Tag: Casey Sherriff

2019/20 AFLW off-season review: Melbourne

THE 2019 AFLW season was an interesting one for the Demons, who found themselves in a difficult conference playing against premiers, Adelaide and flag favourites, North Melbourne, winning four of their seven matches and ultimately would have made finals in the alternate conference. However, the Dees have proved they have consistency over the first three seasons, finishing mid-range on the ladder every season. Melbourne were one of the lucky teams heading out of the 2019 AFL Women’s season, managing to retain a large portion of their lineup while adding some impressive names to the list. Ultimately one of the biggest ins to the side is the return of Daisy Pearce following a season out of the sport with pregnancy, something that will surely bolster the Demons’ already impressive midfield. The addition of Western Bulldogs defender, Libby Birch will kick Melbourne’s defensive pressure up a notch, while the core side sticking together will ensure Melbourne continue their consistency and hopefully go one better in 2020.

With Birch the key cog and retaining Pearce key, the Demon’s had a mostly uneventful off-season, delisting four players and picking up four late picks in the AFL Women’s Draft. Interstaters Jacqueline Parry (Canberra) and Brenna Tarrant (East Coast Eagles) join the side alongside Calder Cannons’ Krstel Petrevski, while Darebin Falcons’ Gabby Colvin will have the chance to prove herself at the top level after three seasons at VFL Women’s. The Dees will also benefit from the addition of Irish recruits, Sinead Goldrick and Niamh McEvoy who join the rookie list for 2020.

OFF-SEASON CHANGES:

IN: Libby Birch (Western Bulldogs), Brenna Tarrant (East Coast Eagles), Gabby Colvin (Darebin Falcons), Krstel Petrevski (Calder Cannons), Jacqueline Parry (Canberra), Shae Sloane (promoted from rookie list to primary), Sinead Goldrick (gaelic), Niamh McEvoy (gaelic)
OUT: Maddy Brancatisano (Richmond), Ashleigh Guest (Western Bulldogs), Cat Phillips (St Kilda), Claudia Whitfort (St Kilda), Jordann Hickey, Talia Radan, Brooke Patterson, Ashleigh Woodland (delisted)

2020 TEAM LIST:

Libby Birch
Gabrielle Colvin
Harriet Cordner
Tegan Cunningham
Meg Downie
Maddison Gay
Madeleine Guerin
Tyla Hanks
Shelley Heath
Kate Hore
Bianca Jakobsson
Ainslie Kemp
Sarah Lampard
Lily Mithen
Aliesha Newman
Elise O’Dea
Jacqueline Parry
Karen Paxman
Daisy Pearce
Lauren Pearce
Krstel Petrevski
Shelley Scott
Casey Sherriff
Shae Sloane
Katherine Smith
Brenna Tarrant
Eden Zanker

Rookies: Chantel Emonson, Sinead Goldrick, Niamh McEvoy

POTENTIAL 2020 SIDE:

B: Meg Downie, Harriet Cordner, Chantel Emonson
HB: Sarah Lampard, Libby Birch, Karen Paxman
C: Elise O’Dea
HF: Maddison Gay, Kate Hore, Shelley Scott
F: Eden Zanker, Tegan Cunningham, Aliesha Newman
R: Lauren Pearce, Lily Mithen, Daisy Pearce
INT: Bianca Jakobsson – Tyla Hanks – Katherine Smith – Maddy Guerin – Ainslie Kemp
EMG: Jacqueline Parry – Shae Sloane – Shelley Heath

DEPTH: Gabby Colvin, Krstel Petrevski, Casey Sherriff, Brenna Tarrant, Sinead Goldrick, Niamh McEvoy

It will likely be difficult for some of the new recruits to break into the 2020 lineup, with the Demons maintaining a number of key combinations across the field. Harriet Cordner proved her dominance defensively last season and with the addition of Birch they could form a real formidable trio down back. Through the midfield, look to key ruck, Lauren Pearce who had a fantastic run in the 2019 season. She followed up her form awarded with the VFL Women’s Lambert-Pearce Medal over the off-season. Pearce’s ability to find co-captains Elise O’Dea and Shelley Scott plays a massive role in making headway down the field, with key ball movers the likes of Lily Mithen and Daisy Pearce able to have an impact both in the air and at ground level, while young gun Tyla Hanks found her form in a similar manner, playing up the ground with ball magnets Aliesha Newman, Eden Zanker and Kate Hore.

Melbourne’s first draft pick in Jacqueline Parry is a relatively unknown quantity with plenty of class traits but will have to fight her way into the side, while the likes of Krstel Petrevski, Gabby Colvin and Brenna Tarrant will also provide good support and try and force their way in.

2019 VFLW weekend Round 1b preview: Eight teams begin their campagins

AFTER the Southern Saints made a statement in the opening round with a victory over last year’s minor premiers Collingwood, the other Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s sides take to the field, as four games are played across the competition. The Western Bulldogs and Carlton have the bye, as do Williamstown, however the Seagulls are facing off against GWS GIANTS in an invitational match which will see the GIANTS match-up against some of the Victorian sides. Below are the teams and season previews.

ESSENDON v. CASEY DEMONS

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
11:30
Windy Hill

Essendon

B: 7. K. Hicks, 11. M. Warburton, 29. C. Laan
HB: 18. K. Heil, 27. A. Morcom, 21. K. McFadyen
C: 28. R. Svarc, 39. M. Fogas, 1. C. Ugle
HF: 25. L. Stepnell, 23. M. Collier, 24. S. Wilson
F: 3. M. DeMatteo, 38. E. Gogerly, 40. A. Moreen
R: 30. S. Nalder, 22. N. MacDonald, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 13. S. Audley, 2. I. Currenti, 43. G. Nanscawen, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 45. E. Ashley-Cooper, 15. L. Caruso, 33. E. Hosking, 14. T. Zagontinos
23P: 31. J. Stassi

Casey Demons

B: 50. G. McLean, 13. K. Smith, 15. T. Tatterson
HB: 34. A. Kirkwood, 7. B. Jakobsson, 8. S. Lampard
C: 23. E. Birch, 16. M. Hogg, 22. M. Guerin
HF: 42. H. Bailey, 29. E. Zanker , 11. C. Emonson
F: 24. N. Garner, 40. H. Dyson, 27. B. Winbanks
R: 38. K. Bentvelzen , 41. R. Edmeades, 47. K. Guttridge
Int: 48. E. Archer, 9. A. Johnson, 32. A. McDonough, 54. K. Oates
Emg: 57. L. Davies, 51. A. Francese, 37. T. Nash, 62. G. Speedy
23P: 46. B. Pratt

