Season one of the Ladies Gridiron League concluded in memorable fashion over the weekend as the West Coast Angels staved off a valiant Adelaide Phoenix 36-28 at City Mazda Stadium to earn the title of inaugural LGL Champions.
Led by Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, Rhyanna Edbrooke, and Tessa Atkinson, the Angels conducted a defensive masterclass and held on courageously in the final minutes of the match.
Edbrooke was particularly dominant throughout the game, shutting down Offensive Player of the Year and Phoenix touchdown specialist, Chelsea Farr, for all four quarters and allowing the Angels’ offence to register a winning total.
Coach Kev’s infamous Golden Square was down a member prior to the match as Britney Were failed to make the trip east. However, Caitlyn ‘2.0’ Lewis stepped in to fill the void, joining Tegan Brown, Kahra Sprlyan and Ebony Brown as the fourth member of the impressive offensive quartet.
Ebony Brown realised her vast potential and showed why she is so highly regarded within the Angels inner sanctum with her best game for the season, while Tegan Brown changed the course of the final when she ran for a 60-yard touchdown midway through the third term.
Any chance the Phoenix had of pulling off a miracle final quarter victory faded when Lisa Fyfe left the field in the arms of trainers with less than five minutes remaining.
The league MVP was inspirational throughout the match as she wore countless hits from a methodical and relentless Angel’s defensive unit.
While neither side bothered the scorers in a tight first term, Elisabetta Del Re opened the account for the Phoenix early in the second when she got on the end of a perfectly weighted Fyfe pass.
Sprlyan continued the hot form she showcased in her game MVP-winning semi-final performance against the Canberra Mustangs as she hit back for the Angels just moments later.
Ebony Brown used the swift change of momentum to her advantage and registered her first touchdown for the final, before the Del Re-Fyfe combination struck again and the Phoenix levelled at 14-all heading into the major break.
Both sides came out of the half full of savagery and willing to put it all on the line for the elusive LGL Championship Cup.
Continuing the score-for-score format from the first two quarters, it was the Angels who were able to buck the trend and run for two in a row – including Brown’s touchdown of the season – as they gave themselves an eight-point three quarter time buffer.
Full of momentum and defensively dominant, the Angels outlasted the Phoenix in the final quarter and added a championship to their three LGL season awards.
The Phoenix were gallant in defeat, with receivers Sasha Rae and Del Re indulging in their best outings for the season.
Jasmine ‘The Magic Carpet’ Tudor gave her most dominant performance since Game One and Jessica Bailey was immovable on the offensive line.
It was an exceptional season from the girls in red, going undefeated throughout the home and away fixture and claiming three awards, including MVP and Coaching Staff of the Year.
Following their loss to the Phoenix earlier in the year, the Angels went from strength to strength in each game they played and ended up deserved champions.
Earlier in the day, the Angels won both the war of attrition and their way through to the final with a 6-0 semi-final victory against the Canberra Mustangs.
Despite their loss, the Mustangs were able to recover in time to win the $1000 Bounty Bowl against the Phoenix in a sensational display of a resilience.
West Coast Angels: Rhyanna Edbrooke, Tessa Atkinson, Ebony Brown, Tegan Brown, Kahra Sprlyan
Adelaide Phoenix: Elisabetta Del Re, Lisa Fyfe, Jasmine Tudor, Kristen Illuminato, Jessica Bailey