Tag: Alison Drennan

AFLW Draft review: Carlton

AFTER finishing on the bottom of the table last season, the Blues needed to go big in the 2018 AFL Women’s Draft. That’s just what they did, acquiring the services of Madison Prespakis, Abbie McKay, Jayde Van Dyk, Charlotte Wilson, Emerson Woods, Rhiannon Watt and Jessica Edwards. To add to that, Carlton added 32 year-old former Fremantle star, Kirby Bentley to its line-up in a bid to move up the ladder in 2019.

What they needed:

  • Defenders to fill the void of Kate Gillespie-Jones, Danielle Hardiman, Lauren Arnell and Laura Attard
  • Midfielders to replace Maddison Gay and Madeline Keryk
  • Tall forward to fill the absence of Kate Shierlaw

 

Players selected:

Madison Prespakis – Calder Cannons

Prespakis was the first metropolitan player to be picked in the draft, after one of the most stellar Under-18 careers. This year alone, Prespakis won the joint Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Vic Metro’s MVP, was the joint TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest winner and won the Calder Cannons Best and Fairest. She is a bull in the midfield who racks up plenty of the football. Undoubtedly, she is one of the most exciting prospects for next year, as her run and carry and booming kick can break open a game for any team.

Abbie McKay – Sandringham Dragons

McKay has been long touted to go to the Blues, after her dad, Andrew played 244 games for the club. But the famous name is certainly not the only reason why the 17 year-old got drafted to the Blues. She is a skilful midfielder that was one of the standouts in the Sandringham Dragons line-up this year. She displayed quick hands and superb run and carry, not only for the Dragons but for Vic Metro as well. McKay drew plenty of interest from other clubs, so the Blues cleverly selected her early to ensure that she was their game-changer.

Jayde Van Dyk – Hawthorn

Van Dyk’s Hawthorn Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s coach, Patrick Hill touted her as a potential number one pick. So Carlton getting her in the 20s is a steal, as the defender dominated in all areas of the VFLW this year. She was the recipient of the VFLW Rising Star award, was named in the VFLW Team of the Year and won her club Best and Fairest award. Van Dyk is a classy defender who looks ready-made for AFLW. She can shut down players well and displays amazing composure on the last line of defence. Van Dyk will play a big part in preventing Carlton from enduring another season like 2018.

Charlotte Wilson – Eastern Ranges

The Eastern Ranges co-captain was a rock in defence this year with her great overhead marking and ability to shut down players. She was also able to rotate through the ruck to provide some support there, highlighting her versatility. Wilson still plays basketball now, but it could change with the addition of an AFL Women’s contract. She enjoyed representing Vic Metro this year and also tested well in the AFL Women’s Draft Combine, coming first in the standing vertical jump, and finishing in the top five in the running vertical jump (left and right), 20-metre sprint and the yo-yo intermittent test. Her athleticism will be quite valuable for the Blues this season.

Emerson Woods- Eastern Ranges

Woods had a very successful Under-18 year, representing Vic Metro, co-captaining the Eastern Ranges and winning a premiership with Hawthorn in the VFLW. Woods has the ability to go forward or play in the midfield, thanks to her elite endurance and blistering speed. She is very smart with the ball in hand and displays quick hands in congestion. She also has a great overhead mark and is agile in the air. Woods dominated the AFL Women’s Draft Combine, breaking the 20 metre sprint record with a time of 3.129 seconds. She also came in the top 10 for the vertical jump, the agility test, the yo-yo intermittent test and the 2km time trial.

Rhiannon Watt – Southern Saints

The Southern Saints ruck was quite impressive in the VFLW this year, being named as the leading ruck in the VFLW Team of the Year and winning the Southern Saints Best and Fairest alongside Alison Drennan. Watt displayed all the classic qualities of a ruck, and complemented this with her great ball-use at ground level. She will provide great support for Breann Moody, making Carlton’s ruck stocks a formidable force.

Jessica Edwards – Collingwood

The Collingwood VFLW captain was unexpectedly snapped up in the AFL Women’s Draft by traditional rivals, Carlton. Edwards is highly deserving of an AFLW contract after leading her side to a minor premiership this year in the VFLW. She is quite a smart footballer, knowing where to position herself to find space. Her hands are clean and her kicks are quite accurate, making her a handy acquisition for Carlton’s midfield.

Kirby Bentley – Fremantle

Bentley was a star for Fremantle in the first season of the AFLW, averaging 10 disposals a match in her role at half-back and through the midfield. She was named as a part of the 40-player All Australian squad. However, a knee injury suffered in that year’s State of Origin game ruled her out of AFLW 2.0, and she made the decision to retire from AFL Women’s. But now, ready to play again, Bentley has been snapped up by the Blues and will add some much-needed experience to their line-up.  

 

How they went:

Carlton has recruited exceptionally well in the AFL Women’s Draft. The Blues have been able to fill the void of Danielle Hardiman and Kate Gillespie-Jones through picking up Van Dyk, Wilson and Bentley, who will all give the opposition forwards plenty of headaches. Bentley can also provide support in the midfield, and replaces the experience of former Blues captain, Lauren Arnell. The Blues’ midfield has also received a huge boost with the acquisition of one of the best Under 18 midfielders in the country, in Madison Prespakis. Prespakis will add an element of aggression and will be able to break the lines with her football smarts. Together with Jessica Edwards, Abbie McKay and Emerson Woods, Carlton’s new-look midfield will certainly turn some heads. To add to this, the Blues’ ruck department has received a boost with Wilson able to head into the ruck alongside Rhiannon Watt and Breann Moody. Emerson Woods can also head into the forward line, and could present well like Kate Shierlaw did for Carlton last year.

Season reviews: VFLW – Southern Saints

THE Southern Saints were one of the surprise packages of the season, finishing eighth with only two AFL Women’s player on their list in Lauren Arnell and Laura Attard. Many would have expected the new team to finish on the bottom of the ladder but the Saints snuck away with a few crucial wins, including handing NT Thunder its first defeat of the season.

 

Position: 8th
Win-loss: 5-9
Percentage: 92%

Results:

Round 1: Lost against Carlton by 22 points
Round 2: Defeated Williamstown by 30 points
Round 3: Defeated Casey Demons by eight points
Round 4: Defeated Essendon by 36 points
Round 5: Bye
Round 6: Lost against Hawthorn by 33 points
Round 7: Defeated NT Thunder by 20 points
Round 8: Bye
Round 9: Lost against Casey Demons by 11 points
Round 10: Lost against Geelong by 38 points
Round 11: Lost against Melbourne University by three points
Round 12: Lost against Hawthorn by nine points
Round 13: Defeated Western Bulldogs by 31 points
Round 14: Lost against Darebin by four points
Round 15: Lost against Collingwood by 38 points
Round 16: Lost against Richmond by three points

 

Key players:

#8 Alison Drennan

Drennan was one of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s premier midfielders, constantly racking up the touches week-in, week-out. She was classy with the ball-in-hand and strong in congestion. She took out the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest, along with Rhiannon Watt, and made the VFLW Team of the Year in what was a stellar season for her. Her season earned her an AFL Women’s contract with North Melbourne. One of her standout games was in Round 2, when she gathered 35 disposals to go along with seven tackles and a goal.