 

DAREBIN v. RICHMOND

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
12:00
Swinburne Centre

Darebin

B: 32. G. Colvin, 21. K. Roe, 19. R. Hibbert
HB: 16. B. Kennedy, 56. R. Ashley, 43. N. Wolfe
C: 1. E. Honybun, 9. M. Eastman, 28. A. Morrow
HF: 17. S. Simpson, 22. G. Hammond, 7. L. Szigeti
F: 36. E. Buckley, 31. E. Gardner, 23. M. Wilson
R: 37. E. McLaughlin, 15. A. Lister, 33. J. Stanton
Int: 18. C. Byrne, 39. S. David, 25. C. Delbridge, 20. S. Fairchild
Emg: 46. R. Coombs, 55. M. Hubbard, 49. A. Ladson, 50. M. Suzuki
23P: 57. P. Kearney

Richmond

B: 26. E. Burry, 41. S. Last, 15. R. Miller
HB: 19. K. Dempsey, 2. P. Monahan, 34. A. Makur Chuot
C: 25. G. Egan, 5. M. Brancatisano, 8. J. Graham
HF: 33. J. Colwell, 16. C. Wakefield , 36. E. Paterno
F: 17. E. Gunn, 24. T. Stahl-Smith, 46. H. Ibrahim
R: 11. A. Edmonds, 13. A. Woodward, 1. J. Kennedy
Int: 43. G. Campbell, 30. D. Edward, 37. M. Klingbeil , 22. S. Marsh
Emg: 39. M. Lindsay , 32. I. Milford, 23. T. Smith
23P: 29. K. Jacques

 

HAWTHORN v. NT THUNDER

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
11:30
Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn

B: 25. M. Hutchins, 6. T. Radan, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 40. E. MacDonald, 21. P. Randall
C: 33. E. Gilder, 24. R. Dillon, 5. C. Perera
HF: 12. N. Cormack , 26. C. Dyett, 18. E. Wroe
F: 17. A. Dowler, 2. K. Henderson, 30. A. Sarec
R: 22. T. Luke, 10. P. Peschke, 8. R. Beeson
Int: 14. O. Flanagan, 11. D. Haines, 15. B. Struylaart, 29. A. Tanner
Emg: 4. S. Carroll, 35. C. O’Donnell, 27. K. Scott
23P: 23. G. Macpherson

NT Thunder

B: 37. M. Rajcic, 33. T. Thorn, 31. A. Stanley
HB: 23. E. Miller, 9. L. Jeffrey, 26. C. Randall
C: 13. L. Roberts, , 12. K. Streader
HF: 11. J. Hickey, 10. A. Chittick, 18. T. Holtze
F: 27. A. Considine, 7. M. Ellis,
R: 20. J. Hewett, 3. A. Foley, 1. M. Johnston
Int: 17. S. Bishop, 24. S. Hoogeveen-Hill, 21. K. Irvine, 5. M. Roberts, 48. K. Rosenzweig, 34. D. Varnhagen
Emg: 32. B. Byers, 29. C. Deegan
23P: 2. J. Baird

 

MELBOURNE UNI v. GEELONG CATS

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
02:30
Melbourne University Main Oval

Melbourne Uni

B: 45. A. Arundel, 3. T. Mesiti, 17. E. Hay
HB: 22. J. Anwyl, 26. N. O’Connor, 32. C. Daniec
C: 53. J. Grierson, 36. N. Julian, 14. M. McDonald
HF: 38. K. Angelis, 51. J. Tancred, 40. A. Runnalls
F: 4. E. King, 57. A. Price, 18. A. Tupper
R: 5. K. Gillespie-Jones, 25. J. Garner, 35. J. Bruton
Int: 34. K. Cox, 47. M. Hare, 46. A. Roan , 52. M. Shone
Emg: 42. L. Amelung, 44. E. Bult, 30. S. Farmer, 41. J. Thomas
23P: 39. V. Saad

Geelong Cats

B: 49. E. Ramsay, 4. C. Blakeway, 23. H. Rowe
HB: 20. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 11. J. Woollett
C: 3. A. McDonald, 27. R. Webster, 10. G. Rankin
HF: 45. M. Keryk, 17. G. Clarke, 9. T. Love
F: 42. B. Beckley, 8. K. Darby, 7. R. Benham
R: 1. R. Caris, 5. J. Ivey, 41. A. Haigh
Int: 14. N. French, 33. Z. Inei, 43. M. Maguire, 13. L. Taylor
Emg: 26. M. Boyd, 15. G. Deller, 16. O. Purcell
23P: 19. S. DeGiacomi

 

SEASON PREVIEWS: (Including byes)

CARLTON BLUES

Coach: Shannon McFerran
Last year: 7th (6-8)

The entire Carlton side would be buzzing with the AFL Women’s achievement of making the Grand Final and hoping to follow in the senior side’s footsteps. Last year the Blues showed signs within games, but could not quite put together a four quarter effort. They had an enormous amount of future AFL Women’s talent on their list last season with Tyla Hanks and Madeline Brancatisano (both Melbourne), Rene Caris (Geelong) and Celine Moody (Western Bulldogs) all poached by other clubs in the draft, while Abbie McKay, Chloe Dalton and Brooke Walker made the transition up to senior football at the Blues. Darcy Vescio won the leading goalkicker award after another terrific season inside 50 and look for her to be a key player in Shannon McFerran‘s side. With the close bond between Carlton and Northern Knights – and the strength of the Knights program in 2019 – do not be surprised for the Blues to be bolstered mid-season by the likes of Gabby Newton and Britney Gutknecht among others. They have picked up Marnie Jarvis and Taylah Manson from the Knights last year, and with continued improvement and recruitment of Madison Prespakis, Emerson Woods and Charlotte Wilson – who all had TAC Cup Girls and VFLW experience prior to being drafted, the Blues are a sleeper side that is not to be taken lightly.

