A 3-1 loss to the Bega Devils didn’t do the Pambula Penguins justice on Sunday.
The two teams clashed in the first grade game of the FSC Football Association grand final where Pambula had pushed the Devils until the dying minute.
The ladies had also gone down earlier 1-0 to Tathra.
Penguins president Paul Gilbert said he was proud of the efforts despite losses on social media.
“Congratulations to both our ladies and first grade teams,” he said.
“Our men were beaten by a better side on the day, and congratulations must be afforded to Bega for their committed performance.
“2-0 down at half-time certainly had us a little stunned, and on the back foot.”
The two goals had come from unfortunate penalties inside the box giving the Devils a direct free from the dot, while the Bega keeper had held out a dot shot from Pambula.
However, in the second half, the Penguins fired back into contention.
“We really showed what we can do – a classic football goal with speed down the wing, a cross and smashing header,” Gilbert said.
The Penguins were strong in the air, but the Devils had made it clear they were looking to counter the high-ball plays and flooded the goal box on corner kicks.
It was an inspiring second half showing from the Penguins that drew chants and roars of support from the crowd, but opportunities were shutdown quickly.
It was in the final moments of play that Bega sealed the win with Wade Wilton turning a defensive effort into an attack and curling the ball into the Pambula net to lead 3-1.
In the women’s game the Penguins had been dominant through both halves, controlling a majority of play.
“In the ladies game, I don't think I have seen a team dominate a match so convincingly, and lose,” Gilbert said.
“We are all incredibly proud of what our ladies have achieved this year after building over a couple of seasons.”
Gilbert also said there was a rising force of junior girls within the club to bolster the women’s side over the coming years.
The Penguins dominated forward possession with Madi Whatman putting in a strong workrate, while Annalisse Reed had some swift left-edge runs. However, Tathra keeper Chloe Pellow proved a handful with the goalie stopping more than a dozen shots on goal.
Unfortunately a long volley out of the back lines found Tathra striker Amanda Stevenson, who evaded two defenders to beat the goalie one-on-one and score the match-winner.
Gilbert said signs were strong for the club moving forward. “You could tell by the enthusiasm of our supporter base that we have something special. Something that you don't get a trophy for; camaraderie, friendship and community.”
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