Tag: bella clarke

NTFL Women’s Premier League weekend preview: Round 5

A top four clash and some mid-table battles are among the games this weekend in Round 5 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s Premier League.

PINT vs. ST MARY’S
Saturday, November 2, 12.30pm
TIO Oval No. 2

In what could be a mid-table clash with ramifications for finals spots early in the season, the sixth placed Pint host the eighth placed St Mary’s at TIO Oval, No. 2. The sides are coming off very different results last week which makes up the one-win difference between the sides, following St Mary’s heavy 45-point loss at the hands of reigning premiers, Waratah, while Pint got up on the road with a 29-point victory over Nightcliff. The Saints’ Round 4 loss marked three consecutive defeats since their thrashing win over Big River Hawks in Round 1. Danielle Ponter is a key player for the Saints, having brought all of her experience from Adelaide’s AFL Women’s program, while Aailyah Bailey and Nikita Long have been among the able to get some consistency into the team. Pint has had a yo-yo start to the season, with two big wins, a heavy loss to Southern Districts, and a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Palmerston Magpies in Round 1. Adelaide’s Jasmyn Hewett let loose last week to boot three of her team’s seven goals in the victory, while Emma Greaves and Kristen Smits have also been sources of scoring in the opening rounds of the season. Pint goes in as favourite for this clash as it looks to stay in touch with the top four, while St Mary’s needs to win in order to maintain a place in the mid-table logjam and not fall too far behind.

DARWIN BUFFETTES vs. NIGHTCLIFF
Saturday, November 2, 12.30pm
TIO Stadium

The team to beat this season thus far is the Buffettes, with Darwin yet to lose in season 2019/20, sitting a win and a massive percentage clear of Waratah and Wanderers. The last two weeks have brought the Buffettes back to reality despite getting away with the points, defeating Palmerston Magpies (five points) and Southern Districts (10 points) after combined wins of 250 points in the opening two rounds against Tracy Village and Big River Hawks. Tikesa Docherty-Cole booted bags of four and three in her two games this season, while Machaelia Roberts was a massive talent but will be missed when she relocates to Victoria to play with Collingwood following being drafted into the AFL Women’s. Young talents, Dominique Carbone and Tayla Hart-Aluni have also been key to the Buffettes’ success thus far, booting three goals in four games each. On the other hand, Nightcliff has lost its past two games, smashed by Waratah (41 points) and then going down to Pint (29 points) after wins over Wanderers – the only team to do so thus far – and St Mary’s in the opening two rounds. Emma-Lou Wolsey and Laura De Hommel have been named among the best on every occasion, while Shantel Miskin-Ripia has only played a couple of games, but booted six goals, including four on one occasion. The Tigers will be keen to measure up against the ladder leaders in this game.

TRACY VILLAGE vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
Saturday, November 2, 2.30pm
TIO Oval No. 2

Ninth placed Tracy Village will hope to bounce back from what has been an undesirable start to the season, losing three of the first four games by a combined 299 points. Luckily for the Razorbacks they managed to hold off newcomers, Big River Hawks by five points to grab a victory, but Southern Districts will be a tougher assignment in Round 5. The Razorbacks have had quite a number of players already pulling on the jumper this season, with the likes of Gabrielle Young, Tara Everett and Alexandra Biggs among the best, while Nickesha Jones is averaging a goal a game. The Crocs sit at 2-2, but one was a loss to Wanderers which was reversed after having an extra player on game day. Last week the Crocs took it right up to the Buffettes, going down by 10 points but showing they are every bit a finals contender. In 2019/20, Ebony Miller has booted eight goals in four games, with a game-high five goals to be a real influence up forward, while the youth of Mattea Breed and Bella Clarke has provided great enthusiasm throughout the season to-date. Southern Districts should win the game, but stranger things have happened.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. BIG RIVER HAWKS
Saturday, November 2, 3pm
Palmerston Oval

Palmerston Magpies sit ahead of the bell curve in fourth, but are only marginally ahead of their nearest rivals, so a win here is non-negotiable against the struggling new side in Big River Hawks. The Magpies are competitive in every game, with the first three rounds decided by two, 10 and five points respectively, however the Magpies have gone down in two of those matches. The last time out in Round 4 was a different story, with a thumping 20-goal win over Tracy Village stamping the visiting side’s authority on the competition. A win here could also see them move to third with second placed Waratah and third placed Wanderers going head-to-head. Arthurina Moreen has been the hero up forward for the Magpies, booting seven goals in four games, five of which came last week. Janet Baird and Taylah Williams are among others who have enjoyed strong starts to the season thus far in the black and white. For the Big River Hawks, there has not been much joy this season, but one positive is the games are getting closer, with two smashings in the opening two rounds combining for a losing margin of 191 points. In the last two rounds, the losses totalled 25 points. Crystal Browne and Deanna Peckham have played every game this season and provided good support, while Jayde De La Couer has been strong in the forward half. Palmerston would be heavy favourites to take out this game.

WARATAH vs. WANDERERS
Sunday, November 3
Gardens Oval

After a shock loss in Round 1 to Southern Districts, reigning premiers Waratah have got back to business as usual in the past three weeks, notching up wins against Palmerston Magpies, Nightcliff and St Mary’s, with each win looking more impressive by the day. While their percentage is nowhere near that of Darwin’s, Waratah still has a gap on Wanderers, who they need to beat to ensure they stay in the top three. With Palmerston likely to win its match, Waratah could slide to fourth, or even fifth if Southern Districts can have a big upset win over Darwin. The Warriors have shared the ball around this season and in front of goal, with Julieanna Kerinaiua and Monet Hunter both slotting three goals, while Lisa Roberts has been an important source of leadership for the club. For Wanderers, they also bounced back from a disappointing loss to Nightcliff in Round 1, but their formline may be one to be wary with given they had a reversed win against Southern Districts in Round 2, and narrow wins over St Mary’s and Big River Hawks who are bottom four sides. This will be the biggest test in a few weeks, and the likes of Shekeine De Satge and Morgan Johnston will need to be at their best to get up. The likes of Sophie Armitstead and Kayliah Motlop could do some damage through the midfield and up forward, but will have to really step up in this game if the Eagles are to cause an upset against what has been the benchmark team over the past few years.

Versatile Clarke leads from the front

THE rise of Australian rules football in the Northern Territory won over former soccer player Bella Clarke, to the point where the versatile tall co-captained Northern Territory at the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships. Clarke initially joined the sport because of her family driving her to pick up the oblong-shaped ball, but she stayed because of the freedom she had on the field.

“I think I first started when I was in about Year 9,” Clarke said. “Basically I kind of just started because my family were like ‘oh give it a go’. “I was originally into soccer and it kind of just changed over and eventually it went from soccer and AFL to just AFL and just kept developing from there.”

“I think it’s (change from soccer to football) more you can do to develop your game,” she said. “So in soccer there’s one position you’re good at and that’s kind of it, where in AFL you can go anywhere you want and you can move and help your team in completely different ways. “Learn to be more courageous and keep on developing.”

Clarke said being a latecomer to the game, she is still trying to develop a variety of skills to improve herself on the field, which is why she is 100 per cent driven off it to learn as much as she can and be the best leader possible for her teammates.

