A GRAND final ticket booked, some memorable wins and the 19 year-old rule continues to work wonders for TAC Cup clubs, in a memorable weekend for football.
Knights book grand final spot
It was always looking to be the likely scenario – Northern Knights taking on Geelong Falcons in the grand final – and it took realistically just one quarter to become a reality. The Knights wasted no time blowing away Murray early before a tighter contest from then on, to set up a rematch with the Falcons. The pair faced just a week earlier in round eight and now meet at Werribee in the decider at 12.30 with the Falcons looking to complete an unbeaten season, while the Knights will be out to cause an upset and claim the flag.
Calder finishes season on a high at home
Reigning TAC Cup Girls premiers Calder Cannons headed into the final round with just one win to their name despite some competitive performances. But at home in the wet, the Cannons upstaged the highly fancied Eastern Ranges to double their wins tally and give their bottom-agers great excitement heading into 2019. Led by captain Madison Prespakis who could well be the first Victorian picked this year, and the exciting bottom-ager Georgia Patrikios, the Cannons had plenty to enjoy as their said goodbye to the 2018 season with a bang.
Carlton claims first AFL victory
It has been a long time since Round 22 last year, and for Carlton fans, it was a moment to savour when they toppled Essendon at the MCG on Saturday. It was no secret both teams were in a rut this season, but the Blues have showed signs of improvement over the first two months, and it culminated in a long-awaited victory. The likes of Patrick Cripps and Charlie Curnow lead a host of future stars which should fill many Blues fans with optimism going forward.
Old Firm VFLW sides bounce back
After a couple of disappointing losses in round one, Darebin Falcons and Melbourne University got back to what they do best – winning. Given the return of a number of AFLW stars to their respective line-ups, it was no surprise to see an improved performance, and Darebin trounced Richmond, while Melbourne University proved too good for Essendon. While Carlton and Hawthorn remained unbeaten and NT Thunder had a bye, the performances of the standalone VFLW sides (as well as some strong showings from Southern Saints, Williamstown and Casey Demons so far this season) makes for entertaining viewing.
Overagers turn it on
Each TAC Cup club is able to bring back a handful of turning 19 year-olds who missed out on getting drafted the previous year. In some cases, the players are better for it, and the likes of Tom Phillips and Hamish Brayshaw are just some of many who have been recruited on the back of strong over-age seasons. On the weekend, Calder Cannons’ Mitch Podhajski turned it on with 27 disposals, 15 tackles and three goals to be the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Player of the Week, while fellow overagers Noah Answerth (31 disposals, eight marks) and Austin Hodge (19 disposals, four goals) also lit it up in their respective games.