Category: Womens

From Eastern to Hawthorn, Ranges duo celebrate flag

EASTERN Ranges duo Mikala Cann and Emerson Woods have basked in the glory of a Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s premiership yesterday. The Ranges and now Hawthorn midfielder/forwards just “played their role” as they said, in Hawthorn’s 13-point victory over Geelong. Cann finished the game with 14 disposals, one mark and a team-high nine tackles, while Woods’ defensive pressure saw her also lay five tackles to go with two touches.

Both players were thrilled after the game, hardly believing the moment.

“It’s just surreal,” Woods said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting this, just coming at such a young age as well coming into the team, just to get a spot (is good) I suppose.” Cann was equally as excited. “You can’t describe it,” she said. “Winning a premiership with the best group of girls, it’s indescribable”

Woods said the speed of the game was the crucial difference between the TAC Cup Girls and VFL Women’s.

“It’s much faster, quick ball movement, pretty hard to keep up at times, but it’s good,” Woods said. Cann said she felt the bigger presence of opponents out there and stronger bodies. “(It’s) a lot more physical, the bodies are larger, but I guess you want to be playing at the highest level so this is one step closer.”

The last quarter saw the game on a knife’s edge and Geelong was attacking fiercely throughout the second half. Cann said the team knew the Cats would come at them, and had prepared for the momentum swing.

“We prepared what we had to do at training with our composure,” she said. “We just knew what we had to do and we implemented it.”

Woods said the most amazing feeling was with the clock counting down, knowing they would soon be premiership players.

“Yeah towards the end of the game, it was a bit of a surreal feeling with 30 seconds to go knowing that we’d won it,” she said.

Now both draft-eligible players will prepare for the AFL Women’s Draft Combine next week ahead of the AFL Women’s Draft in late October.

Hawthorn claims VFLW premiership

THE Hawks have made history in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s league after an 11-point win over Geelong in the Grand Final.

Not only did the team lift up its first ever VFLW premiership cup, but it was also stalwarts of female football, Meg Hutchins, Lou Wotton and Phoebe McWilliams who got to experience premiership success for the first time.

Basketball convert, Chantella Perera was the deserving recipient of the Lisa Hardeman medal with 13 disposals, four marks and five tackles in defence. Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Rebecca Beeson (24 disposals, three marks, four tackles), VFLW rising star, Jayde Van Dyk (19 disposals, four marks, six tackles) and Eastern Ranges midfielder, Mikala Cann (14 disposals, nine tackles) also impressed for the Hawks.

If Geelong had won, Vic Country duo, Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison would have been hot favourites to claim the best-on-ground accolade, and could have claimed it even though their side lost. Purcell gathered 19 disposals and a game-high 11 tackles while Morrison racked up 20 disposals and laid five tackles.

New Geelong AFL Women’s forward, McWilliams was up and about early, creating the first goal for her side. She marked the ball just outside 50 and kicked it to the top of the square where Tamara Luke marked and kicked truly for the Hawk’s first of the day. Geelong fought back with a strong goal-line tackle provided by ruck/forward, Maddie Boyd. Boyd dispossessed Hawthorn defender, Jessica Sibley and then booted through the Cats’ first major from a tough angle just outside the goal square. Despite a dominant first quarter for the Hawks, they matched their goal with four behinds, giving them a slim two-point lead at quarter time.

After two behinds from McWilliams and Meg Hutchins to kick off the second quarter, it was unsurprisingly captain, Emma Mackie who steadied the ship with a goal halfway through the term. At the other end, the Hawks’ defence kept Geelong scoreless for the quarter, giving them an 11-point lead at the main break.

The Cats tried to bounce back in the third term but wasted their opportunities. They finished the term goalless, with behinds from Hannah Burchell, Maighan Fogas, Danielle Orr and Mia-Rae Clifford. These wasted opportunities hurt more when Sarah Perkins kicked a major in the dying stages of the game. In the Hawks’ only inside 50 of the quarter, McWilliams was again involved with a long kick inside 50 ending up with Perkins. Perkins gathered the ball with two opponents hanging off her, yet still managed to grab it cleanly and snap it through for the Hawks’ third goal. This gave them a lead of 13 points at the last break, leaving Geelong with a lot of work to do in the last 20 minutes of the game.

The Cats responded immediately though, with a long kick from ruck/forward, Maddy McMahon ending up in the reliable hands of new Geelong AFL Women’s recruit, Kate Darby at the top of the square. She made no mistake from directly in front, reducing the deficit to seven points. But not long after, it was Hawthorn forward, Emily Gilder who kicked the sealer with a set-shot goal from about 25 metres out.

