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Canberra wins maiden W-League title

28 January 2012-AAP

On top of the world... Canberra wins a first W-League title (Getty)

A Michelle Heyman double helped Canberra United to their maiden W-League crown in an action-packed 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar.

Canberra completed an unbeaten season in perfect fashion by overturning the result against the same opponent in the W-League's inaugural grand final three years ago. Playing at home, Canberra looked to have the match in the bag after racing to a two-goal lead inside 18 minutes.

The opener came from a familiar source with the league's leading goalscorer Heyman converting following a superb pass from Ashleigh Sykes after just 11 minutes.

Heyman then turned provider for Sykes, who converted from close range after Grace Gill's pass dissected the defence.

Brisbane's opening went from bad to worse with experienced attacker Joanne Burgess departing with a knee complaint.

However, Emily Gielnik lived up to her 'super sub' tag in the most emphatic fashion, pulling a goal back with her first touch just seconds after replacing Burgess.

The Young Matilda striker tucked home her ninth goal of the season, eight of which have come after starting from the bench.

Catherine Cannuli then forced Lydia Williams into a sprawling save as the visitors stormed back in an end-to-end contest.

With the match in the balance, Heyman restored Canberra's two-goal margin on the hour mark with a superb leap and header from Gills' corner for a record-breaking 15th goal of the season.

However, Brisbane was soon handed a lifeline when Caitlin Cooper clipped Tameka Butt in the penalty area.

Butt converted the penalty, meaning she has finished on the scoresheet in all four W-League grand finals.

Heyman then spurned a chance for a hat-trick when she powered a close-range header over the crossbar but, ultimately, it mattered little as Canberra secured a deserved victory in front of a capacity crowd.


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