BIG wins from NT Thunder and Geelong combined with a loss to Hawthorn made for a shake-up of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s top four in Round 13. In other games, the Casey Demons defeated the Blues, the Saints upset the Dogs and the Pies took care of business at RAMS Arena against the bottom of the table Bombers.
Casey Demons 5.7 (37) defeated Carlton 3.9 (27)
By: James Halley
The Casey Demons held on to a 10-point victory against Carlton as the Blues failed to capitalise on their chances late in the final quarter at Casey Fields. Carlton was 16 points down at the final change, needing four goals in the last quarter to win. However, the Blues had only kicked three majors for the game, making for a very difficult task. They had the advantage of a major breeze in the last term but unfortunately for the Blues, they only were able to kick six behinds in the last quarter, missing crucial chances in front of goal.
The Demons’ dominant first term negated Carlton of any chance of scoring, as they locked the ball inside their forward 50 for the majority of the quarter. Their first quarter dominance was soon squandered as Carlton got its chance to attack with the breeze, as Vescio showed why she is such a star. The Blues denied Casey for a large part of the third term, as they placed a number behind the ball, but Katherine Smith broke the drought with a smart goal out a pack moments before three quarter-time, allowing the Demons to hold on for victory.
Eden Zanker starred for the Demons up forward as she kicked two goals within the first five minutes of the game, ending up with three for the match. For Carlton, Darcy Vescio stood up when needed, taking big marks and kicking a crucial goal. She made her Demon opponents nervous whenever she was near the ball.
Williamstown 4.2 (26) defeated by NT Thunder 11.5 (71)
NT Thunder got another win on the board in stunning fashion, defeating the struggling Seagulls by 55 points. The Thunder led at every break and did the most damage in the third quarter. The away side kept Williamstown scoreless and kicked four unanswered goals to sit a at second on the ladder and a game ahead of Hawthorn.
In her return to the NT lineup, Anne Hatchard did not disappoint. The Adelaide AFLW forward booted four goals while Crows teammates, Jessica Sedunary and Georgia Bevan each kicked one major. Bevan was named best on ground for the Thunder and was complemented by fellow goal kicker, Emma Swanson, who has been in fine form for the Thunder this season. Tayla Thorn also played a great game for NT, kicking two goals and making her way into the best as well.
It was all single goal kickers for Williamstown, as the side only scored four majors for the day. Georgia Harris, Jess Duffin, Sarah Chapman and Sharnie Whiting were the ones who got on the board with a goal each, doing what they could to provide a contest. A standout in that area was Rebecca Dardengo, who was named best afield for the Seagulls in the loss. She was complemented by Belinda Hateley, Chloe Portelli, Jenna Bruton and Jessica Bartolo.
Geelong Cats 10.7 (67) defeated Richmond 1.2 (8)
In one of the biggest wins of the season, the Cats took care of the Tigers, easily beating them by 59 points. Geelong held Richmond scoreless for three quarters and used the third quarter to blow the game out of the water. In that quarter, the Cats got out to a 65-point lead, thanks to kicking six unanswered goals.
Mia-Rae Clifford had an absolute day out in the blue and white hoops, kicking four majors for the day, two of which came in the first quarter. Maddie Boyd also joined in the scoring, kicking two goals and being named best on ground for her efforts. Richelle Cranston continued her stellar season at Geelong, as she booted a goal on the weekend and contributed well around the ground. She too was named in the best Geelong players for her great game. Maighan Fogas, Erin Hoare and Cassandra Blakeway also had performances to remember, playing solid games on the day.
For Richmond, it is no surprise to see who was named best on ground. Phoebe Monahan has been an exceptional midfielder for the Tigers this season and was no different on Saturday. Despite the heavy loss, she managed to make her efforts shine through which was a positive for Richmond on a dour day. Monahan was complemented by good games from Murray Bushrangers midfielder, Tamara Smith as well as Ella Ross, Alice Edmonds, Laura Bailey and Lisa Davie. Jess Gardner was the only goal kicker for Richmond, booting through a major in the last quarter.
Darebin 4.5 (29) defeated Hawthorn 3.7 (25)
By: Taylah Melki
In a relatively low-scoring affair, it was the Darebin Falcons that took home the four points, knocking off the third-placed Hawks. It was a scrappy game with neither side able to capitalise on their scoring opportunities and often fumbling the ball. Both teams struggled to break away from one another with the final margin being a mere four points, making for a hotly contested match. Most of the game was played between the arcs, resulting in a lot of stoppages and very few shots on goal.
For the Falcons, the experience and class of players such as Elise O’Dea and Jessica Dal Pos stood out with their ability to open up the space and create some good run and carry through the middle. O’Dea bagged an important goal for her side, and showed great leadership in trying times to will her side back into the contest. Teammate, Kate Shierlaw also impressed for Darebin with her composure and ability to take strong marks under pressure while Meghan McDonald starred down back, taking a number of good intercept marks to stop the flow of the Hawks.
The likes of Meg Hutchins and Phoebe McWilliams continued to impress for the brown and gold with their constant intent to win the footy and impact on the contest. Jayde Van Dyk was also amongst the Hawks’ best with her clean hands in close and ability to read the play well. Teammates, Rebecca Beeson and Jessica Sibley also worked tirelessly all game, racking up the touches and imposing themselves around the contest.
Western Bulldogs 1.3 (9) defeated by Southern Saints 6.4 (40)
In one of the biggest upsets of the round, the Bulldogs were knocked off their high horse and came crashing back down to Earth against the Southern Saints. They kicked their only goal of the game in the first quarter, and were completely shut down by the Saints for the rest of the game. The Saints were able to increase their lead at each quarter break and ended up taking home a 31-point win.
Tara Bohanna was the focal point up forward with three majors while Courtney Munn, Amy Silver and Holly Bate all chipped in with one major a piece. Kayla Ripari continued her solid season on Sunday, being named best on ground for the winning team. Ruck, Rhiannon Watt was just as impressive and has also had a consistent season, backing it up on Sunday by being named second best. The duo were complemented by Vic Metro Under 18 pair, Eleanor Brown and Gabriella De Angelis, who also earned a spot among the best players.
For the Bulldogs, April Goldring and Libby Birch were the standouts in the loss. In her first game for the season, Hannah Scott contributed well in her first VFLW game, although she would’ve liked to have taken home the win. Fellow AFLW teammates, Angelica Gogos, Lauren Spark and Ashleigh Guest all also did well on the day.
Essendon 3.5 (23) defeated by Collingwood 6.13 (49)
Collingwood got off to a fast start in this match, kicking the first four majors of the game. Essendon then fought back in the second quarter, outscoring the Pies two goals to one. But Collingwood’s winning form prevailed, holding onto victory in a tight tussle at RAMS Arena.
Oakleigh Chargers skipper, Hannah McLaren was named best on ground for the Magpies in what was a memorable performance for her. Her Chargers teammate, Daisy Bateman also made an impact by kicking a goal on the day. Iilish Ross, Jessica Edwards and Sophie Casey also kicked singles while AFLW captain, Steph Chiocci booted two majors. Collingwood AFLW teammates, Brittany Bonnici and Holly Whitford also put in solid performances in the win.
Irena Malliaras, Monique DeMatteo and Tanya Hetherington were the goal kickers for the Bombers in windy conditions. Hetherington was also named in the best for Essendon for her great game but she was bettered by one player in Jessica Anwyl, who was named best on ground for the losing side. The duo were complemented solid performances from Courtney Ugle, Natalie MacDonald, Maddy Collier and Alexa Madden.