The Steeline Bendigo Bank Limestone Coast Football Association Senior Women’s Premiership Cup came back to life after a week off and it was the same side leading from the front.
International was faced with the task of defending its undefeated record behind enemy lines at Malseed Park against archrival Blue Lake.
Last year’s grand finalists had already met at Casadio Park where the hosts left the Rangers black and blue and they were keen to make a lasting impression.
But once again the cheers were heard from the International side of the fence as Ricky McRobert’s team continued its dream run.
Both teams were worried unavailability and injury concerns would derail their hopes heading into the clash.
Blue Lake took the pitch without five of its regular players, while Inter missed the services of Flo Llambi, Elly Bachmann and Skye Robertson.
This meant the opening stages were hard fought and tense as some of the biggest names in the competition went head to head and chances were created at both ends of the pitch.
The return of Kayleen Vanua on the wing helped the blues generate some momentum with the help of Aimee Brooks and Chelsea Frost.
But the game was turned on its head due to a couple of unfortunate injuries for the home side.
Blue Lake was forced to rework its formations following the injury of star-player Frost and then its plans were scuttled even more just moments later.
Goalkeeper Richelle unfortunately had to give up the gloves after experiencing a nasty facial injury from an accidental collision.
Being rocked by the sudden absence of two key-position players, Blue Lake had no choice, but to throw the gloves to Frost, who showed some courage in the goals despite being restricted.
This opened the door for Inter to press hard for the remainder of the first half and luck was with them.
A deflection from a Blue Lake defender sent the visitors into the lead on the stroke of half time.
Although both sides remained in the game, the undermanned Rangers struggled to keep up with International after the break.
The black and blue attacked with speed and youngster Isabella Morello slotted into the midfield brilliantly.
The clean skills of Morello would often open opportunities for Ella Doody to launch herself down the wing and threaten the goals.
It did not take long for the struggling Blue Lake team to crumble under the relentless pressure and soon the result was sealed.
Captain April Hockey started the fun before Satu Aumo went bang, bang to confirm the convincing 4-0 triumph.
Despite the tough afternoon, Blue Lake did not stop fighting until the final whistle with Inter goalkeeper Naomi Zwijnenburg being busy to register a clean sheet.
Inter coach McRobert said the match-winning wave of three goals was a by-product of a strong connection between the defensive and offensive thirds.
“It was a hard fought first half with both teams battling for possession,” he said.
“Heading into the second half, we kept pushing which led to some amazing passages of play.
“Our defence had great positioning and amazing distribution, the midfield did not let up and continued to work hard.
“They not only supported our defence, but helped create some great goal assists for our strikers who once again applied intense pressure.”
Gambier Centrals hosted Millicent on home turf at MGA Park on Saturday afternoon and was able to extract an important win.
Despite only having 12 players to choose from, the Lions were on the front foot early with Rose Irakoze and Janaye Donaldson making things happen.
The hosts only needed 20 minutes to do the damage after Scarlett Creek found the back of the net twice.
The opener she enjoyed assistance from Donaldson before a solo effort doubled the tally.
The double strike was a big blow for a Millicent United outfit missing four individuals in Darcey Allen, Emma Lang, Lauren Potter and Meredie Widdison.
Despite the tough first half, the visitors did manage to make life difficult for the hosts in the back end of he game, but could not avoid the 3-0 loss.
With almost a full senior side on the sidelines, Apollo put its depth to the test and it shone against Naracoorte.
Many Under 16 players stepped up admiringly and the likes of Paige Hastings, Kyra and Rylee Kuchel led the way.
Bella Calderwood also did some damage in the midfield to set up a luxury of scoring options.
Daylia Daylia had the most fun scoring a hat-trick and Charlotte Stafford also struck twice in the massive 8-0 triumph.