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The Inaugural Interstate Challenge Cup, sponsored by Hadley Green, took place on Saturday 20 March between the Manly Warringah AFC and Gungahlin Jets AFNC Senior Women’s squads.

While overcast, the majority of the rain held off other than a sprinkle here and there, providing fantastic football conditions for both teams to test their skills on the park prior to the official 2021 season commencing.

Featuring a team with over 80% of brand new players, the Jets were anxious to get to the first bounce and lay their first tackles. Both sides showed their competitiveness and defensive ability in the first minutes of the game. Manly scored 2 behinds before kicking their first goal, leaving the score at 3.4 20 – 0.0 0 after the first quarter.

Fantastic defensive pressure from Manly saw the Jets struggle to get the ball into their forward 50 in the second quarter. However, the new Jets players stepped up and naturally fit into their roles, putting the defensive pressure back on Manly, deliver a number of clearances in their favour and keep Manly at 5.3 33 – 0.0 0 at half time.

Quarter 3 saw the defensive pressure and competitiveness of both sides continue with the Jets holding Manly off with 1 goal and 5 behinds, leaving the score at 6.8 44 – 0.0 0 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Manly continued to build their momentum in the final quarter with the score sitting at 9.10 64 – 0.0 0 at the final siren. The smiles from both sides as they congratulated each other on the game highlighted how thrilled each player was to be on the park playing footy.

Monica Zochling, sister of Hugh Zochling, Founder and Executive Director of Hadley Green Investment Group, proudly presented the Challenge Cup to Manly Warringah, with both captains echoing the readiness to compete for the Cup next March.

The Trophy will be proudly held at Manly Warringah’s home ground until the club’s reunite in 2022.

“The Challenge Cup is a great initiative to combine two teams that share and appreciate the same sponsor, Hugh Zochling from Hadley Green. It was such an exciting day for Women’s Footy for Canberra and Sydney. All the players from the Wolves and the Jets played a really competitive game and we had the chance to play first gamers to ease nerves heading into the season. In light of the year we had it was a great feeling to bring some normality back to the competition of local sport. The Jets are looking forward to having another hit out next
year and the many years to come We wish Manly all the best for the 2021 season!!” says Kaitlin “Harry” Dobing, Head Senior Women’s Coach for the Gungahlin Jets.