The Cootamundra Strikers have finished their season in all grades but the first grade women, who play their first round of finals next week against the Young Lions at 11am at Rawlings Park.

First-grade women

The first grade Cootamundra Strikers women had a finals preview game against the Young Lions last Sunday.

The Strikers disappointedly lost 3-2 at O’Connor Park on Sunday, but more disappointing is that the Strikers lost their second place spot on the ladder in the last week before the finals. The Junee Jaguars 13-1 victory over Leeton United FC shoots them into second place and drops the Strikers into third place.

This now means the Strikers lose their second chance privileges that the top two get and now have to play the Young Lions in an elimination final.

Meeting twice in the season, the Lions and Strikers have won one game each.

The first was in round 5 when the Strikers beat the Lions 2-1 at Rawlings Park and the second was the last Sunday 3-2 loss for the Strikers.

The Strikers loss over the weekend was uncharacteristic as their defence has been the source of the dominance.

The Lions scored three goals, which is almost double the 1.7 average the Strikers allow opponents to score per game this season.

This lapse in defence occurred for the Strikers whilst also being held to 2 goals, well under their 3.1 goals scored per game average for the season.

Hopefully, for the Strikers last week was an anomaly and they return to their premiership contending form in the finals.

The winner of the Strikes and the Lions will play the loser of the Junee Jaguars and Hanwood in the semi-final.

The Cootamundra Strikers first grade women play the Young Lions at 11am on Sunday at Rawlings Park field one.

Second Grade women

The second grade Cootamundra Strikers finished their season last Sunday with a 3-0 loss against the minor premier-winning Henwood park.

The Strikers put up a valiant effort, improving on their last meetings of a 6-3 loss in round four and a 9-4 loss in round 11.

The Strikers second grade should also be proud that they held the minor premier Henwood girls to three goals, when they score an average of 5.7 goals per game.

The Strikers had a decent campaign as they finished in fifth place with five wins, one draw and 11 losses this season. During the season they scored an average of 1.7 goals per game and held opponents to an average of 3.4 goals per game.

Finishing just outside the finals bound top four, there is hope for the Cootamundra strikers to have two grades of women in the finals next season.

First Grade Strikers Men

The first grade Cootamundra Strikers men have ended their season with a 4-0 loss against the South Wagga Football Club.

The Strikers have had a tough season with only one win all season and 16 losses in their wooden spoon campaign.

The game for the Strikers was being played for nothing but pride, whereas South Wagga needed the win to get a place in the finals bound top four.

The motivation and the skill of South Wagga was too much for the Strikers to handle in their 4-0 loss. Whilst a disappointing loss, the Strikers can take some satisfaction in the fact that they improved the margin form their 5-0 game against South Wagga in round nine.

The Strikers also held South Wagga under their season average of 6.1 goals allowed per game. Whilst a disappointing season for the first grade Cootamundra Strikers men, there are signs of improvement for next season.

Second Grade Strikers Men

The second grade Cootamundra Strikers men are another Strikers team to finish their season this week.

The Strikers lost 2-1 to the third place South Wagga Football Club men at O’Connor Park on Sunday.

The Strikers put up a high quality fight on Sunday, challenging a finals bound team and improving their round eight efforts where they lost 3-0 to the South Wagga men.

Also, the Strikers holding a top four team to less than half their 7.3 goals allowed per game for the season is an admirable feat.

The Strikers were unfortunately denied the chance by some good defence to end their season with a goal, as they have only scored eight goals in their 15 games this season.

The Cootamundra Strikers men will be setting a season goal to avoid the wooden spoon in both first grade and second grade next season.

Ed Dodds