Category: NSW/ACT

Vic Country U17s lift in second half to power past NSW/ACT

VIC COUNTRY U17’s class shone through in a seven goal to three second half as they overcame NSW/ACT 11.9 (75) to 7.8 (50) at Ikon Park on Sunday.

Despite the frosty conditions, both sides warmed to the contest well early on in an opening term which ebbed and flowed. The Rams made the better start as Kale Gabila booted the first two goals of the game in style to see his side break to an early lead. The momentum took a 180-degree turn though as goals to Dominic Bedendo and Sam Berry saw Country level proceedings, before Josh Green replied in good time to give NSW/ACT a slim lead at the first break. A repeat of the first term looked on the cards as Swans Academy gun Pierce Roseby put the Rams back in front to start the second stanza, but Country began to get on top on the back of some unrelenting attack to snatch a three-point half time buffer with goals to Will Bravo and Deakyn Smith.

Gabila’s third major was the only glimmer of resistance in a rampant five goals to one third term for the Victorians, who began to get on top in the midfield battle and put the clamps on to lock the ball in their attacking half. It was then a case of the damage already being done as Country hardly looked phased in a more anticlimactic final term which featured two classy Braeden Campbell goals, Max Annandale‘s second, and one to Ryan Angwin. Country also seemed to get the better of a few magnet shuffles, with Oliver Henry faring better up forward and Josh Treacy getting more involved at the centre bounces. The level-pegged term saw the hosts run away with 25-point final margin of victory, with the Rams just unable to take a couple of gilt edge chances to truly get back into the contest.

Gippsland pocket rocket Berry was clearly best afield, racking up 23 disposals, four marks, six clearances and a goal in a complete performance from midfield. His engine room partners Charlie Lazzaro (21 disposals, five tackles) and Zavier Maher (20 disposals, seven marks, five clearances, seven inside 50s) supported him well, while the likes of Smith (14 disposals, eight marks, two goals), Angwin (16 disposals, four marks, one goal) and Seamus Mitchell (11 disposals, one goal) proved handfuls forward of centre. The Rams’ top-end talent led the way despite the loss, with Swans academy trio Errol Gulden (19 disposals, five marks, four clearances), Campbell (18 disposals, seven tackles, seven inside 50s, two goals) and Roseby (17 disposals, seven clearances, one goal) all influential around the ball. Marco Rossmann was threatening up forward alongside major goal kicker Gabila, while Marc Sheather (14 disposals, four rebound 50s) provided a cool head down back in the first half.

VIC COUNTRY 11.9 (75)
NSW/ACT 7.8 (50)

GOALS
Vic Country: D. Smith 2, M. Annandale 2, S. Berry, J. Tillig, R. Angwin, W. Bravo, S. Mitchell, D. Bendendo, O. Henry.
NSW/ACT: K. Gabila 3, B. Campbell 2, P. Roseby, J. Green.

ADC BEST:
Vic Country: S. Berry, D. Smith, Z. Maher, J. Tillig, N. Gadsby, R. Angwin
NSW/ACT: B. Campbell, K. Gabila, E. Gulden, P. Roseby, M. Rossmann, M. Sheather

AFLW U18 Championship previews: Eastern Allies

IN the first of two previews ahead of the first round of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, we take a look at New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW-ACT) and Tasmania who clash tomorrow and Sunday in their two games which will help determine the final Eastern Allies squad. The Eastern Allies then fly to Queensland to take on the Central Allies, Vic Country and Vic Metro from July 8-12. Below we take a look at some of the key players to watch.

Hailee Baldwin (Tigers/Tasmania)

Baldwin has been named captain of Tasmania and is considered a leader on and off the field. Not a huge ball winner, averaging the 7.7 disposals at NAB League Girls level, Baldwin is a big tackler. She earned the title of Tasmanian captain despite being a middle-ager and not being eligible to be drafted until next year. At 169cm, Baldwin is a good size for a developing player and will be a key cog in Tasmania’s midfield.

Tahlia Bortignon (Clarence/Tasmania)

The talented athlete is still developing, but has been one to watch since being named for the Eastern Allies last year. For Clarence her pace and agility are areas that standout, and she represented Tasmania Devils in all three NAB League Girls games. With so few having experience at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Bortignon’s experience will be invaluable to her younger side.