#15 Tara Bohanna

Tara Bohanna was a star up forward for the Southern Saints, kicking 15 goals from 14 matches. She presented well at the football and was able to peel off players inside 50. Bohanna finished inside the top 10 in the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest and finished equal third in the VFLW goal kicking tally. Bohanna had two three-goal hauls during the season, highlighting her impressive ability to hit the scoreboard.

#17 Leah Olsen

Leah Olsen was an extremely reliable defender for the Southern Saints. Often playing on a half-back flank, Olsen could match up on key players and produce exciting run and carry. She finished fourth in the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest with 86 votes. Olsen was a key contributor in almost every game for the Saints. She played a great game in Round 9, when she gathered 18 disposals and laid four tackles.

#24 Kayla Ripari

Ripari excited with her dash across half-forward and her clever ball-use. She was often calm with the ball in hand and aggressive without it, laying some bone-crunching tackles during the season. Ripari finished seventh in the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest after playing every game and making solid contributions. One of her more impressive games was against the NT Thunder when she was named best-on-ground for her side with 14 disposals and two tackles.

#28 Rhiannon Watt

Watt was arguably the best ruck in the VFLW competition, using her height to advantage to give her midfielders prime use of the ball. She was agile at ground level as well, as she was able to rack up the numbers during the season as well. She won the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest, along with Alison Drennan, and made the VFLW Team of the Year as the leading ruck. She had a standout game in Round 12, with 20 disposals, four marks and seven tackles.

 

Season summary:

The Southern Saints should be extremely proud of their season, having hardly any AFL Women’s players on their list. They trusted their young talent to pull through and they did, recording a respectable five wins this season. While the losses outweighed the wins, it wasn’t by much, as five of their nine losses were under 10 points. The Saints are building their list along nicely for an AFL Women’s berth in 2020, and could be a key contender in the VFLW next year if they get some more AFL Women’s talent on their list.

AFL Draft Central’s VFLW Team of the Year

PICKING the AFL Draft Central Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Team of the Year was very difficult as there has been numerous terrific performers throughout the year. We compiled the best 22 players at the end of the VFLW home and away season, which takes into account the standout performers from the 16 rounds of VFLW this season.

Jess Duffin starts in the centre due to her outstanding season for Williamstown. She was picked in the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Week five times during the season, showing how dominant she was in the competition. She had a wonderful VFLW season and will hope to continue her great form with North Melbourne in the upcoming AFL Women’s season. Darcy Vescio is rightfully named at full forward after winning the VFLW goalkicking award, with 26 goals from nine matches. Nine of these goals were kicked against the Bombers in Round 16.

The back line is headlined by Hawthorn gun defender, Jayde Van Dyk. Van Dyk has been a revelation this season with her consistency and ability to lock down key players. Richmond’s Jacqueline Graham, who was also great down back for her side, accompanies Van Dyk in the back line. She featured in the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Week eight times, which is only beaten by Jayde Van Dyk and Jess Duffin’s nine appearances.

The midfield is littered with some of the competition’s superstars. Ashleigh Riddell was outstanding for Melbourne University across the wing, while Alison Drennan was extremely reliable for the Southern Saints. She appeared in the Team of the Week seven times this season. Darebin’s Lauren Pearce got the nod to be the starting ruck as she was one of the standout rucks in the competition alongside Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints) and Alice Edmonds (Richmond). Pearce just edged out the latter duo to make the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Year.

The forward line has plenty of fire-power and is easily capable of kicking a winning score. On the left half-forward flank is NT’s Jess Sedunary, who finished third in the goalkicking tally. Alongside her at centre-half forward is North Melbourne recruit, Jasmine Garner, who kicked 10 goals in nine games for the Seagulls.

The bench consists of midfield pair, Richelle Cranston (Geelong) and Jenna Bruton (Williamstown) as well as utility, Katherine Gillespie-Jones (Melbourne University). Rounding out the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Year is Thunder captain, Angela Foley. Foley was able to provide outstanding leadership while simultaneously playing some consistent football.

Due to only 22 making the final cut, there was destined to be many unlucky players. Falcons forward, Hannah Mouncey can consider herself unlucky as she kicked the second-most goals in the competition. But as we saw with Tom Hawkins in the AFL, who did not make the 2018 All Australian side, goals sometimes are not enough. Hawthorn midfielder, Melissa Kuys is also unlucky as she had a great season leading from the front. Former Calder Cannons pair, Chloe Molloy and Madison Prespakis are two more who had an argument to be included in the Team of the Year, but will definitely be featuring prominently in the future.

Duffin headlines successful VFLW Best and Fairest night

THE Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Best and Fairest took place on Monday night and recognised the standout players from a successful inaugural season. We recap the main award winners, as well as the VFLW Team of the Year.

 

Lambert-Pearce Medal

Williamstown midfielder, Jess Duffin has become the first league best and fairest winner to come from a team that did not make the finals. Her Seagulls finished eleventh with a record of four wins and 10 losses.

The former Collingwood AFL Women’s player polled 23 votes, which was six ahead of Darebin ruck, Lauren Pearce. NT Thunder captain, Angela Foley came third with 16 votes while Carlton forward, Darcy Vescio and Hawks captain, Emma Mackie rounded out the top five with 15 votes a piece.

Duffin ranked first in the VFLW this year for total disposals, uncontested possessions, marks and rebounds. She was also ranked third for contested possessions and inside 50s, while also kicking 13 goals from her 13 matches.

The North Melbourne AFL Women’s recruit held the lead (either outright or shared) from Round 6 to Round 12. After falling behind Angela Foley in Round 12, the Melbourne Renegades cricketer finished strong with three consecutive best-on-ground performances to win the Best and Fairest with one round to go.

Duffin polled in 12 of her 13 matches this season with five three-vote performances, one two-vote and six one-vote efforts.

 

Rohenna Young Medal/ Choose Tap leading goalkicker

Carlton forward, Darcy Vescio capped off her stellar season inside 50, receiving the Rohenna Young Medal.

Vescio kicked 26 goals from nine games, averaging 2.89 goals per game. This was highlighted by a nine-goal performance against Essendon in Round 16.

Vescio finished seven goals ahead of Darebin’s Hannah Mouncey (19 goals from 12 games), and 11 goals ahead of NT’s Jessica Sedunary (15 goals from 11 games), who finished third. The Carlton forward won the AFL Women’s inaugural leading goal kicker award in 2017, kicking 14 goals, and has now backed it up with the VFLW leading goalkicker award.

