Late goals from Patrice Superville, Anique Walker and Jo Marie Lewis resulted in reigning champions St. Ann's Rangers prevailing 3-1 over Defence Force, after Kalicia Robinson had put the Army/Coast Guard unit ahead early, when the 2015 Women's League Football (WoLF) season commenced Saturday.
It was the opening fixture of the new WoLF season and for most of the match it was the irresistible force against the immovable object. Rangers pressed forward and stated their intention as early as the sixth minute when a set piece from a corner went over bar.
But it was Defence Force which drew first blood. Against the run of play, 13 minutes into game, they capitalised from a set piece, with forward Robinson heading past Rangers' keeper Tenesha Palmer into an open net.
For the rest of the half, the Defence Force put in a performance worthy of their military roots as they hustled and harassed their opponents, making clearance after clearance while looking for another item from set pieces.
Rangers struggled to maintain possession, particularly since the arid conditions did not suit their passing game. The second half brought a rejuvenated Rangers outfit as they put even more pressure on the right side of their opposition's defence.
Sharain Cummings made several raids down the Rangers' left flank, sending dangerous crosses to Jo Marie Lewis, a half-time sub who provided a cutting edge the Ranger's had lacked in the first period.
The yellow shirts (Defence Force) conceded all territory to the reigning champs, but they appeared to be holding firm, limiting their opponents only to long-range shots and goal-mouth scrambles. Just as it seemed Defence Force were going to edge an upset win, Superville restored parity when she drilled home a cross from the right.
And Walker, who combined well with Lewis and had threatened for most of the second-half, was duly rewarded when she converted after a scramble in the area. Their defence finally breached, Defence Force conceded a third with mere seconds on the clock as Lewis drilled a free kick past the unsighted Melissa Joseph.
"We came on much stronger in the second half," said Walker. "We wanted nothing but a win, and the three points set the tone for the rest of the season.''
Rangers coach Jason Spence expected his charges would come good in the end. "We lived in the opponents half for the majority of the game, it was just a matter of time before it hit the back of the net," he said. Meanwhile, St Augustine FC also got off to a winning start with a 3-1 win over the national Under-17 team. Action in the league continues this weekend.