“I like my leadership skills and I like my leading patterns and efforts but I would like to say marking or kicking (are my strengths) at the moment, but I’m just not 100 per cent there yet and I want to keep developing my skills. “Those short penetrating kicks you always see the men’s players do and it’s like ‘oh I want to be able to do that’ so I just want to keep practicing those kicks, and the long distance ones as well. “Obviously contested marks, that’s always something I’m trying to work on. “Being a tall player that’s a key skill to have.”

The flexibility of being able to move around the ground and play in different positions is certainly not lost on Clarke, who enjoys key roles up either end of the ground.

“I like both centre half-forward and centre half-back,” Clarke said. “It’s kind of weird having two different positions on opposite sides of the field, but I like those positions because you can be either in forward or back but also get into the middle a bit and get a bit more of a touch in the middle and bring it into the forward or bring it into the back.”

While it has since been announced that the Northern Territory Thunder sides will wind up their programs in order to focus on junior development further, Clarke said it was a pathway and program that helped her and a lot of others come through. Especially when it came to the championships, teaming up with the South Australian players to form the Central Allies.

“Definitely yeah (Thunder helping the female pathway),” Clarke said. “I think having the girls, so linking with SA does really help us with developing our skills. We’re a bit secluded in the NT. “We have our own different playing style and then SA is completely different, so we learn from the down south footy style, and it’s good to combine with them. “We take a leaf from their book, they take a leaf from ours, and I think it’s really, really helping NT girls with Thunder especially.”

The “different” playing styles are hard to describe, but Clarke said there is a clear distinction between the way the games in the NTFL, and SANFL are played. But it gives juniors who compete in both competitions the best of both worlds.

“In the Northern Territory it’s very fast paced,” Clarke said. “We tap the ball along, picking it up, taking a couple of steps and going for goal, that’s how I imagine Territory footy. “And then SA is a lot more composed. “You’ll stop, look for the next player, change angles.” Both states are very contested teams though so always really good with their tackling.”

With the AFL Women’s Draft approaching, Clarke has just been focused on playing her best footy this year and continually developing with one particular inspiration in mind – her NTFL captain, Lateesha Jeffrey.

“I would have to say my biggest inspiration would be my captain at Southern Districts, so my local club,” Clarke said. “She recently got into the Thunder, she’s been moved into the Thunder VFL program and she’s captain of that program as well. “She’s always reaching out to me and she’s just such a good leader and such a good role model. “She’s always committed to the team, she’s always committed to footy and she’s definitely someone I look up to and she doesn’t feel intimidating at all. “She’s one of those players you can approach any time, she doesn’t think she’s better than anyone else and she’s definitely someone I looked up to.”

VFLW Preview: Round 15 – Third and fourth do battle

IN the penultimate round of VFL Women’s for 2019 a number of big matches take centre stage, with the biggest seeing Richmond take on Western Bulldogs in a battle for third on the ladder. Meanwhile, Southern Saints and Collingwood will look to continue their winning ways after a bye last week as Casey hope for one last win to finish the season with a bye next week.

CARLTON v. DAREBIN

Round 15 – 17/8/19
11.00
La Trobe University, Bundoora

This will be an interesting tussle between two lower placed teams on the ladder, with both putting some good efforts in but for the most part unable to play a four quarter game. For Carlton, this is ultimately their best opportunity to get another win on the board for the season, with a talented side that has thus far has struggled to finish matches but have come close on more than one occasion. But while Carlton has the drive to get the job done, Darebin currently have the momentum after a massive win over Williamstown last week while the Blues fell to a classy Tigers outfit. Darebin’s Reni Hicks has been a tackling machine this season, averaging 10.7 tackles per game – and 17 alone last week against Williamstown. Meanwhile, Lauren Pearce has really come into her own this season, finding plenty of the footy as well as leading competition hit-outs and putting a couple goals on the board, but will be missed in this game. For Carlton, Jess Hosking has been a big target across the field when she is listed, meaning her inclusion could see the Blues get another win on the board.

COLLINGWOOD v. ESSENDON

Round 15 – 17/8/19
12.00
Victoria Park

After a bye last week, Collingwood has rested the majority of its AFL Women’s talent against the Bombers, who despite some good form in Round 13, found themselves struggling in last week’s weather conditions. The Bombers fought hard against Southern Saints to prove themselves as fighters in the competition, getting within two points of victory before falling at the last hurdle. While the Pies are still more likely to get a win on the board these factors make for an interesting match. Sarah Dargan is the most experienced AFLW Magpie out there, one of only five listed players to be named in the side. For Essendon, Georgia Patrikios has been vital in recent weeks despite only taking the field for two matches, while Georgia Nanscawen has been one of the more consistent players all season for Essendon.

RICHMOND v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 15 – 17/8/19
12.30
Swinburne Centre

It is a battle for control of the ladder in this match, with both Richmond and Western Bulldogs on relatively even pegging sitting on eight wins and four losses apiece, with the Tigers only ahead on percentage. While Richmond had a big confidence boosting win last round after a slow few weeks, the Dogs were the side that handed the Tigers their first loss of the season back in Round 9 that ultimately saw the side then go winless for four rounds straight. While both sides have plenty of firepower, the Bulldogs have found their form in recent weeks with two massive wins elevating them up the ladder. Last time they met Sabrina Frederick took the field for the first time in her new colours, booting a goal and going on to kick at least one major in every match since except Round 14, proving to be a massive target forward for the Dogs to focus on. Meanwhile, Ellie Gavalas and Tayla Dinuccio both provided a massive threat credit to their tackling efforts.

CASEY DEMONS v. NT THUNDER

Round 15 – 18/8/19
11.30
SkyBus Stadium

Last time these two sides met the Dees came away with a massive win in the Northern Territory to spark the side into action, but have barely scraped through matches in recent weeks making this game a very interesting contest for all involved. Despite a dominant start to the season Thunder have been one of the more inconsistent teams in the competition this year, having issues stringing winning margins together. However the side comes into this round off the back of a bye last week, meaning the Dees will need to watch themselves against them. On the other hand, Casey have a bye next week to finish the season, meaning this is their final opportunity to get a win on the board. Eden Zanker was a massive threat in their last encounter, booting three goals from 20 touches while Sarah Lampard was dominant last round, meaning the Dees have some options to take charge and drive the ball forward. Meanwhile NT’s Anne Hatchard racked up 31 disposals and two goals to easily be Thunder’s best back in Round 11, but with Hatchard and Zanker missing, it makes for a very intriguing match to open Sunday’s fixture. The Thunder continue to blood young players with NT Under-18 co-captains Bella Clarke and Dominique Carbone coming into the side.

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. HAWTHORN

Round 15 – 18/8/19
12.00
Trevor Barker Beach Oval

After a bye last week the Saints will be shaping up for a big match against the Hawks, who they only beat by three points when they last met in Round 7. While having a slightly slower season than the Saints, Hawthorn are shaping up to play finals sitting fifth on the ladder and have challenged a number of teams so could be a massive threat this week. That being said, Southern will take confidence in the Hawks being challenged by Casey last week and will want to have a hard and fast start to get on top early. Only two players on the field collected more than 20 touches last time they met, showcasing the closeness of the contest. Both rucks in Lou Wotton and Poppy Kelly are in ripping form, shaping up for an interesting ruck contest, while Bec Beeson has been exceptional for the Hawks so will look to continue her dominance.