 

Debbie Lee Medal/ VFLW Rising Star

Hawthorn defender, Jayde Van Dyk capped off a remarkable year in the brown and gold with an individual accolade to reward her for her efforts.

Van Dyk averaged 15 disposals this year and was named in the best in 11 of her 15 games. She was also named in the VFLW Team of the Year in the back pocket.

Van Dyk now has a an opportunity to become a premiership player after the Hawks defeated the Pies on Saturday to win through to the decider.

 

VFLW Coach of the Year

Collingwood VFLW coach, Penny Cula-Reid has won the VFLW Coach of the Year award after taking her side to a minor premiership.

In her first year of coaching, she took the Pies to a near-perfect season tally, with 12 wins, one loss and one draw. Cula-Reid formerly played for Collingwood in the AFL Women’s competition and represented the St Kilda Sharks in the Victorian Women’s Football League (VWFL).

 

VFLW Team of the Year

B: Jayde Van Dyk (Hawthorn), Bec Goring (Geelong), Kate Gillespie-Jones (Melbourne Uni)

HB: Ashleigh Riddell (Melbourne Uni), Meghan McDonald (Darebin), Bianca Jakobsson (Casey)

C: Alison Drennan (Southern Saints), Jess Duffin (Williamstown), Rebecca Beeson (Hawthorn)

HF: Sarah D’Arcy (Collingwood), Jasmine Garner (Williamstown), Jessica Sedunary (NT)

FF: Hayley Bullas (Essendon), Darcy Vescio (Carlton), Mia-Rae Clifford (Geelong)

F: Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints), Richelle Cranston (Geelong), Angela Foley (NT)

I/C: Emma Swanson (NT), Sophie Alexander (Collingwood), Alice Edmonds (Richmond), Libby Birch (Western Bulldogs), Lauren Pearce (Darebin), Emma Mackie (Hawthorn)

 

Hawthorn and Geelong lead the way in the VFLW Team of the Year with three representatives a piece.

Hawks skipper, Emma Mackie and Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) Rebecca Beeson made their way into the sides after stellar years in the midfield.

Geelong’s had stars across the field in the Team of the Year, with Bec Goring leading the way down back, Richelle Cranston being selected in the midfield and Mia-Rae Clifford being named in the forward line.

Melbourne University, Darebin, Southern Saints, NT Thunder, Williamstown and Collingwood each had two members in the Team of the Year.

North Melbourne AFL Women’s duo, Ashleigh Riddell and Kate Gillespie-Jones were both selected in the back line for the Mugars and were joined by Darebin’s Meghan McDonald. Runner-up Best and Fairest, Lauren Pearce made her way onto the interchange best for the Falcons.

She was joined by NT’s Emma Swanson, who averaged 19 disposals in her 11 matches. Swanson’s Thunder teammate, Jessica Sedunary made her way into the forward line after kicking 15 goals from 11 games this season.

The Southern Saints had two members in the midfield with Rhiannon Watt getting the main ruck spot while Alison Drennan took up a position on the wing.

As expected, Jess Duffin got a spot in the middle for the Seagulls while Jasmine Garner was named at centre-half forward.

For the minor premiers, it was Sarah D’Arcy and Sophie Alexander who led the way, with D’Arcy getting a spot on the half-forward flank while Alexander was named on the bench.

Darcy Vescio, Hayley Bullas (Essendon), Libby Birch (Western Bulldogs), Bianca Jakobsson (Casey) and Alice Edmonds (Richmond) were the sole representatives for their sides in the Team of the Year.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 16

MANY teams had pride on the line this week and were able to end their seasons in style, with struggling teams, Williamstown and Richmond getting victories. Meanwhile at Box Hill, a huge clash between traditional rivals, Hawthorn and Geelong saw the Hawks claim a coveted top-two spot, and a valuable double chance.

 

Southern Saints 3.4 (22) defeated by Richmond 4.1 (25)

This game was a tight one throughout with the biggest margin being nine points. At the first break, the scores were even with both sides kicking a goal each to open up the match. Only a point was scored in the second quarter, which gave the Southern Saints the slim one-point margin at halftime. The closeness continued in the third term, with both teams kicking a goal each. In the last quarter, the Saints and the Tigers both upped the ante, but it was Richmond who did it better, outscoring the Saints two goals to one to win the quarter, and the game.

The Tigers managed to win their first game in six rounds with just two goal kickers on the day. Kate Dixon and Christina Bernardi managed to each get two majors on the board, with Dixon’s second goal giving her side the biggest lead of the game. Bernardi also found a lot of the footy with 24 disposals, seven marks and eight tackles. It is no surprise to see that her teammate, Phoebe Monahan topped the disposal count for the Tigers, as she has been doing so for most of the season. In her side’s last game of the year, she racked up 28 disposals and laid six tackles, capping off an excellent year.

The Saints too had a multiple goal kicker, with Courtney Munn kicking two goals from her 12 disposals. Vic Metro representative, Gabriella De Angelis was the other goal kicker with one goal from her seven disposals. In the midfield, it was the Alisons who dominated with Alison Brown and Alison Drennan each racking up 28 disposals. Brown also took five marks and laid three tackles while Drennan laid four. TAC Cup Girls trio, Eleanor Brown (19 disposals, four marks and four tackles), Ashleigh Allsopp (16 disposals, four marks and four tackles) and Shelley Heath (15 disposals, two marks and seven tackles) were also prominent contributors in this game.

 

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. Maddy 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.

 

Casey Demons 4.5 (29) defeated by Collingwood 9.7 (61)

By: Carly McClen

In a blizzard of sun at Casey Fields, the combination of the return of captain, Jessica Edwards, the Nicole Hildebrand factor on the half-back line, a hungry-for-goals Jaimee Lambert, Ruby Schleicher loving the forward line, and the usual class-above performance by Chloe Molloy was more than enough to seal the minor premiership for the Collingwood Magpies. In its inaugural 2018 VFLW season the Pies have dropped just one game against NT Thunder. They have consistently held off growing-in-stature sides such as the Demons and Saturday was no different.  

The Demons were gallantly effective until half-time with the backline displaying a strong collective effort, absorbing the Pies’ forward attacking. For the third week in a row, the Demons’ first goal kicker was Maddie Shevlin. With solid forward pressure, she was able to snap an early goal, keeping the chase within eight points at quarter time.

In the second quarter, the Demons outscored Collingwood with goals to Bianca Jakobsson and Shelley Scott. But the game’s momentum changed in the second half when Pies coach, Penny Cula-Reid made a game-changing move which the Demons were simply unable to respond to. Eliza Hynes came out of the forward half and into the ruck. The Pies then quickly began dominating clearances and the move created crucial space for Lambert and Molloy to do their thing. The Pies comfortably played their style of game from that point on, keeping the Demons to just one major score.

