GEELONG has booked a spot in the TAC Cup Girls grand final after they got the job done over the Northern Knights. Sandringham improved to six wins and two losses in season 2018 while the Dandenong Stingrays got over the line in a thriller over the Cannons. Although the season is coming to a close, the teams are still fighting hard to end their season on a high note.
Calder Cannons 4.1 (25) defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 3.9 (27)
By: Julia Montesano
The Dandenong Stingrays kept their winning streak alive, but only just, as the Cannons fought hard all game to limit the victory to just two points. Although Dandenong had most of the play, their inaccuracy hurt them and nearly cost them the game.
Captain, Jordyn Allen starred yet again for the Stingrays, creating her own wall behind the ball. She marked everything that came her way and moved the ball swiftly and cleanly. Down forward, it was Courtney Jones who was putting in the hard yards with plenty of forward pressure and a couple of goals. Tyanna Smith was important on the wing and through the middle of the ground, running hard throughout the night and using the ball well both by hand and by foot.
The Cannons tried to nullify Allen’s impact through throwing star midfielder, Madison Prespakis up forward. Prespakis ended up making an influence herself, kicking two goals and doing all the nice things we have gotten accustomed to seeing from her. Her teammate, Georgia Patrikios played one of her best games for the Cannons all season. Patrikios laid damaging tackles, and her inside 50 pressure was fantastic. Georgie Prespakis starred in her second game for Calder, starring with a long kick that looks incredibly similar, and has the same damaging impact as her sister’s.
Eastern Ranges 7.5 (47) defeated Murray Bushrangers 0.1 (1)
By: Peter Williams
A terrific performance by the Eastern Ranges has resulted in a 46-point victory over the Murray Bushrangers at Warrawee Park. The Ranges were on top for the entire game and put in a four quarter performance, restricting the Bushrangers to just one behind – a late score in the final term – while booting seven goals themselves with seven individual goal kickers. The win means the Ranges will finish top four, having just two losses from eight games this season with one match to come.
Mikala Cann put in a best on ground performance and was everywhere early, booting a sensational goal on the run under pressure to get the momentum flowing, then assisting in some more scores as she really stood out in the victory. Emerson Woods was strong early up forward, being involved in most passages of play with the co-captain impressing, as did fellow co-captain, Charlotte Wilson in defence. But it was the multi-pronged forward line that caused headaches for the opposition with Ashleigh Allsopp, Gabriella De Angelis, Jess Provan and Laura McClelland showing Eastern’s depth inside 50.
For the Bushrangers, the midfield of Millie Brown, Tamara Smith and Julia Harvey worked hard throughout without top star, Rebecca Webster, while Eloise Ashley-Cooper stood up in the absence of Grace Egan down back. Chelsea Knight also stood up in spite of a dominant Ranges’ midfield in what was a tough day at the office for the Bushrangers.
Oakleigh Chargers 5.8 (38) defeated Western Jets 3.5 (23)
By: Peter Williams
A three-goal performance by Oakleigh leading goalkicker, Daisy Bateman has helped the Chargers record a solid 15-point victory over the Western Jets at Warrawee Park to take out the inaugural Zaidee’s Cup. In a great initiative by the two teams, the players worse Zaidee’s Rainbow Shoelaces to help raise awareness for organ and tissue donation. On the scoreboard, Oakleigh proved too good early to boot five goals to one in the opening three quarters – including two opportunistic goals in the third term to Bateman – to secure the victory. The Jets booted two goals in the final term to reduce the final deficit.
Bridie Winbanks was important in the ruck, while Alice O’Loughlin and Gemma Lagioia were crucial between midfield and forward for the Chargers. Captain, Hannah McLaren was strong in defence, in what was a great team effort for the Chargers who were missing Katie Lynch, Charlotte Moon and Nicola Xenos – three of their more consistent players – due to school football commitments, allowing others to stand up in their place.
For the Jets, full-back Sharnie Whiting stood up against constant pressure, while Elisabeth Georgostathis was consistent once again with some strong tackles across the ground. Caitlin Gashi and Payton-Ani Ozols were also among the best for Western, while talls, Caitlin Greiser and Cleo Saxon-Jones got on the scoresheet.
Geelong Falcons 4.7 (31) defeated Northern Knights 3.5 (23)
By: Julia Montesano
The Geelong Falcons made it eight from eight against fellow undefeated team, Northern Knights with an eight-point win. The Falcons came out of the blocks with a three goal to none first half, then the Knights fought back with a three goal to one second half.
AFLW Academy members, Lucy McEvoy, Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison were some of the best players on the ground yet again. McEvoy and Taylor held down the fort well in defence while Purcell and Morrison chased and tackled in the midfield. They were complemented by Zoe Inei in the ruck, who delivered some nice taps towards her gut-runners. In the forward line, it was Sachi DeGiacomi who put in all the hard yards to keep her side’s undefeated streak alive.
For Northern, midfielder, Marnie Jarvis found herself up forward on a couple of occasions, slotting through two of the Knights’ three majors. Gabby Newton was a star, this time in defence, proving she can play just about anywhere on the field. Young gun, Ellie McKenzie had another standout performance for the Knights, as did Nell Morris-Dalton. Other solid contributors included Paije Kearney and Ashleigh Snow.
Sandringham Dragons 10.14. (74) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 0.3 (3)
By: Matt Balmer
The Sandringham Dragons kept their slim TAC Cup grand final berth alive with a strong 71-point win over the Bendigo Pioneers at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday.
The Pioneers got an early score, but after that moment they struggled to get the ball inside their half of the ground, as the Dragons dominated. Forward, Holly Bate booted five first half goals, eventually finishing the match with 7.2 and a set shot after the siren on a very very tough angle not scoring to finish the match. Eleanor Brown marked exceptionally well during the contest and was the best player on the ground, as a marking machine. Abbie McKay had a strong second half, while captain, Jemma Owen led from the front as always in the midfield.
Despite not booting a goal, Megan Williamson was the Pioneers’ clear best, working very hard in the defensive half of the ground. Williamson hit up multiple targets on her left boot and competed well during the match.
Greater Western Victoria Rebels 3.4 (22) defeated Gippsland Power 1.2 (8)
By: Matt Balmer
The Greater Western Victoria Rebels collected their fifth win of the 2018 TAC Cup Girls competition with a hard fought 14-point victory over the Gippsland Power at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday.
The match started in overcast conditions, before the heavens opened for the next hour after quarter-time, with constant rain keeping the scoring close, making for a great contest. Georgia Clarke was exceptional across half back, rebounding the ball well, while Nekaela Butler was judged the Rebels’ best. Sophie Van De Heuvel booted the best goal for the Rebels, snapping truly in the second quarter – with the AFLW Academy member playing a good game as a high half-forward.
For the Power, Tyla Hanks was the clear standout, tackling hard and winning the contested ball. Hanks had multiple inside 50s and showed why she is one of the leading performers from the TAC Cup Girls this season. She also booted a great goal in the last quarter, keeping the Power in the contest – but ultimately they left their run too late, after trailing 16-2 at three-quarter time.