IN an entertaining final day of AFL Women’s Championships football, Vic Metro, Queensland and Vic Country came out on top in their respective matches. Overall, Metro and Country only dropped one match over the tournament’s two series, which is credit to some great team performances. Peter Williams and Julia Montesano travelled down to Bond University to note down the great individual performances on the final day of matches.
Vic Metro vs. Central Allies
By: Julia Montesano
#6 Madison Prespakis
The star of the day and the tournament for Vic Metro, Madison Prespakis was simply unstoppable. Her kicking was fantastic throughout the game, as her long kicks would create many forward thrusts. In particular, she delivered a great kick into the goal square that favoured her teammate in a one-on-one position, which was great lowering of the eyes by Prespakis. Repeated these efforts when she displayed an excellent second effort to get the ball back after being spoiled, brushed off her opponent and delivered a perfect kick to the advantage of Gabby Newton who goaled. She then hit up Madeline Brancatisano perfectly in the middle of the ground with a nice kick. Her tackling too was superb as she laid an excellent tackle on Janet Baird while she was trying to fend Prespakis off. Prespakis kept holding on and got a dropping the ball free kick in the end, which is not easy to do against a player of Baird’s speed. Followed this up with an excellent run-down tackle on Madeline Gault, displaying excellent closing speed on another speedy player in the Central Allies outfit. Capped off her day with an unbelievable goal which came about when she received the handball off Katie Lynch in the forward 50 and threaded the needle to kick her first goal of the day on a difficult angle close to goal.
#8 Georgia Patrikios
Executed good run and carry along the boundary line and followed this up with a nice kick down the line. Displayed excellent agility and run and carry through the middle of the ground and topped it off with a long kick that could’ve been her goal if Daisy Bateman didn’t kick it off the line. A highlight of her game was when she ran towards the ball, picked it up off the deck, side-stepped and kicked it forward. Kicked a nice goal to cap off her hard work throughout the day.
#9 Daisy Bateman
Executed a great spoil to get the ball out of bounds, continuing to display that same effort that she’s been displaying all tournament. Was able to read the play well when she spotted that Georgia Patrikios’ long bomb towards goal wasn’t going all the way, managing to get her toe on the ball on the goal line to make it a sure goal. Her second goal was courtesy of a good mark on the lead, which she has been able to do so well at during the tournament.
#14 Isabella Grant
One of Grant’s best games of the tournament for mine. Displayed good agility and run and carry through the middle of the ground, managing to dodge her opponents really well. Repeated this effort in the forward line where she was able to evade her opponents once again and get the ball to Daisy Bateman. Also executed great bodywork to save a goal in the goal square and then pounced on the ball to ensure that it didn’t sail through. At this point, she displayed great run and carry once again and handballed the ball out of trouble. In another instance, she did well to push her opponent under the ball when it was looking likely that she was going to get a goal.
#18 Abbie McKay
Executed a nice pick-up off the deck and then fired off a quick handball to Madison Prespakis. Managed to pick up the ball cleanly off the deck and handball it out of congestion, displaying great hands throughout the day. Executed a great chase to tackle on her opponent, which was credit to her putting on great pressure. Followed this effort up with another chase tackle, exemplifying how good her tackling was on the day. Displayed great strength in the contest to battle through and get a kick away. Also showed great speed to get a nice clearance out of the middle of the ground.
#20 Gabby Newton
Nicely snapped a good goal for Metro’s second of the day. Took an excellent contested mark against Montana McKinnon, who was marking everything on the day for Central Allies. Newton also positioned herself at the back of the pack and used her strong hands and bodywork to get the mark inside 50, which was one of the best marks of the day in my opinion. She went back and made no mistake, kicking her second major of the day, finishing off her tournament with yet another bout of multiple goals.
#21 Eleanor Brown
Brown showed intent to win the footy all day and exemplified this through taking a great one-on-one mark. She also picked off a loose ball well and gave off nice quick hands to the middle of the ground. Executed a good pick-up of a loose ball and followed this up with a nice burst of run and carry. Displayed a good second effort after she dropped a mark, demonstrating her ability to find the footy, which she did plenty of times on the day. Executed a good trap of the footy and then gave off a nice handball out to the running Katie Lynch.
#22 Katie Lynch
A really consistent tournament topped off with another great performance from Lynch. Executed a good pick-up and quick clearing kick out of a stoppage. Did one better in another instance when she picked up the ball cleanly off the deck again and just bullocked her opponent off her and streamed forward. She showed great strength in that one-on-one battle and showed that same strength when she gave off a great handball out of the pack in a forward stoppage to Madison Prespakis who goaled. Showed great hands on the deck again with a nice pick-up and run and carry through the middle of the ground. Lynch continually stood up in tackles and often managed to follow up with deft kicks, showing good contrasts in her game.