Hildebrand was an ominous presence on the half-back line and continued to send the ball back into Collingwood’s forward half. Hildebrand intercepted an early burst in the third quarter from the centre clearance and the ball rarely made into the Demons’ attacking zone for the quarter. Hildebrand was lethal at pushing up and getting to the ball first with strong marks and defensive kicking. It showed her versatility and multiple vital roles she can play for her team. Cula-Reid’s message to the Magpies was ‘it’s there if you want it’ and they took it, booting 3.4 in the final term to seal another clinical victory.

 

Darebin 6.6 (42) defeated by Western Bulldogs 6.10 (46)

After being held goalless in the second quarter, the Bulldogs came from behind and ended their season on a high against Darebin. They were down by 18 points at the main break before kicking two goals to one in the third quarter to reduce the deficit. The Bulldogs then managed to clinch the lead for the first time in remarkable fashion, with premiership hero, Hannah Scott kicking the sealer after the siren to end the Bulldogs’ season on a high note.

Scott also booted a goal earlier in the game and was sensational throughout with 17 disposals, three marks and ten tackles. She was complemented by Ashleigh Guest, who was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 23 touches to go with her six marks and four tackles. Sarah Jolly, Brittany Wunhym, Mary Sandral and Kirsten McLeod each got a major on the board for the Bulldogs. Jolly was the pick of the bunch with 12 disposals and five tackles while McLeod was not far off with 10 disposals and five tackles.

Melbourne AFLW duo, Lauren Pearce and Lily Mithen led the way for the Falcons, continuing to play consistent football for their side. Pearce gathered 14 disposals and took seven marks while Mithen led the way in disposals for Darebin with 18 touches to go with her six marks and six tackles. She also kicked a goal for the Falcons and was joined on the scoreboard by Kate Shierlaw, Kate Tyndall, Lauren Szigeti, Cherelle Byrne and Hannah Mouncey. Annalyse Lister led the way in tackles for Darebin with seven for the game to go with her 11 disposals.

 

Essendon 2.5 (17) defeated by Carlton 14.8 (92)

Carlton saved its best until last in this game, storming out of the blocks early to kick four first-quarter goals, giving Essendon a minimal chance to fight back. The onslaught continued in the second quarter with the Blues piling on another four majors to take their halftime lead to 49 points. Carlton’s eight goals all came off the boot of Darcy Vescio, who also saved her best until last. She ended up with nine goals for the day while the Bombers themselves could only manage two in the 75-point loss.

Not only did Darcy Vescio kick nine goals, but she also gathered 18 touches and seven marks in a dominant all-round game. She wasn’t alone inside 50, with Vic Metro’s Abbie McKay, Vic Country’s Rene Caris, Oakleigh’s Isabella Gietzmann, skipper, Kristi Harvey and former Williamstown player, Jess Malouf all kicking a goal at Windy Hill. Caris was the shining light with 20 disposals while Harvey racked up 10 touches to go with her six marks and four tackles. Gabriella Pound was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 25 disposals to go with her four marks.

Although it was a miserable day for the Bombers, Kendra Heil and Alex Quigley both kicked a goal for their side. Quigley was also named in the best with 13 disposals, six marks and five tackles. She was not too far behind Essendon’s leading disposal-getter, Courtney Ugle, who gathered 19 disposals, four marks and four tackles. Hayley Bullas also racked up the disposals with 17 touches to go with her four tackles, which is a stat that she has been dominating in this season.

 

Melbourne Uni 4.5 (29) defeated by Williamstown 10.7 (67)

By: Taylah Melki

In what was a one-way affair after quarter time, Williamstown dominated against Melbourne University. The Seagulls made the most of their scoring opportunities with their crisp ball movement and two-way running. Melbourne University started off hot, showing good intent but struggled to combat both the offensive and defensive pressure that Williamstown applied after the first quarter.

For Williamstown, Jess Duffin had a day out, bagging three goals and gathering plenty of the footy. Her hands in close were second to none, dishing off handballs into space and running hard to create forward play for the Seagulls. Jasmine Garner was also among the Seagulls’ best, amassing a heap of touches and hitting the scoreboard. Rebecca Dardengo backed up her impressive performance from last week, applying plenty of pressure, while Emily Gardner was also busy across the ground imposing herself on the contest.

Gardner’s Western Jets teammate, Caitlin Greiser starred for Melbourne University, positioning well and booting two majors for the game. Teammates, Emma Humphries and Kaitlyn Ashmore were also instrumental for the Mugars, winning plenty of the ball and using the footy effectively and efficiently. In her first game of the season, Tasmanian Under 18 representative, Chloe Haines impressed with her ability to impact the contest and hit targets while under pressure.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 15

WITH just two weeks remaining in the home and away season, the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s ladder is really beginning to take shape. Following its huge win over Collingwood last week, the NT Thunder now sits in top spot (44 points) with just one game remaining on their schedule. Collingwood (42 points) and Hawthorn (40 points) sit right behind the Thunder and will be hoping that their game in hand can catapult them into top spot once all is said and done. Geelong sits comfortably in fourth position for now but a slight slip-up could see Darebin seize the opportunity and move to within half a game of the coveted spot.

 

Collingwood vs Southern Saints

Saturday August 18, Ted Summerton Recreational Reserve, 2PM

The Magpies look to bounce back from their first loss of the season this past week as they host the Saints in an important contest. Collingwood has made several changes, with the most important being the return of superstar, Chloe Molloy, who returns to the line-up after two weeks on the sidelines. AFLW captain, Steph Chiocci will miss the game after having played herself into some nice form following a return from injury. Despite the loss last week, Sophie Alexander was particularly impressive with 23 disposals as she continues to be a key part of the Magpies’ premiership quest. The Saints put together a very strong game against the Falcons last week, battling right to the end against an in-form Darebin side before losing by just four points. The duo of Eleanor Brown and Alison Drennan were superb and did everything they could to drag their side over the line. Finals are now officially out of the question for the Saints, however there is plenty to play for in order to build moving forward as well as individual success, with Tara Bohanna currently in the top five goal scorers of the competition.

 

Western Bulldogs vs Melbourne University

Saturday August 18, VU Whitten Oval, 2PM

After an incredible two month stretch where the Bulldogs won six games in a row, they have now dropped two consecutive games and as a result find themselves officially out of finals contention. Another poor performance last week saw them suffer one of the biggest losses of the season in a lifeless 55-point loss against the Hawks. The Bulldogs were simply dominated in every category with the Hawks having almost 100 more possessions and well over twice the amount of inside 50s. A rebound performance across the board is certainly needed in order for the Bulldogs to finish the season on a high. Melbourne University comes into the game in some good form of its own, following a 53-point smashing of Casey. The win continues what has been a good month of footy, having won two matches over that stretch after a poor start to the season. It was stars aplenty last week as Madison Prespakis put together another huge game with 28 possessions in a best on ground performance. The forwards also dominated with Sophie Abbatangelo and Caitlin Greiser each kicking two goals.