 

CASEY DEMONS

Coach: Damien Keeping
Last year: 10th (5-9)

Despite a disappointing season on the ladder, Casey Demons were raided at the AFL Women’s draft with six drafted on the night, and a further one (Taylor Mesiti) prelisted. Jordyn Allen, Georgia Gourlay and Maddie Shevlin all swapped red and blue for black and white, while Casey Sherriff, Chantel Emonson and Shae Sloane showed enough to be picked up the Dees. The Demons have brought in some height with the recruitment of former Oakleigh Chargers and Essendon ruck, Bridie Winbanks, while putting an emphasis on retaining Melbourne AFLW listed players, something they did not have the luxury of having with many playing at Darebin given the players history with the Falcons. Now just Elise O’Dea, Lauren Pearce and Brooke Patterson are at the Falcons, so the Demons can have a stronger link to the AFLW side. Harriet Cordner and Maddison Gay were two big improvers of the 2019 AFLW season and will be ones to watch for the Demons in the upcoming VFLW season. A couple of key pickups for the Demons include Gippsland Power duo, Nikia Webber and Shanara Notman who could provide service up opposite ends. Overall look for the Demons to improve this year.

 

DAREBIN FALCONS

Coach: Michael Ericson (NEW)
Last year: 5th (8-6)

Darebin Falcons defied odds by finishing fifth last season and on track for finals up until a couple of rounds out from the post-season series. Michael Ericson has taken over from Jane Lange at the helm, and with it faces a new challenge of keeping the side competitive. O’Dea, Pearce and Patterson loom as the keys to the team, while Jamie Stanton who moved from Melbourne University – to align with her shift from North Melbourne to Gold Coast AFLW – is another AFLW listed player. Bridie Kennedy also joins the team from Carlton after having that AFLW experience, but mostly the Falcons will be relying on the yourh of the team and experienced VFLW players. Captain Stephanie Simpson is one of six players with 30 or more VFLW games under her belt which in the scheme of the relatively new competition is vital. Northern Knights, Nell Morris-Dalton and Ciara Fitzgerald have also joined Darebin, while former Eastern Ranges’ Lauren Szigeti will have benefited from her six games last year. Overall the Falcons will still give the top teams something to think about on their day, and rack up wins against the bottom handful, but it will be a test to be a genuine contender.

 

ESSENDON BOMBERS

Coach: Brendan Major
Last year: 13th (1-13)

It was fair to say Essendon did not have the season it had hoped for, winning just the one game and taking out the wooden spoon in season 2019. With limited AFL Women’s experience, the Bombers just lacked that top-end talent that other clubs had, and while the Bombers had that tackling ferocity through best and fairest winner, Hayley Bullas and the class and skill of future Adelaide AFLW premiership player, Danielle Ponter, they did not have enough talent across the board to compete with the sides that were flushed with AFLW signatures. The one win against Richmond was terrific to see, as it meant the Bombers got some reward for effort after a long season. Along with Bullas, Courtney Ugle and Simone Nalder have returned to the club, while former Murray Bushrangers’ defender and Eastern Allies representative, Eloise Ashley-Cooper will add some class to the side. The Bombers have four players with AFLW experience, including Maddy Collier and Hayley Trevean. With NAB League Girls club, Calder Cannons having some great talent coming through the ranks, expect the likes of Georgia Patrikios to open some eyes late in the season with her agility and goal sense, while Felicity Theodore, Alana Barba, Gloria Elamaly and Krstel Petrevski will add a mix of skill and toughness to the Bombers’ team. The Bombers will still lack the star quality other AFLW experienced teams have, so the goal will be to be more competitive and try and get off the bottom of the table this season.

 

GEELONG CATS

Coach: Natalie Wood (NEW)
Last year: 4th (10-3-1) Grand final loss

Natalie Wood has taken over from Paul Hood who opted to just focus on the AFLW side in the blue and white hoops, but has inherited a genuine premiership contender. After Geelong had fewer AFLW listed players compared to others last season, they now have 20 on their VFLW books, topped up by local players including former Geelong Falcons premiership players, Tarryn Love, Zoe Inei and Sachi DeGiacomi who managed six games at VFLW level between them last season. They have not only retained the majority of the their list, but picked up teh likes of Julia Crockett-Grills (Hawthorn), Rebecca Webster (Melbourne University) and Sophie Van De Heuvel (Williamstown), keeping them in the Geelong system. It is hard not to picture a scenario where Geelong are not in finals considering the now deep and strong bond the players have and having reached the grand final, before strengthening their list even more. The Geelong AFLW side made finals in its first year and expect the VFLW side to follow suit with the same talent on its list.

 

HAWTHORN HAWKS

Coach: Patrick Hill
Last year: 2nd (12-2) Premiers

The reigning premiers had a number of players drafted including Rising Star Jayde Van Dyk, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann in what was a perfectly timed season, finishing second, pouncing on Collingwood in the semi-final, and then making the most of their opportunities against Geelong in the decider. In great news for the Hawks, Van Dyk has returned to the club for the VFLW season, as have key forward Phoebe McWilliams (Geelong), Rebecca Beeson and Pepa Randall (both GWS GIANTS). With super coach, Patrick Hill at the reigns again, the Hawks will be predicted to be thereabouts again and a genuine premiership contender. Sarah Perkins will be primed for a big season in the brown and gold, hoping to force her way back onto an AFLW list after being delisted by the Crows following the 2019 season. The forward combination between Perkins and McWilliams is as good as it gets in the competition, and with Eastern Rangers youngsters Serena Gibbs and Laura McClelland in the side later in the year, expect the reigning premiers to have a potent forward line. Gippsland Power’s Maddison Shaw has also joined the Hawks, and is one of just two 2001-birth players on the list. A huge contender.

 

MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY MUGARS

Coach: Scott Gowans
Last year: 9th (5-9)

The Mugars were up and down at times throughout the 2018 VFLW season, finishing with five wins from 14 games, but having some great young talent come into the side last in the year, including Prepsakis and Webster who were both drafted by AFLW clubs. Sophie Abbatangelo, Ashleigh Riddell, Maddison Smith, Chloe Haines, Libby Haines and Nicole Bresnehan all stepped up to the senior side, with many showing their ability to adapt to the faster pace of the game. After a huge season that ultimately fell short of a finals berth in the AFLW, North Melbourne and Melbourne Uni coach, Scott Gowans will be keen to continue the form shown by the Kangaroos at AFLW level, into the VFLW system. Emma Kearney was terrific for the Mugars last year along with Kaitlyn Ashmore, and expect them to be key players once again. They have added experience to their list with Hawthorn duo, Tahni Nestor and Kim Ebb, as well as Essendon’s Jessica Anwyl who showed promising signs last season in the red and black. Throw in league best and fairest winner, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Jenna Bruton, and the Mugars have to be considered one of the premiership favourites. All up they have 23 AFL Women’s listed players and will be another tough team to beat.

