Ladies Championship vs Coogee United FC #AAW1 Sponsored by Cambridge Hotel Sydney 1-0

Woohoo! Grand Final here we come! Watch out Hensley – the AAW1s will be stepping onto your smooth astroturf on September 4 with goals and glory in mind.

But before we could plan our Hensley appearance, we had to get past Coogee. And it wasn’t easy work. We were nervous and jittery: a nervous as nuns in a sperm bank, as jittery as Mike Tyson in a spelling bee.

Pre-match instructions were clear: keep calm, play your natural game, keep the tempo high (where we like it). Gordo and his canine assistant Georgie had done their best to impart some serenity upon us but to no avail. Finals football is just too exciting and we fell victim to bobbly passes, a few wayward kicks and less-than-usual aggression in attacking 50-50 balls.

We held our own, though, but we had to work our way into playing our best football. The breakthrough came late in the first half.

Mindy The Supervet had to leave us at half-time. “Someone has to save the puppies”, she said, as she clipped on her cape, adjusted her stethoscope, and flew to the clinic. But before she could rescue spaniels and bulldogs, she pounced on a corner and gave us the one-goal lead we would hold on to through the second half.

Just like the first, it wasn’t an easy second half: Coogee were quick on the counter-attack and keen to capitalise on our mistakes. We were strongest when we kept the ball at our feet and played around the opposition, and we will need to look to that strength when we step on to Hensley for the Grand Final.

It wasn’t our most comfortable victory but sometimes grinding out a win is as rewarding as cruising to a victory. We have a week off matches but training continues, and we’ll look to be in top shape when we step onto that Grand Final pitch.

ON THE HIGHLIGHTS REEL: Bina dominated the centre of the park and swivelled and spun like a Go-Go dancer with Char and Poppy similarly instrumental in winning and retaining possession. Sofie was solid up front and got battered for her efforts, Amy provided a boost of speed in the front third. Sarah hit more volleys than Andy Murray and tackled the opposition headfirst (and Fran, at one point – Sarah had stud marks on her face to prove it).

Fleet-footed “Fran The Bun” channelled her Irish countryman Conor Mcgregor and made her comeback from injury, Niz frustrated defenders with her one-two game, Zoe, Dani and Lorraine dominated the wings, Aleshea was practically coughing up a lung but still held strong at left-back, and Maja was solid with her play and talk between the sticks.

4.30pm Sunday 4th September. Put it in your diaries – in PEN, not pencil- ‘cos it’s Grand Final time!