ROUND seven confirmed the two grand finalists for the TAC Cup Girls competition. The Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights have now won seven games in a row, and sit two games ahead of Sandringham and Eastern at third and fourth (respectively). All four teams had a win on the weekend and were joined by Greater Western Victoria (GWV) and Dandenong on the winners’ list.
Greater Western Victoria Rebels 5.8.38 defeated Murray Bushrangers 5.2.32
By: Peter Williams
The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels continued their fantastic form with their third straight win, following a thrilling six-point victory over the Murray Bushrangers. The Bushrangers have found themselves on the opposite side of the formline, with the loss making it three consecutive defeats since going nine games without a loss in the first season and a half of TAC Cup Girls football. Both sides were impressive throughout with a number of AFLW Academy stars putting on a show.
For the winners, Georgia Clarke was immense at centre-half back in the first half, rebounding all the Murray attacks, while up the other end, Sophie Van De Heuvel booted two goals and could have had a couple more had it not been for a few unlucky misses, or unselfish plays. Sophie Molan continued her fantastic form through the midfield and around the ground, while up forward, the exciting Renee Saulitis booted a goal and almost had a second, just looking dangerous every time she went near it. Captain Lauren Butler was another consistent player across four quarters playing all across the ground.
The Bushrangers’ midfield was the shining loss in the defeat, with Rebecca Webster leading the way despite being closely watched by her opponents, while Tamara Smith, Chelsea Knight and Millie Brown all threw themselves into the contest. Kate Adams was lively between midfield and forward, while Grace Egan was solid off half-back, producing some good rebounds and run-and-carry.
Oakleigh Chargers 4.4.28 defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 8.8.56
The Dandenong Stingrays backed up their first win of the season last week with a clinical 28-point win over the Oakleigh Chargers. The Stingrays led all day but in a positive for the Chargers, they outscored the away side by a point in the last quarter.
Alice O’Sullivan was the best afield for the Stingrays and was joined by usual suspect, Jordyn Allen among the top Dandenong players. The Stingrays captain has been a consistent performer in the back line all season and Saturday was no different. Isabella Shannon backed up her two-goal performance last week with another two goals against the Chargers. Amie Carroll was one of seven goal-kickers for the Stingrays, and also found her name in the best for the away side.
Playing without last week’s best-on-ground, Katie Lynch was always going to be a big challenge for Oakleigh. But the Chargers had plenty of players who stepped up in her place, including Chloe O’Malley, Melanie Bertuna and captain, Hannah McLaren. Bridie Winbanks was named the best player for Oakleigh after having another dominant performance in the black and white. Cricketer Isabella Gietzmann got on the board with a goal and also featured among Oakleigh’s best.
Eastern Ranges 4.5.29 defeated Gippsland Power 3.2.20
By: Taylah Melki
In a close encounter, it was the Eastern Ranges that came away with a nine-point win over the Gippsland Power. Both teams brought their a-game and competed hard throughout the game, with plenty of good match-ups across the ground. The Power threw everything at the Ranges in the last quarter but the Ranges showed great composure and held on to claim their fifth win for the season.
For the Ranges, Emerson Woods impressed both in the air and at ground level, going in hard to win the footy. Woods took a few good strong marks and consistently provided an option for her teammates. Nicole Cormack also played a big role in the Ranges win, slotting an important goal in the dying minutes to help secure the victory for Eastern. Georgia Macpherson applied plenty of pressure and was clean in and around the contest while Catherine Chamberlain imposed herself on the scoreboard, slotting a major.
Tyla Hanks was in impressive form yet again for the Power, slotting a big goal to keep them in the game and racking up plenty of touches. Her ability to read the play allowed her to release her teammates into space and propel her team forward. Jazz Ferguson also had a stellar game for the Power, laying plenty of strong tackles and taking a heap of intercept marks. Ferguson was really strong around the contest and showed her clean hands in tight. Emily Haeusler was in fine form once again winning plenty of the footy while teammate Chelsea Bray slotted an important goal for the Power.
Sandringham Dragons 8.9.57 defeated Western Jets 1.1.7
By: Carly McClen and Julia Montesano
Sandringham kept the Western Jets goalless until late in the last quarter, making more noise on the ground than ever before and proving it near impossible for the Jets to get the ball- not just into their attacking 50, but across the halfway line. Nobody could get near Dragons forward Holly Bate, who kicked five majors for the day while Kaitlyn O’Keefe kicked the only goal for the Jets late in the last quarter.
Midfielder, Eliza McNamara was among the standouts on the weekend, continuing to show how much of an asset she is to the Dragons line-up. Alice Burke and Bryanna Arnold stood up in defence and had solid performances. But it was Holly Bate who stole the show for Sandringham, kicking five goals in a dominant performance inside 50. Abbie McKay also got on the board with two majors, and was named among the Dragons’ best players.
For the Jets, Elisabeth Georgostathis had another fine day through the middle of the ground and never gave up throughout the match. Isabelle Pritchard was solid once again in defence and continues to trouble opposition forwards. Cleo Saxon-Jones had another commendable performance while Isabella Grant found her name in Western’s best once again, proving how valuable she is to the side.
Northern Knights 14.7.91 defeated Bendigo Pioneers 3.2.20
By: James Halley
After an even first quarter, it was all the Knights from then on as they piled on 12 goals to two to stay undefeated after seven rounds. At quarter time, the match could have gone either way, but the Knights flicked the switch and kicked five goals to none in the second term to give themselves a game winning 35-point lead at half time.
Britney Gutknecht was enormous with six goals, jumping to second on the league’s top goal kickers list. Ellie McKenzie was influential in the middle of the ground, and was assisted by Neve O’Connor dominating the ruck and getting plenty of hit-outs throughout the game.
Kodi Jacques was clearly the best for the Pioneers, digging in deep in the midfield all day while also kicking a goal. Captain, Megan Williamson and Dayna Kelly-Guthrie were among the other leading performers for the Pioneers.
The Knights will look to claim top spot in round eight against Geelong Falcons in a top-of-the-table clash, while Bendigo will face another tough game against third-placed Sandringham.
Calder Cannons 4.2.26 defeated by Geelong Falcons 7.4.46
At the end of the first quarter, the Cannons were leading the Falcons, prompting them to go bang with a six-goal second quarter. Calder fought back in the third quarter with three goals but Geelong’s second quarter was dominant enough to secure the victory at RAMS Arena.
Sophie Walmsley had a dominant performance for the Falcons, kicking two goals for the day and having a strong presence around the ground. Ella Mahoney also got on the board with two majors in her first game of the season. Nina Morrison continued her stellar season in the midfield with a high work ethic throughout the match, and was complemented by Zoe Inei in the ruck.
Madison Prespakis again starred for the Cannons, playing in the midfield and contributing at full forward. Prespakis kicked two goals for the day and her on-field leadership was second-to-none. Carla Rendelmann starred in the ruck and absolutely dominated, winning plenty of hit-outs. Midfielders, Felicity Theodore and Grace Dicker were among the best for the Cannons, providing important run throughout the day.