This ended the scoring for both sides, and meant that Hawthorn claimed one of the most historic 11-point wins in female football.

HAWTHORN 1.3 | 2.6 | 3.6 | 4.6 (30)
GEELONG 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.5 | 2.7 (19)

GOALS:

Hawthorn: S. Perkins, T. Luke, E. Mackie, E. Gilder.
Geelong: M. Boyd, K. Darby.

BEST:

Hawthorn: C. Perera, P. McWilliams, M. Hutchins, R. Beeson, T. Luke, J. Van Dyk
Geelong: H. Burchell, N. Morrison, M. McMahon, M. Keryk, C. Blakeway, O. Purcell

Weekend previews: VFLW – Grand Final

THE stage is set for traditional rivals, Hawthorn and Geelong to make history in the inaugural Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Grand Final. The Hawks and Cats have been even all season on the ladder and will get to show what they’re made of in the first game played at Marvel Stadium.

 

HAWTHORN  v. GEELONG CATS

Sunday, September 23, 12.30pm
Etihad Stadium, Docklands

Form line:

Hawthorn:

Ladder position: 2nd
Wins: 12
Losses: 2
Percentage: 180%

Geelong:

Ladder position: 4th
Wins: 10
Losses: 3
Draws: 1
Percentage: 163%

 

Last time they met:

Hawthorn 6.5 (41) defeated Geelong 3.7 (25)

In the biggest match of the round, it was Hawthorn who got the early breakaway after an even first quarter. The Hawks kicked three goals to Geelong’s one in the second quarter, giving them a 14-point lead at the main break. They were able to extend their lead in the third with one goal, while keeping Geelong goalless. The Cats had a chance to fight back in the last quarter, but kicked 1.4, which gave Hawthorn the win.

AFLW duo, Sarah Perkins and Rebecca Beeson each kicked two majors on the day while Claire Dyett and Rosie Dillon booted through one each. Beeson had a dominant game with 22 disposals, five marks and six tackles and was complemented by fellow goal kicker, Rosie Dillon, who racked up 17 disposals and eight tackles. Skipper, Emma Mackie was huge on the day with 20 disposals and five tackles while Jayde Van Dyk was as resilient as ever down back with 18 disposals, four marks and five tackles.

Despite her side’s loss, Richelle Cranston was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 25 touches as well as three marks and five tackles. Madeline Keryk wasn’t far off though with one goal, 24 disposals and nine tackles in another great game in the blue and white hoops. Kate Darby and Mia-Rae Clifford also got on the scoreboard with one major each. Darby gathered 12 disposals, three marks and eight tackles while Clifford was kept quiet with six disposals.

GOALS

Hawthorn: R. Beeson 2, S. Perkins 2, C. Dyett, R. Dillon
Geelong: M. Clifford, M. Keryk, K. Darby

BEST

Hawthorn: J. Van Dyk, R. Dillon, K. Ebb, S. Perkins, E. Mackie, M. Cann
Geelong: R. Cranston, A. Teague, E. Coventry, R. Goring, M. Keryk, K. Darby

 

Players to watch:

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

Mackie has been outstanding this season and has managed to find her form from the start of the year in the last couple of weeks. Last time she faced the Cats, she racked up 20 disposals and five tackles, then followed this up with three goals, 18 disposals and four tackles in the qualifying final against the Pies.

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

Crocket-Grills is an interesting situation, playing against the team that she has recently been recruited to in the AFL Women’s. An agile midfielder, Crockett-Grills can burst the game open with her speed and footy smarts. Against the Pies two weeks ago, she gathered 10 disposals and laid five tackles.

#8 Rebecca Beeson

Rebecca Beeson has been one of Hawthorn’s most consistent players throughout the season, playing roles in both the forward line and in the midfield. Lately, she has been in the midfield and has made a huge impact. She was dominant against Geelong in Round 16 where she gathered 22 disposals, five marks, six tackles and kicked two goals.   

#24 Rosie Dillon

Dillon has strung together a couple of good games in the lead-up to this match. She arguably played her best game of the season against Collingwood in week one of the finals, as she gathered 20 disposals, two marks and four tackles to go along with her major. Against Geelong in the home and away season, she was again one of the star players for the Hawks with one goal, 17 disposals, three marks and eight tackles.

#36 Jayde Van Dyk

Jayde Van Dyk well and truly deserved the VFLW Rising Star award after a breakout season in the brown and gold. Van Dyk was a lock in the backline each week and shut down her opponents extremely well. Her agile frame also allowed her to get involved in the contest with great run and carry. She got heavily involved against the Cats in Round 16 where she racked up 18 disposals, took four marks and laid five tackles.