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY THUNDER

Coach: Heidi Thompson (NEW)
Last year: 3rd (11-3) – Semi-final loss

Much was spoken about the Thunder and whether or not the experienced top-heavy side with Adelaide Crows, could be allowed to play so much talent at once. Early in the season it looked like the Thunder would skip through the season, but in the end, ultimately fell in the first week of finals to the Cats. After missing out on her AFLW dream last year, Janet Baird is the biggest junior recruit to the Thunder in season 2019, with the NTFL Women’s top player signing on at the Thunder for the upcoming season. She joins the likes of Madeline Gault, Arthurina Moreen and Tabitha May, who all played for Central Allies in 2018, but missed out on a chance in the AFLW. The top-end and upcoming talent at the Thunder is clear, with Ebony Marinoff, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Marijana Rajcic, Renee Forth, Eloise Jones and Sarah and Jess Allen among a ridiculous among of Crows talent in the side. They were arguably a premiership favourite early in 2018, and should be in that place once again given the improvement of many of the Crows through the 2019 AFLW premiership year. With Heidi Thompson now taking the reigns from Tim Weatherald, it will be interesting to see how she balances the AFLW talent throughout the season.

 

RICHMOND TIGERS

Coach: Tom Hunter
Last year: 12th (4-10)

The Tigers had a disappointing season in 2018, finishing twelfth and losing to Essendon, the only side to do so. They, like the Bombers just lacked that star quality in the 2018 VFLW season, but if their 2019 AFLW trade period is anything to go by, expect them to shoot up the ladder in season 2019. Jessica Kennedy and Jacqueline Graham were two standouts for the Tigers, it was just a case of adding depth to the obvious talent that was coming through the ranks. While some will play limited games, the likes of Monique Conti, Katie Brennan and Sabrina Frederick make for a scary forward line. With Richmond able to pre-list players this season, every player on the list will be keen to impress in front of the Tigers’ hierarchy and see what they can do to try and get an AFLW spot for the 2020 season. Overlooked Murray Bushrangers, Tamara Smith, Grace Egan and Sophie Damon are back at Punt Road, while Kodi Jacques has also joined the club with the Bendigo Pioneers’ midfielder looking to stake her claim this year. Former Magpies, Shayla Marsh and Hannah McLaren will don the yellow and black this year, making the Tigers stocked with young talent that will create run and excitement throughout the 2019 season. Expect the Tigers to rise up the ladder, and while they might lack the AFLW talent other teams have outside their forward 50, they could overtake a number of the clubs around their level in season 2018, this year.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Coach: Sean Kavanagh (NEW)
Last year: 6th (7-7)

Sean Kavanagh has taken over from Debbie Lee who is now VFLW General Manager at the club, and will be looking to reshape the side that has lost some serious AFLW talent. Conti always spent the majority of the season playing basketball, while Brennan will be a big lose inside 50. However with 20 AFLW players on their list, they still have more than enough talent and experience to get them by. Their three top-age players they have picked up from NAB League Girls clubs are Sophie Molan, Ella Wood and Elisabeth Georgostathis which is arguably the best trio of pick-ups across the league. Molan will make an immediate impact, while Wood and Georgostathis can play both off half-back and through the middle. They will be unavailable during the AFLW National Championships, but expect them to show their talent. Overager Georgia Pidgeon will also provide some height for the Bulldogs, while a host of local players joins the likes of Ellie Blackburn, Brooke Lochland, Isabel Huntington and Deanna Berry as key players. When talking about experience, the Bulldogs have 14 players with 30 or more games, making them a very experienced side in the competition, and one that while they might not be in the top handful, could still challenge for finals.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN

Coach: Amy Catterall
Last year: 11th (4-10)

Williamstown finished eleventh in 2019, notching up the four wins, but had some serious top-end talent at the Gulls’ disposal. Duffin won the league best and fairest despite the team struggles, while Garner and Bruton were stars for Williamstown before emulating that for the Kangaroos at AFLW level. Big question marks remain over the Seagulls with all three departing the club. It means the load falls onto their VFLW listed players shoulders and puts them in a similar position to Essendon and Richmond last year. They had a good win over the Western Bulldogs in a pre-season practice match, and can have the continuity that teams with restricted AFLW numbers cannot. However this year is set to be a massive challenge for the Seagulls after losing so much top-end talent, with Demon, Aliesha Newman being a key signing – the only AFLW player on the list – and likely to cause headaches inside 50 for opposition defences. In doing so, there might be some serious youngsters step up and then make a case to land at an AFLW club, like former Bendigo Pioneers’ captain Megan Williamson, Eastern Ranges’ tall Tahlia Merrett and Bendigo Pioneers’ key defender Kate Douglass.

Weekend preview: AFLW – Round 1

FOOTY is back and for the first time, 10 AFL Women’s clubs are preparing to achieve the ultimate glory. Each week we will preview and review the games, provide a Team of the Week, Draftee Watch piece and analyse the week’s statistics, as well as plenty more for the third season of the competition. Stay tuned on Draft Central for all the coverage.

GEELONG vs. COLLINGWOOD
Saturday, February 2, 6.40pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

The opening game of the AFL Women’s season has a massive question mark for both sides. On one side of the head-to-head is a brand new team with no historical data at the elite level, aside from some of the players who have crossed from other clubs. On the other side is a team that has been gutted in terms of experience, especially in the forward half, but has picked up a number of elite young kids as well as players who can have an impact in the short-term. Playing in front of a home crowd will help the Cats in their inaugural clash,  while the Magpies will be keen to finally get a good start to their season after two losses in opening round games. Both teams are deemed to be in the “weaker” conference – by means of avoiding both past premiers and the heavily stacked North Melbourne – and a win against a conference rival is vitally important in the stakes for securing a top four place. The advantage both these teams have is the fact much of their core group played VFL Women’s together, and therefore in terms of team chemistry over a 12-month period are well adjusted.

