VIC Country have finished their AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships carnival with a relatively comfortable 37-point win over a persistent Western Australian side on the final day of competition today. Sophie Van De Heuvel was the star with three majors, finding her accuracy in the final game, and being a damaging player up forward for the winners.
Country came out strong with two early goals to set up a handy 13-point buffer which was cut to 10 going into the first break. Nikia Webber slotted the first, converting from a nice one-on-one mark in the 50, while Van De Heuvel threaded the eye in the pocket to claim her major. For Country, Shelley Heath and Olivia Purcell had a heap of the ball with Lucy McEvoy providing a good target forward, while Abbey Dowrick accumulated plenty of the ball for WA alongside Sabreena Duffy, with Mikayla Hyde dangerous up forward.
The Black Swans managed to sneak in their first major late in the second term via a Savannah Ahearn soccer goal, but it did not change the margin at half-time, as it came after Country’s six behinds. Amy Dunn’s identical misses from the pocket made up two of them as she was influential up forward, while Purcell continued to motor away and Nina Morrison came into the game from the wing. For Western Australia, Duffy continued to impress out of defence, while Emma O’Driscoll did her bit in the back half with her one-percenters keeping the pressure on Country’s forwards.
The Victorian side were less wasteful in the third term as Van De Heuvel dominated, picking up plenty of the ball and bagging her side’s two goals. Purcell was again influential, carrying the ball forward and narrowly missing her chance to hit the scoreboard. Meanwhile, WA managed to maintain touch with Mikayla Hyde converting the easiest of chances from the goal square to set the margin at 17 points and give her side a chance. Her twin, Brianna Hyde was also good, nipping around the contests.
With it all to play for, Vic Country remained strong and stormed home with three final quarter goals seeing them out with a good win to end their carnival. Stars McEvoy and Morrison finally hit the scoreboard in the last quarter, along with Courtney Jones, while Western Australia were kept to a sole behind. Van De Heuvel was instrumental in the second half and finished with three goals, while Purcell racked it up through the middle and Morrison found her way into the game to have an impact. For Western Australia, Duffy started off solidly in defence and kept up the pace through the midfield alongside McKenzie Dowrick. Mikayla Hyde was their most dangerous forward, and perhaps deserved more than her one goal.
VIC COUNTRY 2.1 | 2.7 | 4.9 | 7.11 (53)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 0.3 | 1.3 | 2.4 | 2.5 (17)
VIC COUNTRY: Sophie Van de Heuvel 3, Nikia Webber, Lucy McEvoy, Courtney Jones, Nina Morrison.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Mikayla Hyde, Savannah Ahearn.
VIC COUNTRY: Sophie Van De Heuvel, Olivia Purcell, Nina Morrison, Courtney Jones, Georgia Clarke, Rebecca Webster
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Sabreena Duffy, Emma O’Driscoll, Mikayla Hyde, McKenzie Dowrick, Sonia Dorizzi, Brianna Hyde