#45 Mikala Cann

The Eastern Ranges midfielder has only played a handful of games for the Hawks, but they have all been of a high quality. Cann is an inside bull who tackles hard and runs hard in and out of stoppages. She’s one who can turn a game on its head with her explosive impact. Cann was the leading disposal-getter on the ground against Collingwood with 21 disposals, three marks and eight tackles.

 

Geelong:

#6 Maddie Boyd

Maddie Boyd’s aerial ability is really going to trouble the Hawks. Her contested and uncontested marking has been superb this season and has played a big part in getting the Cats to Marvel Stadium on Sunday. Against the Pies, she kicked two goals and took seven marks. Last time she faced the Hawks, she gathered 11 disposals and took five marks.

#7 Mia-Rae Clifford

Mia-Rae Clifford’s move into the forward line has been a revelation, as she has kicked 15 goals from 16 games. Clifford also made the VFLW Team of the Year thanks to her consistency with the ball in hand. She didn’t kick a goal against the Pies last week, so she would come into this game hungry for a couple of majors. Clifford still managed to rack up 11 disposals and lay six tackles in the fierce contest.

#16 Olivia Purcell

Olivia Purcell comes into this game with a chance to win her second premiership this season. She has rightfully earned her spot in the team with some great inside work and ferocity around the contest. This was highlighted last week when she laid 14 tackles against the Pies, not giving their midfielders an inch of space. Against the Northern Territory (NT), she got plenty of the ball, racking up 19 disposals and kicking a goal.

#20 Nina Morrison

Purcell’s premiership teammate, Nina Morrison is in the same situation as her, vying for her second premiership this season. There’s not much Morrison hasn’t won this season, winning both the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest alongside Madison Prespakis. Morrison missed last week’s game against the Pies after she was named best-on-ground in the Cats’ win over NT. In that game, she gathered 18 disposals and laid seven tackles. She is a key inclusion in this match.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Richelle Cranston will be a worrying prospect for Hawthorn with her strength around the contest. Cranston has the tenacity to bullock through packs and win the hard ball to get it out of congestion, which has played a big part in Geelong’s success this year. Her finals campaign has been outstanding with two goals, 19 disposals, five marks and six tackles against the NT. Against Collingwood, she racked up 15 disposals and laid seven tackles.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Madeline Keryk gets better as each week goes on, dominating the midfield with her tenacity and footy smarts. Keryk hits the packs hard and her kicking and handballing is precise. She is a ball magnet and has demonstrated this in her last two games. Against the Thunder, Keryk gathered 16 disposals and laid nine tackles. She bettered this when she faced the Pies, with 24 disposals and four tackles.

 

Preview:

These two teams have been evenly poised throughout the season, with both teams always in contention for the premiership flag. Both have knocked off minor premiers, Collingwood, and Geelong has had the added bonus of knocking out the NT. Hawthorn comes into this game off a break, giving a chance for players such as Olivia Flanagan to return from injury and slot back into the side. Geelong has kept it simple in the lead-up to the Grand Final, bringing in star draft prospect, Nina Morrison to impose her outside run on the Hawks’ midfield.

The midfield will be littered with Under 18 Victorian representatives, with Morrison, Olivia Purcell, Mikala Cann and Emerson Woods to all play a role on the day. Experienced players, Rebecca Beeson and Emma Mackie could go up against Richelle Cranston and Rosie Dillon in what should be an enthralling battle. In the 50s, Geelong captain, Rebecca Goring could see eye-to-eye with Adelaide Crows forward, Sarah Perkins while Jayde Van Dyk could match up on Mia-Rae Clifford.

It’s also a match-up of two of the best coaches, with Patrick Hill and Paul Hood matching up tactics against tactics. Geelong coach, Hood believes his side can get revenge on the Hawks after an improvement of form since their last meeting.

“We’re quietly confident we can improve our performance after that day,” he said. “Obviously we learn a bit from playing against the Hawks, they put in a really powerful performance. “It’s no great surprise to us that we’re here but obviously we needed a bit of luck along the way.  “We’re really grateful to get the opportunity to play this weekend.”

Patrick Hill is also grateful to grace Marvel Stadium with his Hawthorn players, admitting that he didn’t see a Grand Final berth coming so fast.

“If you told me I’d be here two years ago in a Grand Final, I probably would’ve laughed at you,” Hill said. “We’re incredibly well supported by our club. “I think it shows how many great athletes there are in women’s sport. “It’s not like men’s sport where they’ve already been through trials and a lot of development programs thrown at them since they were seven years old, they’ve had to sort of fight to be involved. “Once we opened up the doors to all our women in, you see how many amazing athletes there are out there, they’re extremely coachable and a delight to work with.”