Both teams head into the clash with key personnel out, as Collingwood’s Best and Fairest and 2018 AFLW Rising Star winner, Chloe Molloy unavailable for the season, while Richelle Cranston will miss the first two rounds through suspension.  When talking about key youth, it is hard to look past some of the talent both clubs picked up in the draft. Geelong looked to its TAC Cup affiliate to select number one pick, Nina Morrison, as well as premiership teammates, Olivia Purcell and Denby Taylor. Add in talented GWV Rebels, Sophie Van De Heuvel and Georgia Clarke, as well as Murray Bushrangers’ inside midfielder and defender, Rebecca Webster, and the future is very bright at the Cats. The Magpies also heavily invested in the draft, picking up two first rounders in Dandenong Stingrays’ captain, Jordyn Allen and Oakleigh Chargers’ tall, Katie Lynch. Expected to play up opposite ends, they are well complemented by Eastern Ranges’ speedster, Mikala Cann who 12 months ago was yet to play a competitive match of football. Versatile youngster, Lauren Butler is also expected to become a key feature in the Magpies’ side. With Geelong having the likes of Bec Goring, Madeline Keryk, Julia Crockett-Grills and Meghan McDonald among their contingent of impressive VFLW performers last season, they have a cohesive unit. The Magpies will look to the experience of captain Stephanie Chiocchi, Emma Grant, Sarah D’Arcy and Jaimee Lambert to lead the young side this season.

H2H: Geelong 0 | Collingwood 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Geelong 0-0-0 | Collingwood 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • The game marks the first ever AFL Women’s game at GMHBA Stadium, the first time Geelong’s AFL Women’s side will play a match for premiership points, but the third consecutive year Collingwood will be involved in the opening match of the season.
  • Unfortunately for the Magpies, the opening match of the season has not been kind for them, losing both games to Carlton at Ikon Park, albeit in a much closer game in 2018.
  • The last time these two teams played in any form was the VFL Women’s Preliminary Final, which saw the Cats upset the minor premiers to bundle the Magpies out in straight sets and head into the decider against Hawthorn. Collingwood’s loss was compounded by an injury to 2018 Rising Star winner, Chloe Molloy that would keep her out of the 2019 AFL Women’s season.
  • Collingwood booted 42 goals in season 2018. Players that contributed 36 of them are now either no longer on the Magpies’ list, or injured (Chloe Molloy – one).

 

ADELAIDE vs. WESTERN BULLDOGS
Saturday, February 2, 8.10pm
Norwood Oval, Adelaide

The game of the round is surely the match between the two AFL Women’s premiers. The 2017 champions, Adelaide take on the reigning premiers, Western Bulldogs in an evening game at Norwood Oval. Last season was a remarkable story for the Bulldogs, who overcame some key injuries, and the suspension of captain, Katie Brennan to topple Brisbane in the 2018 AFL Women’s decider. Adelaide would have been disappointed to not make the decider, but considering their injuries at different times, it was worth applauding their never-say-die attitude. A loss to Collingwood in the final round knocked them out of the race to go back-to-back, but they are now hungry as ever and keen to make amends in this match.

Both teams lost key players to long-term injuries in practice games a fortnight ago, with Adelaide’s number one ruck, Rhiannon Metcalfe and Western Bulldogs’ league leading goalkicker, Brooke Lochland both out. While the Crows will look to try and fill the void in the ruck, the Dogs certainly showed they have no shortage of forwards who can step up, and could turn to the likes of West Australian, Kate Bartlett who comes into the team with great forward nous at Under 18s level. Adelaide do have some serious firepower returning to the team with a fully fit Erin Phillips, and a dangerous youngster by the name of Chloe Scheer causing headaches inside 50. Adelaide could have the edge in the midfield given its depth with Phillips, Ebony Marinoff and Chelsea Randall all running through there, but the Dogs’ key position players could stretch the Crows’ defence. If the Crows can keep it from the Dogs talls getting supply, then it will go a long way to deciding the match, but if the Dogs get on top of the Crows’ highly rated midfield, then they will be able to put on some serious scoreboard pressure. In saying that, the Dogs’ midfield is far from shabby itself with Ellie Blackburn and Monique Conti among the most talented in the competition. It all adds up to being a cracker of a match.

H2H: Adelaide 2 | Western Bulldogs 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Adelaide 2-2-0 | Western Bulldogs 0-1-0

Last time they met: Adelaide 6.5 (41) defeated Western Bulldogs 5.4 (34) at Norwood Oval, Round 3, 2018

Trailing the entire game, the Crows found something special in the final term to overrun the Bulldogs at home by just seven points. Chelsea Randall picked up 24 disposals (15 contested), had five rebounds and laid six tackles, while Ebony Marinoff laid a whopping 15 tackles on her way to 21 disposals, four inside 50s and five rebounds. But the inspiration was inaugural league best and fairest winner, Erin Phillips. The star played exclusively forward and had 15 disposals, but booted four of the Crows’ six goals to single-handedly dominate up forward and show Crows fans that there was going to be no second year blues – until injury unfortunately struck. Jenna McCormick booted the other two goals for the Crows, while for the Bulldogs, Katie Brennan was the multiple goalkicker with two from nine touches and three marks. Emma Kearney (20 disposals, three marks, three clearances, three inside 50s, five rebounds and six tackles) was everywhere, as was Ellie Blackburn (17 disposals, five clearances, five tackles and four inside 50s).

Fun facts:

  • Ebony Marinoff averages 19.5 disposals, four clearances, 10.5 tackles and four inside 50s against the Western Bulldogs from two clashes, the most of any Crow.
  • Now North Melbourne skipper, Emma Kearney averaged the most touches against the Crows in both meetings, with Ellie Blackburn set to take over the mantle, averaging 18 touches, four clearances, four tackles and five inside 50s from two games.
  • It is the first time two AFL Women’s Premiers have met in the history of the competition.
  • Western Bulldogs are yet to lose an opening round match in the AFL Women’s season.

 

NORTH MELBOURNE vs. CARLTON
Sunday, February 3, 1.05pm
North Hobart Oval, Hobart

The second history making match for Round 1 sees one of the premiership favourites, North Melbourne take on last year’s wooden spooners, Carlton. Both head into the game with relative different looking sides. The Kangaroos strategically targeted experience, picking up players from other AFL Women’s sides as part of the free agency and expansion period, while Carlton headed to the draft. As such, the Kangaroos head into the game as strong favourites in the clash, and their pre-season victory over Melbourne did nothing to sway opinions from the fact they will be a contender this season. Carlton took it up to Geelong at times in the practice game, but much like at times last season, it is just finding some four quarter consistency. The strong football state of Tasmania will get around the clash which is the first of the AFL Women’s competition, and with a number of local talents wearing blue and white, expect there to be a strong contingent of home support.