 

Essendon vs Williamstown

Saturday August 18, Windy Hill, 3PM

The Bombers host Williamstown in their first of two home games at Windy Hill to close out the season. Currently sitting in last place with just one win to date, the Bombers have two winnable games in the next two weeks to close their inaugural season on a high and move up the ladder. Hayley Bullas continues to be a shining light for the side, with an astounding 17 tackles last week to go along with 20 possessions in one of the best individual performances of the season. Jessica Trend has also put together a nice stretch of form and will be key for the Dons in the final two games of the season. The Seagulls come off an unbelievable comeback win against Richmond which saw them register just their second victory of the season. Down by as many as 20 points midway through the third quarter, Williamstown battled all the way back to steal a one-point victory. The second half performance should instill confidence into the side as it has a big opportunity to close the season out well. After weeks of reliance on Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton, the role players for the Seagulls really stepped it up last week, particularly Jasmine Garner who was damaging with two goals and 21 possessions.

 

NT Thunder vs Hawthorn

Saturday August 18, TIO Stadium, 4PM

The Thunder recorded their sixth consecutive victory last week with a massive win over the previously undefeated Collingwood, which saw them move into first place with just two rounds remaining. The Thunder have the bye this week so this will be their home and away season finale and can also lock up a top two finish with a win. Angela Foley took the game away from Collingwood last week with 29 possessions and two goals and was complemented by Ebony Marinoff (28 possessions) and Jenna McCormick (31 possessions) also putting together strong games. For the Hawks, this game is critical in order for their top two push and a home final. A win pushes them into a tie with the Thunder, with an opportunity to surpass them in the final round into either first or second. A loss on the other hand could be very damaging, as they face Geelong in the final round and become in danger of falling to fourth come the end of the season. Sarah Perkins has been in terrific form recently, including her three-goal haul against the Bulldogs last week. She will be key in going toe-to-toe against the prolific offence of the Thunder down the other end. Another marquee game late in the season, which will shape the entire season once again.

 

Darebin vs Carlton

Sunday August 19, Bill Lawry Oval, 12PM

Darebin looks to keep its slim finals hopes alive when it takes on Carlton at home. Having won their last three games, the Falcons have put themselves in a position to contend for the final spot in the top four. Hannah Mouncey put together her best performance in some time, kicking two goals to go along with 16 possessions, however she will miss the game in what could be a costly out. Elise O’Dea does return to the line-up and should boost their midfield. Lauren Pearce also continues to be dominant in the ruck, winning plenty of centre clearances for the Falcons midfielders as well as getting plenty of the ball herself, tallying 21 possessions last week. Carlton come in fresh off the bye and is looking to continue its strong end to the season. The Blues sit in ninth position with just four wins thus far. However, the Blues have played some good footy over the past month, although results may not show it. Darcy Vescio has the opportunity to win the goal kicking title this week, currently sitting on 16 goals, needing three to surpass leader, Mouncey.

 

Casey vs Geelong

Sunday August 19, Casey Fields, 1PM

Round 15 comes to an end when Casey hosts Geelong. The Demons will not take part in September action, however a win over Geelong could be potentially damaging to the Cats’ hopes of playing finals. The home side will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing performance against Melbourne Uni, losing by 53 points in a game they were favoured to win. Maddie Shevlin was a shining light for the Demons with 22 possessions and the team’s only goal. AFLW star, Bianca Jakobsson was also impressive. The Cats can secure their spot in the top four with a victory and potentially move up towards a top two finish if they win their final two games, given the tough competition the teams above them face. Geelong has made a habit of beating up on lower teams and Sunday should present them with another opportunity to do so. Danielle Orr and Mia-Rae Clifford were great last week with two goals each. Richelle Cranston was her usual self with 24 possessions as she continues to build on what has been an impressive season.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 14

COLLINGWOOD lost its first game of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s after 14 rounds of action and consequently lost top spot on the ladder. At the bottom of the ladder, the Seagulls experienced a rare highlight for their season when they clinched a thrilling one-point win over Richmond. With only two rounds to go, the ladder could still change in what looks to be a thrilling finals series.

 

Casey Demons 1.6 (12) defeated by Melbourne University 10.5 (65) 

By: Peter Williams

Melbourne University has claimed a huge 53-point win over Casey Demons, courtesy of a dominant first half. The Mugars booted the only five goals of the first two quarters, with the Demons managing just the one behind in challenging conditions. With the ground wet and the blustery wind causing problems for some, the Mugars made the most of it. Casey played well in the third term, with Maddie Shevlin producing a huge 50 metre goal for the Demons’ only of the game, to outscore the visitors. Unfortunately for the home team, Melbourne University got back on top in the final term, booting two goals early to wrap up the match, and then two in the final two minutes to blow the margin out to almost nine goals.

Madison Prespakis starred again for the winners, doing some unbelievable things, including a snap out of nowhere for a goal, on her way to 28 disposals, two marks, six tackles and a goal. Captain Ashleigh Riddell was prominent with 18 disposals and an important first quarter goal, while Sophie Abbatangelo (15 disposals, four marks and two goals) and Caitlin Greiser (12 disposals, three marks and two goals) worked hard together in attack.

For Casey, Shevlin was the big ball winner, racking up 22 disposals and booting the Demons’ only goal, while Casey Sherriff was arguably the best for her clean ball use in defence, racking up 14 disposals and laying six tackles. Sherriff teamed well with Darcy Guttridge back there, who picked up 11 disposals and three marks, while Eden Zanker was promising in the ruck.

 

Darebin 7.1 (43) defeated Southern Saints 6.3 (39)

By: Taylah Melki

It was a good old fashioned shoot-out at Bill Lawry Oval, with both the Falcons and Saints going goal-for-goal. In a hotly contested match, Darebin looked to have broken away in the second term, but the Saints fought back to go in even at half-time. Accuracy did not seem to be a problem for either team with no behinds scored in the first half of footy, credit to their cleanliness by foot. But in the end, it was the Falcons that secured the win by four points in a very tight game to keep their finals hopes alive.

The Falcons were on song with the likes of Hannah Mouncey finding the goals and imposing herself around the contest with her strong hands. Teammates, Lily Mithen and Georgia Hammond were also impressive with their clean hands at the coal face and ability to dish off clever handballs under pressure. Down in defence, Meghan McDonald played her usual role, taking a heap of intercept marks and controlling the defensive 50 for the Falcons.

