Tag: Kate Darby

AFLW Draft review: Geelong

THE Cats trusted in their local talent, drafting six players from either the TAC Cup Girls or Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s team ahead of their inaugural season. Two players were drafted from the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, while one hailed from the Murray Bushrangers. After making it to the VFLW Grand Final, coach, Paul Hood appears to have huge faith in his local ready-made talent.

 

What they needed:

  • Midfield support for Richelle Cranston and Cassie Blakeway
  • Defenders to assist Anna Teague and Melissa Hickey
  • Versatility to cover any injury troubles

 

Players selected:

Nina Morrison – Geelong Falcons

There is not much that hasn’t been said about Nina Morrison. She was long touted as the number one pick, and lived out that dream. At the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Morrison also took home the Vic Country Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the overall tournament MVP with Madison Prespakis. She also shared the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest award with Prespakis. Now, Morrison has the opportunity to show the nation what she’s made of and undoubtedly, her electric chase-down speed and fierce tackling will be on display. Her explosiveness down the wing combined with her ability to rack up the footy will be invaluable for the Cats.

Sophie Van De Heuvel – GWV Rebels

Van De Heuvel’s versatility will be of much use to the Cats. She played mostly in the forward line during the TAC Cup Girls season but also spent some time in the midfield in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, highlighting her ability to break the lines and penetrate forward. Van De Heuvel was GWV’s leading goal kicker this year with six goals from seven games and made the 2018 TAC Cup Girls and All Australian teams on the half-forward flank. She will be a great help to Kate Darby, Danielle Orr and Phoebe McWilliams inside 50.

Rebecca Webster – Murray Bushrangers

Webster is another versatile player, but thrives off running off the half-back line. She can shift into the midfield when needed as well, due to her valuable booming kick that sends her team forward. She was named at full-back in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year and represented Vic Country this year, making herself known in defence. Webster is a great overhead mark and has brilliant run and carry, which will really assist the smarts of Anna Teague and Melissa Hickey.

Olivia Purcell – Geelong Falcons

Purcell was one of the fiercest players in the TAC Cup Girls competition, hurting players with her clearances and aggressive tackling. Purcell’s immense power helps her break through congestion and enforce her blistering run and carry. She had a marvellous year, taking home the Geelong Falcons’ Best and Fairest, playing in a premiership with the side, playing in a Grand Final for the Cats’ VFLW side, making the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year and All Australian team. She will provide great support for Richelle Cranston, who can also hurt players with her power, aggression and run and carry.

Denby Taylor – Geelong Falcons

Denby Taylor was one of the smartest defenders in the TAC Cup Girls season, hurting players with her solid hands and run and carry off the half-back flank. She can be rotated through any position in defence, and also proved she could dominate on the wing, winning the best on ground award in the TAC Cup Girls Grand Final while playing in that position. It will be interesting to see what Paul Hood does with her, given her capabilities, but undoubtedly, she is a very handy pick-up for the Cats.

Georgia Clarke – GWV Rebels

Another defender with solid hands, Clarke and Taylor should work together in the back half to prevent opposition scoring. The Rebels defender made centre-half back her own in the TAC Cup Girls competition, creating a wall with her strong marking and kicking. Clarke was named in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year as the centre-half back, represented Vic Country in this year’s AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and also spent some time with the AFL Women’s Academy.

Rene Caris – GWV Rebels

With a ruck line-up of Erin Hoare, Aasta O’Connor, Maddy Boyd, Kate Darby and the newly added Rene Caris, the Cats should dominate the midfield. Caris not only has a great leap but is agile at ground level, thanks to her clean hands and precise kicking. She was named in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year and also spent some time with the AFL Women’s Academy, giving her valuable experience in the Cats line-up. Caris featured for Carlton in the VFLW season, and proved that she could match it up against the bigger bodies in the AFL Women’s competition.

Maighan Fogas – Geelong VFLW

Maighan Fogas was one of Geelong’s most consistent midfielders this year in the VFLW, thanks to her exciting run and carry, clean hands and accurate kicking. She came second in Geelong’s VFLW Best and Fairest after playing 17 matches and being named in the best seven times. Her ability to fight for the ball in congestion made her a standout during the season, and if she continues to bring this trait into the AFL Women’s season, it will prove vital in the Geelong midfield.