Hawthorn has been one of the best offensive sides this year while Geelong has been one of the best defensive outfits, so if the game is played on the Hawks’ terms, it could be a fast-paced game. But if the game is played on the Cats’ terms, it could be a defensive, hard-fought slug which Geelong has been accustomed to this year. Either way, this will be a tight contest with both teams desperate to lift up the first ever VFLW premiership cup on Sunday.

Marinoff inspires Jaslynne Smith to follow AFLW dream

South Australian (SA) defender, Jaslynne Smith was drawn to Australian Rules because of the sport’s physical aspect.

“I think I just liked the physicality of the tackling and watching it on TV,” she said. “I’d always really enjoyed kicking with my Dad so I just thought it would be really fun to give it a go.”

She says there’s nobody who articulates the physicality better than Adelaide Crows midfielder, Ebony Marinoff, who is inspiring Smith to achieve her dream of playing AFL Women’s.

“She’s (Marinoff) a gun footballer and she’s pretty much followed the same pathway as us girls,” Smith said. “She’s a really good representation of how the state pathways can develop and potentially you can become an AFLW player.”

Smith’s AFLW dream stemmed from kicking the football around with her Dad. After telling him she wanted to take up the sport competitively, he got right to work and helped his daughter play the sport she loves.

“So I just watched footy on TV as a kid and just always kicked in the backyard with my dad and I guess one day, I literally said to him I want to play,” Smith said. “Then he came home that night after googling some teams and he came home with a team that I could play for. “I’ve been playing for the last four to five years.”

Smith says her friendships have kept her in the game, as well as her enjoyment of the sport.

“I guess it’s just the friends you make,” the South Australian defender said. “Some of the relationships you make with your teammates, they become some of your really good friends. “I guess I still also really enjoy playing. “I want to see how far I can potentially get with my footy.”

Her goal to go as far as she can with Aussie Rules was inspired by the creation of the AFL Women’s competition in 2017. This ignited the hope in Smith to take her football career beyond club level.

“I think since then (AFLW being established), you’ve been told that you’re at the right age and its genuinely in reach,” Smith said. “If you work hard, and continue to develop, I think you can make it that level so I think definitely since the AFL Women’s started, I’ve really wanted to go.”

Smith has already enjoyed matching up against some bigger bodies in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s league this year. She admitted that it was challenging at first, but she found her feet very quickly.

“It’s hard at first, it’s hard to get used to but once you’re there, you sort of just get in and under” the 18 year-old said. “I think it’s definitely helped, coming back to Under 18s. “You can bring more of it (physicality) to under 18s because you’ve been around some of the bigger bodies”

Once she got used to the physicality of the SANFL Women’s, Smith got to play in a premiership for her side, South Adelaide, which is one of her favourite football memories.

“That was a really special moment and we all worked really hard throughout the year and in the pre-season, so getting the Grand Final win was something special,” she said.

Smith has also enjoyed playing in some high-standard Under 18 games for South Australia and the Central Allies. She believes that the standard has increased each year and attributes this to the growth of female football.

“The standard has increased heaps and even just back at clubs and stuff, the amount of participants in the club and amount of teams has just risen so much,” she said. “That’s really helped to develop the standard.”

Under 18s football has also been beneficial for Smith individually, as she went from a utility to a defender.

“I initially didn’t have a position to play in, I sort of just played anywhere,” the Central Allies defender said. “Then in my first year of state with SA, our coach threw me in the back line and I sort of just played there ever since. “I think I’ve just become a bit more experienced as well, playing at a few national championships.”

This year, she and her South Australian teammates combined with the Northern Territory players in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Smith said that although there was limited time to get to know the players, she enjoyed the experience of playing with them on the Gold Coast.

“When you first come, you have to really bond quickly and you have to really get to know each other to then perform on the field,” she said. “It’s been great getting to know the NT girls.”

Like every young footballer, Smith is eyeing off a career outside of football to keep her options open.

“I think I want to go into the health field, I want to become a physio,” she said. “That would probably be the career of choice but anything sort of in the health field.”

Team Selection: VFLW – Grand Final

OVALS across not only Victoria, but also Australia have been graced by the presence of many Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) players this year. Many new faces have had their time in the spotlight and old favourites have continued to inspire. This weekend the two strongest sides, Geelong and Hawthorn will come head to head to battle it out for the premiership. Both sides have made a few team changes ahead of the big game.

