Keilor Park vs Darebin Falcons

Darebin Falcons’ superb late-season form continued with a 4-1 victory away to Keilor Park that secured third place on the Women’s State League Division 2 North-West ladder and a place in the play-offs.

Five consecutive wins lifted Darebin from seventh six weeks ago to a semi-final meeting with Western Eagles next weekend – victory would mean the club’s first ever grand final appearance.

The Falcons went into the game knowing defeat by three goals would see their hosts leapfrog them into third and the danger of slipping out of the top four altogether in the last preliminary round of the season.

But an early goal from Irena Farinacci, who converted from close range after a fantastic run and cross from Niddy Morgan, eased the nerves.

Centre-half Carmen Sandmann drifted forward to double the advantage on the half-hour mark, arrowing her well-struck shot into the bottom left-hand corner.

The visitors had the advantage of a gusty breeze in the first half and, with that against them, found themselves on the back foot in the opening stages of the second half.

A dubious freekick gave Keilor the opportunity to capitalise on this pressure 10 minutes in but Katherine Sparks replied almost immediately to restore the Falcons’ two-goal advantage.

And it was Sparks who completed the scoring 10 minutes from time, getting on the end of a determined run down the left wing from Emily Cook.

Darebin go into their semi-final as underdogs after defeats to Western Eagles in their previous two meetings this season but full of confidence and with nothing to lose.