By Liam Emerton
It was an all-Gladstone spectacular in the inaugural Central Queensland Premier League (CQPL) women’s grand final on Saturday night and it was an instant classic.
Clinton FC faced off against local rivals Central FC in the grand final to become the first-ever winners of the Gwen Fox Cup.
Clinton certainly started the sharper of the two sides with Liana Radisic scoring within the first six minutes of the contest.
Radisic’s terrific left-foot strike gave Clinton the early lead and soon after Jemma Boswell’s super strike had doubled the team in green’s advantage.
The perfect start for Clinton came crashing down however when Central’s captain fantastic Kallie Peurifoy scored to make it 2-1 by the 31st minute.
From there the match played back and forth but a booming run by Peurifoy saw her square the ball up for teammate Gracie Moore who had the easiest of finishes, slotting the ball into an empty net.
That goal came mere seconds before the half and left the scores level as the teams took to their half time break.
A back-and-forth second stanza ensued and it wasn’t until the 68th minute that the teams were separated again.
And who else but Peurifoy to settle the inaugural CQPL women’s grand final.
The number 13 picked the ball up just in front of halfway and skipped past two defenders with her pace before picking her spot in the bottom left-hand corner.
The goal was the first time that Central had held a lead over Clinton in the grand final but it was enough to win it.
Clinton tried to break the Central defence down but in the end, it was too strong and the minor premiers Central became the first holders of the Gwen Fox cup.
After the final whistle, match-winner Peurifoy said she was incredibly proud of her team’s efforts across the whole season.
“It feels great to win the inaugural Premier League season,” she said.
“To get the first win and have a clean trophy with our name on it was a really great feeling.
“We got smashed in the major semi-final so we definitely needed to change our game plan.
“We fought back hard from 2-0 which I’m super proud of my team for.
“It is definitely one of the hardest fought games we’ve played this season.”
Off the field, it was announced that Football Queensland Central operations manager Kerrie Gray would be stepping down from her role.
After guiding all of the competitions through a pandemic and overlooking the inaugural CQPL women’s competition amongst many other successes, Gray’s efforts towards football in the region certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed.