right to the middle of the box, before firing her shot on the non preferred left foot, wide of the mark. In a way that play encapsulated Ulverstone’s performance in this game. They did just about everything right, but couldn’t find the finish.

The final whistle rang out and the Lions players all mobbed their goalkeeper Olivia Gardner in celebration, joyous at completing one of the biggest upsets of the season to date.