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‘It’s what we play for’: NSSL finalists look forward to Wanderers Grounds double header

The leading amateur soccer players in Halifax are looking forward to a showpiece occasion at the Wanderers Grounds, Saturday after booking their spot through to the finals, Thursday night.

Fans lined both pitches at Mainland Common to cheer on the final four teams in close hard fought matches to decide the Nova Scotia Soccer League finalists.

UDFC will take on Dunbrack for the women’s title, after semi-final wins against Valley United and Highland FC.

In the mens final, it’s Western Halifax against UDFC after respective wins over Halifax City and Valley United.

It’s going to be a double header you won’t want to miss on the beautiful grass pitch at the gorgeous Wanderers Grounds, bringing a professional feel to the matches.

And yes there will be beer and concessions!

It’s the first time the finals are being held at the Wanderers home stadium, making it special for the players and their clubs.

The NSSL’s all time leading scorer and 13 time champion, Leanne Huck summed up what it means, after helping her club Dunbrack to another final, where they are going for a seventh straight title.

Leanne Huck will be playing for a 14th NSSL title for Dunbrack on Saturday. Photo: Dylan Lawrence.
Leanne Huck, speaking to the Wanderers Gareth Hampshire, will be playing for a 14th NSSL title for Dunbrack on Saturday. Photo: Dylan Lawrence.

“It’s so exciting, it’s been great to have the Wanderers here in Halifax and it’s created a lot of energy around this beautiful sport, it’s a great field and  it’s what we play for,” Huck said.

Dunbrack won a close game against Highland FC 1-0 thanks to a goal from Jenna Boudreau, despite playing much of the second half with ten players after a sending off.

They will now play UDFC for the title after goals from Meghan Earle and Kinsella Noseworthy-Smith sealed UDFC’s spot in the final with a 2-0 win over Valley.

Meghan Earle describes Dunbrack as a 'great team' but says on their day UDFCcan beat anyone. Photo: Dylan Lawrence.
Meghan Earle describes Dunbrack as a ‘great team’ but says on their day UDFC can beat anyone. Photo: Dylan Lawrence.

“In the second half we brought the energy and left everything on the line, we really wanted to get to that game Saturday at Wanderers Grounds,” said Earle. “Getting to play in that stadium is an added edge for us so we’re just really excited to go and play against a great team in Dunbrack.”

Western Halifax are going for their fourth consecutive NSSL mens title after a 2-0 win over Valley.

Goals from Wes Hawley and Joe Iatrou made the difference.

Joe Iatrou says UDFC are a 'quality side' and expects a great match in the final on Saturday. Photo: Dylan Lawrence.
Joe Iatrou says UDFC are a ‘quality side’ and expects a great match in the final on Saturday. Photo: Dylan Lawrence.

“The runners off the ball I think were important, we really worked hard,” Iatrou said. “We knew we couldn’t slip in focus because in past years we’ve won and we’ve seen this year no opponent is easy.”

Western are now up against UDFC who finished in first place in the regular season.

UDFC, who finished in first place in the regular season, beat Valley United 2-0.

Cohen Reddick-Stevens got them going with the first goal, with Graham Ashworth also on target.

Cohen Reddick-Stevens says UDFC's players have worked hard in training to get to first place in the table and want to maintain the momentum in the Wanderers Grounds final. Photo: Dylan Lawrence.
Cohen Reddick-Stevens says UDFC’s players have worked hard in training to get to first place in the table and want to maintain the momentum in the Wanderers Grounds final. Photo: Dylan Lawrence.

“It feels well deserved considering the season that we’ve had,” Reddick-Stevens said. “It’s going to be amazing getting a chance to play there and just experience that stadium is going to be really exciting.”

Doors open at 2 p.m. through Gate A only (museum side) at the Grounds with the women’s final kicking off at 3 p.m. and the mens match getting underway at 5:30 p.m.

General admission tickets are available for Saturday’s matches priced at $15 for adults, with youth tickets (12 and under) for $10 at the following link.

https://www.tickethalifax.com/events/97411848/nssl-finals

Show up to the finals, tomorrow (August 17), and you might even see Wanderers coach Stephen Hart, who will be scouting for talent, along with some of the players.

Congratulations to the final four and good luck in the finals!