VICTORIA has emerged triumphant from a low-scoring thriller against the All Stars in an AFL Women’s Under 18 State of Origin exhibition match. The top players from Vic Metro and Vic Country combined to form Victoria, while those who had stood out from the rest of the nation donned the All Stars jumpers in a clash at Adelaide Oval last night.
Victoria led all game, booting the opening goal of the match and then extending its lead to by 12 points at the main break. Much like the first term, both sides had one scoring shot, but Victoria’s was a major compared to the All Stars’ behind. The All Stars had the best chance to clinch a come-from-behind victory in the final term with four scoring shots, while Victoria had the two. When McKenzie Dowrick, who had been one of the most prominent All Stars players all game, nailed a major at the five and a half minute mark, her side drew within 11 points. Alexia Hamilton and Jaimi Tabb both had a couple of chances in the final term but registered behinds to reduce the deficit to nine points with a few minutes to play. A Nina Morrison goal in the dying minutes put the game to rest and guaranteed a Victorian win.
The Victorian onball brigade proved too strong in the midfield despite Tyla Hanks sitting out the match and the strong Alyce Parker also missing from the action. Kitara Farrar and Denby Taylor were the other two talents who sat out on the night from the original 24-player squads that were named. Victoria dominated the clearances despite a clear advantage in the ruck to Lauren Bella, who amassed 25 hitouts to Rene Caris‘ 12, however Caris won the points around the ground with a midfielder-like effort of 13 disposals and three tackles, displaying the two different types of ruck talent in action
Madison Prespakis starred on the night, racking up game-high disposals (21) and clearances (five), while also laying three tackles and having four inside 50s and two rebounds. Fellow AFL Women’s Under 18 Most Valuable Player (MVP), Nina Morrison was equally as effective, racking up 19 disposals, three marks, four clearances, five inside 50s, three tackles, two rebounds and that final quarter goal. Mikala Cann was again ferocious with a massive 14 tackles – six more than any other player on the field – to go with her 15 touches, two marks, two clearances and two inside 50s. Olivia Purcell (17 disposals, seven tackles and four clearances) and Katie Lynch (15 disposals, two rebounds and one goal) were impressive, while Abbie McKay worked hard with three clearances and three inside 50s from 11 disposals and four tackles. Sophie Van De Heuvel had nine touches and laid five tackles, while the standout bottom-ager was Calder Cannons’ Georgia Patrikios who shone with 17 disposals, three clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds. Exciting forward, Daisy Bateman was the only multiple goal kicker on the ground, finishing with two majors from five disposals, two marks and two tackles.
For the All Stars, Dowrick was the top ball winner, amassing 18 disposals along with three marks, three clearances, three tackles, one goal and a team-high four rebounds. Her West Australian teammates were also prominent across the ground, with Matilda Sergeant (15 disposals and three marks), Mikayla Bowen (13 disposals, six tackles and two inside 50s) and Sabreena Duffy (12 disposals and two rebounds) among the All Stars’ best. Kate Bartlett also booted a goal from eight disposals, five marks and three tackles, while bottom-age prospects, Queenslander Lily Postlethwaite and Tasmanian, Mia King were also very impressive. Postlethwaite finished with 12 disposals, two marks, six tackles, and equal team-high three clearances, and three inside 50s, while King had 10 disposals, two clearances and laid six tackles as well.
VICTORIA 1.0 | 3.2 | 4.3 | 5.4 (34)
ALL STARS 0.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 2.6 (18)
Victoria: Daisy Bateman 2, Nina Morrison, Mikala Cann, Katie Lynch.
All Stars: McKenzie Dowrick, Kate Bartlett.
Victoria: Madison Prespakis, Nina Morrison, Georgia Patrikios, Mikala Cann, Olivia Purcell, Sophie Van De Heuvel.
All Stars: McKenzie Dowrick, Mikayla Bowen, Matilda Sergeant, Lily Postlethwaite, Mia King, Kate Bartlett.