AFTER nine rounds of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s action, all teams now have a win under their belt. The only winless team to date, Essendon recorded its first ever VFLW win while the Cats stumbled again for their second loss in a row.
Casey Demons 3.3.21 defeated Southern Saints 1.4.10
After defeating the red-hot NT Thunder two weeks ago, the Southern Saints slumped to the ninth-placed Casey Demons. The Demons kept the Saints goalless for three terms and managed to add on three themselves in a low-scoring affair.
In her return to the Casey line-up, Taryn Orgill played a blinder of a game in the ruck. She was complemented by midfielder, Madelaine Shevlin who backed up last week’s promising performance against the Bombers with another solid outing. Defender, Georgia McLean and forward, Melanie Hogg also played well in their side’s 11-point win. Hogg was complemented in the forward line with goals from Kaila Bentvelzen, Sophie Phillips and Taylor Mesiti.
For the Saints, it was up to the defenders to keep the Demons to a low score. They did this successfully and it was thanks to the likes of new Brisbane recruit, Lauren Arnell and Eastern Ranges gun, Ashleigh Allsopp. They were complemented by midfielder, Amy Silver who played a solid game for the Saints. Up forward, Danielle Lawrence kicked the side’s only goal while Kayla Ripari gave her all, earning her the best on ground accolade from her coaches.
NT Thunder 13.7.85 defeated Geelong Cats 2.8.20
By: James Halley
An aggressive mindset has helped lift NT Thunder to a massive 65-point win over Geelong. Geelong was down two on the bench after half time, losing Lara Williams (knee) and Anna Teague (shoulder) to injury. The Thunder’s manic pressure just did not give Geelong a chance from the first bounce until the last.
Thunder forward, Jessica Sedunary kicked the first three goals of the match, which demonstrated pure supremacy up forward. AFLW teammate, Jenna McCormick kicked another just after 19 minutes which was ultimately match over. Unable to score a major in the first term, the drought would continue for the Cats in the second. It was not through a lack of trying or possession though. They had the first four scoring shots of the term for the return of three behinds and an out of bounds on the full. Sally Riley profited from a 50 metre penalty to extend NT’s lead to 33 points at half-time and what started out as a positive quarter for the visitors had just got a lot worse. Minutes into the third term, Geelong was able to kick its first through Danielle Orr after a mark and a 50-metre penalty. Only one more major would be scored for the term to Thunder’s Emma Swanson, which was a great snap from the boundary.
The last term was not so even as the Thunder were hungry for goals and a percentage boost. McCormick and captain, Angela Foley kicked two each to take their side’s goal kickers to an impressive spread of seven. Sedunary and McCormick were real standouts for NT up forward, combining for seven goals. Angela Foley played a captains game with 20 disposals and two goal. Richelle Cranston was a real standout for the Cats in the midst of their hiding from the NT. She kicked one of Geelong’s two goals as well as finishing with 20 disposals, highlighting that she didn’t stop trying all day. Teammate, Madeline Keryk was a workhorse in the midfield, leading everyone in disposals with 23.
Hawthorn 6.6.42 defeated Williamstown 6.2.38
Hawthorn was given an almighty scare by the 12th-placed Seagulls on Sunday. Williamstown kicked four straight goals in the first quarter to open up an early 16-point lead, which shocked the Hawks from the get-go. The Seagulls’ lead narrowed at each of the breaks, and it ultimately turned into a deficit at full-time, as Hawthorn’s experience prevailed and slowly edged the margin in its favour.
Two goals from former Eastern Ranges forward, Olivia Flanagan and Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Rebecca Beeson were extremely handy for the Hawks. The two goals from Beeson in particular were crucial, as she kicked them both in succession in the last quarter, with the second one giving her side the match-winning lead. The pair were complemented by majors from Samara David and Clare O’Donnell. In defence, Jayde Van Dyk stood up as usual while Ellie Macdonald tore it up in the midfield.
Williamstown was able to share its goal kicking around on the day, with Emily Paterno being the only multiple goal-kicker. Isabelle Porter, Western Jets star, Sharnie Whiting and North Melbourne duo, Jess Duffin and Jasmine Garner also got a major on the board. Meanwhile, Rebecca Dardengo and Jamilla Cranny held the fort down well in the back line, enabling the Seagulls to keep their lead for the majority of the game.
Essendon 5.4.34 defeated Richmond 3.8.26
It took them nine rounds to get a win, but the Bombers have finally got one on the board, defeating Richmond by eight points at their spiritual home, Windy Hill. Essendon kicked the first goal of the game before the Tigers fought back and kicked three second-term goals to wrestle the lead back. However, Essendon’s resilience and Richmond’s inaccuracy proved to be a recipe for disaster for the away side.
