Miners play their way right to top
ANYONE holding onto the belief Gympie is a backwater of the Sunshine Coast soccer competition needs to think again after the Gympie women’s Miners stormed to the top of the competition ladder last week.
Playing Maroochydore at the One Mile Ovals Friday night, the Gympie girls banded together to win 2-0.
The victory broke the deadlock between both sides at the top of the competition ladder, allowing Gympie to stand alone in its pursuit of premiership glory.
Coach Mike Donaldson was thrilled with the result.
“We’re now at the top of the league with 19 points,” he said.
“It’s very tight at the top of the ladder but this is an important step for us.”
In sensational form for Gympie in the win was captain Christy Bryan who led by example to score both of the Miners’ two goals.
“Christy had an outstanding game,” Donaldson said. “The whole team was playing well.”
The Miners were able to clinch the win despite difficult conditions, including a thunderstorm producing lightning.
The rain eased to a light drizzle come kick off at 7pm, but a wet field made Gympie’s passing game more of a challenge.
“The ball was skidding around a lot in the wet and it was hard for us to execute our normal passing game,” Donaldson said.
Contending with the slick conditions was compounded by Maroochydore’s physical presence in the match.
But rather than being intimidated, the Gympie girls showed more maturity since their return to the competition last year and matched it with their rivals.
Donaldson was pleased to see this, saying it was a “physical game with plenty of strong tackles”.
Bryan broke through to give Gympie a lead in the seventh minute when she received a pass just outside of Maroochydore’s goal and fired it over the keeper’s head.
The remainder of the first half saw the battle rage on and Gympie, although unable to break through for another goal, shut the door in the face of a number of Maroochydore attacking raids.
A second goal to Gympie, the last of the match, came in the second minute of the second half.
Kirra Mieran gained possession of the ball just inside Gympie’s half, shot off a pass to Rebekah Martin who then negotiated a couple of defenders before passing to Christy Bryan. Bryan then finished off the play with another successful shot at goal.
Up 2-0, Maroochydore altered their attacking pattern by sending more players into upfront in the hope of breaking through Gympie’s defensive line.
Gympie didn’t baulk at this sudden shift in tactics, holding strong in defence despite the mounting pressure.
In particular form was Miners keeper Kiah Monk, who again pulled off a number of spectacular saves.
“She made some great saves and is really playing well at the moment,” Donaldson said.
“She has more confidence and is communicating really well and if you have a strong keeper, it really makes the difference in defence.”
Getting to the top of the ladder is one thing, but staying there is another.
The Miners face their first test as competition leaders this Friday against Coolum away at 8.45pm.