WILLIAMSTOWN v. GEELONG CATS

Round 15 – 18/8/19
2.40
Downer Oval

Williamstown had another big loss last week, meaning they will come into this match with a fire in the belly as they take on the Cats. While Geelong are only sitting outside the top six by the barest margin, they have not been great at scoring big totals this season, only racking up three scores over 33 points for the season. While scoring this amount of points can certainly still win games, it still leaves something to be desired if teams can get on top of their defensive pressure. Geelong went down to Darebin a few rounds back, making this match an achievable win for the Seagulls if they get the momentum going. That being said, Geelong still have a slim chance of making finals if they win both Round 15 and 16 matches by strong margins with the top sides losing, meaning the side will certainly be up for a fight. For Williamstown, Sharnie Whiting and Rubi Tripodi both had big matches again last week despite the loss, while the likes of Richelle Cranston and Olivia Purcell have been consistent all season for Geelong.

BYE: Melbourne Uni

2019 Central Allies Podcast | Interviews Montana McKinnon, Hannah Munyard, Bella Clarke and Dominique Carbone

IN a new Final Siren podcast series reviewing the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships side-by-side, we take a look at some of the top prospects who performed strongly across all three lines, as well interviews with key players within each individual state.

The first edition is the Central Allies, and Final Siren podcast host Matthew Cocks, and Draft Central‘s Peter Williams discuss the players who caught the eye across the championships, as well have interviews with the leadership group of South Australian captain Montana McKinnon, and vice-captain Hannah Munyard, as well as Northern Territory co-captains Bella Clarke and Dominique Carbone.

Below is full Central Allies podcast.

You can also find the Final Siren podcast and listen to past or future episodes on the following platforms:

Anchor

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Spotify

Breaker

Overcast

Pocket Casts

PodBean

RadioPublic

For all the AFLW U18s Championships news, head to our AFLW U18s Championships page and keep an eye out for our features starting soon!

AFLW U18 Championship previews: Central Allies

IN the second of two previews ahead of the first round of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, we take a look at South Australia and Northern Territory who clash tomorrow and Sunday in their two games which will help determine the final Central Allies squad. The Central Allies then fly to Queensland to take on the Eastern Allies, Western Australia and Queensland from July 8-12. Below we take a look at some of the key players to watch.

Abbie Ballard (West Adelaide/South Australia)

The talented bottom-ager was identified as one to watch from last year, and despite her smaller size of 159cm, the 17 year-old showed no signs of being outmuscled by bigger opponents in season 2019. In the SANFL Women’s competition, Ballard averaged 16.1 disposals, 4.1 clearances and a massive 5.4 tackles in her 10 games, becoming a defensive barometer for the Bloods. In every game, Ballard laid at least four tackles, and laid six or more on four occasions. She will likely rotate through the midfield laying some bone-crunching tackles and applying serious defensive pressure to the opposition.

Mattea Breed (Darwin/Northern Territory)

A talented player from a young age, Breed stormed to a massive win in the NTFL Under 18 Girls Best and Fairest award in 2016/17, polling 30 votes to run away with the medal. In case anyone thought that might have been a one-off, she backed it up with a second medal win a year later with another dominant season. She could well have won a third consecutive medal had she not been finally called up to the Buffettes Premier League side in the 2018/19 season, leading after eight rounds despite not playing since Round 5. She ended up playing 10 consecutive matches for the senior side and will get her chance to shine here.

Dominique Carbone (Darwin/Northern Territory)

The co-captain of Northern Territory has been a driven individual and one who is capable of juggling multiple sports, coming with a basketball background. She won two premiership at Under 18s level in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) and stepped up to play seven matches for the Buffettes in season 2018/19.

Teah Charlton (South Adelaide/South Australia)

Still a middle-ager and with a year in the system to go, Charlton really stepped up in the SANFL Women’s competition for South Adelaide. Charlton started the season as a dynamic forward, and eventually pushed up into the midfield, booting 11 goals in 12 games and averaging 15.8 disposals per match. Eight of her goals came in three games, including two bags of three, while she might have had even more against Norwood, booting 0.5 in Round 9. Named as the competition’s Breakthrough Player for 2019, Charlton remarkably made the Team of the Year as a 17-year-old and slotted into the forward pocket.

Bella Clarke (Southern Districts/Northern Territory)

The Northern Territory co-captain is a player with good skill and composure, and one who will bring the experience of playing in the Women’s Premier League 2018/19 Grand Final. She was described by Academy Manager Heidi Thompson as one who is an excellent role model with a high work ethic. While merging states together to form a team will always be tough, expect Clarke to be able to slot into the side for a second straight year after being named in the Central Allies in 2018.

Kimberley Fry (Central District/South Australia)

The centre half-back enjoyed a terrific season for the Bulldogs in a two-win year. Holding down a key post in defence, Fry was not a huge disposal winner (9.3 per game), but her hard work and defensive pressure was a standout. Fry averaged 3.8 tackles per game and became known for her clean spoiling, earning her a place in the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year at centre half-back alongside Jaimi Tabb, Madison Newman and Amber Ward in defence.

Madeline Gault (Waratah/Northern Territory)

The overager is one of the few from Northern Territory with AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships experience, having played last year. While unsuccessful in her quest to find an AFL Women’s home, Gault put the disappointment aside to be one of the best players at Waratah, finishing second in the league best and fairest for the club behind Lisa Roberts – who was runner-up overall. Gault is a tough midfielder who was noted by us last year as playing a vital role in defence.

Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide/South Australia)

The AFL Women’s Academy ruck is the standout ruck prospect in this year’s draft, and stood tall at last year’s championships against a number of eventually drafted ruck choices in Rene Caris (Geelong) and Lauren Bella (Brisbane). McKinnon has progressed into the South Adelaide senior side this year and has been a standout performer across the season, and is known for her ability to work around the ground. She not only impacts in the ruck, but wins clearances, lays tackles and can drift forward and kick goals. Not only will she likely be the one to watch in terms of rucks, but will be key to giving her midfielders first use.

Shantel Miskin-Ripia (Nightcliff/Northern Territory)

Another player who stood out in Coffs Harbour in the matches against New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, Miskin-Ripia is one to watch against South Australia as an exciting player with good composure and ball use. Like many of the Northern Territory players, she has not been able to test herself against some of the best players in the country yet, but is an identified talent who could stand up here.

Hannah Munyard (South Adelaide/South Australia)

The South Adelaide midfielder has a nice combination of athleticism and hardness at the ball, dominating at the South Australian pre-season testing event – finishing top three in every athletic test – and then bringing that form into the season. In a stacked Panthers midfield, Munyard managed 16.3 disposals at 75 per cent efficiency, as well as 2.5 marks, 2.7 clearances and three inside 50s, often pumping the ball long from midfield to forward and creating chances inside 50. A high endurance base makes her hard to stop, and Munyard was named on the wing in the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year.