With no past head-to-head clashes to go by, there are plenty of questions leading into this clash. The biggest question mark is that of the Kangaroos and how they will gel with so many players from other teams. They brought over key Magpies, Emma King, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Mo Hope to supply their forward line and ruck division with power, while securing the biggest name from the 2018 season in Emma Kearney – the league best and fairest winner – to come across from the Dogs. Carlton has the potential to have the best one-two forward combination in the league with Darcy Vescio and Tayla Harris, but it is just getting the talented duo to click. With the midfield and forward half boosted by young guns, Madison Prespakis, Abbie McKay and Emerson Woods, and the defence sured up by Collingwood VFLW captain, Jess Edwards, as well as Charlotte Wilson and Jayde Van Dyk, Carlton’s future is looking bright. Realistically, it will take an unbelievable effort to knock off North Melbourne, but Blues fans will be keen to see what new coach, Daniel Harford can do to create more scoring opportunities – something the Blues lacked last season. A four-goal practice game by returning captain, Brianna Davey gave fans a hint of what to expect, creating all sorts of headaches for opposing teams.

H2H: North Melbourne 0 | Carlton 0 | Draws 0
Venue: North Melbourne 0-0-0 | Carlton 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • The match marks the first official match to be played in Tasmania, with the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos opening their season in the Apple Isle, and of course marking their first match in the competition.
  • Carlton’s Brianna Davey has averaged 21 disposals, five rebounds and 2.5 inside 50s in her two opening round clashes, as Carlton beat arch-rivals Collingwood under lights on both occasions.
  • Darcy Vescio booted four goals in the inaugural AFL Women’s match in 2017, before being held goalless by debutant, Chloe Molloy last year, who would go on to win the Rising Star Award.
  • North Melbourne captain, Emma Kearney has averaged 22 disposals, six marks, five clearances and six inside 50s in her two matches against Carlton.

 

MELBOURNE vs. FREMANTLE
Sunday, February 3, 3.05pm
Casey Fields, Cranbourne

With predicted temperatures around the south-eastern suburbs predicted to be mid-to-late thirties, fans heading to the clash between Demons and Fremantle are recommended to stay hydrated. The game at Melbourne’s spiritual home, has become a fortress of late, winning five of a possible six games, including a thrashing victory over their Round 1 opponents back in 2017. Last year the Dockers got the better of Melbourne over in the west, using straight goalkicking to get the job done early in the season and chalk up a win against a premiership contender. The Demons have always been thereabouts, just missing out on the deciders, while Fremantle has had disappointing starts to the seasons which have ultimately cost them. With a new coaching panel and new-look side, Fremantle will be keen to topple the Demons at their home ground, especially a Demons side minus Daisy PearceMel Hickey and Richelle Cranston, among others.

Both teams are bringing in some serious young talent this season, with the Demons looking to the likes of Gippsland Power co-captain, Tyla Hanks and Northern Knights captain, Maddy Brancatisano. Both have incredible work ethics and a desire to just hunt the footballer and play their role, potentially being future leaders at the club. Throw in Dandenong Stingrays’ speedster, Shelley Heath and Casey Demons slick ball user, Casey Sherriff and the Dees have added some speed and skills to their inside grunt and contested ball-winning ability. The Dockers have also added some great local talent to their stocks, led by West Australian Under 18s state captain, Sabreena Duffy as well as overagers, Matilda Sergeant and Jasmin Stewart. The big question mark regarding Fremantle is how they will line-up as the off-season seemed to be a clean-out of sorts through their own choosing, whereas Melbourne lost players due to free agency and expansion. The difference in this game could well be the top-end star factor of the Demons, with Karen Paxman, Lily Mithen, Bianca Jakobsson and Elise O’Dea all roaming through the midfield at times. With Eden Zanker providing a target up forward, they have good depth across the ground, The Dockers have Kara Donnellan and Dana Hooker amongst their arsenal, but with a relatively new-looking side, it will be fascinating to see how they perform.

H2H: Melbourne 1 | Fremantle 1 | Draws 0
Venue: Melbourne 5-1-0 | Fremantle 0-0-0

Last time they met: Fremantle 6.0 (36) defeated Melbourne 4.7 (31) at Fremantle Oval, Round 3, 2018

Fremantle had to come from behind twice as they held Melbourne to a combined one behind in the second and fourth quarters, kicking the only two goals of the final term. In a display of precision accuracy, the Dockers did not kick a behind all game, and after not scoring in the opening term, booted six straight goals to secure a win at Fremantle Oval. Kara Donnellan and Lisa Webb both picked up 17 disposals, while Emily McGuire booted two goals. For the Dees, Daisy Pearce had another day out with 24 disposals, three marks, five clearances and four inside 50s, while Tegan Cunningham booted two majors in the loss.

Fun facts:

  • Since losing their inaugural AFL Women’s Round 1 clash to Brisbane at Casey Fields, Melbourne has not lost a game, winning five consecutive matches at the venue, including a nine-goal win over Fremantle in 2017.
  • Both sides are likely to head into the clash very different to the previous encounter with a maximum of 13 players each from their sides of 21 just 12 months ago, still on their respective lists.
  • Dana Hooker averaged 17 disposals (11 contested) and 5.5 tackles in her two matches for the Dockers against the Demons, and was Fremantle’s best player in the disastrous 54-point belting back in 2017.
  • Melbourne will need to find a way to replace the influence of Daisy Pearce, who has been a headache for the Dockers in the past, averaging 25 disposals, five tackles, four clearances and 3.5 inside 50s.

 

BRISBANE vs. GWS GIANTS
Sunday, February 3, 4.05pm
Moreton Bay Sporting Complex, Moreton Bay

The final game of the round pits back-to-back grand finalist, Brisbane against the team they knocked out of the decider contention in the final round last year, GWS GIANTS. The quirky fact between these teams is they have played each other four times – twice in the pre-season and twice in the regular season. On both occasions, GWS has triumphed in the pre-season practice matches, while Brisbane has got the job done – and convincingly so – when playing for premiership points. The GIANTS average just two goals per game against the Lions during the season, and they will be keen to repeat the effort of a fortnight ago when they were too good for the young Lions. Brisbane has played just the one game at Moreton Bay Sporting Complex – the Lions new home for 2019 – which was a disappointing and almost season-defining loss to Collingwood, whereas the GIANTS are yet to run out at the venue.