Elise Coventry – Geelong VFLW

Coventry is your traditional no-fuss defender that consistently gets the job done. She is a great lockdown defender, which will prove vital if the Cats are to stop dangerous attacking teams such as the Western Bulldogs. Coventry finished in the top 10 of Geelong’s Best and Fairest and played 17 games for six appearances in the best.

Madeline Keryk – Geelong VFLW

Keryk worked incredibly hard to get back onto an AFL Women’s list in the off-season, after getting delisted by the Blues. She went over to the Cats halfway through the VFLW season and made an immediate impact with her ability to consistently rack up the footy and kick or handball long to get it out of congestion. Out of her 12 games during the season, she featured in the best on eight occasions, proving how damaging she is in the midfield. Her finals series was one to remember as well, gathering double-figure disposals in each match. Keryk’s experience combined with the youth of Morrison and Purcell will be fantastic to watch.

 

How they went:

Geelong has built a fantastic AFL Women’s side ahead of its first season in the competition.The Cats’ midfield will include Morrison, Purcell, Keryk, their forward line will feature the likes of Darby, Orr and McWilliams while their defence will be stacked with Clarke, Taylor and Coventry set to make a big impact. Add the ruck stocks of Aasta O’Connor, Erin Hoare and Rene Caris, and the Cats all of a sudden look very threatening to make a big statement in their first season of AFL Women’s.

Scouting notes: VFLW Grand Final

HAWTHORN’S Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side claimed the premiership on the weekend with a hard-fought victory over Geelong at Etihad Stadium. We took note of some of the impressive players on the day.

 

Hawthorn vs. Geelong

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

Went for a ride on Anna Teague on the wing but was pinged for unrealistic attempt. Then had a crack with a clever snap on goal which bounced past three running Geelong defenders, before unluckily bouncing into the post. Made her chance count when she got another one in the second term with an attempt off a step and kicked it through the middle to hand Hawthorn an 11-point lead in the 13th minute.

#5 Chantella Perera

With Geelong attacking early with momentum, it was Perera’s tackle on a Geelong opponent that earned an important free kick and rebound down the other end. Then had another impressive defensive moment with an intercept mark then pass to Pepa Randall who found a target inside 50. Her drive off half-back and ability to take the game on earned her Best on Ground honours.

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

Kept her feet in a one-on-one contest and gained some vital meterage for her team going forward. Did a lot of work that might have gone unnoticed on the stats sheet, but really contributed to the on-ball brigade.

#7 Phoebe McWilliams

Good one-one one mark just inside 50, then delivered the ball on a platter to Tamara Luke leading out from the square. Had a golden chance from 15 metres out in the second term almost identical to Clifford in the first term, and McWilliams also missed. She started to have a real impact in the second despite the miss, leading out and taking another strong mark then kicking to the danger zone 20 metres out from goal. Had a chance in the fourth quarter and decided to pass it off but it fell short.

#8 Rebecca Beeson

Worked hard at the coal face with a big opening term, collecting five disposals and laying a tackle. Cracked in hard and won a one-on-one contest in the second term on the wing. Beeson led all-comers by half-time with 11 disposals and three tackles to be a key reason why the Hawks were on top. Almost bit off more than she could chew on the wing but got out of the tackle. Won a holding the ball free against Nina Morrison on the wing.

#13 Ebony Nixon

Massive cheer rang out across the Hawks’ defensive end when Nixon cleanly picked up a ball and kicked to a teammate on defensive 50 to stop a potential Geelong goal.

#14 Olivia Flanagan

Just attacked the contested hard and showed cleanliness at ground level. Could not quite keep it in on the wing early in the game, but buried herself at any contest she could throughout the opening stanza. Had a shot on goal in the second term from the set shot but it fell short and was rushed across the line. Always busy around the stoppages.

#21 Pepa Randall

Made her presence felt early, stopping Maddy McMahon from running into the 50 with a front on bump. Then delivered a lovely ball inside 50 to a teammate on the lead. Took a strong grab in the middle intercepting to send it back inside 50.

#22 Tamara Luke

Took a strong one-on-one mark leading out and converted the set shot. Impressive second term saw Luke win a number of free kicks for getting to the ball first.

