Eastern Suburbs have won New Zealand Football’s women’s National League Championship Grand Final, defeating Western Springs 4 – 0 in a dominant performance at Mt Smart Stadium. (Photo: photosport.nz via NZ Football).
The victory sees Eastern Suburbs become the first club side to win the women’s National League Championship after the competition was restructured in 2021 to include teams qualifying from the Northern Region Football League as well as federation sides.
Suburbs took the lead in the 9th minute. Good work from Tayla O’Brien led to a dangerous cross into the Western Springs box that rebounded to Deven Jackson. Jackson’s shot deflected off Western Springs goalkeeper Angelique Tuisamoa into the net for an own goal.
Western Springs looked to fight back with good chances for attackers Sofia Garcia and Rina Hirano but with half-time looming it was Eastern Suburbs who doubled their advantage.
A shot from Deven Jackson was blocked by the Springs defence but fell kindly to Saki Yoshida who coolly slotted past the keeper in the 42nd minute to make it 2 – 0 at the break.
The second half opened with good chances for both sides with Western Springs forward Sam Tawharu hitting the woodwork in the 52nd minute.
But 1 minute later it was three for Eastern Suburbs. Another good run and cross by Tayla O’Brien saw the ball fall to Deven Jackson who passed it into the back of the net.
Western Springs fought hard to get back into the game and nearly had the ball in the net after a goalmouth scramble in the 71st minute.
Seven minutes from time Deven Jackson made the win a certainty for Eastern Suburbs. Her first two attempts were blocked but she fired home the third from close range to end the game as a 4 – 0 win for Eastern Suburbs.
After a standout performance Deven Jackson was awarded the player of the match.
Also awarded at the game were the league’s MVP award, presented to Capital Football’s Renee Bacon, and Resene Golden Boot award, presented to Eastern Suburbs’ Tayla O’Brien (17 goals).