GWS talent, Maddy Collier played a fantastic game in the midfield for the Bombers, as she continues to play some wonderful football for her side. She was aided by good delivery from Simone Nalder in the ruck, who has not let her team down this season. Tait Mackrill also continued her good form in the middle of the ground while Rebecca Neaves was solid as always in defence. Up forward, Monique DeMatteo starred with two majors while Sunbury Lions duo, Natasha Hardy and Alex Quigley, and Canadian star, Kendra Heil were able to get solitary goals on the day.
Nalder’s opposite ruck also starred, with Alice Edmonds having another blinder for the Tigers. She was complemented by her back-up ruck in Murray Bushrangers star, Sophie Damon, who was also able to get a goal on the board to back up her solid debut in the yellow and black. On the receiving end of the duo’s solid ruck work was the likes of captain, Jessica Kennedy and Bethany Lynch, who were able to make the most of the tap work. Up forward, Lauren Tesoriero impressed while Courtney Wakefield did well in defence.
Melbourne Uni 6.3.39 defeated by Western Bulldogs 9.6.60
The Western Bulldogs kept their red-hot winning streak alive with a win over Melbourne Uni. The Bulldogs came out of the blocks early with the first four goals of the match before the Mugars fought back with two goals in the second term. They were then held scoreless in the third term before mounting a mini comeback in the fourth, ultimately falling short to a rejuvenated Bulldogs outfit.
AFLW leading goalkicker, Brooke Lochland starred for the Bulldogs, kicking three goals and being a workhorse for her side. Bulldogs AFLW teammate, Naomi Ferres was also impressive with another solid outing in the midfield in this VFLW season. This time, it was ruck, Nicole McMahon and winger, Rachel Ashley who joined the party, with each player having a solid outing in the red, white and blue. Inside 50, full forward, Mickayla Ward performed well, kicking a goal for her side and demonstrating a high work rate.
It was a strange situation for Emma Kearney on Sunday, as the new Kangaroos recruit went head-to-head against her former Bulldogs teammates for the first time since making the move over to Arden Street. She did not seemed fazed by the occasion though, playing another great game for the Mugars in the midfield. Bendigo Pioneers graduate, Aisling Tupper also performed well in the middle of the ground, as she continues to impress this season. Up forward, it was Western Jets forward, Caitlin Greiser who led the way, kicking three majors for the day. She was complemented by two goals from new North Melbourne recruit, Kaitlyn Ashmore who played a magnificent game for the Mugars.
Collingwood 7.3.45 defeated Darebin 2.3.15
By: Carly McClen
It was the first time a Collingwood women’s football team came out to play on the spiritual home ground of the mighty Magpies, the iconic Victoria Park. With star Brisbane Lions recruit, Nicole Hildebrand playing a fantastic game, and a usual class-above performance from Chloe Molloy, the Pies won convincingly and continued their undefeated run.
In the first half, the teams matched up evenly providing a tough contested game to watch, with both teams applying consistent pressure and causing missed targets in kicking. The rain favoured the Darebin Falcons but the talent and ball use of the Magpies and sheer pressure for four quarters made inside 50’s rare for the Falcons and it showed on the scoreboard.
Important marks in defence by Magpie, Ruby Schleicher, and Grace Buchan’s consistent hunting of the footy all day helped keep Darebin to one straight shot in the first half when Esther Honybun was able to convert. The Falcons applied consistent pressure on Collingwood with Elise O’Dea winning a lot of the ball. The first half majors Collingwood scored were from Molloy and Eliza Hynes.
The third quarter was a different story and Collingwood was able to get away and play their game. Emma Grant was strong and did her job well. Sarah D’Arcy took strong marks in defence right when Darebin were using more initiative with the ball and even a bigger presence and dominance from Aasta O’Connor did not hold back the Pies.
Falcon, Kate Tyndall converted from a 50 metre penalty with 25 seconds to go in the third quarter but it was Collingwood’s second half. Nicole Hildebrand let loose, taking some strong marks and kicking two goals including one set shot from a 45 degree angle that never looked like missing when she peeled a little to the left and threaded it cleanly. Hildebrand then set up a goal passing cleverly to Gabrielle Biedenweg-Webster who played on and kicked their final goal in the last quarter.
There were two players taken off the ground with injuries. Shevaun Hogan was taken off for Darebin and Magpie, Kristy Stratton was taken off on a stretcher with a suspected knee injury.