Madison Newman (West Adelaide/South Australia)

The most elite kick in the team, Newman averaged 18.7 disposals at 99 per cent efficiency in the SANFL Women’s competition. No that is not a typo – 99 per cent efficiency – coming out of the back half for the Bloods. Of those 18.7 disposals, 17.3 were kicks, while also having 5.9 rebounds and 2.7 inside 50s. Along with Amber Ward, will provide plenty of rebound for South Australia and the Central Allies, and be a player teammates look to get the ball in the hands of regularly. Unsurprisingly, her terrific work out of defence saw Newman earn a spot in the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year in the back pocket.

Jaimi Tabb (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia)

The other AFL Women’s Academy member along with McKinnon is a player who has been a strong leader in a winless side in the SANFL Women’s competition this year. She plays between midfield and defence, and can be an instrumental onballer who finds plenty of it. Averaged 14.6 disposals at 79 per cent efficiency, while laying a massive 5.4 tackles and recording 3.1 clearances in 2019. Having played last year, Tabb is another South Australian with experience at the championships. Despite managing just seven of a possible 10 games, Tabb was named in the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year on the half-back flank.

Indy Tahau (South Adelaide/South Australia)

The teenager was a revelation for the youthful and exciting premiers, standing up on the biggest stage to win the Best on Ground in the 2019 SANFL Women’s Grand Final. Tahau booted eight goals in her 12 games, but saved her best until last with 20 disposals, five tackles, six inside 50s, three hitouts and two goals in the Panthers’ triumphant grand final win over North Adelaide. At 180cm and still a middle-ager, expect there to be plenty of development left in Tahau.

Amber Ward (North Adelaide/South Australia)

Ward became a key player in North Adelaide’s defence, and a rebounding machine all season, averaging 4.6 rebounds to go with her 12.5 disposals. Named in the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year at full-back, Ward is another defender along with Newman who uses the ball well – 82 per cent efficiency – and is strong when not in possession. Ward is rarely beaten one-on-one and will be another to watch at the championships for her ability to both shut down an opponent and drive the ball forward.

Stephanie Williams (Darwin/Northern Territory)

The lightning runner is still a middle-ager and a year to go in the system, but has already shown some nice highlights in the NTFL. Williams won the 100m Sprint Race just over 12 months ago at half-time in the Women’s Premier League Grand Final. She has been an important player for the Buffettes in their back-to-back premierships at Under 18s level.

Weekend preview: NTFL Women’s – Grand Final

IT has been a long journey for both Waratah and Southern Districts. Waratah is a powerhouse which holds a dominant winning record over the past seven years. They were defeated in the 2016/2017 season but now are looking for back to back premierships as they head into Saturday. The Crocs, on the other hand, will be making their first Grand Final appearance in history.

The Crocs entered the women’s competition in the 2013/2014 season but have not seen a finals series until now. After years of underwhelming seasons, the Crocs enlisted coach Tarmon Elliott to turn the team around. Elliot has delivered in spades by bringing a strong culture, new recruits, and possibly their first flag. After defeating Palmerston, Southern Districts could not be more ready to face Waratah for the ultimate prize.

WARATAH V SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
TIO Stadium
Saturday, March 5 4:30pm

This match will be like a game of chess. What makes Waratah and Southern Districts different than other teams is their players have the ability to shift into different roles. This makes matchups hard to predict in this battle of tactics. Tayla Thorn was elite down back but can also play in the midfield or forward. However, considering the dangers of Amy Chittick and Lauren O’Shea, she will most likely stay in defence. She will be well supported though by Maria Moussa, who had a blinder last weekend with the most defensive rebounds for Districts.

In the Warriors defence Rebecca Pryer, Isabelle Rapson, and Lisa Roberts will make it difficult for the Crocs to score. Kelsie Patterson kicked three majors last week but it could have been more if she kicked straight. Tahlia Holtze had a very quiet game last week, but the Districts will need her to have her kicking boots on to breach the Tah’s defensive wall.

The fight in the ruck contest may have Waratah at a disadvantage. Ebony Miller and Indy Sleeth might as well be tall midfielders as they cover the ground exceptionally well and are proven goal kickers. Joanna Kolodziej and Julianna Kerinaiua will have a tough fight in this contest.

As for the midfield battle, there could be as many as twelve different rovers rotating throughout the game. Lateesha Jeffrey and Bella Clarke may push up or back from the centre, but Megan Craufurd is the constant tagger that shuts down key midfielders. She may have the job on Sharona Bishop who is in fine form. Madeline Gault is similar to Craufurd but plays more of a run-with role rather than a shutdown tagger. Gault would be a perfect opponent for Jeffrey if she plays in the midfield.

Waratah has the advantage in this match as many players on their list have seen at least one premiership. Lisa Roberts and O’Shea have been in this position six times for five flags. The Crocs are a very different story, unlike their opponent, this level of competition is completely new to them having qualified for the first time. They were the underdog last week and beat the odds, and defeated Waratah in their last outing. They just need to dig in one more time and given it is the Grand Final, and anything can happen.

TEAMS:

Waratah

B: 18.Molly Cooper 6.Rebecca Pryer 19.Alicia Stanley
HB: 15.Isabelle Rapson 10.Alysha Healy 13.Lisa Roberts
C: 3.Peita Starcevic 2.Madeline Gault 23.Pippa Cox
HF: 17.Tarryn O’Hehir 4.Sue Nalder 5.Breanna Martin
F: 9.Amy Chittick 22.Lauren O’Shea 12.Sherayn Puruntatameri
R: 7.Joanna Kolodziej 28.Trish Muller 8.Sharona Bishop
Int: 29.Madeline Campbell 14.Jade De Melo 16.Julieanna Kerinaiua
24.Alexandra Harrison-Wolff 20.Amie Love 1.Angela Perkins

Southern Districts

B: 22.Rachele Mchugh 8.Maria Moussa 28.Tess Hanna
HB:14.Tessa W 2.Tayla Thorn 6.Charles Deegan
C: 30.Donna Reed 9.Lateesha Jeffrey 25.Chelsea Pember
HF:17.Chiarah Corpos 20.Holly Engelhardt 11.Maili Clarke
F: 5.Tahlia Holtze 4.Indy Sleeth 35.Kelsey Patterson
R: 3.Ebony Miller 10.Megan Craufurd 15.Bella Clarke
Int:21.Tyler Thornton 26.Rhiannon Busch 19.Danielle Opperman
32.Nicole Paterson 1.Kimberley Mccouat 27.Samantha Hoogeveen-Hill

Weekend previews: NTFL Women’s – Round 9

THE Razorbacks experienced their worst defeat of the season last week when they were held scoreless for the entire game. This week, they meet ladder-leaders, Waratah in an attempt to redeem a poor performance. The Magpies are flying at the moment after downing Darwin last weekend, and will look to continue their good form when they face the Saints on Saturday. On Sunday, the Crocs will meet the Queen Ants. The Southern Districts have been on a roll these past weeks but Pint has proven to be a competitive outfit and may push the Crocs to their limit. The last match of the round will see the Wanderers play Nightcliff. Both teams are still searching for their first win of the season, and one team will finally get to sing their song after Sunday’s match, given the result isn’t a draw.