Both teams have young line-ups coming through with the teams losing players such as Kaitlyn Ashmore, Jamie Stanton and Tahlia Randall (Brisbane), and Phoebe McWilliams and Renee Forth (GIANTS). They have also picked up some experience with Brisbane scooping up Lauren Arnell from Carlton and the GIANTS adding Magpie, Christina Bernardi to its forward mix. Heading to the draft, the GIANTS picked up one of the most decorated and talented juniors in Alyce Parker who will slot straight into the midfield and undoubtedly be a key cog in that onball division. Former netballer, Taylah Davies is already looking like a valuable pick-up for the GIANTS, while Haneen Zreika hit the scoreboard in the practice match as well. Any team with Alicia Eva, Jessica Dal Pos and Amanda Farrugia has to be respected. Brisbane’s forward power with Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Jess Wuetschner is always going to be a key consideration for opposition coaches, while Lions coach Craig Starcevich has the luxury of bringing up his Queensland Under 18 young guns into the senior team at draft time. All Australian ruck Lauren Bella, state captain Natalie Grider and key Queensland players Jesse Tawhaio-Wardlaw, Jade Ellenger, Tori Groves-Little and Jacqui Yorston join West Australian, McKenzie Dowrick as the future of the Lions.

H2H: Brisbane 2 | GWS 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Brisbane 0-1-0 | GWS 0-0-0

Last time they met: Brisbane 10.4 (64) defeated GWS GIANTS 3.6 (24) at Blacktown ISP, Round 7, 2018.

With an AFL Women’s Grand Final spot on the line, it was the Brisbane Lions who were all over the GIANTS, running out 40-point winners to keep their premiership dreams alive – albeit with their fate in Collingwood’s hands. The GIANTS had improved remarkably from the inaugural season, but fell short of a grand final place, and will have rued that final game over the summer. Ally Anderson and Emily Bates had days out against the GIANTS, collecting a combined 46 disposals, seven marks and eight clearances. Up forward, Sabrina Frederick-Traub was unstoppable with four goals to go with 18 disposals, five marks and five hitouts. Jess Wuetschner was equally as impressive with three majors from 11 touches, doing all the damage at ground level. For the GIANTS, Alicia Eva tried her best with a team-high 18 disposals, three marks, six tackles and five inside 50s, while Jessica Dal Pos and Amanda Farrugia were the next highest ball winners with 14 apiece.

Fun facts:

  • Brisbane has played just the one match at Moreton Bay Sporting Complex, and unfortunately it was one to forget, losing to Collingwood in Round 6, 2018. It put their premiership aspirations in serious doubt, before ironically the Magpies knocked off the Crows in the final round to hand the Lions a second consecutive Grand Final berth.
  • The Lions bounced back from the above loss with that 40-point win over GWS in the last round, knocking out the GIANTS from Grand Final contention, and replacing them in the decider.
  • In the two games against the GIANTS, Sabrina Frederick-Traub has booted five goals, whereas the entire GIANTS team have booted just the four.
  • Emma Swanson averages the most disposals for a GIANT against the Lions, at 15, while Jessica Dal Pos averages 13 touches per game.

AFLW season previews: Melbourne

THE Demons have been one of the stronger sides in the AFLW during the past two seasons. But with a big loss of players in the off-season, we will see a new-look Melbourne outfit on the park in 2019. Perhaps the biggest loss of the season was losing star midfielder, Daisy Pearce, which will undoubtedly challenge Mick Stinear to change his game plan heading into 2019.

Last season: 3rd – four wins, three losses.

Changes:

In: Maddison Gay, Talia Radan, Tyla Hanks, Madeline Brancatisano, Jordann Hickey, Shelley Heath, Chantel Emonson, Shae Sloane, Casey Sherriff, Ashleigh Woodland

Out: Richelle Cranston, Melissa Hickey, Erin Hoare, Anna Teague, Jasmine Grierson, Emma Humphries, Laura Duryea, Maddie Shevlin, Alyssa Mifsud

Melbourne’s list changes have seem to go under the radar compared to the likes of the Collingwood and Brisbane lists. Geelong caused the most havoc to the Melbourne line-up, taking Richelle Cranston, Melissa Hickey, Erin Hoare and Anna Teague to Kardinia Park. The other expansion team, North Melbourne took two Tasmanian natives in Jasmine Grierson and Emma Humphries, leaving a gap in Melbourne’s defence. However, the Dees have covered this quite well with the recruitment of Talia Radan and Shelley Heath, who are handy defenders who can run or play on a key player. They have also boosted their midfield stocks with the loss of Pearce and Cranston, recruiting Under-18 representatives, Tyla Hanks and Madeline Brancatisano, who are two midfielders with great agility.

Area of strength: Midfield

Melbourne’s midfield has always been one of the strongest in the competition, but they will be without Daisy Pearce and Richelle Cranston this season. A recruit who has not been talked about much is Maddison Gay from the Blues. Gay was voted the Best First Year player when she was Carlton, and is a smart midfielder who is clever with the ball in hand. She should help to assist Elise O’Dea and Karen Paxman, who have always been consistent in the middle of the ground for the Dees. Add in Brancatisano and Hanks, and Melbourne has a good core group of midfielders. Katherine Smith and Kate Hore are also set for a good season after finding some consistency for the Casey Demons in the VFLW season.

Area of weakness: Forward line

The Demons are lacking some numbers in the forward line. While they boast the likes of Tegan Cunningham and Aliesha Newman, the list does not go much further than that. Jordann Hickey is a crucial pick-up for the Dees to rectify this issue. She will be a key target up forward thanks to her solid hands and accurate kick. Eden Zanker should be set for a good year as well, finding some form in the Casey Demons VFLW side, but she was starved of opportunity last year, so she will also be pretty new to the AFLW environment.

Players to watch:

Tyla Hanks

Tyla Hanks has made the All-Australian Under 18s side two years in a row and is a force to be reckoned with in the midfield. On the inside, she is sharp with her hands and can clear congestion with her forceful kicking. She co-captained the Gippsland Power in the TAC Cup Girls competition, so is no stranger to being an on-field leader. Hanks can also float up forward and make an impact to steady the ship for her team, highlighting her ability to be versatile in a Melbourne line-up that lacks forward depth.