#24 Rosie Dillon

Sold a bit of candy at half-forward to kick inside 50 and force a stoppage.

#25 Meg Hutchins

A rock in the back half, was quiet early, but had a good kick in the second term along the wing. Drifted forward and then had a quick snap which missed. Headed back down the other end and then took a big intercept mark on the last line. Showed good power to dash off half-back and kick long along the wing. Stood tall with a strong intercept mark off a Nina Morrison kick going inside 50.

#28 Sarah Perkins

Had an early shot on goal from a quick snap, which went through for a behind. Had a second chance off a split second, missing the shot as she was pushed down and it went out on the full in the second quarter. Got the Hawthorn faithful up and about with a snap 15 metres out after juggling the mark, playing on and kicking around her body – was the first Hawthorn inside 50.

#31 Jess Sibley

Big grab in defence to intercept and clear to the defensive 50 in the final term with the game on the line.

#32 Kim Ebb

Won a free kick for copping head-high contact at ground level inside 50, showing courage.

#33 Emily Gilder

Had a set shot from 30 metres out which nailed the game and put it beyond doubt with seven minutes remaining in the final term.

#36 Jayde Van Dyk

Goal-saving tackle one-on-one on her opponent, Michele Fedele when she was running into an open 50 and the bounce went astray. Unbelievable chase and stopped a certain goal. Laid another strong tackle just out from goal when her opponent tried to turn around and Van Dyk wrapped her up. A terrific effort in the third term when Geelong was doing all the attacking, standing up strong and kicking clear, while taking a number of marks.

#40 Ellie MacDonald

Won a free kick for being held after going in for the ball at half-back when Geelong was attacking and kicked along the wing. Forced a ball-in on the wing with a big grab.

#45 Mikala Cann

Took a really strong intercept grab at half-forward, then showed off her tackling prowess late in the first term with a massive tackle to force a throw-in inside the Hawks forward 50. Just attacks the contest and does not take a backwards step.

 

Geelong:

#1 Jamie Woollett

Provided a big front on bump to Ellie MacDonald in the first term, but helped her opponent up in a show of good spirit. Had a few nice touches on the wing. Continued showing her physicality with a strong tackle on the wing.

#2 Danielle Orr

Fell into the hole and took a good uncontested grab, but like so many others, missed the chance with the wind from the doors being opened at the Lockett end pushing it to the left.

#3 Hannah Burchell

Had a chance to kick an early goal in the second term but just missed and it was knocked across the line for a behind.

#4 Cassie Blakeway

Showed courage in the last term sliding in to mark the ball and copped front on contact.

#6 Maddie Boyd

Showed great defensive pressure on her opponents early, laying an important tackle 15 metres out and then slotting the set shot with a neat stab kick. Took what looked to be a strong mark on the 50 but it was not paid. Used her body well.

#7 Mia-Rae Cllifford

Took a huge grab at the top of the square, but missed from 20 metres out. Had a chance in the third term but was rushed across the line for another behind.

#8 Kate Darby

Gave Mia-Rae Clifford silver service after winning a free and then delivering her kick inside 50 on a platter to Clifford, who unfortunately missed the set shot. Was unlucky not to be paid a mark in the second term on the wing, and then Hawthorn cleared it, leading to a Phoebe McWilliams goal. Won a free kick in a forward ruck contest for being pushed in the back, but missed her attempt. Nailed her third chance in the final term, taking a mark under a high ball and kicking truly.

#16 Olivia Purcell

Won an important one-on-one clearance and got her hands on the ball early. She was the equal highest disposal winner on the ground at quarter time with six, firing out five handballs to teammates outside the stoppage. Massive on the inside throughout the game, not only winning the ball but laying 10 tackles. Really important on the inside just getting to the right positions and giving it off cleanly to teammates on the outside.

#20 Nina Morrison

Looked all class in the first term when she spun around and fired out a handball to a teammate in traffic in forward 50. Morrison was putting good defensive pressure on her opponents, spending time on the more experienced Meg Hutchins at times. Just kept winning the football with important touches, racking up 10 disposals by half-time, and also laying three tackles. Won a hardball at a contest in the third term at half-forward then kicked inside 50. Morrison had a massive impact in the final term and continued to rack up the ball at will with some big inside 50s.