 

HAWTHORN  v. GEELONG CATS

Sunday, September 23, 12.30pm
Etihad Stadium, Docklands

After defeating Collingwood in the first round of finals, Hawthorn has had the benefit of a week off going into the premiership match. However, AFLW star and former Box Hill VFLW captain, Melissa Kuys will miss the match, still suffering from injury to her achilles from the first round of finals. Similarly, Dianna Haines will miss out this week with an injury to her medial ligament. Coming in to fill their shoes is Olivia Flanagan, who will come in for her first game since Round 15. Flanagan suffered a hamstring injury earlier in the season and has now been given the green light to take to the field. Emily Gilder is another important inclusion this week and has been named on the interchange bench. Her consistent goal kicking this year is sure to bolster Hawthorn’s forward line. Ellie Macdonald has also been selected and will start in the midfield in the Grand Final.

The Cats might not have had a week’s rest, however coming off last week’s victory over the Pies, they are sure to have some momentum behind them. With a ‘don’t fix what’s not broken’ mentality, Geelong has made only one change this week, bringing in Nina Morrison. The Vic Country representative, who was named Most Valuable Player in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships this year, will be an important inclusion to the Cats midfield.

Hawthorn

B: 25. M. Hutchins, 32. K. Ebb, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 21. P. Randall, 36. J. Van Dyk
C: 40. E. Macdonald, 1. E. Mackie, 12. T. Nestor
HF: 14. O. Flanagan, 8. R. Beeson, 35. C. O’Donnell
F: 22. T. Luke, 7. P. McWilliams, 28. S. Perkins
R: 19. L. Wotton, 5. C. Perera, 6. J. Crockett-Grills
Int: 45. M. Cann, 4. S. Carroll, 24. R. Dillon, 33. E. Gilder
23P: 43. E. Woods

In: E. Gilder, E. Macdonald, O. Flanagan
Out: D. Haines, M. Kuys, S. Kendall

 

Geelong Cats

B: 26. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 40. A. Teague
HB: 34. A. McDonald, 25. E. Coventry, 1. J. Woollett
C: 3. H. Burchell, 13. M. Fogas, 20. N. Morrison
HF: 4. C. Blakeway, 5. J. Ivey, 2. D. Orr
F: 7. M. Clifford, 6. M. Boyd, 8. K. Darby
R: 24. M. McMahon, 30. R. Cranston, 45. M. Keryk
Int: 28. M. Fedele, 17. H. Mangan, 41. C. Stevens, 33. H. Trevean
23P: 16. O. Purcell

In: N. Morrison
Out: L. Taylor

Weekly wrap: TSL Women’s – Grand Final

GLENORCHY has claimed a thrilling two-point win the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s Grand Final, seeking revenge on Clarence, the side that upset the minor premiers in the semi-finals.

Macklyn Sutcliffe was the star of the day for the Magpies, kicking Glenorchy’s first and last goal of the game to win the best-on-ground medal. It was goal-for-goal throughout but Glenorchy managed to get on top in the last quarter, outscoring the Roos two goals to none.

Clarence’s Jacinta Limbrick kicked off the scoring for the day with a beautiful set shot kick from about 40 metres out. The Magpies hit back right away through Sutcliffe, who took a great sliding mark, played on and kicked a booming long-range goal. Elise Barwick then gave Glenorchy the lead for the first time when she earned a free kick close to goal and made no mistake. Just like the first goal, it was a quick response from the opposition, as Clarence got the quick reply through an open kick inside 50. Limbrick was on the end of it, getting her foot to the ball in the goal square. This gave the Roos a slim two-point lead at the first break.

They kept their momentum going in the second quarter, when vice-captain, Nicole Bresnehan picked up a loose ball inside 50 and sped towards goal. In the classic goal-for-goal fashion of the game, the Magpies hit back in an instant, with Sandy Eaton crumbing off a Nietta Lynch spilled mark in the goal square. This reduced the Magpies’ deficit to two points. The scoring dried up at the end of the quarter, with neither team scoring a goal for 12 minutes. This meant that Clarence went into the main break with the same margin as it had in the first break.

To begin the third quarter, Glenorchy opened up the scoring through an Barwick kick inside 50, which Hannah Smith ran onto out the back, slotting through the major. The Roos fought right back in the seesawing contest, with North Melbourne recruit, Maddison Smith kicking a great set shot major from just inside 50. Smith ended up being a game-changer for the Roos, kicking her second goal in a couple of minutes. In an inside 50 stoppage in front of goal, she read the tap perfectly and ran into goal for her second of the day. This gave her side a 10-point lead, which it took into three quarter time.