 

TRACY VILLAGE V WARATAH

Round 9 – Saturday December 1, 10:30am

TIO Stadium

The Warriors may have lost one game this season, but still remain the team to beat as they hover over the rest of the league. After a poor performance against the Crocs, the Warriors clicked into gear in their last game by smashing Pint. Waratah forward, Lisa Miceli has been damaging all season, but defenders, Alysha Healy and Lauren O’Shea have pushed forward from the back half in recent weeks to hit the scoreboard. The Warriors’ versatility has shown that they can kick majors from any position. Tracy Village started off the season strongly but has hit a slump in the past month. Kristy Irvine has had to carry her team through the midfield and up forward, standing as the club’s dual leading goal scorer. The Razorbacks cannot allow Irvine to carry this load alone if they are any chance to beat Waratah. Kristi Barnes once looked to be the spearhead up forward for Tracy Village, but is yet to string together some consistent performances. A few goals to Barnes against Waratah may give her a shot of confidence again.

 

PALMERSTON MAGPIES V ST MARYS

Round 9 – Saturday December 1, 3pm

TIO Oval No.2

The Saints escaped the Wanderers by the skin of their teeth last week, but on Saturday they will have to fend off a hungry Magpies army. Palmerston got the better of the Buffettes on the weekend with a gutsy performance by Under 18 representatives, Tabitha May, Freda Puruntatameri and Janet Baird. Baird has been causing all kinds of havoc since moving into forward line, and could have the same profound influence again this week. St Marys defenders, Nikita Long and Lori Neven will need to be at their best if they are to stop last year’s Rising Star. The talent of youth in the Magpies is deep, but the Saints have a young gun of their own in Danielle Ponter. Ponter was recently drafted by the Adelaide Crows and has just recently returned to the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s competition. Her skill in the midfield, as well as up forward, could prove to be the difference against Palmerston.

 

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS V PINT

Round 9 – Sunday December 2, 10am

Norbuilt Oval

Inconsistency in front of goal has not yet come back to bite the Crocs, as they have torn apart their competition in recent games and now sit second on the ladder. Southern Districts’ Tayla Thorn and Charles Deegan may not be the most accurate forwards, but their efforts week after week have been nothing short of first class. The pair has kicked 16 goals between them, and could’ve had more if it weren’t for inaccuracy. Crocs stars, Lateesha Jeffrey, Tahlia Holtze and Ebony Miller have been admirable in the centre of the ground, but the Queen Ants trio of Erin Hetherington, Katie Streader, and Cassie Henderson may give them a challenge this week. Southern Districts defenders, Holly Engelhardt, Tyler Thornton and Northern Territory Under 18 representative Bella Clarke have shut down the best of opposition forwards, so Pint’s leading goal kickers, Kristen Smits and Madeline Keeble will have to put in some extra effort if they are to penetrate this Crocs defence.

 

WANDERERS VS NIGHTCLIFF

Round 9 – Sunday December 2, 11:30am

Gardens Oval No.2

Despite the fact that both teams currently sit at the bottom of the ladder, this game could prove to be a real nail-biter. Last week, the Eagles put up a good fight against St Marys but just let them slip away in the final quarter. A stronger defensive effort will be needed if they are to avoid sinking to last place. Northern Territory Under 18 representative, Arthurina Moreen has been lively up forward but has also been starved of opportunity all season. Wanderers’ midfielders, Calista Boyd and Keyona De Satge will need to dig deep this game and supply Moreen with some genuine opportunity in front of goal. On the other hand, the Tigers will need their own heroes to stand up and find a way to kick some goals. In previous matches, the efforts of defenders like Eliza Wear have held strong early in games, but the severe lack of scoring power has led to some crushing defeats by their opposition. Nightcliff must find a way to correct this weakness if they want to defeat the Eagles.

Scouting notes: AFLW U18 Championships – Wednesday, July 11

THE story of the day was Queensland getting an upset win over Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships in a wonderful performance. The other winners of the day were in-form teams, Vic Country and Western Australia. Julia Montesano and Peter Williams were there to take notes on all the action that unfolded.

 

Queensland vs. Vic Metro

Queensland: 

By: Julia Montesano 

#5 Lily Postlethwaite

Played a fantastic game for Queensland and was one of their key players during the game. Delivered a nice composed kick to a teammate in the back half, showing composure with the ball in hand. Also demonstrated great run and carry which was highly effective in the fast-paced game. Her tackling was particularly a highlight as she laid an excellent run-down tackle to win herself the opportunity to create a scoring shot for Queensland.

#6 Zimmorlei Farquharson

Farquharson was the game-changer for Queensland, kicking the last two goals of the game to seal the upset win for her side. One goal was truly wonderful, as she kicked it from a difficult angle near the boundary line on the run. Her second goal bought the house down, as it proved to be the match-winner and was reward for her hard work during the day. She ran hard inside 50 and showed good acceleration when she needed to.

#7 Isabel Dawes

Displayed excellent run and carry through the forward line and was a jet inside 50. Her tackling was aggressive and it paid off, as she was able to put forward pressure on the Metro defenders. Displayed great agility to kick a goal, which was a highlight of her game.

#10 Jacqueline Yorston

Delivered a nice kick into the forward line to a player on the lead and laid a good tackle inside 50 to dispossess the ball of her opponent in a danger zone. Followed this up with another great tackle on Maddy Brancatisano, stopping her in her tracks. Delivered a perfect centering kick to a player in the forward line, demonstrating her great kicking. Also combined it with her agility when she executed a clean pick up off the deck and delivered a nice kick down the line.

#14 Tori Groves-Little

Laid a lovely run-down tackle in middle of the ground in the first quarter and won a free kick for efforts. Groves-Little did some clever things throughout the game such as executing a great slide to trap the ball. Did well to execute a great pick-up off the deck and followed this up by displaying wonderful running down the win. When she aimed to spoil and it didn’t work out for her, she immediately tackled her opponent, displaying a good second effort.

#18 Ellie Hampson

Displayed nice agility to dodge around her opponents and get the handball away. Backed this up with a great pick-up off the deck, followed by a clever spin around her opponents and a nice kick while being held. Also took a great mark running back with the flight of the ball, demonstrating her good intercept work.

#20 Natalie Grider

Provided good run and carry for Queensland and ran into space well. Took a great contested mark and also took a fantastic intercept diving mark, demonstrating strong hands. A highlight of her game was when she emerged out of a park and accelerated well with the ball in hand.

#24 Charlotte Hammans

Executed a great side step around two opponents to run into a goal just outside the goal square, which was Queensland’s first major of the day. Executed a great kick around her body inside 50 and gave off a great quick-fire handball to Zimmorlei Farquharson who was streaming into goal, being the catalyst for that game-changing passage of play. Led well and took a great mark lace-out. Also showed good composure to lower her eyes and spot up Serene Watson on the wing.

#26 Serene Watson

Took a nice mark in the centre of the ground. Although she knew she had space, she didn’t blaze away, showing good composure. Laid a great tackle to put the pressure on Metro in a stoppage. Demonstrated great reading of the footy when she trapped it behind the back the back of the pack. A great role player for Queensland.

#27 Tiarna Ahwang

Executed a good pick-up off the deck and a nice kick down the line. Delivered a nice high kick inside 50 and showed great run and carry before she disposed of the ball, highlighting her exciting pace. Gave her teammates the opportunity to attack footy in space with these kicks, proving to be very important in terms of forward 50 entries. Did well to trap the ball after she dropped the mark and executed a nice kick around her body, showing her clever footwork.