#24 Maddy McMahon

Copped a big front-on bump early in the first term but bounced straight back up and was one of the Cats’ best with six touches (four kicks) in the quarter. Had another big moment in the final term with a nice kick inside 50 to the the hot spot early which resulted in a Kate Darby goal.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Almost kicked a miracle goal from 50 metres around her body but the ball bounced up and was taken away. Fended off an opponent in the second term and kicked forward, got more involved with a couple of powerful kicks to try and inspire her team.

#40 Anna Teague

Showed courage and strength at ground level in the first term to go in hard while protecting herself to pick up a contested ball and hold it up.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Had a big first half, often kicking out of defence with nine kicks from 10 disposals and mopping up for the Cats.

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.

Number Crunching: VFLW – Round 16

WITH the 2018 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s regular season now over, the finals have been set with Collingwood, Hawthorn, NT and Geelong placing in the top four. Now we look ahead to see who is most likely to claim the premiership this season.

As the minor premiership winners, Collingwood’s season has been most consistent, losing only once in Round 14 to NT and drawing with Geelong all the way back in Round 2. The Magpies’ performance as a team has earned them top position for majority of the season, with their strong midfield and defence proving to be too much for most teams. Sophie Alexander and Jaimee Lambert proved to really step up for the club throughout the season and surely will make a difference in the finals series.

In second position, Hawthorn has had an interesting debut season. The Hawks lost two games this season, one in Round 5 against Collingwood and the other in Round 13 against Darebin. Both games were close margins, showing their ability to fight until the end. The Hawks’ experienced backline and star forwards have allowed them to defend off teams and climb their way up the ladder. Hawthorn’s Rebecca Beeson and Sarah Perkins have been making their marks on the new club, leading their victories.

In the first semi-final, Collingwood plays Hawthorn. Earlier this season in Round 5, these two teams played off with Collingwood winning 4.4 (28) to 3.3 (21). The semi is sure to be tight though, with both teams coming more into form as the season has continued. Despite Hawthorn’s strong style of play and improvement from Round 5, the Magpies’ consistency will take them further and most likely with a premiership.

NT placed third overall, which is a surprise because throughout the season, the Thunder was consistently second. NT has only lost three of its games this season and proved to be a major competitor in the league. Despite being the only interstate side, NT’s ability to flow as a team game them the upper hand in majority of games. This was highlighted in its match against the undefeated Collingwood, allowing NT to make a mid-game comeback and lead to the Pies’ only defeat.

Geelong’s finals clench came after Carlton’s surprise win over Darebin, but the Cats’ hard work has paid off. Other than having lost to Hawthorn, 3.7 (25) to 6.5 (41), Geelong had won five straight games and been building up to its finals campaign. Geelong’s mix of young talent and AFLW stars have allowed for a dynamic play, with players like Mia-Rae Clifford and Kate Darby having fantastic seasons for their club.

Earlier in Round 9, Geelong suffered a devastating defeat to NT, losing 2.8 (20) to 13.7 (85). Geelong has improved from then but so has NT, only losing one game since that round. Geelong is undoubtedly an excellent team but NT has continuously been better, therefore they are at a greater advantage. If NT makes it to the final, they have the highest chance of beating Collingwood (as they are the only team to do it) but would struggle against Hawks, due to losing to them earlier in the season.

VFLW Final Ladder

POSITIONTEAMPLAYEDWINSLOSSESDRAWSPERCENTAGEPOINTS
1Collingwood141211185.0650
2Hawthorn141220179.5248
3NT Thunder141130193.2644
4Geelong Cats141031163.2242
5Darebin14860109.5632
6Western Bulldogs1477083.8728
7Carlton14680104.8524
8Southern Saints1459092.4220
9Melbourne Uni1459077.7820
10Casey Demons1459069.720
11Williamstown14410069.9716
12Richmond14410068.7116
13Essendon14113039.844

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.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 15

GEELONG has secured its spot in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals after a come-from-behind win over Casey. At the other end of the ladder, Essendon and Williamstown battled it out at Windy Hill under three new rule changes. The Seagulls came away with the win, ending their season on a high.

 

Essendon vs. Williamstown 

By: James Halley

Essendon:

#25 Rebecca Neaves

With the ball often in Williamstown’s forward 50, Neaves was under a lot of pressure quite often and rose to the occasion. She gave the Bombers drive out of the backline on numerous occasions, whether it was a long kick or a searching run.

