W-League: Glory smash Wanderers to claim premiership

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Perth Glory celebrated claiming the Westfield W-League premiership with an emphatic 5-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers at Ashfield Sports Club on Saturday.

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Glory went into the match knowing they would finish top after Canberra United failed to claim maximum points against the Newcastle Jets earlier in the day.

It was the first time the Perth Glory franchise has won a title since women’s coach Jamie Harnwell was part of the men’s side which took out the last ever National Soccer League crown in 2003-04.

Even though the premiership was wrapped up before the open whistle, Harnwell’s side showed no mercy against the last-placed Wanderers.

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Sam Kerr scored a first-half brace for the second game in a row while Kate Gill, Collette McCallum and Marianna Tabain also scored as Glory cruised to their ninth win from 10 games.

It was hard to wipe the excitement from McCallum’s face at the end of the match as she reflected on winning the league after several seasons in the doldrums.

“The girls have played magnificently in all the games and it’s nice to become the league champions after all these years where we’ve been disappointing,” McCallum said.

“We’ve had such a good squad this season and we’ve gelled so well in the field so it’s all very exciting.”

Wanderers striker Helen Petinos had the first real chance in the seventh minute of the game, but she gave her shot from close range too much air and it sailed over the crossbar.

It would be one of the few chances the visitors would have in front of goal over the full 90 minutes as Glory defenders Alanna Kennedy and Shelina Zadorsky snuffed out any attack.

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Kerr struck first for the home side in the 17th minute after intercepting a pass and knocking the ball past Wanderers goalkeeper Trudy Burke with the outside of her right boot.

The speedy attacker had two chances to double her individual tally in the minutes that followed, but both her attempts were off target.

Gill, who scored a record five goals when Glory last played Wanderers, was a constant threat up front and combined with fellow attackers Kerr and Tabain to create plenty of chances for the newly crowned premiers.

Burke kept a calm head to deny what seemed a certain goal to Kerr in the 35th minute, but the Wanderers could do nothing less than a minute to stop the striker from finding the back of the net for a second time in the match.

McCallum then added her name to the scoresheet in the 39th minute with a sizzling strike from outside the box.

The Glory captain came agonisingly close to scoring another with her deadly left boot from a similar spot on the pitch, but her strike rebounded off the crossbar as the half-time whistle sounded.

Western Sydney did well to contain Glory’s pressure for the opening 15 minutes of the second half until Tabain scored on a fast-break.

Tabain, one of Glory’s most improved players this season, appeared to score again four minutes later but was ruled offside as the ball rolled into the back of the net.

Golden Boot leader Gill, who surprisingly had not scored since Round 5, made no mistake with her head three minutes before full-time after a brilliant cross from the left.

Wanderers captain Caitlin Cooper, Hannah Beard, Grace Henry and US import Keelin Winters worked hard for the visitors, but ultimately Glory was several classes above.

Perth will now look to add the W-League championship to the club’s newly reopened trophy cabinet, which only contains two NSL titles.

Perth Glory starting XI: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD (GK), 2. Sarah CARROLL, 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Alanna KENNEDY, 9. Caitlin FOORD, 12. Kate GILL, 14. Collette MCCALLUM, 15. Shelina ZADORSKY, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 20. Samantha KERR

Perth Glory substitutes: 3. Carys HAWKINS, 7. Gabrielle MARZANO, 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO, 18. Gabrielle DAL BUSCO (GK)

Western Sydney Wanderers starting XI: 1. Trudy BURKE (GK), 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Jessica SEAMAN, 4. Caitlin JARVIE, 5. Helen PETINOS, 6. Rachael SOUTAR, 8. Grace HENRY, 9. Keelin WINTERS, 10. Michelle CARNEY, 12. Hannah BEARD, 16. Linda O’NEILL

Western Sydney Wanderers substitutes: 14. Demi KOULIZAKIS, 17. Laura DONNELLY, 20. Sham KHAMIS (GK)

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