GEELONG Falcons and Northern Knights have continued to dominate the TAC Cup Girls competition, with each side making it six wins from six games this week. The Bushrangers were hot on their heels prior to round six, but fell to the Sandringham Dragons, who are playing some fantastic football at the moment. Meanwhile for the Stingrays, they got on the winners’ list this round with a dominant display against the Western Jets. It means all teams now have a win in the TAC Cup Girls competition, making the competition even across the board.
Geelong Falcons 4.11 (35) defeated Eastern Ranges 0.4 (4)
At the start of the year, this was one of the most highly anticipated matches of the TAC Cup Girls competition. But after Eastern lost to the Western Jets a week prior, the in-form Falcons were able to capitalise at Belmont, with a 31-point win, keeping the usually solid scoring Ranges goalless.
Geelong’s Sachi DeGiacomi was a force in the forward line once again, kicking half of her side’s goals. While the Falcons were inaccurate, their AFLW Academy stars stood up on their return to TAC Cup Girls football. Lucy McEvoy was named as Geelong’s best player, while Olivia Purcell got on the scoreboard for the home side. AFL Draft Central’s round one TAC Cup Girls’ Player of the Week, Zoe Inei had a wonderful game for the Falcons, and was complemented by the likes of Paige Sheppard, Sophie Walmsley and Kaitlyn Haustorfer.
Eastern co-captain Charlotte Wilson was the Ranges’ best player for the second week in a row. This time, she had fellow co-captain Emerson Woods back in the side to complement her, after Woods was missing last week due to the AFLW Academy match. Versatile forward Olivia Meagher also returned to the side this week and was prominent at Belmont, being named in Eastern’s best players. Midfielder Gabriella De Angelis was able to continue her sublime form at Belmont and although Laura McClelland did not get on the scoreboard, she still had a solid outing.
Gippsland Power 4.4 (28) defeated by Northern Knights 6.7 (43)
By: Peter Williams
In a game between two of the most in-form sides of the competition, the unbeaten Northern Knights kept their winning streak alive with a 15-point victory over Gippsland Power in Morwell on Saturday. The Knights had it most of their own way in the first three quarters, booting six goals to one and looking like they were going to run away with a huge victory as they had done on so many other occasions. But to the Power’s credit, they ripped up the script and booted 3.3, charging home to fall short in a gallant effort. Since round one the Power have been ultra-competitive in every game they played and it continued on the weekend.
Britney Gutknecht was the difference between the two teams in the first half, booting two goals for the game and covering the ground sensationally. Captain Maddy Brancatisano kept Tyla Hanks at bay, particularly early on with some good body work around the stoppages. Alyssa Bannan and Alexandra Pronesti both hit the scoreboard, while Gabrielle Newton, Marnie Jarvis and Sarah Sansonetti were all among the best. Coming into the game it was the Knights incredible depth that looked to be the difference, and in the first half it was, with so many contributors it was hard to pick the best players.
For Gippsland, Emily Haeusler continued her great recent form off half-back rebounding tirelessly against the Knights attacks, while Tyla Hanks got better as the game wore on and was a huge impact in the final term. Along with those two, Chandra Abrahams, Tahlia Dower and Lily Van Berkel all performed well for the Power and further indicated the increased depth that Gippsland has built this season.
Murray Bushrangers 3.4 (22) defeated by Sandringham Dragons 6.1 (37)
The Sandringham Dragons are making a late charge towards the top two, having won their last three games in the TAC Cup Girls competition. The Dragons claimed their biggest scalp yet in round six, defeating the Murray Bushrangers, who only had one loss in the TAC Cup Girls competition going into the match.
Molly Denahy Maloney was the star of the day for the Dragons and was complemented by Sandringham’s usual suspects. Eleanor Brown, Alice Burke and Maddison Wilson were all named in the Dragons’ best, and continue to be dominant forces in the Sandringham line-up. Midfielder Eliza McNamara managed to etch her name onto the scoreboard, and had two other multiple goal-kickers to complement her. Sophia Rothfield was able to kick two majors for the day, while Isabella Eddey continued her great form inside 50 with three goals.