#30 Simone Nalder

She had a real clear dominance in the ruck from the start until the end of the game. She is a very capable ruck and gave Essendon first use all day.

#35 Valerie Moreau

She kicked the Bombers’ only goal in the second term when she streamed through the corridor and kicked a goal on the run. She was one of the best for Essendon as she was really lively across half forward.

#44 Maddy Collier

She was Essendon’s best player in my opinion. She tried her best in the midfield where she amassed 20 disposals but did not get enough help. In the wet conditions, she still managed to hit targets when a lot struggled to do so.

 

Williamstown:

#2 Jess Duffin

I thought she was once again one of the best for Williamstown. She not only got a lot of contested ball with 28 disposals but also was a threat in the air, taking many intercept marks in the tough conditions.

#4 Emily Paterno

In tough conditions, she managed to kick a snap from the boundary in the last quarter, which was one of the best goals of the game.

#25 Jasmine Garner

She had three chances early in the second term to kick away from set shots, but they all missed. Early in the final term, she took an impressive contested mark and kicked her first goal for the game. Only moments later, she repeated her efforts to kick two majors in two minutes and break away from Essendon. Garner had terrific hands in the miserable conditions, which allowed her to have numerous shots on goal as well as setting up teammates for shots.

#33 Sophie Van De Heuvel

After a brilliant chase-down tackle inside 50, she was awarded a free kick 30 metres out straight in front and converted truly for the first goal of the game. In the second term, she repeated her heroics with her tackling pressure, winning a free kick. She could not convert this time round. Van De Heuvel was really handy, winning her fair share of the contested ball and gathering disposals across the ground. She also snuck forward to kick a prized goal in the first quarter.

 

Casey vs. Geelong

By: Julia Montesano

Casey:

#12 Georgia McLean

Delivered a good kick to centre-half forward and also did well to find space and take a mark. Later in the game, McLean received a 50-metre penalty and demonstrated good awareness to handpass it to her running teammate in Eden Zanker.

#14 Tarryn Orgill

Did extremely well in the ruck and won the battle for mine. Did well to kick the ball off the ground after missing the tap, showing her ability to rove her own footy. In another instance, she took it out of the ruck and got a good kick out, following this up by selling some candy. Laid a good bump which allowed Maddison Gay to run onto the ball. Orgill also took a good intercept mark and bustled her way through players to kick the ball out of congestion.

#18 Kaila Bentvelzen

Did well to get a free kick after tackling Kate Darby, which occurred after Bentvelzen ran past the ball. Bentvelzen also applied good tackling pressure and got lots of the footy throughout the day. Took a good mark at half-back and followed the play up by selling some candy nicely.

#25 Madelaine Shevlin

Applied good pressure on Maddie Boyd to prevent her getting the ball out on hands and knees. Also took a strong mark up forward to have a shot from 40 metres out. Shevlin also kicked the first goal of game to get the momentum going for the Demons.

#31 Holly Bailey

Bailey was prominent early, gathering plenty of touches. She took a good intercept mark off a Richelle Cranston kick and delivered a good kick to the pocket to create a foot race between Georgia Clarke and Kasey Guttridge. Bailey was also ferocious in her attack, applying immense tackling pressure.

#38 Jordyn Allen

Took a good intercept mark off an Olivia Purcell kick. Also gave off a good quick handpass to get herself out of trouble, allowing her to propel back into the contest. Delivered a nice high kick to Eden Zanker at centre-half forward which was good. Allen’s pressure stood out on the day, often creating turnovers.

 

Geelong:

#2 Danielle Orr

Did well to kick the ball down the ground to keep it alive. Also executed a good pick-up and kicked a clever low ball for her first goal of the day.

#5 Jordan Ivey

Showed good run and carry to create the passage of play that resulted in a Kate Darby goal. She kicked the ball off the carpet then chased it up and got it back to kick it forward, which landed in the hands of Maddie Boyd for a set shot. Ivey also got a free kick and kicked her first goal of the day in heavy rain.

