Women’s Challenge Cup Preview

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They call her “Sullo” because she doesn’t go much on  “Jessie Sullivan” as a handle. But that’s her name and goal-keeping is her game, and at Narrabeen Sports last Sunday she proved herself more than adept at it.

 

Indeed she proved herself a match-winner.

 

With her Premier League team, Manly Allambie United, leading 2-1 with ten minutes to play in the round one Challenge Cup fixture against Manly Vale, Vale were awarded a penalty.

 

Striker Georgia Goulding, Vale’s 2020 PL Player of The Year, stepped up and set the strike free. Sullivan threw herself in the ball’s path, only to see it rebound and fall at Goulding’s feet.  Sullivan then saved the follow-up shot, too.

 

A double-save at the death – a goalkeeper can hang a hat on that in any body of work.

 

“It was a huge play,” Manly Allambie coach Kyle Cannon said. “We had several contributors across the field and I was happy with the win given our lack of preparation but Sullo’s double-save was the standout. With ten minutes on the clock she probably won the game for us.”

 

Cannon said his players were understandably rusty given their lack of training much less trials due to ground closures brought about by recent rain.

 

“We gave away a bit of possession and were rusty on touches,” he said. “We need to work on controlling the ball and limiting the opposition’s chances of getting on top but given all the rain and grounds being closed, it was just good to get out and have a run!.”

 

This Sunday at Narrabeen Sports High School, Cannon’s team take on AL1 side Avalon and he admits he isn’t across his opponent’s recent form.

 

“Our AL1 side played them two years ago and they were quite strong.” He said. “I know they have a few former Premier League players and we’ll still have to be on our game to get the win.”

 

Sunday’s match kicks off at 11am at Narrabeen Sports High School, the middle fixture of a quarter final triple-header with Seaforth vs Mosman at 9am and Brookvale vs Wakehurst at 1pm, while BTH are already through to the semi finals after defeating Beacon Hill 1-0 last weekend.

By Matt Cleary

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