ROUND four saw TAC Cup Girls talent combine with AFLW’s elite stars, with some wonderful performances over the weekend. From Hannah Mouncey’s five goals for Darebin, to a number of new TAC Cup Girls players entering the competition, there were highlights across the weekend. We attended two games in round four and took note of some of these standout performances.
Darebin Falcons vs. Casey Demons
By: Taylah Melki
#2 Nicole Callinan
Callinan was clean out of the stoppages for the Falcons and worked hard in close to get the ball out. She also showcased her strong hands taking multiple grabs both above her head and at chest height.
#4 Karen Paxman
Paxman demonstrated her quick hands under pressure and showed good composure with ball in hand. She showed her footy smarts at multiple times and looked dangerous up forward. Paxman had a ping at goal but missed but was quick on her feet to continue her good form. She hit her targets while under pressure.
#7 Lily Mithen
Had a really strong four-quarter performance for the Falcons, taking a good intercept mark, which is credit to her ability to read the play. Mithen racked up plenty of possessions with 32 touches for the game and was instrumental with ball in hand, hitting targets and opening up space.
# 8 Nat Exon
Exon was a tackling machine and won plenty of the footy, showcasing her footy smarts and ability to go in hard for the ball.
#22 Georgia Hammond
Hammond worked hard all game and demonstrated her clean hands with a good pick up and running goal in the third term. She was smooth in congestion and demonstrated her footy smarts, keeping the ball just in on the goal line and tapping it back to a teammate who ran into an open goal.
#31 Eloise Gardner
Gardner looked dangerous all game and was especially clean at the coal-face, going in hard to win the footy. She showcased her footy smarts to goose step around a number of opponents and slot an impressive goal.
#32 Gabrielle Colvin
Colvin hit the pack hard all day and competed hard to win the footy. She had a good strong set of hands and took a few strong intercept marks, which was credit to her ability to read the play and flight of the ball. Colvin impressed with her evasive skills and showed good bursts of speed to break through the pack.
#43 Hannah Mouncey
She had an absolute blinder of a game for the Falcons. Mouncey opened the account for Darebin, scoring the first goal of the game. She imposed herself around the contest and even had a stint in the ruck in the third quarter. Her follow-up work around the ground was good. Mouncey took a big contested mark and bombed a long goal from about 50 metres out. She then used her strength to burst through the pack and kick a running goal from about 45 metres out. Mouncey was unstoppable up forward and showed her versatility, shrugging off her opponent in the fourth quarter and dribbling through another goal to get her tally to five for the game.
#4 Chantel Emonson
She took a few good strong marks and showcased her ability to lead up at the footy. Emonson was clever at stoppages and kept her arms free to allow for her to release the ball quickly to her teammates running past. She also applied a lot of pressure on the ball carrier, laying seven tackles.
#8 Marlee Tatham
Tatham had clean hands around the contest and had a really good passage of play where she picked up the footy cleanly while under immense pressure. She imposed herself around the contest, leading the way with nine tackles for the match.
#9 Alicia Johnson
Johnson worked tirelessly all game and attacked the ball carrier, laying plenty of strong tackles. Credit to her physical presence and fight for the footy, she won a free kick in the second term and played on quickly to keep the ball moving forward.
#10 Kate Hore
Hore stood up for Casey in a difficult outing for the red and blue. She demonstrated her footy IQ with clever kicks to the advantage of teammates and demonstrated her good evasive skills to burst away from her opponents. Hore was good under pressure and showed good composure with ball in hand.
#14 Taryn Orgill
Orgill was a workhorse for the Demons and laid a really strong tackle in the forward 50 to try and keep the ball locked in their forward half. She imposed herself on the contest and showcased her impressive leap in the ruck to be able to tap the footy down to advantage for her teammates.
#21 Harriet Cordner
Cordner showcased her good run and carry with a long run down the boundary line to help propel her team forward. Her burst through the pack helped to open up space for the Demons. She worked hard all game to try and impose herself on the contest and give her teammates an opportunity to go forward and create scoring opportunities.
#34 Darcy Guttridge
Guttridge showed some good dash and ability to break away from the pack to open up space for her teammates. Her hands in close were invaluable for the Demons and she imposed herself on the contest winning the ball in tricky situations. She amassed plenty of possession and took a few strong marks.
Southern Saints vs. Essendon
#8 Alison Drennan
Drennan was a ball magnet as usual. She always found a way to get the footy, even in the midst of heavy congestion. Drennan was able to work in tandem with Rhiannon Watt by reading her taps well and gaining clearance to get the ball out of the stoppage and forward for her teammates. She often got good purchase on her kicks and was dangerous all over the ground. Her hands in tight were a highlight in her game, as she was the catalyst for many Saints forward thrusts. She would often deliver a quick handball to a teammate on the outside to get the play rolling for her side. Drennan is a really smart footballer and one of the best midfielders in the competition right now.
