Rachel Donovan's heroics couldn't prevent Clinton from falling 4-3 on penalties after being locked at 2-2 at the end of extra time.
Rachel Donovan's heroics couldn't prevent Clinton from falling 4-3 on penalties after being locked at 2-2 at the end of extra time. Mike Richards GLA020917WSOC

WATCH: Shootout heartbreak for Clinton FC Women

SOCCER: Penalty shootouts are always a cruel way to end a sporting contest.

That contrast between agony and ecstasy was evident during the Gladstone Division 1 Ladies preliminary final between Clinton FC and BITS Sharks at the weekend.

After 90 minutes of regular time couldn't separate the sides at Clinton Park, extra time was required to split the difference.

Both sides failed to break the 2-2 deadlock during the extra minutes so penalties ensued.

Women's Division 1 Penalty Shootout : Gladstone Division 1 preliminary final between BITS Sharks v Clinton FC.
Women's Division 1 Penalty Shootout : Gladstone Division 1 preliminary final between BITS Sharks v Clinton FC.

CFC had its first spot kick saved by BITS goalkeeper Debbie Doble before both sides opened their accounts with a spot kick each.

Clinton goalkeeper Rachel Donovan made an excellent save for BITS' second penalty attempt, although that was cancelled out by a Clinton miss to the right side of the goals.

That miss proved the difference as both sides converted their remaining attempts to see BITS prevail 4-3 on penalties.

Locked at 1-1 at half-time after goals to BITS' Lynn Paap and Clinton's Mikayla Ralph, the Sharks claimed the lead back shortly after the break courtesy of an Erika Davis penalty.

 

BITS player Courtney McHugh with the ball as Clinton's Jemma Boswell gives chase.
BITS player Courtney McHugh with the ball as Clinton's Jemma Boswell gives chase. Matt Harris

Clinton had to dig deep just to make it to extra time as they were reduced to 10 players after having a player sent off for dissent shortly after conceding its second goal.

However, the Clinton girls rallied despite their numerical disadvantage and levelled the contest in the 70th minute via Riley Marr.

Despite going down in the shootout, Clinton coach Steve Ralph praised the performance of rookie goalkeeper Donovan, who produced an outstanding save midway through the second half to tip the ball over the crossbar from a BITS corner.

"They've got some good calibre... I can't fault them, they've got massive heart and give you everything they've got every week," Ralph said.

"Our goalkeeper Rachel has only been in goals one other time this season and she had a blinder."

BITS will meet Meteor Rites in the grand final to be held at Sun Valley Oval on Saturday at 5pm.

BITS Sharks 2 (Lynn Paap 3', Erika Davis 52' pen) def. Clinton FC 2 (Mikayla Ralph 18', Riley Marr 70') after extra time.

BITS won 4-3 on penalties.