Remy Siemsen scored a hat trick as Manly United came from behind twice to defeat Macarthur Rams 4-3 in a thrilling PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues NSW Women’s Grand Final at Valentine Sports Park.
The competition golden boot winner and NAB Young Footballer of the Year struck two minutes before full time to complete a remarkable treble and turnaround for Chris Williams’ Manly side who trailed the Rams 2-0 inside the opening ten minutes and 3-2 minutes into the second stanza.
Manly’s championship win crowns what has been a hugely successful four-year period of improvement for the Cromer Park outfit who were pipped to the league premiership by the Rams but made it ten wins in a row with the Grand Final triumph.
The success will taste even sweeter for Manly given the benchmark status of the Rams who won their third premiership in four seasons in 2017 but were unable to claim what is becoming an elusive championship prize for Norm Boardman’s side.
Macarthur will lament letting the lead slip twice over the course of the ninety minutes and were handed the best possible start when Amy Harrison unleashed a superb strike from outside the box and doubled their advantage shortly after when Alice Wilson’s clearance looped over Manly goalkeeper Claire Coelho.
Manly replied instantly when Natasha Prior’s header crashed off the underside of the bar and missed two golden chances through Chloe O’Brien and Sunny Franco before Siemsen turned home a Nikola Orgill cross to bring the scores level on the stroke of half time.
The Rams edged back in front minutes into the second half thanks to a sensational long range hit from Caitlin Campbell but faced a long spell of Manly dominance with goalkeeper Shamiran Khamis forced into several outstanding saves to deny Siemsen and substitute Sarah Yatim.
The two Manly forwards inadvertently combined for an equalizing goal in the 80th minute when Siemsen poked home from close range before the Young Matilda hammered in a loose ball at the near post to gift United an incredible victory two minutes from full time.
Siemsen’s sensational trio of goals brings her tally for the season to 25 and hailed the performance as the highlight of her career so far after the match.
“It’s an absolute honour to put on the Manly United jersey and to get the goals tonight meant so much to me.
“When we went in at half time we knew we needed to step up our game and follow Chris’ instructions and we did that and took our chances.
Manly custodian Chris Williams lauded the match as a fantastic advertisement for women’s football and commended his side’s attitude after coming from behind twice.
“I think most other teams would’ve buckled in those situations but we backed ourselves to keep playing our football and luckily reward came, I couldn’t be prouder of the girls.
“We had a tough start to the year but the girls have really bought into our philosophy and we’ve played some great football.
The Manly coach also paid tribute to technical director Sharon Egger for spearheading what has been an excellent period of growth for women’s football at Cromer Park.
“The environment Sharon has created at Manly is second to none.
“We’ve made a choice about developing our own players and backed ourselves with that philosophy, we have about 12-15 players in this squad that are Manly juniors so a lot of credit has to go to her.”
Macarthur Rams 3 (Harrison 3’, Wilson (og) 10’, Campbell 48’)
Manly United 4 (Prior 15’, Siemsen 44’, Siemsen 80’, 88’)
Sunday 27th of August 2017,
Valentine Sports Park, Glenwood
Macarthur Rams: 37. Caitlin Campbell, 15. Rosaria Galea (13. Kahlia Muilwyk 70’), 30. Amy Harrison, 9. Leena Khamis, 1. Shamiran Khamis, 21. Panayiota Petratos, 2. Teresa Polias, 5. Elizabeth Ralston, 19. Lauren Ralston, 3. Claire Walsh, 7. Kirrilee Cameron
Substitutes Not Used: 32. Natasha Aitken, 41. Katherine Hensley-Sadgrove, 24. Olyvia Mavridis, 8. Stefani Skerlevska
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
Manly United: 11. Claire Coelho, 19. Sunny Franco (9. Sarah Yatim 57’), 5. Ally Green, 18. Sophie Nenadovic (15. Jessie Wharepouri 88’), 4. Madeleine Neville (14. Jessica Sekulich 65’), 3. Chloe O’Brien, 16. Nikola Orgill, 17. Natasha Prior, 10. Remy Siemsen, 13. Isabella Walker, 2. Alice Wilson
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Sophie Harding, 1. Nicole Simonsen
Yellow Cards: Wilson 49’, Yatim 66’
Red Cards: N/A
3 – Remy Siemsen (MAN)
2 – Caitlin Campbell (MAC)
1 – Natasha Prior (MAN)
–By Jacob Windon