Lillian Doyle (Grafton/NSW-ACT)

Of the NSW/ACT players who took to the field in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, the one we have most looked forward to seeing as a top-ager is the talented Doyle. She booted three goals in a best afield effort last year, two of which came in the last term to guarantee the side a victory on the opening day. She had to build up some consistency in her game, but her raw talent on that day and throughout the championships was evident and she looms as a dangerous forward for NSW/ACT and the Eastern Allies. One of four members of the AFL Women’s Academy.

Tarni Evans (Queanbeyan Tigers/NSW-ACT)

A middle-age member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Evans was touted as one to watch as a bottom-ager given her ability to use either side of her body to dispose of the ball cleanly. Evans is likely to play as centre half-forward, providing a contest for the smaller forwards to rove to and create opportunities. While she is still a year away, she is another year more experienced and could be the X-factor inside 50 with Doyle who provides a spark.

Abby Favell (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)

Another player who was touted by the Rams as one to watch for this corresponding series twelve months ago, has lived up to expectations with her performances in the NAB League Girls competition. She was able to have such an impact on the Bushrangers side that she could well have pushed for Vic Country selection as well had she been eligible. Favell never stopped running through the season and just had a massive work rate to get from defence to attack within a play, winning plenty of the ball and setting her teammates up. Expect her to rotate between the middle and on a wing, running in transition and burning off her opponents with either speed or endurance depending on the time in the game. Is a clutch player as well and one that could go forward and kick an important goal like she did against the Dandenong Stingrays late in the season.

Georgia Garnett (East Coast Eagles/NSW-ACT)

If Doyle was the one we were excited to see again, then Georgia Garnett was a close second with the hard-nosed and uncompromising midfielder with great athletic traits, being impressive last year. She has a wicked side-step and while it was noted she was not a huge accumulator last year, she rarely turned over the ball, with neat skills and great decision making. She also copped a knock on the final day and got straight back up. One of the key midfielders for the Eastern Allies this year, and another member of the AFL Women’s Academy.

Netty Garlo (Clarence/Tasmania)

Raw but talented is the best way of describing Garlo, who would no doubt have a very nice package of highlights with her closing speed and tackling pressure memorable from last year. Still a middle-ager, Garlo now stands at 170cm, and will still only be 16 by the time the championships roll around, having debuted last year as a 15-year-old trying to match it with some 18-year-olds. Garlo managed two games at NAB League Girls level for the Devils, and while she is still ironing out her consistency and game sense, there is no doubting her great combination of speed and hardness.

Chelsea Hargreaves (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)

Hargreaves was a really reliable defender for the Murray Bushrangers, and someone who was composed under pressure and used the ball well coming out of the back 50. A quality addition to the NSW/ACT and Eastern Allies mix, Hargreaves plays a similar role to Eloise Ashley-Cooper who is now at Essendon VFLW after having impressed at the championships. While she only averaged the nine disposals this year, Hargreaves does not waste them, and had multiple rebounds in four of her seven games.

Zoe Hurrell (Sydney Uni Bombers/NSW-ACT)

Tasted what it is like playing at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships last year, booting a goal and was named among the best in the Eastern Allies’ win over Central Allies on the opening day. With another year under her belt and showing she is capable of kicking a goal, Hurrell will be keen to impress in the Series One this year and represent the Eastern Allies for a second consecutive year at the championships.

Jordyn Jolliffe (Bendigo Pioneers/NSW-ACT)

Having played through the Rams program for years and was a member of the AFL Women’s Academy alongside Alyce Parker, Jolliffe has a point to prove at these championships, having missed out due to injury last year. Playing as a full-forward, Jolliffe is difficult to beat in the air and is an imposing figure in attack. She was a key player for Bendigo Pioneers in the NAB League Girls competition, either slotting goals or allowing the ball to fall to crumbers from her marking contests. As an overager, Jolliffe will provide invaluable experience to the team, and combine with Evans up forward.

Mia King (Launceston/Tasmania)

The star player of Tasmania, and a good case for the Eastern Allies Most Valuable Player (MVP), along with a number of others on this list. King is the midfielder you cannot help but notice because of her ability to find the football and have an impact in all thirds of the ground. King made the All-Australian extended squad last year, the only Tasmanian to do so in a team that featured North Melbourne twins, Chloe and Libby Haines. Despite being 165cm, King plays taller than that and is able to crack in and win the contested ball in the air or at ground level, and then spread when required to win the ball on the outside and move it in transition. She averaged 19.7 disposals, 4.7 tackles and 3.0 inside 50s in the NAB League Girls competition for the Tasmanian Devils.