#28 Rhiannon Watt
Watt was a dominant force in the ruck, winning plenty of hit-outs throughout the day. She got good penetration on her taps and just fed the midfielders the ball. She was a huge reason behind the Saints’ surge towards victory in the latter stages of the game. Watt really threatened opposing ruck, Bridie Winbanks with her height and prowess.
#31 Georgia Walker
Captain, Georgia Walker stood up in moments that mattered, making her presence known across the ground when Essendon was pressing hard. Her kicking in particular was a highlight as she would get good purchase on them, which often benefitted the teammate on the receiving end of the kick. This was demonstrated when she delivered a great penetrating kick inside 50, giving her side a forward 50 entry. Walker also provided great run and carry throughout the afternoon, demonstrating her willingness to use her endurance to her advantage against some tired Essendon legs.
#35 Gabriella De Angelis
Was able to pick up the ball well off the deck and was not afraid to get the ball on her boot and snap. De Angelis never gave up on the footy, following up every ball she could not get directly. She kicked the Southern Saints’ first goal of the game from close range which was a great and well-deserved occasion for the Eastern Ranges midfielder. In one instance, she displayed extreme pace out of a pack inside 50 and snapped the ball in a blistering fashion towards goal. The ball went out on the full but she should be commended for her bravery at the coal-face. In another instance, De Angelis picked up the ball well to intercept an Essendon handball out of a pack. Laid a great tackle on an Essendon opponent to stop her in her tracks.
#39 Eleanor Brown
Brown played a wonderful game on debut for the Saints, displaying quick hands and never being too far away from the contest. She displayed strong kicking throughout, demonstrated when she kicked the ball out of a pack in the centre of the ground that landed well inside 50. Brown laid a great tackle and then got a handball out while lying down, showing her body strength in the contest. She followed up that remarkable effort by getting a handball away on hands and knees. Brown was able to burst out of the contest and use the ball well by hand in particular, working in tandem with players like Alison Drennan to feed the ball forward for the Saints. She also did well to create a stoppage while being tackled in a pack, in what was a great all-round game.
#6 Alexandra Quigley
Quigley has proved that she is an extremely dangerous forward. Every time she picks up the ball, she looks like she’s going to kick a goal, which is a handy asset for the Bombers. She provides great speed inside 50 and reads the play well to get on the end of some long range kicks. She booted two majors for the game in what is shaping up to be a solid season for her in the red and black.
#7 Kirby Hicks
Hicks is one of the in-form defenders of the competition, showing poise in defence each week. Hicks mopped up well in the back line many times, saving some goals from the Southern Saints. She had a clever moment where she kicked the ball towards the boundary line to prevent further Southern Saints scoring in the latter stages of the first quarter, demonstrating that she has good game awareness.
#16 Lauren Morecroft
I thought Morecroft was solid in defence and probably played one of her best games for the season so far. She provided a strong presence on the ground, trying hard to accumulate as many possessions as she could. She dug deep for the Bombers throughout the game, using her accurate kicking to get them out of trouble at multiple times.
#30 Simone Nalder
While she was not exactly dominating the ruck this week, Nalder certainly worked hard and had an influence at times. If she was not winning the tap, she would be pushing back waiting for the quick handball out of the pack. She knows she has a long kick and seems to use it to her advantage, helping her teammates conjure up a score in many instances throughout the game. Nalder seems to be improving each week and is a key player in Essendon’s midfield and defensive structure.
#35 Valerie Moreau
Moreau is one of those players who provides excitement every time she gets the ball. Every time she gets it, she never goes for the safe option, always trying to outdo herself to create some momentum moving forward for Essendon. Moreau had multiple snaps at goal but unfortunately none were to avail, but she certainly deserved a major for her brave efforts inside 50 throughout the day. She had a great moment when she attempted to sprint down the wing with the ball in hand and when the bounce didn’t go her way, she worked in tandem with Lauren Morecroft to ensure that she didn’t lose the ball. She then continued to stride down the ground with a blistering pace, which she did many times throughout the afternoon. Moreau is an excitement machine.
#46 Courtney Ugle
Ugle did not give up for the Bombers and was best-on-ground for her side in my opinion. She combined endurance and speed multiple times to provide run and carry through the corridor of Trevor Barker Beach Oval, helping to keep the ball out of danger for the Bombers. She did well to win a free kick inside a pack in one instance, as she dived for the ball and got reward. Ugle always has eyes for the footy, demonstrated when she took a great overhead mark. She then had an innate ability to play on quickly, and demonstrated this multiple times throughout the game, as she always looked to try and get something going for the Bombers.