#7 Mia-Rae Clifford

Showed good awareness to pounce on Sally Fyfield’s mistake and kick the Cats’ first goal of the day. Had a good one-on-one battle from a high kick to try and get the footy. Clifford went into defence in third quarter, and executed a good quick pick-up off the deck and kick away.

#8 Kate Darby

Showed good endurance to get from the ruck contest to the forward line to chip through a goal. Did well to lay a good tackle on Shelley Scott after the ball flew over her head.

#20 Nina Morrison

Laid a strong tackle on Holly Bailey and kicked a nice goal in the third quarter. Demonstrated good run and dash with the ball and delivered a good kick forward. Morrison then chased hard to get the ball, pick it up and give off a handball inside 50, despite running pressure from Darcy Guttridge.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Delivered a good kick to centre-half forward and followed this up with a nice kick to centre wing. Cranston delivered yet another good kick when she booted a high ball towards the middle of the ground. In another instance, she was able to read the ruck tap well and get it out of the stoppage. Also did well to evade a tackle and get the ball forward.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Keryk demonstrated good hands throughout the day, starting off her day with a quick handball out of a stoppage. She followed this up with a good mark, showing her intent to hunt the footy early. Keryk was always at the bottom of the pack, digging in hard. She delivered a good kick inside 50 and showed good kicking and intent to win the footy in general. She was one of the key ball-winners on the day.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 15

HAWTHORN has spoiled the party for the Northern Territory (NT) Thunder in Round 15 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s, knocking them back to second on the ladder after a 25-point win at TIO Stadium. Collingwood regained top spot on the ladder with a big win over the Southern Saints, while the other top-four side, Geelong secured a big win over the Casey Demons.

 

Western Bulldogs 2.2 (14) defeated by Melbourne Uni 7.5 (47)

Melbourne Uni is ending its season on an emphatic high, winning its last two games. In the process, the Mugars defeated the once top-four favourites, the Western Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were held scoreless for the first half of this game, with Melbourne University piling on 5.1 to take a handy 31-point halftime lead. The home side finally got that coveted goal in the third quarter but it wasn’t enough, as Melbourne University’s early lead proved to be too big to overcome.

Kaitlyn Ashmore led the way for the Mugars inside 50, kicking two goals from her nine disposals. The North Melbourne recruit also laid six tackles, and was complemented in that department by Maddison Smith, who laid seven. Captain, Ashleigh Riddell also laid six tackles for the day and led the way with a game-high 26 disposals and three marks. Vic Metro midfielder, Madison Prespakis wasn’t far behind with one goal, 25 disposals and two tackles.

For the Bulldogs, Sarah Jolly led the way in disposals with 19 for the day. Ashleigh Guest also contributed well in that department, with 18 disposals as well as four marks and eight tackles. Tayla Dinuccio went one better, laying nine tackles for the day and making an impact, despite recording only three disposals. Premiership players, Kirsten McLeod (one goal, 13 disposals, five tackles) and Hannah Scott (one goal, 17 disposals, five tackles) were the goal kickers for the Dogs.

 

Collingwood 6.6 (42) defeated Southern Saints 0.4 (4)

Collingwood has returned to form very quickly this week, bouncing back from last week’s loss with a 38-point win over the Southern Saints. The Pies got out of the blocks quickly, kicking the first three goals of the match to go on and kick six unanswered majors. After no goals were kicked in the second quarter, Collingwood fought back with two majors in the third, extending its margin to 36 points at the last break. Unfortunately, inaccuracy hurt the Saints, kicking just four behinds for the match.

Vic Metro forward, Daisy Bateman led the way inside 50, kicking three of her team’s six goals as well as gathering nine disposals and laying six tackles. Her Vic Metro and Oakleigh Chargers teammate, Katie Lynch was also a pivotal player with 24 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Sophie Alexander was able to back up her solid game last week with a game-high 27 disposals. Erica Fowler led the way in tackles with a whopping 13 to go with her six disposals. AFLW ruck, Eliza Hynes led the way in marks for the Pies, taking four grabs to go with her one goal and 13 disposals.