Meanwhile for the Southern Saints, Alison Brown showcased her good hands in tight, extracting the footy out of the congestion cleanly and cleverly. Rhiannon Watt provided a good target up forward and worked tirelessly throughout the match to win the footy. Courtney Jones was impressive for the Saints, opening their scoring account and getting involved in the contest, as was Alison Drennan who was influential across the ground with her silky skills.

 

Collingwood 4.4 (28) defeated by NT Thunder 5.8 (38)

Collingwood experienced the losing feeling for the first time this year on the hallowed turf of Victoria Park. The Pies couldn’t kick a goal during the whole second half while the Thunder kicked three crucial majors to claim a vital win, and top spot on the ladder.

Captain, Angela Foley had a blinder of a game, being one of two multiple goal kickers for the Thunder, as well as racking up 29 disposals and taking four marks. The other multiple goal kicker was 23 year-old, Jordann Hickey, who booted home two majors from her 10 disposals. In terms of disposals, Adelaide AFLW forward, Jenna McCormick led the way with 31 touches to go along with seven marks.

Vic Metro forward, Daisy Bateman was one of four single goal kickers for the Pies, and also racked up nine disposals. Her Oakleigh Chargers teammate, Hannah McLaren racked up the disposals, gathering 20 touches for the Pies. She was complemented by a great all-round game from Sophie Alexander, who gathered 23 disposals and laid six tackles. Former Murray Bushrangers defender, Iilish Ross led the way in the tackling department, laying 11 for the match.

 

Geelong Cats 8.11 (59) defeated Essendon 2.2 (14)  

Geelong took care of business at GMHBA Stadium, recording another big win over another cellar-dweller in the competition. This time, Essendon was on the end of the big margin, only managing two goals for the game, while the Cats booted eight.

Danielle Orr and Mia-Rae Clifford were the two multiple goal kickers for the Cats with two majors each. In the midfield, it was Richelle Cranston who dominated yet again with 24 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Geelong Falcons duo, Olivia Purcell (18 touches) and Nina Morrison (16 touches) also contributed well on the day.

For the Bombers, Hayley Bullas provided some positives with her 20 disposals, three marks and a whopping 17 tackles. She was complemented by the consistent Jessica Trend, who racked up 18 disposals, five marks and nine tackles. Trend led the way for marks in the match, taking the most grabs out of any player in the match. Alex Quigley and Monique DeMatteo were Essendon’s goal kickers.

 

Richmond 5.7 (37) defeated by Williamstown 5.8 (38) 

Williamstown has recorded a thrilling come from behind win to secure its second win of the season. The Seagulls hadn’t scored a goal up to half time, but found their mojo in the second half, outscoring Richmond five goals to two.

North Melbourne recruit, Jasmine Garner had a marvelous game for the Seagulls, kicking two goals and racking up 21 disposals as well as five marks. Her fellow Kangaroos recruit, Jess Duffin led the way in disposals, gathering 30 touches as well as two marks and four tackles in another sensational performance. Jenna Bruton’s fierce attack on the ball was key to Williamstown’s victory, as she laid a game-high 12 tackles to go with her 19 disposals.

Phoebe Monahan once again led the way in disposals for Richmond, gathering 25 disposals and seven tackles. Of those 25 disposals, 23 were kicks, highlighting her ability to get the ball on the boot and penetrate it forward. She was complemented by Lauren Tesoriero, who gathered 22 touches and took three marks. Kate Dixon was a focal point up forward, kicking two majors to go with her 10 disposals.

 

Hawthorn 11.13 (79) defeated Western Bulldogs 4.0 (24) 

The Bulldogs succumbed to their second consecutive loss, but this time the margin was much greater, hurting their late finals charge. The Hawks led at each break and did the most damage in the third quarter, where they kicked three unanswered goals.

The Hawks had three multiple goal kickers in Sarah Perkins (three), Emily Gilder (two), Phoebe McWilliams (two) and Rosie Dillon (two). One player that could have kicked multiple goals was Rebecca Beeson, who finished the match with one goal and three behinds. That didn’t seem to faze her though, as she was the leading disposal-getter on the ground, gathering 25 disposals. Julia Crockett-Grills and Meg Hutchins also found plenty of the footy, racking up 18 touches each.

For the Bulldogs, it was Lauren Spark who led the way in disposals. She gathered 17 touches and took six marks on the day. Ashleigh Guest was next best with 14, while Bonnie Toogood racked up 12 touches in her first VFLW game. Bailey Hunt provided some positivity for the Dogs, as she kicked a goal and led the way in tackles, laying eight for the match.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 14

ROUND 14 is another huge round of footy with several teams battling for positions as we head towards September action. In perhaps the game of the season, Collingwood battle the Thunder at Victoria Park in a game with huge implications at the top of the ladder. Important games for both Hawthorn and Geelong will also take place, as they look to lock up a top four position before they both face tough challenges in their final two games. 

 

Casey vs Melbourne Uni

Saturday August 11th, 11:30am
Casey Fields, Cranbourne

Round 14 action kicks off with Casey hosting Melbourne Uni. The Demons come off a solid victory over Carlton, as they improved their record to five wins from 11 matches. Sitting two and a half games out of fourth place, the Demons will be looking to continue their momentum against a struggling Melbourne University side. Eden Zanker starred again last week, as she continues to be a huge positive in an otherwise disappointing season for the side overall. Kate Hore also turned out another strong game as she continues to build some good form. Melbourne University, who is fresh off the bye, is looking to close the season on a high and move its way up the ladder. Vic Metro midfielder, Madison Prespakis has been in great form for the Mugars, consistently racking up over 20 possessions. She will be joined in the side this week with fellow state representatives, Rebecca Webster (Vic Country) and Libby Haines (Tasmania and Eastern Allies), who could cause some headaches for their opponents. 

 

Collingwood vs NT Thunder

Saturday August 11th, 12pm
Victoria Park, Collingwood

A massive encounter takes centre stage on Saturday as the ladder-leading Collingwood takes on the second-placed NT Thunder at Victoria Park. The teams met in Round 8, with the Pies getting the better of the Thunder in a blowout. The Thunder has since gone on to win its next five matches following the defeat and has kept pace with the Magpies, who have continued their undefeated season. Chloe Molloy will miss the game again this week in what could be a huge out for Collingwood, as well as Jaimee Lambert, who has been an impact player for them this season. Steph Chiocci played herself back into form last week with a strong 13-possession, two-goal performance in just her second game back from injury. The Thunder has been unbelievable in the past month and registered another blowout win last week against Williamstown. With dominant performances across the board, NT comes into the game in as good of form as anyone in the competition. Anne Hatchard kicked four goals and was extremely effective inside the forward 50 with five marks to go along with 15 possessions. She was complemented by fellow AFLW player, Emma Swanson, who was a ball magnet through the midfield with 27 touches. This is a huge game which will shape the entire season, as the winner will move into top spot with just two games remaining.