The Bushrangers also had a multiple goalkicker with Claudia McKimmie booting two majors for the day. Emilee McPherson chipped in with the other goal. Grace Egan was Murray’s best on the day, continuing to dominate in her side through playing a role wherever she is needed. This week, she was complemented by her partner-in-crime, Rebecca Webster who returned from AFLW Academy duties. Tali Verhoeven, Hayley Doohan and Sophie Locke were the other standouts in the Murray line-up.
Greater Western Victoria Rebels 5.9 (39) defeated Calder Cannons 5.0 (30)
By: Cameron Ross
An inspirational four-quarter performance from Calder captain Madison Prespakis was not enough, as the Rebels ran out nine-point victors in the TAC Cup Girls match at MARS Stadium on Sunday.
Although the Rebels could not kick a goal in the first quarter, they had the majority of the possession and the inside 50s. The midfield battle was key, as Rebels captain Lauren Butler and fellow onballer Ella Wood were pivotal in not only the first quarter, but for the game. Wood had a ton of possession and was extremely important for the Rebels, who were struggling to move the ball and retain possession. The classy midfielder showed composure while she was one and was one of the top GWV players. Sophie Van De Heuvel kicked an important goal for the Rebels at the end of the second term to make it a one-point game at half-time, which gave the Rebels important momentum heading into the second half.
Assisting Madison Prespakis in the midfield battle was fellow AFLW Academy member, Georgia Patrikios, who kicked a contender for TAC Cup Girls Goal of the Year. Patrikios’ goal was a drop-punt that got a kind bounce from outside 50, and drew applause from the MARS Stadium crowd. The goal proved to be one of the most exciting pieces of play for the whole day and will be remembered by all who witnessed it. Butler had to battle hard, going head-to head against Prespakis. The Calder Cannons midfielder did everything she could for her side, winning contested possessions, clearances and even kicking a goal.
Bendigo Pioneers 1.2 (8) defeated by Oakleigh Chargers 11.9 (75)
Both sides headed into this game without experiencing a win since round one. But on Sunday, it was the Chargers who were hungrier for victory, getting a big win over the Pioneers at Golden Square Oval.
Daisy Bateman had an absolute day out, bagging five majors for the day in a clinical display inside 50. Emily Harley was the other multiple goal-kicker for Oakleigh, adding three goals next to her name. Midfielder, Katie Lynch was named the Chargers’ best, kicking a goal to complement her dominance in the middle of the ground. Captain, Hannah McLaren and midfielder, Gemma Lagioia returned to the side this week after being sidelined by injury. The duo made their presence known immediately, and were named in Oakleigh’s best as the side ran rampage against the Pioneers.
For Bendigo, it was captain, Megan Williamson who stood up for her side once again. Williamson kicked Bendigo’s only goal of the day and continued to provide wonderful on-field leadership. Usual suspects, Maddy Baldwin and Kodi Jacques played their role throughout the day, and were named in the Pioneers’ best. But it was Eloise Gretgix who provided a shining light for Bendigo, after being named the Pioneers’ best player in their 67-point loss.
Dandenong Stingrays 9.14 (68) defeated Western Jets 2.2 (14)
It was a glorious day for the Stingrays, who were able to sing their song for the first time this season. Dandenong have been winless up until round six, but won their first game in style with a 54-point win over the Western Jets.
The Stingrays welcomed back captain, Jordyn Allen this week and while there was not much for her to do in the first half, she worked her way into the game in the second half by moving from defence into the midfield. All the damage was done in the forward line though, with Isabella Shannon and AFLW Academy member, Courtney Jones each kicking two majors for the day. Tyanna Smith was involved in plenty of forward thrusts on the day and was rewarded for her efforts with a place in Dandenong’s best. But it was Brooke Vernon who was the star of the day, booting through a goal to go with her consistent effort across the ground.
The Western Jets gladly welcomed Isabella Grant back into their line-up, after she missed round five due to AFLW Academy duties. Grant made an impact on the game immediately and her composure throughout the day was a shining light for the Jets. Caitlin Greiser was kept quiet on Sunday but still managed to kick a major, despite the ruthless Dandenong pressure. Sister of Majak Daw, Mary Daw played a wonderful game, always following her opponent closely and moving swiftly across the ground. Jasmine Goodman was the other goal-kicker for the Jets, and was named in the best for her efforts, alongside Carle Myors-Moore and Allison Chivell.