Henwood Park are just one win away from premiership glory after outgunning Junee 2-1 in their major semi final on Sunday.
The Hawks looked threatening all day against the visiting Jaguars at Rawlings Park and dominated possession for much of the clash but failed to convert pressure into points during the opening 30 minutes.
Attacking midfielder Charlee McPherson provided the breakthrough just before half time after converting a free kick from the left hand side, handing her team a 1-0 advantage.
A late free kick saw Elisha Ward try to peg a goal back but the shot sailed wide to the left, leaving Henwood Park with the lead at oranges.
The second half saw a brazen Junee take the game to their hosts with plenty of physicality at the contest.
Jaguars goalkeeper Billie-Rose Deacon impressed with the gloves and kept her side in the game with a string of saves but Henwood Park’s relentless counterattack could only be held out for so long.
Unsurprisingly, it was the Hawks’ chief goal scorer, Brooke Gayler, who made the pivotal scoring play late in the piece.
The 18-year-old latched onto a long ball in the 70th minute before outmuscling two defenders and thumping the ball up under the crossbar to stretch her side’s advantage.
Ashleigh Goode scored late to give Junee a sniff but it was too little too late as Rod Buik’s side romped to another grand final appearance.
“I think the girls defended really well at the end,” Buik said.
“Once we were up by two goals, I thought we’d be ok and even when they scored late, I wasn’t too worried.”
Buik noted the performances of Charlee McPherson and Gayler in attack, labelling the former “one of the best players in the competition”.
Once we were up by two goals, I thought we’d be ok and even when they scored late, I wasn’t too worried.Henwood Park coach Rod Buik
“She’s only had a couple of games back after her suspension and she makes a massive difference for us,” Buik said.
Junee will have just one week to recover before facing a red-hot Tolland side in the preliminary final.
The Wolves trailed South Wagga 3-1 at half time in their minor semi final and looked set to farewell their title defence.
However, the break proved miraculous for Tolland, who slotted four unanswered goals in the second half to emerge 5-3 victors.
Lizzie Read was the hero for Tolland, bagging a stunning hat-trick for her side, while Meg Thompson and Joanna Balcombe added goals to the tally.
South Wagga striker Biola Dawa was impressive in a losing side, slotting two first half goals to go with Danielle White’s scoring effort.
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