Alison Brown was dominant for the Saints, gathering 24 disposals and laying five tackles in another good midfield performance from her. She was complemented by good delivery from ruck, Rhiannon Watt, who racked up 21 disposals, three marks and five tackles. Jas Rolland took four marks for the day and also laid four tackles to go with her six disposals. TAC Cup Girls players, Shelley Heath (12 disposals, two tackles), Gabriella De Angelis (10 disposals, three tackles), Ashleigh Allsopp (eight disposals, five tackles), Jemma Owen (eight disposals, four tackles) and Courtney Jones (seven disposals, two tackles) all contributed well on the day.

 

Essendon 1.3 (9) defeated by Williamstown 5.7 (37)

By: James Halley

Williamstown was able to outlast Essendon in terrible winter conditions, kicking away in the last term to win by 28 points. For the second time this year, the two sides have played in terrible conditions, yet last time was worse as play had to be halted for five minutes due to hail.

Jasmine Garner was huge for Williamstown up forward, kicking two fourth-quarter goals. She was a threat up forward all day but in the second term was when she managed to convert. Williamstown’s engine room was once again outstanding with Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton leading the way. Duffin ended up being an obstacle in the air for Essendon, taking numerous intercept marks. A highlight for the game was Emily Paterno’s impossible goal on the boundary in the last quarter, which was a kick of high difficulty and capped of a great day for Williamstown. 

Simone Nalder can hold her head up high, as she won the ruck for the Bombers. Due to the conditions, they were not able to capitalise on her dominance. Valerie Moreau was also a shinning light for Essendon on a dark day, kicking the side’s only goal and being lively all day. In Round 16, the Seagulls face Melbourne University while Essendon will take on Carlton at home to finish the home and away season.

 

NT Thunder 4.4 (28) defeated by Hawthorn 8.5 (53)

In the second game of the year at Alice Springs, Hawthorn secured a big win over flag favourites, NT Thunder. The Hawks got out of the blocks early, kicking the first goal of the game and piling on another three in the second quarter to take a comfortable lead into half time. The trend continued in the third quarter when the away side kicked another three goals, making it very difficult for the Thunder to make a comeback.

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Phoebe McWilliams returned to form with three majors for the day, taking her season tally to five goals from five games. McWilliams’ GWS teammate, Rebecca Beeson continued her good form with a best-on-ground performance at TIO Traeger Stadium. She was complemented by a player who has been in consistent form in Sarah Perkins, who kicked two goals to take her tally to 12 goals from 10 games. Skipper, Emma Mackie also got on the board with two majors and has been solid ever since returning from injury.

It was all single goal kickers for the Thunder with Jordann Hickey, Sue Nalder, Jasmyn Hewett and Angela Foley all kicking one major each. Hickey is closing in on her teammate, Jess Sedunary on the goal kicking tally, as she has kicked 14 goals from 13 games while Sedunary has kicked 15 goals from 10 games. Foley was also named best-on-ground for the Thunder in another blistering performance from her. She was complemented by AFLW contingent, Ebony Marinoff and Emma Swanson, as well as Katie Streader, Kristy Irvine and Tayla Thorn.

 

Darebin 1.3 (9) defeated by Carlton 4.10 (34)

Carlton nearly lost this game with its inaccuracy, kicking five behinds to start the first quarter. Darebin then kicked its first and only goal in the second quarter while the Blues kicked three more behinds to take their score to 0.8.8 at half time. They then kicked into gear in the third quarter, kicking two goals to none and wrestling back the lead. The Blues did the same in the fourth quarter, ultimately earning them a surprise 24-point win against one of the better sides in the competition.

Northern Knights captain, Madeline Brancatisano was named best afield for the Blues in a breakout game for her at Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s level. She was aided by good performances from AFLW players, Alison Downie, Tilly Lucas-Rodd and former Dandenong Stingrays winger, Georgia Gee. Nicola Burns and Celine Moody were also solid contributors in the win, with Moody kicking one of the Blues’ four goals. Gee was one of the other goal kickers and was joined by Bailey Schultz and Darcy Vescio on the scoreboard. Vescio now sits one major behind VFLW leading goal kicker, Hannah Mouncey. Mouncey has kicked 18 goals from 11 games while Vescio has kicked 17 goals from eight games, with an average of 2.12 goals per game.