#35 Lauren Bella

Bella fought hard in the ruck and did extremely well, bringing the ball down well for her midfielders. She took a good intercept mark in the middle of the ground to send it back forward for Queensland, displaying good composure under pressure. Competed hard all day and is having a really consistent tournament.

 

Vic Metro: 

By: Peter Williams

#3 Emerson Woods

Had a really promising start to the game, working in close and using her superior vision to find teammates on the outside. Her agility and ability to move swiftly through traffic was on show, and she covered the ground well.

#6 Madison Prespakis

Another impressive game from the Calder Cannons skipper who just keeps on performing at a high level. She won plenty of the ball, often running into space and using her high work rate to work over her opponents and win the footy on the wing or in holes around the field. Prespakis kicked the final goal of the game, and while it was not enough to change the result, she finished the game with a terrific 20 disposals. She dropped back into defence and helped out, mopping up on a number of occasions.

#8 Georgia Patrikios

Clean, classy and versatile, Patrikios spent some time at half-back as she did in game one, then would push up the ground and use her foot skills to advantage in the front half. Just goes about her business well and rarely wastes a touch, kicking over all distances and having the perfect balance between inside and outside.

#17 Georgia Macpherson

One of Metro’s best in the game and was a rock at half-back intercepting everything she could. Macpherson took some fantastic intercept marks and rebounded out of the back 50, making the Queensland side have to pick their way through the set-up and put more pressure on her back there. Really strong one-on-one in the air and ground level.

#18 Abbie McKay

Another solid performance from the Sandringham Dragons midfielder who was often found in the middle of a contest, right at the coal face. In the opening term she took a strong mark and also won an important one-on-one along the wing. In a midfield full of stars, she was important on the inside.

#20 Gabby Newton

Newton played a really inside game and was often found handballing to teammates in space more so than her traditional long kicking. She still had a number of long bombs going forward, but covered the ground really well, winning the football in each third. A good four-quarter performance overall.

#21 Eleanor Brown

Stood out across half-back and through the middle, particularly in the second half. She mopped up everything in defence best she could, and just found the ball with ease. Ended up with the second most disposals behind Prespakis and won the majority of them in a contest. Took some vital marks and spent plenty of time through the midfield.

#22 Katie Lynch

A really prominent opening term, Lynch was often the player her teammates released to on the outside as she ran past. A long kick of the football, she was not as influential as the first game, but still managed to find the football and use it fairly well.

#27 Gabby De Angelis

The exciting forward was strong and clean throughout the game and while she does not win a heap of the football, she uses it pretty well. In the second term she used her goal nous to pounce on a loose ball in the goal square and kick Metro’s first major of the game.

#32 Lauren Szigeti

An important defender for Metro, she had a really nice run along the wing in the second term and was able to rebound plenty in the second half. Thought her way through her kicks and stood tall when the defence was under siege in the final term.

#36 Holly Bate

Did not win a heap of it, but booted a goal and set up another. She took a good running mark in the second term and had a crack from long range, where it was spilt and Gabriella De Angelis managed to boot the goal. In the final term, a 50m penalty saw Bate kick the easiest of goals from the square.

 

Vic Country vs. Central Allies

Vic Country:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Shelley Heath

Used her trademark dash to create some run and carry down the field across the four quarters. She was strong in the contest in the final term, taking a good mark under pressure, and kept running with a series of handball receives and kicking forward to break through the opposition defensive zones.

#3 Kodi Jacques

Always battled away hard, using her body underneath packs and laid some strong tackles. Courageously went up for a mark in the final term, backing back with danger coming from all sides, and despite not holding it, backed it up with second efforts.

#6 Tyla Hanks

Just worked hard across four quarters rotating between midfield and up forward. Early on she had some great bursts out of congestion and was strong overhead and at ground level. In the second term, Hanks produced a great snap from the boundary line and she delivered a good pass to the advantage of Lucy McEvoy who won a free and goaled. A consistent, four-quarter effort.

#7 Olivia Purcell

Played a really strong inside game, winning the ball at the coal face, then spreading into space where she was able to provide an option. Purcell also laid some strong tackles and linked up well in transition, often winning the ball at half-back or in the middle and sent it forward with interest.

#8 Sophie Van De Heuvel

One of Country’s best, just needed to finish a little better. Had numerous opportunities and kicked four behinds. Despite this, she had the opportunities to hurt the opposition and was constantly involved in the play. Van De Heuvel created good run in the forward half and used her long kick to advantage.

#9 Nina Morrison

One of Vic Country’s top midfielders, Morrison backed up her top performance in the opening game with another sensational effort in the second match. She showed good vision and speed throughout, and had multiple bounces along the wing in the fourth term. Threw herself into contest after contest with little regard for her safety and took a really strong mark in the air, clunking it cleanly with pressure from behind.

#10 Nikia Webber

Almost like a defensive forward’s game, Webber was able to provide a target, while also working hard to lock the ball inside the forward 50. On paper she might not have won a lot of possessions, but every time she went near it, she was either putting pressure on an opponent, or opening up space for a teammate. She was rewarded for her hard work in the third term with a good mark on a lead and goal from a set shot. A really underrated performance and once that was worthy of being in the best. 

#14 Jordyn Allen

A strong captain’s game from the midfielder who managed to cover ground really well and find plenty of the football. She used her thumping kick to clear the defensive zone and go deep inside 50, and also took a number of intercept marks in the middle of the ground. Had a shot on goal from 50m after taking a bounce, but her shot had an unlucky bounce and bounced back into play.

#21 Rene Caris

The ruck showed off her versatility by also playing forward and back, winning a lot of the ball in midfield, then taking some important grabs around the ground. Her last quarter was really important in defence, clunking a couple of contested intercept marks and clearing the zone when Central Allies attacked vigorously.

#22 Rebecca Webster

Played on the inside and predominantly used her body to shield opponents from winning the easy clearance, particularly working hard against Nikki Gore when Gore was starting to take control in the middle. She laid a strong tackle in the third term to force a turnover, and continued to present around the ground.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Another match-winning performance up forward from the bottom-ager who is so strong and smart inside 50. She booted her first goal in the second term, and then had an opportunistic moment in the moments later off the deck, while winning a freekkick and converting from 15m out in the third term, then running into an open goal in the final term. Just a dominant performance up forward.

#35 Lucy Cripps

Worked her opponent well and restricted her direct opposition too much opportunity to do damage. Was outmarked by Katelyn Rosenzweig on one occasion giving away the free kick, but otherwise did really well. She charged out of defence, peeling off her opponent and providing a contest up the ground, and took some good intercept marks.

 

Central Allies:

By: Julia Montesano

#7 Janet Baird

Displayed great run and carry through the middle of the ground, as she just loves to get and go. She also did well defensively when she caught her opponent in a tackle and did well to dispose her of the ball.

#8 Danielle Ponter

Made a real impact in this game with two of her side’s three goals. Kicked a great goal from just inside the boundary line to kickstart her day. Displayed great reading of the play to run onto the ball for her second major. I thought her hands were also strong and were handy up forward for the Allies.

