Lions FC 2 (Hecher 16′; Heatley 69′)
Capalaba 1 (Torpey 52′)
W-League bound duo Mariel Hecher and Winonah Healey combined to help send Lions through to a Grand Final showdown next week against Logan Lightning.
It was though visitors Capalaba who almost took the lead early on when a free-kick from the left of the penalty area was played low, striking keeper Isabella Shuttleworth’s post before eventually being gathered in by the Lions stopper following some frantic defending in the six-yard box.
The breakthrough came on the quarter-hour mark for the hosts. A run by Tegan Riding saw her play a ball through to Amy Gunston who was unable to connect cleanly but the ball ran nicely for Hecher to drill a low shot past advancing Bulldogs keeper Georgina Worth.
Both sides had chances from free-kicks in dangerous positions during the rest of the half but failed to trouble either keeper.
The hosts looked to have had a solid claim for a penalty on 35 minutes. Gunston making a run towards the goal line was tripped before staying on her feet and winning a corner. Referee Hamish Cannon seemingly uninterested in Lions claims.
Capalaba found their way back into the game shortly after the break when Kaitlin Torpey found the back of the net from close range as the visitors began to battle their way back and take the game to Lions.
Lions enjoyed the better of the opportunities following Capalaba’s equaliser. Riding with a shot just wide and moments later Hecher with a smart turn on the edge of the box before firing narrowly over.
It then took a slice of good fortune to break the deadlock with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Hecher finding an advanced Heatley out to the right of the box. The Lions defender then watched on as her intended cross floated over Worth and drifted in at the back post to restore Lion’s goal advantage.
Steph Latham had a good chance to level again almost from the restart but her effort went straight to Shuttleworth.
With the game deep in added time, the visitors had one last opportunity to take the contest into extra time but a well-timed last-ditch challenge from Cannon Clough prevented Torpey from getting in on goal. The resulting corner gave the Lions faithful a jittery moment but the ball was headed over and with it went Capalaba’s Grand Final hopes.
The final whistle was met with jubilation from the Lionesses players and staff who will join their male counterparts next weekend at Perry Park for a Lions Grand Final doubleheader.
Shuttleworth (gk), Heatley, Clough, Davdison, Evetts, Riding, Blissett, Westland, O’Keeffe, Gunston, Hecher.
Subs: Abaza (rgk), Christmas, Price, O’Neill, Rink, Kirkup.
Worth (gk), Chapman, Kubin, Murphy, Latham, Karalouka, Torpey, Tathem, Wheeler, Knight Thompson.
Subs: Stewart (gk), Schaefer, Ward, Allen, Crew, Moore.
Referee: Hamish Cannon