LAST weekend’s action threw up highlights we are rarely treated to; with bags of goals, junior talent rising to the top, a pesky pigeon, and a classic after-the-siren win all headlining what was a memorable round of footy.
Noah Gown’s high-five
Noah Gown claimed the goalkicking honours in Round 12b of the TAC Cup, with his bag of five helping second-place Gippsland to back to back wins against top four opposition. His five straight majors came from an impressive 18 disposals and seven marks, with four goal assists coming to-boot. Having played all 12 games for the Power this season, Gown has built nicely into the year with 15 goals, and a rich vein of form lately seeing him named in the best for his fourth consecutive outing. Others to contribute on the day were Austin Hodge (25 disposals, six tackles, two goals) and bottom-ager Harold Hood, who continues to impress as he had 21 touches, eight tackles and five marks.
Melbourne Uni’s Prespakis teaches a lesson
Fresh off her Most Valuable Player (MVP) performance at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, long-touted possible number one pick Maddy Prespakis turned on the heat at VFLW level. Against more mature bodies and experienced players, Prespakis put on another phenomenal display and stood as the only player across the competition in Round 11 to notch over 30 possessions. The next best for the battling Melbourne Uni side was Danielle Hardiman who had 15 disposals, while Alison Drennan managed 28 for the opposition. Prespakis’ 33 touches included 25 kicks and a goal, highlighting the Calder star’s damaging style from midfield. The performance came in only Melbourne University Womens’ third win for the season, with their three-point triumph bringing them within four points of seventh-placed opponents Southern Saints.
Morphettville Park steals draw with final quarter blitz
Morphettville Park have come from behind with a fantastic three goals to zero final term to steal two points from Salisbury in a thrilling finish to their Round 13 match. While Morphettville Park have locked up top spot, it cost Salisbury third position, after Adelaide University recorded a win in its match. Lauren Buchanan booted three goals for the winners and was the difference on the day for Morphettville Park, while Angela Moritz, Tahlia Meyer and Lisa Whiteley also found their way onto the scoreboard and were named in the best, as was Ellie Kellock. For Salisbury, Katelyn Rosenzweig continued her strong form upon returning from the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, booting three goals, while Ashleigh Woodland nailed two majors. Both players, along with Shae Gundlach were named in the best.
Irishman Tuohy lives the Aussie dream
Zach Tuohy lived out the dream of every budding footballer with his goal after the siren pinching an improbable two-point for the Cats over Melbourne at their Kardinia Park fortress. With the home side trailing at every break, and finding themselves 29 points down during the final term, it was always going to take something special for the tide to turn. Up stepped the likes of birthday boy Tom Hawkins, who booted four final quarter goals, Gary Ablett, who looked hungry as ever in the closing stages, and eventual hero Tuohy, who capped off a 24 disposal, eight mark and two-goal display with the winner. The Irishman’s moment came off the back of coaches Matthew Scarlett and Chris Scott agreeing to swing him forward, and what a decision that proved to be. Despite the result, Geelong still find themselves outside of the top eight on percentage, with the Dees sitting pretty in seventh
Pendles’ pesky pigeon run-in
Scott Pendlebury has shown over time that there’s not much he can’t do on a football field, but he added another feat to his list of exploits on Saturday. The Collingwood skipper paced into space with ball in hand, opting to take a bounce – but an MCG visitor had other ideas. With the ball thrown down in what seemed like slow motion, it collected a rather unlucky pigeon, yet managed to bounce obediently back up to ‘Pendles’ as if nothing had ever happened. Thankfully, the pigeon flew away without harm, probably starstruck by the Collingwood champion. The moment of madness came in the Pies’ comprehensive 66-point win over North Melbourne, which helped them to nestle inside the top four as the race for spots heats up.