In the fourth term, it was all Glenorchy, as the Magpies kept their opposition goalless. Natalie Daniels kicked off the scoring for the Magpies in the term, with an in-and-under hard-ball get resulting in a key major. Then, Darcy Elliston missed a crucial set shot at the other end for the Roos and Sutcliffe made her pay. Sutcliffe received a handball on the run from Daniels and kicked her second major to put the Magpies in front by a solitary point. Her side was able to hold on for the rest of the match, kicking a late behind to win the thrilling decider by two points.  

CLARENCE 2.2 | 3.2 | 5.4 | 5.5 (35)
GLENORCHY 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 6.1 (37)

GOALS:

Clarence: M. Smith 2, J. Limbrick 2, N. Bresnehan.
Glenorchy: M. Sutcliffe 2, N. Daniels, H. Smith, E. Barwick, S. Eaton.

BEST:

Clarence: L. Ochayi, J. Limbrick, N. Bresnehan, M. Smith, R. Long, T. Ford
Glenorchy: J. Williams, M. Sutcliffe, Z. Manjerovic, B. Barwick, S. Skinner, E. Barwick

Number Crunching: VFLW – Week 2 Finals

LAST week’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s preliminary final proved to be a shock as minor premier, Collingwood was overpowered by a fierce Geelong side. From finishing in fourth place, Geelong has climbed its way into the Grand Final with a successful series so far, beating Northern Territory (NT) in the semis and now claiming victory over the Pies.

Geelong dominated the whole game, even keeping Collingwood to a single goal until the third quarter. The Pies were not without their stripes though, kicking three goals in the fourth quarter. Collingwood’s attempt at a late comeback was in vain though with Geelong prevailing 42-28.

Geelong’s ability to work as a team is highlighted by the game-day skill of their best players. Key forward, Maddie Boyd was essential to the Cats’ game, kicking two goals as well as taking seven marks. Olivia Purcell was able to control Collingwood’s midfielders with a game-high 14 tackles, and Madeline Keryk was also fantastic with 24 disposals well as getting 10 clearances. Other top players on the ground for Geelong included Maddy McMahon, whose consistent game led to 16 disposals and a goal for her team. Richelle Cranston also notably laid seven tackles and got six clearances.

Despite losing, the Pies had their moments with good performances from players like Jaimee Lambert. Lambert was able to make 11 tackles as well as kick the final goal in the game. Lambert was a key player for the Pies, gathering 23 disposals and utilising her position as a midfielder.

Top Player Stats – VFLW Week 2 Finals 

PLAYERTEAMGBHDKEKIEHEHIEHRCMUMMKSTKS
Maddie BoydGeelong21440202572
Olivia PurcellGeelong001743102214
Madeline KerykGeelong009102360114
Maddy McMahonGeelong11562341454
Richelle CranstonGeelong00474040007
Jaimee LambertCollingwood116836101111

Mt Lilydale takes home Division 2 Shield after impressive performance

MT Lilydale Mercy College has taken out the Division 2 Senior Girls Herald Sun Shield, with a comprehensive 65-point victory over MacKillop Catholic Regional College in an east meets west battle between the two schools. Mt Lilydale reached the grand final after defeating St Francis Xavier College in the semi-final, while at the same time, MacKillop got the better of Loyola College in the other semi-final.

In the grand final, Mt Lilydale dominated early proceedings with some important clearances and Bridget Deed putting on a show up forward. She converted one from the set shot and one from a snap as most of the play was in Lilydale’s end. Western Jets defender, Mary Daw was doing her best with some rebounds and tasked with kicking out, but the Mt Lilydale attack was set up well, holding firm around the 50m line. Mt Lilydale’s Lilly Kelly almost kicked an amazing goal, fending off a couple of players before charging to have a shot, but just missed. Mt Lilydale peppered the goals as they were dominating play, but they struggled to convert kicking three straight to begin with.

Mt Lilydale got the first of the second term as the rain began to bucket down despite some blue skies on the horizon. MacKillop looked impressive when going forward as Rachel Kerr backed herself to charge forward, and Hayley Cran took a strong intercept mark. The weather was causing all sorts of issues with the slippery ball making it difficult for players to control. With the breeze blowing towards the MacKillop end, Mt Lilydale’s defence was standing up restricting the score. Then, as it looked like it was tough to kick into the breeze, Serena Gibbs took a strong intercept mark at the forward 50 and delivered lace out to Deed. Her shot hit the post, but from the kick-out, Mt Lilydale had another chance with Gibbs winning it again and goaling from long range.

With the ball locked in Mt Lilydale’s forward 50 for the last minute, it took some good work from Hayley Stevens and Jessica Fealy to clear the ball out of the back half as the siren sounded to avoid conceding a sixth goal.

