Central Allies hold on in one-point thriller

CENTRAL Allies snatched a one-point win from Queensland in arguably one of the most tense games of the championships. It was a tight tussle with neither side willing to give an inch going in hard at every contest and treasuring possession to move the ball down the field.

It was an even start, with both sides showcasing their desperation to win the footy at ground level and applying some impressive defensive pressure as the ball was intercepted between the arcs on multiple occasions. The Allies got the first goal on the board, with Stephanie Williams finding some clear space right in front of the big sticks for her first of two. The Allies lifted their pressure in this outing after a disappointing loss on Wednesday, while their attack seemed to inspire some fantastic plays with Tayla Hart-Aluni finding great space across the field to charge inside 50. With great skills on show from both sides, Queensland were bound to get one back coming with the help of a 50m penalty and true kick from Georgia Eller, trailing by five at the first change.

The second quarter was an exciting and tight contest, with neither side willing to give up their control across the field. Queensland’s Zimmorlei Farquharson sparked excitement with the ball falling in her hands a number of times, getting a goal on the board for her effort as the Maroons matched the Allies in both attacking and defensive pressure but unable to take an elusive lead trailing by three at half time. The Allies continued to push hard in every contest, doing the job well as they fought to continue their lead with Queensland hot on their tails. With talent on their side but execution spoiled by Queensland’s smothering defence, second efforts from every player was necessary and delivered by the hungry Allies.

The Allies continued their strong contested ways in the third, kicking a major to extend their lead and denying Queensland access inside 50 and ultimately a goal on the board. Queensland seemed to have plenty of numbers around the ball and around stoppages, while the Allies, despite holding up well under Queensland’s onslaught, gave the home side a lot of space to move the ball to their advantage. With both teams unable to take possession cleanly, spoiling marks with punches, second efforts were needed at every stoppage – backed up by clean hands and evasive skills, which both sides delivered in droves.

The final quarter saw Queensland kick it up a notch, finding good space across the field and putting up a big fight against the slowing Allies. Queensland got some good separation off the body to get down the field with relative ease, however again found themselves missing opportunities driving inside 50 and caught by tackles on a number of occasions. While Queensland held up well defensively against the Allies’ continuous inside 50 entries, the Allies were unable to push for the goal winning kick required to cement a victory, giving the home side a chance to come back into the contest. A goal to Queensland’s Tayla Smith took the margin to one point with just over five minutes to go, with the Allies almost conceding another before buckling down and creating some outstanding pressure to maintain the lead in time for the siren.

QUEENSLAND 1.1 | 3.3 | 3.4 | 4.5 (29)
CENTRAL ALLIES 2.0 | 4.0 | 5.0 | 5.0 (30)

GOALS:

QLD: T. Smith, A. Bradfield, Z. Farquharson, G. Eller.
CA: S. Williams 2, M. Breed 2, K. Lee.

BEST:

QLD: E. Hampson, Z. Farquharson, L. Postlethwaite, I. Dawes, C. Hammans
CA: M. McKinnon, T. Charlton, S. Williams, S. Miskin-Rippia, T. Hart Aluni

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