The weather gods weren't smiling, but the consenus is Wagga's Equex Centre did enough to prove it deserves bigger ticket games as Sydney FC upstaged Newcastle Jets 2-1 in Sunday's W-League trial.
In the first elite level match held in Wagga, two goals from Sydney FC newcomer Mackenzie Hawkesby was enough for the defending champions to hold off a gallant Jets.
Lightning delayed kick-off for almost an hour as rain pelted down before and during the first half, but the pitch and its drainage held up impressively.
Referees inspected the pitch before giving the game the green light to go ahead.
Hawkesby, 19, joined Sydney FC this season after being part of the Western Sydney Wanderers' campaign last year.
She is yet to play a W-League game and knows the task of breaking into Sydney's star-studded line-up is tough, but she did her cause no harm.
Her first goal came after 17 minutes off the back of a superb cross from Matilda Caitlin Foord from the right flank, laying it on a platter for Hawkesby to poke the ball home into an empty net.
Four minutes later she pounced for her second after Jets keeper Claire Coelho spilled a cross in the tough conditions
Just before halftime the Jets were rewarded for a strong opening 45 minutes when a corner from Libby Copus Brown ricocheted off a few bodies in the box, before it dribbled over the goal-line to close the margin to 2-1.
Although the rain eased off after half-time, both teams used the second half to play some of their young guns with few opportunities created.
Matildas Alanna Kennedy and Chloe Logarzo also played the first half in their final hit-out before a couple of international friendlies against Chile.
Sydney FC were without their Young Matildas representatives and their international signings are yet to arrive, giving the likes of Hawkesby a big chance to show coach Ante Juric what they can do in their last trial before the season proper begins.
"I don't think Mackenzie's played a game of W-League so she'll get a run this year sometime," Juric said.
"She's still young and more suited to the midfield than out wide (where she played Sunday), we just had to put her there until the big guns arrive.
"But I think she'll be impressive this year."
Juric said Kennedy had been carrying a minor groin issue before the game and opted to err on the side of caution with the defender given Matildas commitments and their W-League title defence are fast approaching.
"She had a little groin niggle beforehand so we got her through 45 minutes just to get her used to (defensive partner) Ellie Brush who's new to the team. We needed them playing together before round one," Juric said.
"We didn't want to cause her any issues before the Matildas as well."
Juric singled out youngster Charlie Rule for a brilliant performance on the flanks.
"We haven't signed her but she's part of our train on squad. Darcey came on in midfield too, those two youngsters ho played most of the game were outstanding," he said.
Jets captain Clare Wheeler said they were biting their fingernails when the referees inspected the pitch, and everyone was relieved they were able to put on a show for the 1089 hardy fans who showed up.
"We were definitely nervous. We came here to play and everyone's out here to see us play. Thank god the lightning stayed away and we got on the park," she said.
"I don't think anyone would have thought we'd go to Wagga and play in torrential rain, we thought we'd get the heat," she said. It's good to play in different conditions and learn to adapt.
"The ball was holding up in the middle of the park but we've got to learn from this and get more experience in those situations."
Wheeler had no doubt Equex Centre could host a game with three points on the line, something Football Wagga and Wagga City Council are aiming to achieve in the future.
She said all W-League clubs should make a point of being accessible to country areas.
"I think every team should go to a regional community at some point because I feel it's really important for these communities to get football in front of young girls to show there's a pathway," she said.
Hawkesby said her brace was a huge confidence boost ahead of the W-League campaign, with Sydney FC to begin their campaign against Melbourne Victory at home on November 17.
"There's such a great team around me and I'm looking forward to getting some minutes under my belt. I'm working hard and if I get some game time out of it that's great," Hawkesby said.
"It was brilliant to get two goals, I had two really good assists and am really grateful.
"It's a tough team to break into but it's an amazing environment to be training in and learning off girls like this. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
Newcastle coach Craig Deans was relatively impressed with his team's showing, but said there's plenty of work to do as they look to improve on last season's seventh place finish.
He praised the facilities in Wagga, with an A-League trial between the two clubs set to be played in the city next season.
"Women's football is growing really quickly throughout the whole county and it's important we get out of Newcastle.
"We're a bit of a regional centre anyway so we understand to a degree the importance of having people to look up and for us it's important to come out and play like this, and let young kids see what's possible for them.
"I think a W-League game (could be played here), 100 per cent. We've played at some grounds over the years that are far worse than this one.
"From my point of view the change rooms are excellent, the field is good.
"I'd be happy to play a game here and it's definitely something somebody who wants to bring a game to a regional centre could look at."
Deans said recruit Lauren Allen, a regular attacker who played left back due to injuries, was strong.
Newcomer Nicki Flannery also came close to scoring on a couple of occasions.