#10 Hannah Munyard

Munyard for me was one of the Allies’ key players and was also a good role player in Monday’s match. Plays a real team role and shows great hunger to win the ball. Did well during the game to show clean hands when picking the ball up off the deck, following this up with getting a kick away. Delivered a nice composed centering kick to an opponent in another instance, showing composure when she gets the ball on her foot. Also showed her aggressive side when she laid a great run-down tackle on Sophie Van De Huevel to stop her in her tracks.

#20 Rachel Dunstan

Dunstan’s hands were superb on the day as she used great body work to take a defensive mark. Followed this up with a good lead-up mark in defensive 50 to stop Country from penetrating forward. Used her body well to take a lovey contested mark, using her strong hands to effect. Also demonstrated nice kicking when she executed a good kick down the line.

#22 Jaslynne Smith

Kicked a long ball out of defence that gave her teammates opportunity to run onto it. Showed courage when she ran back with the flight of the ball and got a kick away. Did well to trap the footy and cause a stoppage after some good run and carry from Vic Country was showing worrying signs for Queensland.

#23 Teah Charlton

Took a nice lead out mark, displaying great hands. Followed this up with a good lead out mark on the chest, repeating her efforts effectively to get the ball forward for the Allies. Did well to get a kick away while being tackled

#24 Amber Ward

Trapped the ball well and followed it up by smothering Tyla Hanks’ kick towards goal. Took a great mark and displayed good run and carry to stream away immediately, showing great footy smarts and acceleration. Demonstrated good strength in a one-on-one defensive contest and also when she was able to fend-off a player and get the handball away. A highlight of her game was when she laid an excellent smother on the last line of defence to save a certain Rene Caris goal.

#25 Bella Clarke

Executed a great spoil that prevented a mark inside 50 for Country’s Rene Caris. She then took a great mark on the last line of defence to prevent a goal, showing her defensive prowess. Used good body work on Amy Dunn as well, demonstrating that she is talented in many defensive areas.

 

Western Australia vs. Eastern Allies 

Western Australia 

By: Julia Montesano 

#5 Mikayla Hyde

Hyde came to life in the second half, kicking all three of her goals in that period. Nothing is to be taken away from her first half though as she showed consistent hunger to win the footy. Displayed nice run and carry throughout the match and also good composure, such as when she handballed the footy backwards to create time inside 50 rather than blaze into the goals. Hyde kept running after the ball even when she got tackled, showing her intent to go hard at the footy and take heavy hits. Her leading towards the footy was superb and she blew me away when explosively led to the ball to kick her first major of the game. For her second goal, she got on the end of a downfield free kick and kicked the goal from a difficult angle. Ran in for her third major of the day in a great forward display.

#8 Ella Smith

Laid a great tackle to dispossess her opponent of the footy. Also delivered a nice kick towards the centre of the ground. Showed great agility when she executed a nice pick up and quick kick out of the pack. A very agile player who runs well across the ground.

#9 Sabreena Duffy

Duffy is one of the most composed players I have seen and is great to watch. Took a great one-on-one intercept mark from a full back kick in and then executed a great pick-up in defence. This was followed by lovely run and carry down the wing of the ground, displaying her exciting speed. Read the play well when it came off a pack and composed herself well with a kick to the wing. I thought she did really well on the last line of defence when she was there. Did well to take the game on out of full back when she played on to herself and provided great run and carry. Kicked a bullet of a ball to Mikayla Hyde which was outstanding, as it displays the variety of kicks she can pull off. Took a great intercept mark and displayed wonderful run and carry once again to create a chance for Western Australia up forward.

#10 Matilda Sergeant

Like Duffy, Sergeant is another composed player who is a great user of the footy. Her intercept marking was amazing, and she was often in the right spots to send the ball straight back inside 50 for Western Australia. Sergeant also read the play well and showed excellent desperation to get the handball out to Ella Smith while she was falling over near the boundary line.

#14 Rikkiesha Carling

Carling was buzzing around the contest and tackling hard all day. She picked up the ball well and showed agility when she performed a good spin inside 50. A highlight of her game was when she laid a great tackle to dispossess her opponent of the ball.

#17 McKenzie Dowrick

Dowrick was influential as always, being a playmaker in her side’s victory. She took a good mark down the line and also delivered a great long kick towards inside 50. Used this long kick again down the line, which gave her teammates the opportunity to win the ball aerially. Accelerated well out of a pack and followed it up with a good quick-fire handball to Sabreena Duffy. Showed her kicking prowess again when she excellently pinpointed kick down the line to Ella Smith. Did well defensively too when she laid a great smother to save a kick for goal inside 50.

#20 Abbey Dowrick

Dowrick is one of the most aggressive players I’ve seen which is a fantastic trait of hers. Blew me away when she executed an excellent pick-up off the deck and had a great long range punt at goal that sailed through. Displayed good hands when handballing and also marking, such as when she executed a great lead up mark in the forward line. Laid a clever tackle late in the match where she didn’t exactly dispossess her opponent of the ball, instead simply snatching it out of her hand. Dowrick goes hard at every ball and is always hungry to win it.

#23 Emma O’Driscoll

O’Driscoll was solid all day for Western Australia, simply playing her role and not overdoing it. She showed a great burst of acceleration with the ball in hand out of defensive 50. Also laid a great tackle on Chloe Haines to save a certain goal, which was a fantastic effort.

 

Eastern Allies 

By: Peter Williams

#1 Alyce Parker

A smooth mover who was once again among the Eastern Allies’ best. She thinks her way through situations and has a nice blend of pace, acceleration and agility to get out of trouble. Wins plenty of the ball and has a high work rate, laying strong tackles. Parker knows how to extract the ball out of a stoppage and always puts in a consistent four quarter effort.

#8 Georgia Garnett

A classy player who is a quick thinker and has a smart sidestep. She used good pace and nous to trap the ball in the air and keep it in front of her during the third term, and just won the football in and around the contest, spreading to the outside.

#11 Eliza Cumming

A real strong outside player who can also win the ball on the inside. Not as consistent across the four quarters as some, but the tools she has show her talent is untapped. She has good hands in traffic, a lovely burst of acceleration and a strong frame she uses to outmuscle and out-body her opponents.

#14 Mia King

King was busy early and is one player who has great agility and can win a one-on-one. Still a couple of years away from being draftable, King has class and can kick long to dangerous areas. Really classy player who used a neat sidestep to kick long and set up a goal

#16 Lauren Stevenson

One of Eastern Allies’ top defenders on the day, she kicked long out of the back 50 and was really consistent in her defensive efforts across the four quarters. The highlight was a fantastic goal-saving tackle on the last line on the red-hot Mikayla Hyde in the second term to deny her an easy goal.

#17 Netty Garlo

Just has that raw talent and X-factor, while the consistency is not there yet, you get the sense with time and development it will piece together. She has elite acceleration and her ability to close down opponents in short spaces of time is exciting. Garlo also hunts the opposition when they have the ball and is a strong pressure player. In the opening term she used her acceleration to lock the ball in at a contest against two opposition players and did well not to be caught holding the ball.

#20 Alexia Hamilton

Hamilton was another piece in the defensive puzzle for the Eastern Allies who was strong overhead and positioned herself at half-back. She took a number of good intercept marks and looked downfield to kick long and open up the game for her teammates. She was one of the top performers on the day and put pressure on her opponents throughout the match.