 

Darebin vs Southern Saints

Saturday August 11th, 12pm
Bill Lawry Oval, Northcote

Darebin appears to be hitting its stride at the right time of year, but it may be too little, too late. Following a huge win over premiership fancies, Hawthorn, the Falcons take on the Southern Saints at home. A huge midfield match-up this week could see Falcons star, Elise O’Dea go head-to-head with Saints gun, Alison Drennan in one of the best individual match-ups of the season. O’Dea was prolific last week with 26 possessions, and continued what has been an incredibly strong stretch of play. Lily Mithen also continues to develop nicely and is playing a big part in the Falcons’ late season surge. The Saints enter the game with extreme confidence, having beaten the Bulldogs comprehensively last week to end their six-game winning streak. Alison Brown was dominant through the middle of the ground with 28 possessions, and Tara Bohanna also had an impressive outing up forward. Her three-goal haul last week pushes her into the top five goal kickers for the season. Although finals are out of the question for the Saints, they have the opportunity to play the spoiler role and end the Falcons’ season.

 

Geelong vs Essendon

Saturday August 11th, 4:30pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

The Cats host the Bombers in the final game of Saturday action as they look to continue their premiership quest. Geelong sits in fourth position and will be looking to move up the ladder in the final three rounds, with this round especially looming as important. The Cats find themselves in a game they should be able to take care of business in, while the sides above them face tough competition as the Hawks take on the in-form Bulldogs and Collingwood battles the Thunder in a head-to-head match-up. A win for the Cats allows them to close the gap on those above them and push towards a home final. Essendon continues to struggle with just one win to its name at this point in the season. A strong second half against Collingwood last week should give the Bombers the belief that they can hang with the best teams in the competition, with it just being a matter of putting together a full four quarter effort. Tanya Hetherington has been fantastic for the Bombers in recent weeks and will once again be a key performer if the Bombers are able to pull off one of the upsets of the season.

 

Richmond vs Williamstown

Sunday August 12th, 12pm
Swinburne Centre, Richmond

Sunday action kicks off with Richmond taking on Williamstown down at Tigerland. In a game with no impact on finals, both sides will be hoping to end their respective losing streaks and build some momentum heading into next season. The Tigers come in on a six-game losing streak and will need to bounce back following their worst loss of the season last week in a 10-goal loss to Geelong. Richmond’s forward line continues to be an issue, kicking just one goal last week, in what has been a poor stretch offensively for the team. Two big ins should boost the Tigers’ chances with Lauren Tesoriero and Christina Bernardi making their return to the line-up. Williamstown has just one win to date, with that being in Round 4 against Richmond. The Seagulls are also coming off a poor performance last week, losing by 45 points against the Thunder. The consistency from their middle to low-end players continues to be an issue with Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton continuing to carry the load, with more help required from their depth. With games against Essendon and Melbourne University to follow, the Seagulls have an opportunity to close the season out strong and put some wins together heading into the off-season.

 

Western Bulldogs vs Hawthorn

Sunday August 12th, 2pm
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

The Bulldogs saw their magical winning streak come to an end last week in a poor performance against the Saints. The Dogs were simply noncompetitive after the first term and have put themselves in a vulnerable position with only three games remaining. Needing to win their remaining games, as well as have results go their way, finals now look unlikely for the champions of the AFLW. The Dogs will need a number of big outings across the board and will hope that their inclusions this week, lead by Deanna Berry and Bonnie Toogood, will have an immediate impact in their entry to the side. The Hawks find themselves firmly entrenched within the top four and have the opportunity to officially clinch their finals berth with a win this week. They will be looking to bounce back following just their third loss of the season last week in a thriller against the Falcons. Emma Mackie returns to the line-up in what should be a boost to the team and help cover the loss of Melissa Kuys, who will be a key out.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 12

COLLINGWOOD remains on top of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s ladder without a loss, after scoring six straight goals and no behinds to defeat Melbourne Uni. NT Thunder and Hawthorn also recorded wins and remain in contention to take top spot, sitting comfortably in the top four.

 

Carlton 7.10 (52) defeated Richmond 1.5 (11)

After nearly upsetting Collingwood at RAMS Arena last week, Carlton recorded an emphatic win over Richmond this week. The Blues opened up the game by kicking four first-quarter goals, and kept the Tigers goalless for the first half.

Captain, Kristi Harvey and AFLW forward, Darcy Vescio each kicked two goals on the day and were complemented by single goal kickers, Sarah Hosking, Georgia Fisher and Bailey Schultz. Hosking in particular played a wonderful game, adding 21 disposals, five marks and 10 tackles to her major. In terms of disposals, it was AFLW defender, Gabriella Pound who led the way with 27. Katelyn Cox also touched the ball a lot, racking up 18 disposals, four marks and also laying five tackles.

Richmond’s only goal came from star midfielder, Phoebe Monahan, who also led the way for her side in disposals. Monahan recorded 20 touches, took three marks and laid nine tackles. She was complemented by Jacqueline Graham, who also recorded 20 disposals as well as taking seven marks. Graham led the way for marks on the day, while Kate Dixon wasn’t far behind with five.

 

Southern Saints 4.5 (29) defeated by Hawthorn 5.8 (38)

After a tight tussle throughout the match, Hawthorn escaped with a nine-point win. At half-time, the Hawks had only scored seven behinds while the Saints had kicked three straight majors. Then after the main break, Hawthorn straightened up and got the upper hand, kicking 5.1 to the Saints’ 1.5.

It was an even performance in terms of goals for the Hawks, with no multiple goal-kickers on the day. Instead, Rebecca Beeson, Emily Mcilvena, Sarah Perkins, Emily Gilder and Lou Wotton all kicked a major each. As usual, the experienced Jayde Van Dyk was as impressive as ever in defence, and earned best on ground honours from her coaches for her efforts in the back half. She was complemented by great games from Clare O’Donnell, Kim Ebb, Julia Crockett-Grills and Ebony Nixon.

The Saints too also shared the goals around with Danielle Lawrence, Tara Bohanna, Kayla Ripari and Ashleigh Allsopp all getting majors on the board. Rhiannon Watt dominated in the ruck and was consequently named the Saints’ best player on the day. Samantha Johnson, AFLW Academy member, Courtney Jones, Leah Olsen and star midfielder, Alison Drennan also performed well on Saturday.

 

NT Thunder 8.9 (57) defeated Casey Demons 7.3 (45)

With a 42-point lead at half-time, it looked like the Thunder was going to come away with a thumping win. But a late fightback from the Demons reduced the final margin to 12 points, after they kicked five goals to none in the second half.

