By Chris Curulli
Manly Vale FC took home their first Premier League Women’s Grand Final since 2012 with a 4-1 win over Mosman at Cromer Park on Sunday afternoon.
Two goals in the last five minutes put an exclamation point on a strong showing from Roland Winter and Tony Bruzzano’s side.
They took the lead after just five minutes as Grace Jacobs was released in behind and smartly tucked the ball below Mosman goalkeeper Kelly Spoerk.
In the 28th minute, Mosman were granted a golden opportunity to restore parity as Pheobe Pincus was fouled in the penalty area.
However to the Whales’ dismay Stef Davis blazed her spot kick wide of the target.
Vale took only five minutes to make the most of their let-off as they extended their lead in spectacular fashion.
A poor clearance fell into the path of Georgia Goulding, who was announced post game as the competition’s joint player of the year.
From long range, the Manly Vale midfielder unleashed a stunning half volley from that lobbed Spoerk and nestled inside the top corner of the net.
Mosman found a second wind on the hour mark and began to push hard for a way back into the contest.
They were rewarded with 15 minutes to play as Arabella Baker bundled home a corner kick after a scramble in the area.
However as Mosman committed numbers forward in the hope of taking the match to penalties, they were hit with a pair of sucker-punches.
The first arrived in the 85th minute as a well-struck delivery from Grace Jacobs found its way to Jemima Lockley at the back post, giving the Manly Vale number 9 an empty net to aim for.
The result was put beyond all doubt in stoppage time as Jacobs bagged a brace, sparking scenes of jubilation within the Vale support.
Post-game, Grace Jacobs was pleased with her side’s performance.
“We’ve put in the effort all season, so it was good to see it come out on the field today,” she said.
“We all knew we’d be fighting from the start, so to put one in early was good, but everyone had to work hard until the end.
“I think we had a good mindset going into it and were hungry to win so to come away with the title is very exciting.”
The PL decider capped off an outstanding day for the Manly Vale club, whose reserve grade side trumped Seaforth 6-5 on penalties.
Elsewhere, fourth-placed Manly Allambie overcame third-placed Seaforth 2-1 while fifth and sixth-placed Wakehurst and Pittwater played out a 1-1 draw and over on Cromer 2, Beacon Hill continued their late season form with a 2-0 win over Brookvale.
In the women’s AL/1s decider it was Belrose-Terry Hills who came out on top, defeating Curl Curl 5-2.