#23 Sarah Kendall
Kendall had a superb game against the Central Allies as she had to shoulder the ruck duties in Carla Rendelmann’s absence. I thought she won the ruck battle on the day and showed this when she executed a great tap to Eastern Ranges teammate, Mikala Cann. Also made an impact around the ground when she executed a good pick-up and gave off a nice handball from the stoppage to Isabella Grant. Took a great intercept mark and followed this up with nice hands to a running teammate beside her. Displayed nice run and carry and followed this up with a good kick into the forward line.
#25 Cleo Saxon-Jones
Kicked one of the goals of the day when she executed an excellent pick-up and snap from the boundary line that went through the goals. I thought she played well as the back-up ruck, which was shown when she got a good tap to get it to the advantage of her teammate. Executed an excellent high kick to the goal square which set up a spectacular Gabby Newton mark. Picked up the ball cleanly off the deck in another instance and was able to switch the ball nicely across the ground. Did well when she fended off her opponent and got a nice high kick away towards goal.
#31 Britney Gutknecht
Another player who got on the board with two majors, Gutknecht was a dangerous forward for Metro. Executed a great pick-up off the deck and nicely ran into goal for her first of the day. She played as a deep forward and I thought she did well, thanks to her good body work. This was exemplified when she took a nice one-on-one mark. Kicked a nice goal for her second of the day, which she crumbed off a dropped mark.
By: Peter Williams
#1 Madison Bennett
Small in stature but big in heart, Bennett always threw herself into the packs or any sort of danger with disregard for her own safety, but to help the team. She hunts the footy and spreads well. Was unlucky not to get a free after good positioning in the final term in a one-on-one in the goal square.
#2 Rachelle Martin
Kicked a fantastic goal from a quick pick up off the deck and snap, showing natural goal sense and game smarts with limited time under pressure. Another highlight was a third quarter tackle on Madison Prespakis, bringing her to ground, which is hard to do.
#4 Madeline Gault
One of Central Allies’ best, playing a fantastic role in defence. She had a good balance between offence and defence in the back half, providing run and drive, while also matching up well one-on-one. She saved a goal in the second term with a quick kick out of the danger zone outnumbered on the last line. She won a free in the third term at half-forward for going in hard, and pushed up the ground through the midfield and had a good inside 50 in the second half.
#7 Janet Baird
A real speedster who laid a fantastic early tackle on Emerson Woods and created options up forward in the second half in particular, leaping for the ball, but not quite clunking it. She followed up well with good second efforts.
#8 Danielle Ponter
A quieter first half, but finally hit the scoreboard in the fourth term where she showed off great running to receive the ball, give the quick handball off, receive it back and run into a goal from 20m under pressure and calmly slot it. She won more of the footy playing up the ground and was one of the more noticeable players in the last term.
#10 Hannah Munyard
Had her as Central Allies’ best in the match because of her four quarter efforts. She won numerous clearances throughout, and just won a truckload of the football. Munyard found space and provided an option on the outside, while also burrowing in and winning the pill on the inside. She attacks the contest with vigour and nailed a great goal in the final term with a snap after picking it up off the deck. Just a well-balanced player across the board.
#28 Montana McKinnon
A big opening half, McKinnon just moved really well for a taller player, clunking some big grabs and creating a presence both in the ruck and around the ground. She has good vision and she took a huge grab on the last line at full-back to save a certain goal. Really important early in the clash.
#29 Esther Boles
The captain played a hard working inside role and has quick hands at ground level. She attacked the contest well and earned a free kick for a high fend off in the final term. A real contested player who loves the going tough.
Queensland vs. Eastern Allies
By: Julia Montesano
#4 Chloe Gregory
Executed a nice hack kick out of a stoppage, demonstrating her ability to get it and kick it. Picked the ball up well cleanly off the deck and followed this up with good run and carry to get the ball forward. Executed a great spin and step around her opponent followed by a beautifully delivered kick to Isabel Dawes. Picked up the ball off the deck cleanly again and managed a lovely kick down the line while she was getting tackled. This kick landed into the hands of her teammate perfectly, demonstrating her ability to spot up a teammate. Gregory also displayed excellent run and carry on the boundary line.
