3 weeks ago
By Joe Perkins
Invincible Foresters worthy champs; Heath come up short in final; semi-final woes for Rosary and Timberley.
Power League on Wednesday evening saw the crème de la crème of Erdington and Saltley’s girls come together to compete in the play-offs to be crowned Girls League Champions for 2017-18 and through sunshine and squally, cold showers, it was all-conquering Lea Forest who stole the show, sauntering to the title.
The best four teams from both groups, in a league which commenced back in November, were placed in two further groups with the top two in each progressing to the semi-finals.
Group A proved tighter than Group B as Rosary and reigning champions Timberley, finished on 7 points each; Rosary’s superior goal difference saw them through in first place. An out of source Harper Bell, disappointed and they bowed out at the group stage.
In Group B, Lea Forest cantered to three wins from three games, netting 13 times and conceding only once. Joining them in the semi-finals were Short Heath who had to beat a battling Erdington Hall side in their final group game to go through.
And so, to the semi-final: one, as dramatic as they come, the other, a rather one-sided affair. Rosary took on Short Heath and early in the second half, found themselves 3-0 up but a defensive mix-up gave Heath cause for optimism and 1-3 shortly became 2-3, then incredibly 3-3! The game went into extra-time and with Rosary looking the more likely side, the Heathens broke away to incredibly, snatch the lead. There was still time for a last gasp Rosary rally, but they saw a shot hit a post and in a md goal-mouth scramble just couldn’t find a way past a packed Short Heath defence; the Heathens were through to the final.
On the opposite pitch, Lea Forest faced the title holders Timberley, and continued in imperious form with a 4-0 dismantling of the Shard Enders.
Having faced each other in the group stages earlier on in these finals, Lea Forest and Short Heath met again in the final. It was also fitting that these two, who had both won their league group titles, should provide the show-piece and final game of a brilliant girls’ league season.
The earlier group game had seen Forest hit six against Heath and the final followed a similar pattern. Forest took an early lead and by half-time were three up, two further goals put the icing, then the cherry on top of their cake and the league championship title was heading over to Kitts Green.
Lea Forest went through the whole season unbeaten and with a 100%-win record, scoring a massive total of 73 goals and conceding only 4 – truly remarkable champions!