The Blenheim Valley Bullets football team wrapped up what was described as “an excellent debut season” in the Nelson women’s first division league at a rain-swept A and P Park on Saturday.
In their final hit-out, against FC Nelson on a muddy, unpredictable pitch, they turned in another gutsy effort before going down 2-1, the result decided by a very late and rather fortunate goal.
The home side came out firing, and within 10 minutes had the lead through Tessa Hyland.
In the second half, the balance of play was even before, with 15 minutes to play, Nelson FC forced a corner and their striker Grace Roche equalized.
Both sides had clear-cut chances to bag the winner, but it was the visitors who had the final say, when they scrambled the ball over the line almost on fulltime to take the spoils.
The BV midfield, particularly Ruby Smith, Hyland and Lauren Sloan, were outstanding while the backs worked hard as a defensive unit throughout. Freya Thompson and Lea Poletti contributed some sparking attacking runs. Player of the day was Abby Owen who was solid on defence and also countered with some great attacking play.
The previous week Bullets scored a notable 3-2 win over Nelson Suburbs at Saxton Fields.
Down 2-1 at halftime, Bullets showed their character with a confident passing game, which led to mounting and sustained attacks on goal. Rebecca Stuart and Abby Owen added the final two decisive goals while BV’s back three and sweeper excelled, holding out a series of strong Suburbs’ attacks.
BV players to standout were Ruby Wybourne, for her great crosses and incisive runs, plus Hyland and Sloan who combined well in the midfield to stymie Suburbs’ attack and create opportunities up front.
Player of match was defensive midfielder Smith who shut down lots of Suburbs attacks on goal and provided quality ball when BV went forward.
The Bullets finished fourth on the six-team Nelson women’s div one table, picking up four wins and three draws. They were coached by Ian Thomas and Alan Elvy.