Alice Mitchell (Willoughby Mosman Swans/NSW-ACT)

Teammates at local level with Zoe Hurrell, Mitchell will again look to join her in the Eastern Allies side for the 2019 championships. At 180cm, Mitchell provides a tall target around the ground, and can play through the midfield as well as at either end. She not only has great strength, but good vision and presents constantly for her teammates. Will be a great addition as as utility to the team and slot in wherever she is needed, and have an impact.

Amy Prokopiec (Clarence/Tasmania)

Was a standout in Tasmania’s double-up weekend against Western Jets and Eastern Rangers, averaging 12 touches and 6.5 rebounds coming out of defence. Her work in the back half was very impressive and eye-catching and remarkably, the talented 175cm defender has only just turned 16. It means she has another couple of years left in the system, but is good enough to be competing with players a couple of years older. One to watch over the coming years, and one of the better tall defenders coming through.

Hannah Stewart (Bendigo Pioneers/NSW-ACT)

Stewart is one of the better stories when it comes to hard work and dedication, travelling three hours to head down from Hay to train at the Pioneers’ Swan Hill base, and that is not even including time taken to get to weekend matches. While still inconsistent, her best was very good as we saw against Gippsland Power in Bendigo’s big win up at Epson Huntly Reserve. She had 19 disposals, six marks, six inside 50s and booted 1.2, one of the best on the ground with Brooke Hards and Elizabeth Snell. Her work between midfield and forward is where she does best, and while she only reached double-figure disposals on three occasions, she used the ball very well and is a very good runner with high endurance.

Camilla Taylor (Launceston/Tasmania)

Another key forward who could be used in attack after experiencing the national carnival last year, Taylor works hard to provide leads and a target inside 50, and not only provides opportunities for herself, but others as well. She has a long kick which was noted last year, and it was just a case of lowering the eyes at times, but she is a danger to opposition defenders, often forcing them to give away free kicks by trying to restrict her.

Team of the Week: Academy Series – Round 5

NEW South Wales and Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) sides had a good weekend across the NAB League with Sydney Swans Academy gaining an important win over Murray Bushrangers, and GWS GIANTS Academy narrowly going down to Gippsland Power. The two sides were recognised with a massive combined 14 players in the Draft Central Academy Series Team of the Week for Round 5. For the other three sides, they all suffered disappointing losses with Northern Territory Thunder (four representatives), Brisbane Lions Academy (three) and Gold Coast SUNS Academy (three).

Sydney Swans Academy’s sole win out of the five Academy sides saw Kyle Martin and Aidan Watling named up either end, Hamish Ellem locked into full-forward, Lachlan Swaney on a wing, Max Geddes pushed to a half-back flank after pushing back hard in the victory, and Callum Nash in the ruck. It meant one third of the starting side are Sydney Swans, with a further two – Jacob Dol and Sam Thorne – also making our bench in the Academy Series Team of the Week.

GWS GIANTS might not have won, but they lost no admirers against one of the strongest Victorian sides. Missing Tom Green, the GIANTS battled well throughout the match, with defender Nick Murray holding down centre half-back, midfielders Lachlan Squire and Hamish Grant having terrific games, and Shaun Driscoll and James Peatling in attack. Five of their six representatives are on the field, meaning half of the starting line-up is from the NSW/ACT Academies. Jeromy Lucas was the sixth player from the GIANTS to make the squad.

Of the three teams that suffered big losses, Northern Territory Thunder had four representatives, with Beau O’Connell, Joel Jeffrey and Matthew Cumming among the best, while Ben Jungfer made the team after a strong effort on the inside. Looking east to Queensland, both Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS Academies had three players in our Team of the Week. Tom Griffiths, Will Martyn and Bruce Reville are the Lions’ representatives, while Corey Joyce and Connor Budarick make the team again for Gold Coast, as does Max Pexcud.

Allied states representatives named for revamped AFL Academy

TASMANIA and the Sydney Swans Academy lead all-comers for the most players in the revamped state-based AFL Academies from the Allied sides, with six players each making the the new academy. Both Queensland academies have five players each in the side, while Greater Western Sydney (GWS) GIANTS Academy and Northern Territory have three players each. Two New South Wales representatives, Charlie Byrne and Will Chandler have also made the academy.