With the sun now out and shining but the strong breeze still blowing, the teams came back from half-time hoping to gain an early advantage. A good intercept mark by Eliza Moodie topped one attack, but the pace off the mark from Kelly saw her drill a goal from 20m out without any problems for Mt Lilydale’s first of the term.

Just as it looked like Gibbs might have an opportunity, a big tackle from Cran earned MacKillop a free kick. Gibbs soon had another chance however, receiving the handball from Lilly Kelly , but Gibbs’ shot just went wide with the breeze. A big inside 50 by Jessie Williams after turning out of trouble looked good, but the work of Chelsea Jansen to Cran who gave it to Kerr saw MacKillop gain some important distance and go to half-forward.

Both sides’ attack on the ball was impressive in the challenging conditions. Jansen’s work in defence for MacKillop was impressive providing some drive coming off half-aback, while a nice kick from Deed going into Gibbs tight on the boundary set up a chance, but she centred it. A great tackle from Matilda Kelly at the fall of the ball was rewarded with a freekick, and Sophia Zappia almost kicked a goal on the line but was rushed through by Daw.

Lilly Kelly took a good diving mark and had another chance but it drifted off the boot and a quick kick off the ground saw another behind for Mt Lilydale. A quick snap from Sidney Arthur almost resulted in a goal, but it too went wide, but Mt Lilydale had all the ascendancy despite some strong tackles from MacKillop. Then some great composure from Deed saw her kick another, calmly picking it off the deck 20m out and then off a step slotting it home for Mt Lilydale’s seventh of the contest and the margin was out to 52 points.

Daw had another big rebound out of the back 50 after a quick kick inside. MacKillop were trying to move the ball fast down the other end with a minute remaining on the clock. It was to no avail in the end as Lilydale’s defenders locked the ball up on the wing and ensured they went into the final break with the substantial lead.

A strong tackle by Gibbs early in the final quarter showed Mt Lilydale’s intent to run the game out was still there. Gibbs was impressive all over the ground using her strength and penetrating kick to go long inside the forward 50. The set shot from Jess Duff 20m out in the seventh minute showed just how much wind there was, starting right and blowing right to the left, but going in for the first of the term.

Another massive clearance and inside 50 from Gibbs was intercepted by Daw who had been steadfast in defence. MacKillop was doing well to retain possession and Daw had run to half-forward to try and break the game open. The tackling pressure from the Mt Lilydale side was immense however as they refused to concede any sort of score.

MacKillop’s Piper Turner was doing well in defence with a few good marks, while Matilda Kelly’s intercept and long kick deep saw Talia Carusi have a chance. She was dragged off the footy and for her troubles she earned a free kick in the goal square and converted for Mt Lilydale’s ninth major of the game. Turner continued to stand tall taking another big intercept mark as MacKillop charged forward in the final minute. But alas, any hope of a score was soon diminished as Mt Lilydale managed to lock it up at half-back just prior to the siren.

Lilydale 3.4 | 5.5 | 7.10 | 9.11 (65)
MacKillop 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)

Best on Grounds:

Mt Lilydale: Lilly Kelly
MacKillop: Rachel Kerr

Weekly wrap: NSW/ACT state leagues

TWO Grand Finals took place across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) this week. In the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division, it was Macquarie University taking on University of New South Wales (UNSW) Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs. In the AFL Canberra 1st Grade Women’s competition, Eastlake battled it out against Queanbeyan.

UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs have claimed a three-peat in the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division with a 23-point win over Macquarie University. The Bulldogs got off to a fast start with a three goals to one first quarter. They kicked one less goal in the second term but still managed to go into the half time break with a 21-point lead. Macquarie University fought back in the third term, keeping the Bulldogs scoreless. But they couldn’t inspire a comeback, only managing one goal for the term. In the fourth quarter, it only got worse for Macquarie, with the Bulldogs holding them goalless and kicking two goals at the same time.

Roxanne McGee booted two majors for UNSW, while Tia Bool, Rebecca Privitelli, Jacinda Barclay, Meagan Kelly and Sandra Janjetovic all chipped in with singles. Janjetovic was also named best-on-ground by her coaches in the Grand Final. Barclay, Sera Kaukiono, Jemma Still, McGee and Bool were the other impressive performers on the night.

Greater Western Sydney captain, Amanda Farrugia gave her all for Macquarie University, kicking a goal and being named best-on-ground. She was complemented by good performances from Kristy Sutcliffe, Ellie Brush, Laura Russell, Lisa Steane and Megan Lawrence. Russell also kicked a goal, as did Liz Fassone.