There was not much happening on the goal kicking side of things for the Falcons, with Stephanie Simpson the only one getting on the board. That goal took her tally to 11 goals from 10 games in what has been a good season inside 50 for her. Simpson also earned a spot among the best players for Darebin on the day. Melbourne AFLW ruck, Lauren Pearce played another blinder of a game, being named best-on-ground for her side. Melbourne teammate, Lily Mithen also continued her solid season by being named among the best as well. Gabrielle Colvin, Meghan McDonald and Kathleen Roe also contributed well at Bill Lawry Oval.

 

Casey Demons 2.4 (16) defeated by Geelong Cats 8.5 (53)

The Casey Demons jumped the Cats early, kicking the first two goals of the game to take an eight-point lead into quarter time. Geelong responded immediately though, kicking the next two goals in the second quarter to wrestle back the lead at the main break. The goal kicking continued in the third quarter, as the Cats outscored the Demons three goals to none. After the first quarter, Casey could not register a major, giving the Cats licence to secure a big win as they approach the finals.

Two of Geelong’s eight goals came from Mia-Rae Clifford, who has had a solid season for the Cats. Clifford has kicked 13 goals from 13 games and continues to be a vital player for her side. She shares the same goal kicking tally as Danielle Orr, who was also able to get on the board with a major, and equal her goal kicking tally with Clifford’s. Millie Klingbeil, Courtney Stevens, Kate Darby, Jordan Ivey and Geelong Falcons midfielder, Nina Morrison were the other goal kickers on the day. Ivey was also named best-on-ground for the Cats, while Morrison and Darby also featured in the best. Morrison was complemented by Vic Country duo, Olivia Purcell and Georgia Clarke, who played great games for the Cats. Richelle Cranston also continued her marvellous season with another appearance in Geelong’s best players.

Another player who has had a marvellous season is Maddie Shevlin, who kicked one of Casey’s two goals on Sunday. New Melbourne AFLW recruit, Maddison Gay was the other goal kicker for the Demons, booting a major late in the first quarter. Kaila Bentvelzen was named as the Demons’ best, continuing a solid season in the red and blue. Former Gippsland defender, Darcy Guttridge and former Bendigo forward, Eden Zanker also stood out for Casey. Georgia McLean and Melbourne AFLW recruit, Shae Sloane were the other players named in Casey’s best, contributing well in the loss.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 11

GEELONG has the most representatives in the Round 11 Team of the Week, with five players making the cut after their side’s massive win over Casey. Similarly, NT Thunder and the Western Bulldogs have four and three representatives respectively, headlined by midfield bull, Ebony Marinoff with her 28 disposals against Richmond

After their 41-point loss to Geelong, the Demons failed to register a player in the best 22 this week with Kaila Bentvelzen’s two goals not quite enough to get into the forward six.

Marinoff was a lock in this week’s best 22 after dominating in the midfield against Richmond. In just her second game in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition, she is starting to hit her strides at the right time of the season. In the same game, Courtney Wakefield starred for Richmond up forward with three goals and an everlasting presence in the forward 50.

Jasmyn Hewett has been dominating in the ruck for the Thunder and once again has claimed her credentials for the VFLW Team of the Year. Madison Prespakis also slots straight back into the VFLW Team of the Week after finishing her Under 18 representative duties. She will be hoping to keep her spot and help drive Melbourne University out of the bottom three.

Geelong’s Kate Darby was unlucky to miss out this week with two goals and 16 disposals against Casey.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 10

AFTER their big wins on the weekend, Geelong and NT Thunder have the most representatives in this week’s best 22, with eight between them. The rest of the sides had quite an even group of contributors, with each team having at least one player in the Team of the Week.

This round was the week of the forwards, with numerous players kicking multiple goals. NT’s Abbey Holmes and Carlton’s Darcy Vescio headline the best 22 this week with four goals each.

Williamstown duo, Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton were once again outstanding in a losing side against Carlton. Duffin gathered 33 disposals while Bruton amassed 29 disposals and a goal. They were both automatic locks for the Team of the Week alongside Holmes and Vescio in the forward line.

Katelyn Cox was quite impressive for the Blues in their win against Williamstown with 13 possessions and two goals, although it was not quite enough to gain a spot in this weeks team. Hawthorn’s Jessica Sibley edged out teammate and Team of the Week regular, Jayde Van Dyk, who can count herself as an unlucky omission from this week’s team. Sibley was instrumental down back for the Hawks in their six-point thrilling win against Melbourne University.