The Allies camp will be held from December 3-December 14, with Luke Power named as the Academy coach.

AFL Head of Talent Tristan Salter said it is an exciting time for the country’s best young talent.

“The new approach to the national Academy will ensure more of our most talented players have access to AFL facilities, while receiving the best quality coaching, high performance and wellbeing services in the country,” he said. “Importantly these players will spend more time in their home state, with year-round first-class support that will enhance their opportunity to perform at an elite level through the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. “I congratulate all who have been named in squads today and I look forward to watching their development over the next 12-24 months.”

Allies

Jackson Barling          Sydney Swans/Willoughby Mosman
Connor Budarick         Gold Coast Suns/Labrador
Charlie Byrne              Murray Bushrangers/Albury
Jackson Callow           Tasmania/North Launceston
Braedon Campbell      Sydney Swans/Westbrook
Will Chandler              Murray Bushrangers/Corowa-Rutherglen
Sam Collins                 Tasmania/North Hobart
Ashton Crossley          Gold Coast Suns/Burleigh/Palm Beach Currumbin
Saxon Crozier             Brisbane Lions/Wests
Jared Dakin                 Tasmania/Launceston
Alex Davies                 Gold Coast Suns/Cairns Hawks
Oliver Davis                Tasmania/Clarence
Liam Delahunty           GWS Giants/Coolamon
Hamish Ellem              Sydney Swans/Manly Warringah
Tom Griffiths               Brisbane Lions/Maroochydore
Tom Green                  GWS Giants/Marist
Errol Gulden                Sydney Swans/Maroubra
Joel Jeffrey                 Northern Territory/Wanderers
Jack Johnston             Gold Coast Suns/Palm Beach Currumbin
Ben Jungfer                Northern Territory/Warpaths/Woodville-West Torrens
Will Martyn                  Brisbane Lions/Aspley
Matt McGrory              GWS Giants/Gungahlin
Mitch O’Neill                Tasmania/North Hobart
Luke Parks                  Sydney Swans/North Shore
Hewago Paul-Oea      Gold Coast Suns/PNG/Broadbeach
Will Peppin                  Tasmania/North Hobart
Josh Rayner                Sydney Swans/North Shore
Malcolm Rosas Jnr     Northern Territory/Darwin
Bruce Reville               Brisbane Lions/Western Magpies/Maryborough
Kobe Tozer                 Brisbane Lions/Aspley/Bribie Island

AFLW Draft preview: GWS GIANTS

GREATER Western Sydney (GWS) Giants came so close to a Grand Final last season, with their fate up in the air up until the last round. With some key losses like Maddie Boyd, Phoebe McWilliams and Renee Forth ahead of the 2019 AFL Women’s season, the Giants will need some young talent to go one step further this year.

 

Last season: 4th

In: Christina Bernardi, Yvonne Bonner (rookie), Taylah Davies (rookie)
Out: Maddy Boyd, Phoebe McWilliams, Renee Forth, Melissa Freckleton, Rebecca Privitelli, Alex Saundry, Pippa Smyth, Renee Tomkins, Haneen Zreika (rookie)

GWS AFLW LIST (24/30)

  • Jacinda Barclay
  • Nicola Barr
  • Rebecca Beeson
  • Eleanor Bennetts
  • Christina Bernardi
  • Yvonne Bonner
  • Ellie Brush
  • Maddy Collier
  • Jess Dal Pas
  • Taylah Davies
  • Alicia Eva
  • Amanda Farrugia
  • Courtney Gum
  • Tanya Hetherington
  • Jodie Hicks
  • Tait Mackrill
  • Erin McKinnon
  • Phoebe Monahan
  • Pepa Randall
  • Aimee Schmidt
  • Cora Staunton
  • Louise Stephenson
  • Emma Swanson
  • Britt Tully

DRAFT PICKS

12, 42, 52, 59, 64, 69, 72, 75

POTENTIAL DRAFT PROSPECTS

The Giants are likely to take New South Wales (NSW) Most Valuable Player (MVP) at this year’s AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Alyce Parker. Parker has been one of NSW’s most dominant players throughout her whole Under 18s career, playing through the midfield and up forward when needed to. A midfield trio of Parker, Courtney Gum and Amanda Farrugia could be a threatening prospect for the rest of the competition. Murray Bushrangers defender, Eloise Ashley-Cooper is another player who could earn a spot at GWS. Ashley-Cooper spent some time in the TAC Cup Girls playing for Murray but has represented NSW at a representative level. She is a classy defender who could complement the likes of Tanya Hetherington and Pepa Randall. Alexia Hamilton is another one who will likely be on the minds of the GWS recruiters. She is a known goalkicker and a smart footballer who can play consistently well over a stretch of games.  