Eastlake claimed the AFL Canberra 1st Grade Women’s premiership with a 12-point win over Queanbeyan. It was an even start with both teams kicking two goals a piece in the first term. Eastlake stepped up its game in the second quarter with four goals to two to take a 16-point lead into the main break. The scoring dried up in the third term with neither side managing to get a goal on the board. Queanbeyan fought back with the only major in the last term but it wasn’t enough.

Karina Demant was the star of the day for Eastlake with two of her side’s six goals. Teammates, Rohana Prince and Millie Drummond were among the goal kickers.

For Queanbeyan, NSW Under-18 representative Alexia Hamilton, as well as Megan Godfrey, Teena Campbell, Alana Bowyer and Hannah Dunn all got majors on the board. Dunn was also named best-on-ground for the Tigers. Carly Res, Tarni Evans, Jayde Hamilton, Cassandra Taylor and Lani Watson were also impressive.

Football culture wins over Denby Taylor

DESCRIBED as “Dad’s only son”, Denby Taylor has forged her own sporting pathway after growing up balancing both football and netball. Taylor said he father was a “footy nut” and could not be prouder that the Geelong Falcons star had followed football.

“I’d probably say my dad has been the biggest influence,” she said. “I suppose getting four daughters, given he’s a footy nut, wasn’t the best thing I suppose, for him, I think now he’s pretty happy and proud of where I’ve come. “I finished netball last year so I was playing that for about maybe nine years or so. “I followed my sister’s footsteps in the netball path, and sort of made my own pathway in the football. ‘Dad’s only son’ I get called.”

Taylor said she loved the fact that football just focused on the sport itself, and enjoyed the physical nature of the contest compared to other codes she had tried.

“The difference in the games obviously so much more physical and there’s the culture as well,” she said. “I think netball and a lot of other sports can get a little bit political, but footy just focuses on the footy and I really like that. “Footy for me is probably the culture that keeps me coming back, I really like how much of the culture and the tight knit community that the club provides. I suppose the physicality of the game as well, it’s quite different to most other games, it’s quite enjoyable.”

Taylor was kicking a football around from a young age, but then gave up the sport to pursue netball, before returning once Youth Girls had begun to rise in popularity.

“I started with Auskick, dad brought me down to the local club and started playing there and then after a couple of years I wasn’t very keen on playing with the boys so I gave up the footy and then started again when I was about 13 with the youth girls,” Taylor said. “Then I continued playing Youth Girls up until last year, and then representative footy as well along the way. “(I) did Geelong Falcons for the past couple of years and the national carnivals for a couple of years as well. “Between that I was playing netball as well for Newtown and Chilwell.”

While Taylor had been known best as a rebounding defender this season, her stints up forward were actually a throwback to where she had played the last few seasons.

“I’ve only recently started playing back and I’ve been loving it so, it’s a really great experience to switch up roles, but I suppose I’m comfortable down forward, it’s where I played a lot of my footy,” Taylor said. “It’s quite a big transition but I’m really happy being down back now.”

Upon reflection, Taylor said she and the rest of her Geelong Falcons teammates had enjoyed the 2018 premiership following a perfect, undefeated season, but now her focus was purely on the draft. In particular, the versatile utility said she was working hard to build her fitness ahead of the AFL Women’s Draft Combine next month. She knows the competition has intensified at both TAC Cup Girls and AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships.

“I think some of my family comes and watches the games,” Taylor said of the TAC Cup Girls. “They say every year it lifts so much, the quality and the community and how everyone’s getting around it is just getting a lot better. “It (the AFL Women’s Championships) was in Queensland again. “I had family up there who hadn’t seen football for a whole year between the last championships and they pretty much just said ‘wow, that’s unbelievable how much it’s changed and how much it’s changed since last year’ so I think that really put it into perspective, because i get to see it every day I suppose.”

Outside of her football, Taylor enjoys spending the majority of her time outdoors getting plenty of fresh air.

“I do woodwork as a subject at school, that’s something I really enjoy doing outside of school as well,” Taylor said. “That and I’m also into bike riding and skating so yeah, pretty much all the outdoorsy sort of things. “Next year I’m going to take a gap year and just work and sort out what I might want to do and I think sort of what’s on the plate at teh moment, is a teaching degree. maybe teaching sport or something along those lines, something I’m comfortable with.”

But the most immediate goal for Taylor is clear – get drafted onto an AFL Women’s list.

“I think for me footy was more of a social thing for a long thing and then once I started playing rep footy and started getting a bit better, I was like ‘oh this could be fun’,” Taylor said. “I might keep going, and once I got put in the National Academy I thought ‘alright I might as well give it a go’. “I’ve got the opportunity, I didn’t want to let it go.”