Jordann Hickey and South Australia Under 18 representative, Katelyn Rosenzweig led the way in goals, each kicking two majors for the Thunder on Saturday. Rosenzweig also led the way in marks, taking five for the day to go along with her 14 disposals. Fellow forwards, Jenna McCormick and Emma Swanson also had stunning performances on the day, despite not getting on the scoreboard. McCormick racked up 26 disposals, two marks and five tackles while Swanson touched the ball 24 times, took four marks and laid four tackles.

Casey also had two multiple goalkickers, with Melbourne AFLW duo, Eden Zanker and Shelley Scott each kicking two majors. Bianca Jakobsson was one of the most impressive Demons on the day, racking up 20 disposals and taking five marks. Katherine Smith wasn’t too far off, as she recorded 19 disposals, laid five tackles and kicked a goal. Kaila Bentvelzen also did well with almost identical stats, kicking a goal to go along with her 18 disposals and eight tackles.

 

Melbourne Uni 2.7 (19) defeated by Collingwood 6.0 (36)

By: Taylah Melki

The Pies have made a name for themselves this season, sitting pretty at the top of the ladder, and this game was no different. Melbourne University set the tone early with plenty of forward 50 entries but was unable to capitalise on its scoring opportunities. The Mugars had some good glimpses of play but were unable to keep up with the relentless pressure of the Magpies who ended up coming away with a 17-point win. It took a while for the Magpies to get into the game but they showcased their dash across the ground and fierce intensity to win the footy.

For the Pies, the likes of young gun Chloe Molloy impressed once again with her silky skills and ability to read the play, taking some strong intercept marks across the back half. In the midfield, stars such as Steph Chiocci and Brittany Bonnici took control, showcasing their footy smarts with clever kicks. Grace Buchan starred for the black and white with her quick release handballs to teammates and work around the stoppages. Sophie Alexander was also important for Collingwood, scoring two majors and looking ominous up forward.

Melbourne University has plenty to look forward to, with the likes of youngsters Madison Prespakis and Caitlin Greiser showing great promise with their composure with ball in hand and ability to win the footy. Prespakis was in everything once again, imposing herself on the contest. Meanwhile, the likes of Emma Kearney and Kaitlyn Ashmore were impressive, showcasing their experience with ball in hand.  Kearney starred with her dash across the ground and long penetrating kick into the forward 50.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 12

ROUND 12 promises to be another big one as the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season draws closer to the end. Five teams will enjoy a bye (Darebin, Essendon, Geelong, Williamstown and the Western Bulldogs), whilst the eight teams in action look to build towards finals.

 

NT Thunder vs Casey

Saturday July 28, 11:30AM
Traeger Park, Alice Springs

The Thunder come into Round 12 just half a game behind the ladder-leading Collingwood, as they take on the middle-of-the-pack Demons. After a shaky month in June, the Thunder have been back to their dominant form over the past number of weeks and last week was no different as they dominated the Tigers to the tune of a 23-point victory. Ebony Marinoff was spectacular with 28 possessions as well as Emma Swanson, who had 24 possessions and two goals. The Thunder’s ability to get contributions from their entire line-up has been a strength for them all year long, with different standout performers each week.

The Demons will be looking for a much better performance this week, after being smashed by 41 points against the Cats last week in a completely uncompetitive game. A poor performance overall from the team with no real standouts, the Demons will need to bounce back if they are to make a late season charge towards the finals. Youngster, Eden Zanker has developed nicely and will be looking for more consistent strong outings in the back half of the year. Players such as Kate Hore and Katherine Smith will need to continue their strong form from earlier in the year.

 

Carlton vs Richmond

Saturday July 28, 11:30AM
Ikon Park, Carlton

Traditional rivals battle on Saturday morning at the home of the Blues when Carlton battle Richmond. With both teams sitting at 3-7 and firmly out of finals contention, this game looms as an opportunity for bragging rights among supporters. Following their win in Round 10, the Blues put up a great fight against the Pies, leading by a goal heading into the fourth quarter and in a great position to pull off a huge upset and hand the Pies their first loss. Unfortunately for the Blues, they ran out of legs and fell by 17 points, however there were plenty of positives to come out of the game. In particular, Kristi Harvey dominated with three goals and 17 possessions and put forward a great effort which almost got the Blues the win.

The Tigers have been disappointing in the past month, losing a number of winnable games. They will be hoping to return to their form of a little over a month ago which saw them in the hunt for a finals spot. Courtney Wakefield accounted for more than two thirds of the Tigers total score last week, kicking three goals and two behinds out of the Tigers total 29 points. Phoebe Monahan will also be pivotal in their clash this week, as she looks to continue her terrific form.

 

Southern Saints vs Hawthorn

Saturday July 28, 11:45AM
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

The Saints come into the game with only four wins. With finals in doubt, they look to play spoiler and knock the Hawks down the ladder. Coming off a disappointing loss to Melbourne Uni which saw their opponent win just its third game of the season, the Saints will be looking to avenge that performance and knock off the Hawks who have lost just one game to date. The one positive to come out of the game last week was the fact that the Saints finished strong. After kicking just two goals in the first three quarters, they kicked three goals in the last quarter and almost ran over the top of Melbourne Uni but fell by three points. Tara Bohanna in particular took over in the last quarter, kicking two goals to bring them within striking distance, while Alison Drennan was her usual, consistent self with 28 possessions.

For the Hawks, they come off the bye sitting in third position on the ladder, with a game in hand on second-placed NT Thunder. The consistent Jayde Van Dyk and experienced additions to the side, Pepa Randall and Steph Carroll will be looking to continue their run of form that put the Hawks in position to contend for the premiership. With an incredibly tough final month coming up which sees them battle the Falcons, Bulldogs, Thunder and Cats, the Hawks will need to take care of business in this one before they take on four of the best teams in the competition leading into September action.

 

Melbourne Uni vs Collingwood

Sunday July 29, 10:40AM
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

In the final game of the round, Melbourne Uni take on top-of-the-table, Collingwood in a Sunday morning clash. After a huge confidence-boosting win a week ago, the Mugars will be full of belief that they can knock off the best team in the competition. Madison Prespakis put together one of the best all-round games of the season, with a huge 33 possessions, four tackles and one goal. Melbourne Uni has seen a number of impressive performances from their role players over the past month and this has been much-needed, given the attention Emma Kearney has been given from the opposition, with just a 13-possession game last week against the Saints.

A fast-finishing Collingwood saw off a brave Carlton side last week, outscoring them 23-0 in the final quarter to win by 17 points. Sophie Alexander continued to play well up forward, with six shots on goal from her 13 possessions, however was only able to convert two into majors. Stacey Livingstone also made the most of her opportunities up forward, kicking two goals from just six possessions. With a big clash against the Thunder looming in Round 14, Collingwood must take care of business in games such as this if it wants to secure top spot at the end of the home and away season, and establish themselves as premiership favourites.