Raiders steamroll Fusion to win Grand Final


From the opening whistle the Raiders went on the attack with the Fusion preferring to sit back try and soak up the pressure and counter attack.
But the deadlock was soon broken when a long throw down court from the Raiders keeper Elise O?Kelly found Lisa Gilbert who cleverly back heeled the ball into the net whilst surrounded by a clutch of defenders. 
The Fusion hit back and Nichole Lawson went close with a shot from half way then Renee Tompkins saw her deflected effort loop up onto the top of the net.
With Liverpool?s period of pressure repelled the Raiders extended their lead when a corner from the right found Lina Khamis lurking unmarked at the far post to head home.
The goal coming while defensive lynchpin Nichole Lawson was off the court after receiving a heavy knock earlier in the half.
Liverpool pushed forward again in search of a goal but were having little effect penetrating the defensive line with most of the attempts coming from long range.
The Fusion had their best chance just before half time when Chanel Turner seized on a loose ball and crashed her shot against the crossbar. Western Raiders went the break leading 2-0.
The Fusion started the half pressurising the Raiders goal with a Renee Tompkins effort going close, but the pressure was eventually repelled by the Raiders and they were soon back on the attack.
Fusion Keeper Tani Rosekelly made a terrific stop to deny Lisa Gilbert then Renee Tompkins again went close for the Fusion. The Raiders then made it three when Lisa Gilbert fed the ball to Kylie Ledbrook on the right who slotted the ball past the keeper. 
The goal left the Fusion with a mountain to climb and shortly after Kylie Ledbrook put the game beyond doubt when she scored her second goal of the night to give the Raiders an unassailable 4-0 lead.
Player of the match Lisa Gilbert then grabbed her second of the game when she played a one-two with a teammate then slotted her shot past Rosekelly in the Fusion goal.
The Fusion never gave up all game and came very close to scoring when Samantha Muscat brilliantly kicked the ball back over her head but her fine shot was well saved by Elise O?Kelly in goal.
The final goal came just before the end when Lina Khamis slammed home her second of the game to seal a comfortable 6-0 victory.  
A delighted and relieved Raiders coach Tarek Madani said their recruitment drive at the beginning of the year really paid of by winning the title.
He wanted to single out praise for his midfield trio of Cavanagh, Khamis and Ledbrook with Danielle Brogan at the back but singled out special praise for 16 year old keeper Elise O?Kelly who kept goal in the seniors all season.
-By Peter Davies