#5 Lily Postlethwaite
Executed a great holding the ball tackle in the opening minutes to win a free kick out of the middle. Took a great running mark and followed this up with a lovely stream into the forward line. She just missed the snap at goal but nonetheless it was a great effort to stream down there. Executed an excellent pick-up and followed this up with great running down the line, displaying excellent pace. Did well to push off her opponent off the ball and force her over the line, showing great strength. Highlights of her game included when she burst out of the middle for a fantastic clearance and followed this up with a centering kick from a boundary throw in to earn Charlotte Hammans a set shot on goal.
#6 Zimmorlei Farquharson
Farquharson’s hands were spectacular during this match. She took a nice lead-up mark to a Serene Watson kick and also took an excellent running mark. In this instance, she dived on the low ball and it landed into her chest, demonstrating her ability to read the play brilliantly. Also took a great overhead mark in a one-on-one contest. Farquharson executed an excellent spin and kick forward that nearly sailed through the goals. She also showed great strength to get a handball out while being tackled.
#7 Isabel Dawes
Smothered the ball well in one instance, managing to execute one percenters in her game. Won a free kick moments later and hacked it down the forward line with a nice kick to Lily Postlethwaite. Hacked a kick out of congestion again, showing her ability to just get the ball and kick it. Also took a nice mark on the lead, capping off a solid tournament for her.
#8 Jade Ellenger
Executed a good pick-up off the deck and a nice hack kick. Displayed a great second effort when she didn’t get the ball in the first instance as she then got a handball out on hands and knees. Picked up the ball well off the deck again cleanly, spun and then followed this up with quick hands. Ellenger displayed excellent run and carry and also took a nice mark, followed by delivering a nice kick into the forward line. Executed a fantastic run-down tackle in the middle of the ground on one of the most dangerous players, Alyce Parker who was streaming through for a clearance, which I thought was a highlight of her game.
#14 Tori Groves-Little
Groves-Little’s tackling stood out from the rest on the day. She laid an excellent strong tackle to win herself a dropping the ball free kick in the middle of the ground. Followed this up with another great tackle that disposed her opponent of the ball. In another instance, she wrestled the ball out of her opponent’s hand and ran and carried through the midfield. Followed up this great run with a nice kick down the line.
#18 Ellie Hampson
Hampson displayed her remarkable agility during this match, side-stepping many opponents that came her way. In one instance, she side-stepped two opponents and then got the ball away and followed up this same effort again in the third quarter. Hampson took an excellent mark on the last line of defence to save a goal, complementing her agility with strong hands. Throughout the match, she continued to side-step opponents with ease and also managed to hit targets after some incredible footwork. At one point, she grabbed the ball and held it in one hand, fended off a player and got a clean handball out. Hampson used her big, long kicks to kick well out of full back when she was required to. Also executed a fantastic run-down tackle to earn herself a set shot on goal.
#20 Natalie Grider
Was brave to run back with the ball in defence and executed a nice kick out of defensive 50 after that. Grider took a nice one-on-one mark, displaying strong hands. A highlight of her game was when she executed an excellent goal-saving tackle on the goal line, making her opponent kick it off her knee which therefore didn’t count for a goal. Followed this effort up by chasing another nimble player on the ground in Netty Garlo.
#24 Charlotte Hammans
Another great game from Hammans who did plenty of nice things during the match. She was able to chase the ball down and get a handball out while being tackled. Also executed great run and carry and followed this up with a good handball into space. Laid an excellent strong tackle to win the holding the ball free kick and then followed this up with another solid tackle to stop her opponent from hacking it out of defensive 50. She kicked what turned out to be the winning goal after reading a perfect centring kick from Lily Postlethwaite.
#26 Serene Watson
One of the most consistent players on the day, Watson was huge for Queensland. Executed a nice pick-up and followed this up with a good spearing pass to a teammate who was able to get it forward. This started the link that led to Queensland’s first goal of the day. Watson displayed great run and carry throughout the day and also took a great intercept mark off an Allies hack kick. Was able to pick up the ball cleanly and kicked the ball well down the line.
#34 Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw
Led up well to the ball in the forward line and got two goals for her hard work inside 50. She led to the ball well in the first quarter to register Queensland’s first major of the day. Tawhiao-Wardlaw won a free kick and got her second goal of the day before half time. She took another great forward line mark in the third quarter, demonstrating her strong hands throughout the day.
By: Peter Williams
#1 Alyce Parker
One of the performances of the carnival. Practically would have topped most statistical categories, and only needed to just finish off a few shots on goal that missed or fell short. But the list of what she did do well is fairly extensive as she cracked in hard, laid big tackles, won the contested ball, continually cleared it out of congestion and burst away with a first few quick steps. At times it looked like there were three of her out there, winning the ball in defence and being on the end of it in attack. Strong in the air or at ground level, stands up in tackles and wins the ball on a string, she just continually runs, and despite her team going down, she never gave in and thought she was best on ground in the loss.
