Brave Bulls go down to Rams

The trophy wasn’t delivered into their hands but the Bulls FC Academy walked away to a standing ovation despite falling 2-0 to Macarthur Rams in the NPL NSW grand final. A team that was only promoted to the top tier 12 months ago came within 90 minutes of being crowned champions and while they fell short, a brave performance against the favourites gave plenty of cause for optimism.

In the absence of their head coach Jaime Gomez due to international duty, the Bulls FC Academy put in a stoic performance against the Rams, whom they kept scoreless for more than 80 minutes with a gritty, determined display.

“All credit to the girls, it was just the last 10 when the fatigue started to kick in. All the girls have 100 per-cent, I couldn’t have been prouder of all the girls,” Bulls captain Trudy Simmons said. “It wasn’t our night tonight but we’ll be back next year and stronger.”

The Bulls captain led by example from the onset in goals, pulling-off a superb reflex save in the 11th minute  to thwart the Rams. Amid the cagey performance, the Bulls took hold of the contest but the chances couldn’t fall to the likes of Tamires Souza and Charlotte Lancaster at the focal point of their attack. On the stroke of half-time, Simmons made another fine save from close range to keep the scores locked at 0-0 at the break, much to the frustration of the Rams.

The ever-industrious Avaani Prakash sought to pry open space in the midfield and unlock chances with clever balls through the defence though desperate defending from the Rams prevented those from turning into goalscoring opportunities. At the other end, Bulls’ defender Jessica Seaman was a stalwart in the backline and heaped frustration on the Rams’ forwards who were enduring a hapless match.

That was until substitute Leena Khamis turned the contest on its head with two quickfire goals. The former Matilda struck in the 81st minute before sealing the title for Macarthur Rams shortly after to deliver the south-west Sydney club back-to-back titles.

Tamires Souza battles against the Rams.
Photo: Speed Media