Recovery key for determined Georgia Breward

A promising footballer from New South Wales (NSW), Georgia Breward had an exciting year of Australian Rules ahead.

Then, an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury struck and ended her year of football. Breward describes the moment it happened.

“It was in the first game in the first round of nationals so I’d been going to all the camps monthly, travelling to Sydney and Canberra and all that to get on the squad,” she said. “It was in the first quarter, I hyper-extended my knee so I went off and then they did all the knee testing for stability and stuff. “I ended up going back on, strapped up the knee, went back on for a minute and my knee gave out again. “When I got home my Dad was kind of like I think we need to have an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) just to make sure it’s nothing serious and then I found out, and they said look, you’ve torn your ACL.”

From there, Breward had to make a swift move to get surgery if she was any chance of returning back to football in the near future. She said one of the NSW side’s doctors was a real help in the surgery process.

“I was really lucky, the NSW team and the team doctor, he just lives in Coffs Harbour which is about an hour and a half away, so I was able to get in and have a chat with him,” Breward said. “He got in contact with the surgeon I was with locally and they got me into surgery. “My initial thought was okay, I need surgery, I want to get it done as fast as I can so I can get on track to recovery so I can get back to playing footy so got into there, got surgery done probably about a week from finding out about my ACL, which is quite fast, and since then, I’ve been doing rehab.”

It is highly publicised that rehabilitation can be a frustrating process for up and coming players but Breward is seeing the positives and working hard to recover.

“Rehab’s been going really well,” she said. “I’ve been going to the gym for two and a half hours every day now. “I do cardio, my rehab exercises, and then I’ve been working on my upper body because that’s all I can do at the moment.”

Despite her hunger to get back into the game, Breward is content with taking the full year off to make sure she doesn’t encounter any issues with her knee in play. So far, her recovery is on track.

“There’s a general period of stages that they have for most people, so three months, you can start running and from there, you can start doing direction changing and stepping things and hopefully I can go back to local and start training,” the NSW representative said. “I’m definitely taking the whole 12 months because I really want to make sure my knee’s 100 per cent and try and squeeze in two or three games at the end of the year and hope for the best really.”

Not only is she facing the obstacle of a long-term knee injury, but Breward has challenging travel commitments. Even though she admits it’s difficult, Breward says it has presented her with a new challenge to overcome.

“It is very hard but you’ve got to do it,” she said. “It’s where I live, that’s one of the obstacles I’ve got to deal with because of my location but in the end, I’ve really benefited from it because I’ve been able to play at a much higher level and standard of football. “It’s challenged me. “There’s been a clear improvement in my football being from that sacrifice of travelling all those hours and miles.”

One of these trips involves Breward travelling two and a half hours to train and play at Coolangatta. While this experience is beneficial, it presents challenges in other areas, as she finds it difficult to communicate with AFL Women’s clubs. Despite this, she is appreciative of the support she has received.

“I have had a bit of communication with the Giants,” she said. “It is hard for me though where I live, because I’m so far away. “I do find it hard sometimes to get in contact with anyone. “They’ve been really good about it, both NSW and the Giants have offered lots of support and if I need anyone to talk to, they’ve offered that they’ll be there to offer some resources for me which is really awesome.”

This is clearly a good thing for the dedicated football fanatic Breward, who could not name a hobby outside of Australian Rules.

“There’s not a lot, football’s pretty much my life,” she said. “I live and breathe it.”

Weekly wrap: NSW/ACT state leagues

TWO Grand Finals took place across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) this week. In the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division, it was Macquarie University taking on University of New South Wales (UNSW) Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs. In the AFL Canberra 1st Grade Women’s competition, Eastlake battled it out against Queanbeyan.

UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs have claimed a three-peat in the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division with a 23-point win over Macquarie University. The Bulldogs got off to a fast start with a three goals to one first quarter. They kicked one less goal in the second term but still managed to go into the half time break with a 21-point lead. Macquarie University fought back in the third term, keeping the Bulldogs scoreless. But they couldn’t inspire a comeback, only managing one goal for the term. In the fourth quarter, it only got worse for Macquarie, with the Bulldogs holding them goalless and kicking two goals at the same time.

