IT was not a good weekend for the home sides in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition, as five out of the six home teams went down to the away sides in their respective matches. The only home win was perhaps the biggest win, as the Western Bulldogs knocked the Geelong Cats off the top of the VFLW ladder. But with the average round eight winning margin being 15 points, wins certainly did not come easy for those victors.
Essendon 3.3 (21) defeated by Casey Demons 6.11 (47)
In a morning of scattered rain and cold wind, it was the Casey Demons who recorded their second win of the season. With only one behind a piece in the opening quarter, it looked like Essendon was really going to push the Demons in the conditions. But the away side stepped up after that, kicking two goals in each quarter to record a 26-point win at RAMS Arena.
Melbourne AFLW defender, Katherine Smith is certainly enjoying her midfield role at Casey, as she continued her good form with a 22 disposal game. She was outdone by fellow AFLW defender, Bianca Jakobsson, who tore it up in the back line with 20 disposals, six marks and nine tackles. Casey’s leading goal kicker, Kaila Bentvelzen also impressed with one goal and 18 disposals and she was joined by Harriet Cordner, who almost shared identical stats with her. Cordner also kicked a major and racked up 17 disposals on the day.
Although the Bombers didn’t get the win, they sure were glad to welcome forward, Danielle Ponter into the side. Ponter kicked two goals from her four disposals and also laid two tackles. In terms of disposals, Jessica Trend led the way for Essendon with 20 touches, as well as two marks and six tackles. Speaking of tackles, Hayley Bullas was back to her ferocious best, laying 18 tackles for the second time this season. She was complemented by GWS defender, Maddy Collier who recorded a season-high herself with 14 tackles.
Carlton 6.6 (42) defeated by Melbourne Uni 7.6 (48)
Carlton recorded another close VFLW loss on Saturday, going down to Melbourne Uni by a goal. The Blues stormed out of the blocks with five goals in the first quarter and looked like they were going to win their first game since round three. But the Mugars fought back in the second quarter, keeping Carlton scoreless and kicking three goals themselves. It was then extremely close in the second half with Melbourne Uni scoring 2.4 to Carlton’s 1.4, which ultimately led them to a much-needed victory.
Kate Angelis starred for the Mugars, kicking three of her side’s seven majors. In the middle, it was captain, Ashleigh Riddell who led the way once again with 24 disposals and four tackles. While AFLW Best and Fairest, Emma Kearney was kept quiet with 12 disposals, she led the way for tackles on the ground, laying nine of them. Western Jets forward, Caitlin Greiser had a solid performance in her first game for Melbourne Uni, kicking a goal, racking up six touches and laying six tackles.
For the Blues, Kerryn Harrington performed well, as she kicked two goals and racked up 16 touches. She got some good delivery from AFLW teammate, Sophie Li who recorded a game-high 27 disposals. Natalie Plane was next in line with 24 disposals and also laid six tackles to complete a good all-round game. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Isabella Geitzmann also did well, kicking a goal from her five disposals.
Richmond 4.1 (25) defeated by Hawthorn 4.5 (29)
By: James Halley
Hawthorn has edged Richmond by four points in a tense afternoon at the Swinburne Centre in round eight of the VFLW competition. Richmond was dealt with a blow before the first whistle with several big stars out for their round eight encounter. AFLW stars Emma King, Sophie Conway, Lauren Tesoriero and Christina Bernardi were all absent from their clash with Hawthorn. But the Tigers proved their depth as they matched up to one of the most experienced teams in the league. Meanwhile, Hawthorn welcomed back spearhead Sarah Perkins after being rested last week with concussion.
Ruck, Alice Edmonds was productive for the Tigers on the day. Her contested work at stoppages and her movement around the ground were supreme. She gave the Richmond midfielders an advantage with her taps all day. Midfielder, Phoebe Monahan was one of Richmond’s best as she collected 26 disposals and topped most of Richmond’s stats for the day.
Jayde Van Dyk was everywhere for Hawthorn, amassing a game-high 26 disposals. She took numerous intercept possessions to help rebound attacks for the Hawks. She was rarely beaten one-on-one, displaying her all-round game.
NT Thunder 4.4 (28) defeated by Collingwood 6.8 (44)
NT succumbed to its second consecutive loss by going down to the Magpies in Darwin. The Thunder handed them top spot in the process, after Collingwood put the foot on the accelerator in the second half to overturn a half-time deficit. The Pies kicked 5.3 to NT’s 2.2, which saw them keep their undefeated streak alive.
Collingwood forward, Sophie Alexander was absolutely sensational with four goals, 18 touches, seven marks and five tackles. AFLW defender, Sarah D’Arcy joined Alexander on seven marks, with the duo leading the way in that statistic. Meanwhile Collingwood Best and Fairest winner, Chloe Molloy had the ball on a string, recording 24 touches, six marks and four tackles. She was complemented by captain, Jessica Edwards, whose form keeps improving. The skipper racked up 20 touches and laid a whopping 12 tackles at TIO Stadium.
W-League star, Jenna McCormick led the way for the Thunder with 21 touches and six marks, playing a great all-round game. She was complemented by Adelaide AFLW teammate, Sally Riley who recorded 20 touches. Jasmyn Hewett was also solid, kicking a goal from her 18 disposals and laying seven tackles. GWS forward, Renee Forth also kicked a goal and racked up 15 touches and five tackles in the process, continuing her solid form for the Thunder.
Williamstown 5.7 (37) defeated by Darebin 7.9 (51)
Darebin recorded its second consecutive win with a 14-point win over the Seagulls. However, Williamstown didn’t make it easy for the Falcons, reducing a 24-point quarter time deficit to an eight point margin at three quarter time.
Georgia Hammond starred for the Falcons, kicking three of her side’s seven goals. She was complemented by Lauren Pearce, Stephanie Normington-Dickens, Nat Exon and Stephanie Simpson who all kicked one goal for the day. Melbourne AFLW midfielder, Elise O’Dea was deemed the best-on-ground for the Falcons with another solid outing in the middle of the ground.
For Williamstown, Georgia Harris was the only multiple goal kicker with two majors next to her name. Bendigo Pioneers captain, Megan Williamson also got on the board with the first goal of the match, boosting her confidence in the yellow and blue. Fijian ruck, Rachel Achampong was fantastic for the Seagulls, and she was aided by great performances from Sally Seabrook and North Melbourne duo, Jasmine Garner and Jess Duffin.
Western Bulldogs 4.4 (28) defeated Geelong Cats 1.0 (6)
The Western Bulldogs have hit their straps at the perfect time of the season with their third consecutive win. This time, they knocked off ladder-leaders, Geelong with a stunning performance at Ballarat. The Bulldogs led at every change and kept the Cats scoreless for three quarters, handing them their first loss of the season in the process.
Mickayla Ward kicked half of her team’s goals and was joined by Elise Muller and AFLW midfielder, Ellie Blackburn on the scoreboard. AFLW trio, Ashleigh Guest, Naomi Ferres and Libby Birch also impressed for the Dogs in what was a great defensive effort on the day.
In her return to the Cats line-up, forward, Kate Darby kicked Geelong’s only goal of the match in the last quarter. She was aided by good performances from Hayley Trevean, Maighan Fogas and Maddy McMahon. Former Carlton midfielder, Maddy Keryk also continued her good form in the blue and white hoops, being named among the Cats’ best once again.