#10 Camilla Taylor
Had a few opportunities throughout the game, winning a free kick in the second term and kicking long, then kicked inside 50 to a contest later on, but the ball was a bit high in the air and could be spoiled. Taylor also had a shot on goal from 30m out but just missed. She was presenting up forward which was good to see.
#11 Eliza Cumming
Had a busy first term just buzzing around the stoppages and showed good hands at half-forward and a strong body at the contest. Faded out a little bit then took a great intercept mark in the final term and kicked forward. Presented up the ground.
#14 Mia King
Another impressive game from King, who gets in under the pack and wins the footy, while also running hard to the outside to be on the receiving end as well. Almost got herself a goal in the first term, but could not quite get boot to ball in space. She worked it well out of defence at a stoppage in the second quarter and did well later on to spoil the ball across the line and stop a mark.
#16 Lauren Stevenson
A solid game from the defender who showed good composure under pressure and was able to kick calmly out of defence. She got involved in each term and just moved the ball well and also laid some big tackles and added defensive pressure to the ball carrier. Stevenson took a good intercept mark and kicked forward in the fourth term.
#17 Netty Garlo
Stepped up again after a solid game too and has that great acceleration and teamwork to use her speed to advantage. Laid a great tackle in defence in the opening term, and then bumped an opponent off the ball deep in defence to save a likely goal. Moved into the midfield at times and won a free for going in hard, then showed off her jets by putting the after burners on and bursting away from a would-be tackler.
#20 Alexis Hamilton
The player of the first term, Hamilton nailed two vital goals. Her first was from a free kick and the subsequent set shot from 35m out was perfect. Then, with a second to go, Hamilton clunked a huge mark – she had to get it one bite before the siren – and kept her composure to slot the goal at put the Eastern Allies up at quarter time.
#21 Chloe Haines
Was one of many trying to hold up the fort in defence, thumping the ball long. It was hard work back there later in the game, but she worked hard one-on-one and rebounded as best she could.
#25 Libby Haines
Was a quieter game compared to her past two, but worked hard in the back half, diving down for a mark in the fourth term but could not quite hold it. Kicked out on occasions and used her long boot to advantage.
#28 Alice Mitchell
Another solid effort from Mitchell who is strong overhead and presents around the ground. A reliable user who has solid vision, she just worked hard throughout the match.
Vic Country vs. Western Australia
By: Peter Williams
#1 Shelley Heath
One of the best on the ground in the first term, she ran and ran and ran. She had a fantastic run along the wing and worked hard for second and third efforts, playing the role that got her into the side. Nimble with great agility, she broke down the opposition defence and continually pushed hard throughout. Still solid throughout the game presenting, but the first term was huge. Took a good mark one-on-one in the final term as well.
#6 Tyla Hanks
Started well with some early touches on the inside and rotated between midfield and forward. Had a good sidestep and a lovely weighted kick to Gippsland Power teammate Amy Dunn in the forward pocket in the second term. Hanks showed good tackling pressure inside 50 in the third quarter and produced a good spoil on the wing to knock it out of bounds. I probably mozzed her for her set shot from 20m out saying ‘you can put this one in the books’ before as what always happens, she missed, hitting the post.
#7 Olivia Purcell
The next best behind Sophie Van De Heuvel, Purcell was fantastic throughout the match, racking up the ball at will and winning plenty of clearances. She played up forward too and had a big role transitioning between midfield and forward. She set up Van De Heuvel with great hands in the opening term, and in the third quarter, narrowly missed a shot on goal herself. Produced a fantastic weighted kick to half-forward in the third quarter and kept running throughout the game.
#8 Sophie Van De Heuvel
The star of the show, bounced back from missing opportunities in the last game, to nailing her chances in this one. Kicked a great running goal in the first term, clunked a big mark in the forward 50 in the third term and delivered, then pounced on a loose ball and snapped truly just after that. She also pushed up the wing and took some strong marks and set the play up for her teammates up forward.
#9 Nina Morrison
Morrison showed great vision at half-forward and gave off quick hands, using her pace and agility to advantage. Had a good charge in from half-back to lay a tackle in the middle and then ran forward and and gave the quick hands to Sophie Van De Heuvel in the forward 50. Took a good mark in the forward 50 but her shot just fell short.
#18 Denby Taylor
Created good run and intercept work throughout the game. Taylor pushed up from half-back and took the game on which was good to see. In the third term, she broke a tackle with the arm break, and kept running before kicking long inside 50.