Roxanne McGee booted two majors for UNSW, while Tia Bool, Rebecca Privitelli, Jacinda Barclay, Meagan Kelly and Sandra Janjetovic all chipped in with singles. Janjetovic was also named best-on-ground by her coaches in the Grand Final. Barclay, Sera Kaukiono, Jemma Still, McGee and Bool were the other impressive performers on the night.

Greater Western Sydney captain, Amanda Farrugia gave her all for Macquarie University, kicking a goal and being named best-on-ground. She was complemented by good performances from Kristy Sutcliffe, Ellie Brush, Laura Russell, Lisa Steane and Megan Lawrence. Russell also kicked a goal, as did Liz Fassone.

Eastlake claimed the AFL Canberra 1st Grade Women’s premiership with a 12-point win over Queanbeyan. It was an even start with both teams kicking two goals a piece in the first term. Eastlake stepped up its game in the second quarter with four goals to two to take a 16-point lead into the main break. The scoring dried up in the third term with neither side managing to get a goal on the board. Queanbeyan fought back with the only major in the last term but it wasn’t enough.

Karina Demant was the star of the day for Eastlake with two of her side’s six goals. Teammates, Rohana Prince and Millie Drummond were among the goal kickers.

For Queanbeyan, NSW Under-18 representative Alexia Hamilton, as well as Megan Godfrey, Teena Campbell, Alana Bowyer and Hannah Dunn all got majors on the board. Dunn was also named best-on-ground for the Tigers. Carly Res, Tarni Evans, Jayde Hamilton, Cassandra Taylor and Lani Watson were also impressive.

Weekly wrap: NSW/ACT state leagues

ANOTHER premiership player from the Eastern Allies’ New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory contingent emerged, while a handful of others narrowly missed out on premiership glory. Just one player remains in contention for a flag with the preliminary final next weekend.

Ahlani Eddy made it premiership player number three from the NSW/ACT contingent that travelled to the Gold Coast as part of the Eastern Allies squad for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Eddy was part of the victorious Sawtell Toormina Saints who simply smashed Port Macquarie Magpies, restricting their opponents to just four behinds for the match, while having 12 scoring shots on their way to a 38-point win.

It was heartbreak in the Sydney Harbour Youth Girls Division One, with Willoughby Mossman going down to Southern Power by eight points in the grand final. NSW/ACT representative, Alice Mitchell played for the Swans in the defeat, having led by four points at the final break before the Power booted the only two goals of the final term to win by eight. Zoe Hurrell, while a member of the side, did not play in the decider.

There was equal heartbreak over in the AFL Broken Hill League with South going down to Central in arguably the upset of the season. Central finished third on the table well behind the top two sides, toppled North and then knocked off the heavy premiership favourites in South in the grand final on the weekend. It meant Eliza Cumming and Melisa Keenan missed out on an elusive premiership, with both named among the best, and Keenan kicked a goal.

Angela Priftis‘ premiership dreams are still alive after her side, Auburn-Penrith Giants defeated the Southern Power in a do-or-die semi-final. Priftis was named best on ground in the victory, which while keeping her flag hopes alive, dashed that of her NSW/ACT teammate, Jemima Wrigley. Trailing at every break, the Giants booted the only two goals of the final term to come from behind and run out narrow three-point winners. The Giants move onto the preliminary final next weekend to face UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs for a spot in the decider the following week. Meanwhile in Division One, Brenna Tarrant‘s season is over after her side, East Coast Eagles went down in the preliminary final. Matching it with Woollongong Saints for most of the contest and trailing by just six points at the final break, the Saints proved too good in the final stanza, booting the only four goals of the fourth quarter to run away 33-point victors. Tarrant was named among the Eagles’ best in the loss.

Meanwhile in other NSW/ACT AFL Women’s Under 18 related news, Alyce Parker was named captain of the AFL Women’s Under 18 All-Australian side after a superb season and championships.

Weekly wrap: NSW/ACT state leagues

A SECOND player from the NSW/ACT contingent that travelled to the Gold Coast for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships has emerged as a premiership player this year, while a number of others had the week off due to their sides making their respective grand finals.