#21 Chloe Haines

One of Eastern Allies’ top players on the day, Chloe Haines was terrific across the ground, finding space on the wing, kicking long and then getting back and helping out the defence. She laid some great tackles to win a free kick in the midfield, then kicked the ball off the ground for a goal in the third term. She capped off her game with an important smother inside 50 in the final quarter to lock the ball in there.

#24 Brea Quinlivan

Was the main target up forward for the Eastern Allies across the four quarters and just missed opportunities to put it on the scoreboard early. She kicked a couple of behinds, but finally was rewarded for effort with a great goal on the run near the boundary line in the third term just before the siren. Constantly involved in the play up forward and made multiple leads, working hard to double back towards goal.

#25 Libby Haines

Played primarily in defence and moved up the ground at times, Libby Haines was another in the Eastern Allies best. In the first term she laid two fantastic smothers showing a great defensive intent, then laid a great tackle on the wing in the second term to dispossess her opponent and kick long. She took a strong one-on-one mark in the third term and kicked clear, then showed good vision at half-back to handball to a teammate in space.

McEvoy stars again for Country in win over Central Allies

GEELONG Falcons’ Lucy McEvoy was again the shining light in Vic Country’s second victory up on the Gold Coast. The defender has made the move up forward for this tournament with great success, following up a five-goal performance with a bag of four in her side’s 23-point win over the Central Allies.

Vic Country kicked off the scoring with a goal from Dandenong Stingrays’ Molly McDonald, whose long range kick rolled through the goals for her first major of the tournament. But some good defensive efforts from Central Allies’ Rachel Dunstan and Bella Clarke really challenged Country, limiting their scoring to 1.1 (7) for the quarter.

While the Allies didn’t manage to get a score on the board in the first quarter, gun forward, Katelyn Rosenzweig responded instantly with the first goal of the second quarter in the opening minutes. She converted a set shot from about 35 metres out which brought the Allies within a point of Country. It didn’t take long for the side to wrestle the lead back, as Essendon Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s star Danielle Ponter converted a wonderful set shot from a difficult angle near the boundary line. Ponter has kicked five goals from five games for the Bombers and kicked her first for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships in the second quarter of the fast-paced clash. After this, it then took some quick transition from Country to get it back into the hands of their match-winner on Monday, as McEvoy ran in to kick her first goal of the day and her sixth goal of the tournament to swing the momentum back in their favour. The Geelong defender continued to show her dominance in the forward line, running into goal from close range to register her second consecutive major just before the half-time sire, giving Country a 3.2 (20) to 2.0 (12) lead at the main break.

In the third quarter, McEvoy picked up where she left off, winning a free kick right in front of goal and slotting it through for her third of the match. It was then Nikia Webber’s turn to join the party, kicking her first goal of the tournament in her first game in the ‘Big V’. This extended Country’s lead to 21 points early in the third quarter, prompting the Allies to get a move on if they wanted to avoid handing Country their second consecutive big win. Amber Ward provided a highlight in defence for the Central Allies when she smothered what would have been a certain goal from Rene Caris on the goal line. Jordyn Allen’s long bomb from outside 50 got the ball to the hot spot for Country but from there, it was all Amber Ward, giving her side the opportunity to rebound out of defence. Unfortunately, the Allies couldn’t get that crucial score on the board in the third quarter, trailing Vic Country 2.0 (12) to 5.4 (34) at three quarter time.

To begin the last term, the same culprit continued to cause havoc for the Central Allies. McEvoy ran in for her fourth goal of the game, showing determination that she wanted another bag of five next to her name. But the Allies wanted to provide a highlight of their own, and that came from Jaimi Tabb, who provided an explosive run down the boundary line, taking a few bounces and sending it forward. This allowed star forward, Ponter to run onto the ball that came off the back of the pack, running in for her second goal of the day. But that ended the scoring for the Allies, as Vic Country ran out victors with a score line of 6.6 (42) to 3.1 (19). This is Country’s second consecutive win of the Gold Coast tournament, which will give them huge confidence going into their next game on Friday against the dangerous Western Australian outfit.

VIC COUNTRY: 1.1 | 3.2 | 5.4 | 6.6 (42)
CENTRAL ALLIES: 0.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS
VIC COUNTRY: Lucy McEvoy 4, Molly McDonald, Nikia Webber.
CENTRAL ALLIES: Danielle Ponter 2, Katelyn Rosenzweig.

ADC BEST
VIC COUNTRY: Lucy McEvoy, Nina Morrison, Jordyn Allen, Olivia Purcell, Nikia Webber, Sophie Van De Heuvel
CENTRAL ALLIES: Danielle Ponter, Amber Ward, Nikki Gore, Rachel Dunstan, Esther Boles, Hannah Munyard

South Australia’s strong start to National AFLW Under 18 Championships

SOUTH Australia has kicked off its 2018 National AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships in style with back-to-back wins over Northern Territory. The two-game series is the first stage of the National Championships, with South Australia and Northern Territory to combine to form the Central Allies. The Central Allies will play three matches against other states – including a composite NSW/ACT and Tasmanian side called the Eastern Allies – when they converge on the Gold Coast in July over a week-long series.

In the first game on Friday night, South Australia got the job done despite being inaccurate in front of the big sticks, booting nine goals from 22 scoring shots, to record a 29-point victory over Northern Territory. The second match on Sunday was much more prolific, as the visitors piled on 10.9 to one behind to run away 68-point victors. Nikki Gore was named South Australia’s best across the two games, just ahead of Rachelle Martin who both featured in the top three players in both matches. Up forward, Katelyn Rosenweig showed she will be a force to be reckoned with at the championships, booting six goals across the weekend, while Kiana Lee finished with three. Captain Esther Boles booted a goal in each match. Rachel Dunstan was named the South Australian vice-captain.

For Northern Territory, the Thunder only trailed by two goals at half-time courtesy of a strong first half with Bella Clarke booting two majors from the home sides’ four goals.  By full-time, Tayla Hart-Aluni and Arthurina Moreen had joined her on two majors, with a goal in each half. The visitors kicked away in the second half, but the home side had shown they were more than capable of matching it with them. The Sunday game was less even, with the Thunder managing just the one behind, but Hart-Aluni and Stephanie Williams were again among the best. Tabitha May was deemed the Northern Territory’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) across the two games.

Game 1:

Northern Territory 6.2 (38) defeated by South Australia 9.13 (67)

GOALS:
SA: Katelyn Rosenzweig 3, Bella Smith, Esther Boles, Kiana Lee, Maddi Newman, Madisyn Freeman, Teah Charlton.
NT: Tayla Hart-Aluni 2, Bella Clarke 2, Arthurina Moreen 2.

Game 2:

Northern Territory 0.1 (1) defeated by South Australia 10.9 (69)

GOALS:
SA: Katelyn Rosenzweig 3, Abbie Ballard, Kiana Lee 2, Bella Smith, Esther Boles, Kimberley Fry.
NT: Nil.  

The Central Allies’ first match is against the Eastern Allies on July 9 at Metricon Stadium, before clashes with Vic Country at Broadbeach on July 11, and Vic Metro at Bond University on July 13.