#21 Rene Caris
The AFLW Academy ruck worked hard around the ground and took some big grabs in the defensive half of the ground. She was strong overhead and pushed out to the wing, spreading well.
#22 Rebecca Webster
Another good game on the inside, Webster played well on the inside and won a lot of the ball in contested situations. She also dropped back and used the ball cleanly coming out of defence. Worked well with Olivia Purcell in the middle and was able to execute the ball out to the running teammates on the outside.
#23 Lucy McEvoy
Had the opportunities she had the past two games but just missed the set shots. She was still very strong overhead, led really well and took some great marks, trapping the ball and making sure her defender had no opportunity to spoil. She seemed unbeatable in the air, and while she missed three gettable chances, she got on the board with a great snap on goal in the fourth term. Still a very good performance and dominant in the air.
#24 Millie Brown
The bottom-ager showed some tricks, twisting and turning in midfield and across half-back. She danced around a few opponents and was able to dispose of the ball cleanly, while also showing good defensive pressure in attack to knock a defender off her kick.
#25 Georgia Clarke
Prominent early when the going was hot. Took a couple of vital intercept marks and possessions, kicking long up the wing. She was able to move the ball well and in the second term kicked to Tyla Hanks’ advantage up forward.
#32 Courtney Jones
Her best game of the carnival for mine. Just presented all day long, was clean by foot and delivered low darts into the forward line, hitting up Lucy McEvoy twice, and Jordyn Allen at half-forward. Kicked a good goal from a set shot in the final term after setting up all her teammates. Great movement and agility throughout, a really strong performance.
By: Julia Montesano
#3 Brianna Hyde
Executed a great pick-up and calm kick to a teammate on the wing. Read the play well to get it out the back and also delivered a nice kick out of full back, rather than rushing it and hacking it. Hyde did well on the last line of defence and took a great intercept mark to complement her good work. Also delivered a nice kick to a teammate down the line, which demonstrated her nice kicking throughout the day.
#5 Mikayla Hyde
Led well to the footy and took a good mark on the boundary line. Executed a good pick-up off the deck and followed this up with a great second effort to tackle Emily Haeusler after she got dispossessed. Consequently, she won the free kick, which was the start of a passage of play that turned into a scoring shot. Hyde delivered a nice kick down the line and was rewarded for her hard work with a goal. In this instance, she read the ball well off the back of the pack to kick her first goal of the day.
#9 Sabreena Duffy
Duffy was Western Australia’s best player in this match in my opinion. She chased the ball well and gave off a nice handball in close. Picked the ball up cleanly off the deck and delivered a nice kick into the forward line. Executed a great hack kick off the ground to get it forward, which showed great awareness because she knew she couldn’t pick it up otherwise players would come at her. Delivered some good long kicks out of full back when she needed to and also showed great agility from the kick-ins, as she ran one way then the other, evading her opponent. Executed a great fend-off and then gave off a good handball back to McKenzie Dowrick. Duffy shifted to the midfield in the third quarter and did well to lower her eyes from a centre square free kick and spot up Roxanne Roux on the lead. Did a great job to get a kick off the side of her boot to an outside teammate as well.
#17 McKenzie Dowrick
Like her sister, Dowrick’s long kicks were a common feature in her game. She delivered a great long ball into the forward line and also executed a nice long kick down the line on multiple occasions. Did well to break away from a tackle and head forward. Showed great strength when she still managed to get a handball away while being tackled by Olivia Purcell, who is a strong tackler. Also demonstrated great work to spoil it over the line with two opponents near her.
#20 Abbey Dowrick
Cleanly picked up a spilt ball off the pack and followed this up with a nice long kick. This was a trait of her game as she used her kick to penetrate the ball forward. Demonstrated great run and carry throughout the day, and loved to get into space. Dowrick showed good agility and got a nice handball away.
#22 Sonia Dorizzi
I thought Dorizzi was able to win the ruck battle at times and tried hard when she was not winning that battle. Did well to come to the ball and caresses it into her chest, rather than waiting for it. Gave off a good handball back to reset the forward structure, rather than just hacking it inboard. This showed her football smarts on the day. She also executed a long kick into the forward line and took a great intercept mark, capping off a good day for her.
#23 Emma O’Driscoll
O’Driscoll was a solid rock in defence for the Black Swans. Took a great intercept mark and also executed a great spoil to get the ball away from a mark. Did extremely well to accelerate to the ball and spoil. Picked up the ball cleanly and then burst out of defence. Took a great intercept mark where she positioned herself well and got forward of the ball to take it uncontested.