Murray Bushrangers star, and NSW/ACT defender, Eloise Ashley-Cooper became the second player from her state side to win a premiership in the 2018 season. Ashley-Cooper joined Eastern Allies teammate, Alyce Parker in celebrating a flag, after her Finley side won the Shepparton and District Junior Football League Youth Girls’ Grand Final. In a low-scoring affair which saw just six goals kicked between the sides – four of which came in the first term – the Cats got up with a 4.9 (33) to 2.0 (12) victory over Shepparton United. Ashley-Cooper’s terrific season ended on a high note, named best on ground and booted a goal in Finley’s victory. Unfortunately it meant Bushrangers teammate Kate Adams was on the wrong side of the result, named in the best for the Demons.

There was a bye in the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division, after last week, Angela Priftis enjoyed a 23-point win over fellow NSW/ACT Under-18 representative, Jemima Wrigley. Priftis’ Auburn-Penrith Giants proved too good for Wrigley’s Southern Power, booting seven goals to three after quarter time to record a 8.4 (52) to 4.5 (29) victory. The match was a pre-cursor for the finals series which starts this week as the third placed Giants host the fourth placed Power in a do-or-die semi-final at Blacktown this weekend. Meanwhile Division One played its first week of finals on the weekend, as Brenna Tarrant kept her premiership dream alive in East Coast Eagles’ 18-point win over Pennant Hills Demons. She was named second best for the Eagles in the win, as the home side restricted their opponents to just one behind after quarter time, booting the final four goals of the match. They face Woollongong Saints for a spot in the Division One decider.

In the Sydney Harbour Youth Girls Division One, Willoughby Mosman earned a week off after their semi-final win the week before, so Zoe Hurrell and Alice Mitchell will look forward to the grand final this weekend. They will be hoping for a similar result to the semi-final, with the Southern Power winning their preliminary final to earn a second crack at the top side. The Power’s win did come at the expense of Georgia Garnett and Emily Hurley‘s Kellyville Rouse Hill’s side, as the Magpies went down to 17 points, bundled out of the finals race. In the AFL North Coast Women’s league, Ahlani Eddy rested up after her side Sawtell Toormina Saints won through to the grand final with a semi-final victory the week prior. They easily accounted for the Port Macquarie Magpies – the side that will run out against Eddy and her side in the decider this weekend.

Over in the AFL Broken Hill Women’s competition, both Melisa Keenan and Eliza Cumming earned a week off after their South side won the minor premiership. In the pre-final match, Central knocked off North by 28 points in what was an upset given North had finished three wins ahead of Central and earned the home ground final. The pair will hope to wear premiership medallions by the end of the weekend if South can topple Central in the decider.

Weekly wrap: NSW/ACT state leagues

WITH many seasons coming to a close and finals in full swing, plenty of Under 18 NSW/ACT stars stood up to the occasion on the weekend across the various state leagues.

In the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division, Jemima Wrigley featured in the Southern Power’s 23-point loss against the Auburn-Penrith Giants. Her side will face Angela Priftis’ Giants again in the semi-finals next week. In Division One, Brenna Tarrant was named best-on-ground for the East Coast Eagles for the second time this season, despite her team’s loss against the Wollongong Saints.

NSW/ACT representatives, Zoe Hurrell and Alice Mitchell featured in Willoughby Mosman’s 19-point win over the Southern Power in the Youth Girls Division One league. Meanwhile at North Narrabeen Reserve, fellow state representative, Emily Hurley featured in Kellyville Rouse Hill’s 10-point win over the Pittwater Tigers. In the last time the Magpies played against the Tigers, Hurley was named second best.

In the first semi-final of the AFL North Coast Women’s league, Ahlani Eddy’s Sawtell Toormina Saints claimed a 41-point win over the Port Macquarie Magpies. The Saints now go straight through to the grand final, with Port Macquarie and Coffs Breakers to play off for a spot on the big stage this week.

Over in the AFL Broken Hill league, Melisa Keenan kicked three of her side’s five goals in South Football Club’s 35-point win over West Football Club. Consequently, she was named third best with fellow state representative, Eliza Cumming going one better. Cumming was named second best on the day, which is the eighth time she has appeared in the best from 10 games.

Murray Bushrangers star, Eloise Ashley-Cooper continued her wonderful season for Finley, kicking three of her side’s five goals against Shepparton Notre. Ashley-Cooper was named also best afield for her side, which is the fourth time she has been named best-on-ground from nine games. The Cats’ 33-point win earns them a spot in the Grand Final this week against Shepparton United.