Jordann Hickey

Originally from Alice Springs, Hickey made her mark on the 2018 VFLW season with 14 goals for the NT Thunder. From her 14 games, she also averaged 8.25 disposals per game, with her season-high coming against Richmond, where she racked up 16 disposals and also kicked two goals. Hickey managed to kick goals in seven of her games for the Thunder, showing great consistency across the season. She fought hard inside 50 and provides a tall target, which will be pivotal for the Demons.

Eden Zanker

Zanker got to play some consistent football again for the Casey Demons in the VFLW, after only playing three games for the Demons in the AFLW last year. She kicked nine goals from her 14 games with Casey and was named in the best four times. Zanker has a calm run-up and a precise kick, and is also great at winning the ball inside 50. She was the Demons’ first selection in the 2017 draft so Melbourne will have high hopes for her to show why she was selected so high in the draft.

2019 prediction: 4th in Conference A

Despite a strong midfield, the Demons could struggle in their 50s, making for a difficult run in a difficult conference. However, they could get off to a good start with Fremantle and Collingwood looming as their first opponents of the season. It then gets a whole lot harder with Brisbane, North Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney (GWS) to come. When the Demons’ defence comes up against a powerful forward line like North Melbourne’s, and their forwards go head-to-head against Brisbane’s A-grade defenders, it could spell trouble for them.

2019 Melbourne AFLW Fixture

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Casey FieldsRound 1
Victoria ParkRound 2
Hickey ParkRound 3
Casey FieldsRound 4
Blacktown International SportsparkRound 5
Marvel StadiumRound 6
Casey FieldsRound 7

Season reviews: VFLW – Casey Demons

TO finish off the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season, AFL Draft Central will be reviewing each team’s year. The Casey Demons were one of the new teams in the competition and while the ladder position wasn’t too flash, they did show some promising signs.

 

Position: 10th
Win-loss: 5-9
Percentage: 70%

Results:

Round 1: Bye
Round 2: Lost against Hawthorn by seven points
Round 3: Lost against Southern Saints by eight points
Round 4: Lost against Darebin by 64 points
Round 5: Defeated Williamstown by 12 points
Round 6: Bye
Round 7: Lost against Western Bulldogs by three points
Round 8: Defeated Essendon by 26 points
Round 9: Defeated Southern Saints by 11 points
Round 10: Defeated Richmond by 18 points
Round 11: Lost against Geelong Cats by 41 points
Round 12: Lost against NT Thunder by 12 points
Round 13: Defeated Carlton by 10 points
Round 14: Lost against Melbourne University by 53 points
Round 15: Lost against Geelong by 37 points
Round 16: Lost against Collingwood by 32 points

 

Key players:

#5 Stacey Poke

A hard nut at the contest and a key contributor to the side, Stacey Poke was impressive throughout the season. She was able to make an impact in each of her eight games and showed promising signs. In Round 2, she led the way with 17 disposals and eight tackles.

#7 Bianca Jakobsson

An accomplished Melbourne defender, Jakobsson was able to shift into the midfield this season for Casey and have an impact. One of her best games was against Richmond where she racked up 20 disposals, nine marks and seven tackles. She hit the contest hard and was a proven ball magnet during the season.

#13 Katherine Smith

Smith was a workhorse in the midfield for the Dees, working hard to get the ball in congestion. She was able to feed the ball out of stoppages and was able to swiftly move the ball through the ground. One of her best games was in Casey’s narrow three-point loss against the Bulldogs, where she gathered 26 disposals, laid six tackles and kicked a goal.

#16 Casey Sherriff

A real classy player who could play anywhere, but was suited in defence. She was composed with ball in hand, and skilful by hand or foot. She would often be used in transition to move the ball out of the back half and hit a target down field, or push up to the wing and get the ball going forward. Earned a call-up to Melbourne’s list, replacing Daisy Pearce.

#18 Kaila Bentvelzen

A key position forward whose leads and aerial work proved damaging. Bentvelzen was able to read the play well and positioned herself well against experienced opponents. She kicked 11 goals in 14 games and had a good all-round game in Round 2. In this match, Bentvelzen kicked one major, racked up 10 disposals and took five marks.

#25 Madelaine Shevlin

Shevlin proved to be a ball magnet in the Casey line-up, always going in hard to win the football. She ran well on the inside and outside and is clever with the ball in hand. Shevlin was consistent, playing 14 out of a possible 16 games and impressing in the majority of them. One of her best performances was against Melbourne University, where she kicked a goal, recorded 22 disposals and laid three tackles.

 

Season summary:

The Demons showed signs of improvement at the start of the season with two narrow losses to follow their bye. After a 64-point loss proving to be a backward step for the Demons, they made up for it by getting their first win straight after the hefty loss. After a loss and a bye, Casey’s season picked up again with three straight wins, looking promising to push for a high ladder position. But the Demons could only get one more victory in their last six games, ending the season with a tough run of games. They had players such as Taylor Mesiti and Tarryn Orgill standing up in certain games but less games from experienced AFLW players such as Shelley Scott and Catherine Phillips hurt their chances of pushing for a finals finish.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 14

MELBOURNE University, Darebin and the NT Thunder all recorded crucial wins in Round 14 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. Our writers were there to watch these three teams on their way to victory, and noted down some of the top performers in each cracking match.

 

Casey Demons vs. Melbourne Uni

By: Peter Williams

Casey Demons:

#11 Eden Zanker

Showed good strength around the ground playing through the ruck and spending time forward. Zanker showed off her athletic capabilities, often leaping much higher than the opposition ruck and getting a clean tap to her midfielders. She also laid some great tackles and looked comfortable in the position.

#12 Georgia McLean

Had a few classy moments in the second half, breaking up a series of stoppages with great acceleration, but her shot on goal just missed. She applied good pressure on the ball carrier to force a ball over the boundary line, and read the taps from her rucks well, hitting the ball at top speed to burst away from her opponents.

#16 Casey Sherriff

A prominent player in defence who stepped up in the second half. In the third term she stopped a certain Sophie Abbatangelo goal, going back with the flight to earn a free kick, and then in the next play, used her smarts to keep the ball in play and in front of her, kicking it along the ground to gain extra distance. In wet conditions, Sherriff was one of the cleanest players around and showed good vision and disposal by hand or foot to teammates around the ground. Laid some vital tackles too, balancing between offensive and defensive traits.

#19 Amy Dunn

The Gippsland Power tall contributed in patches on debut, lining up at full-forward as the 23rd player. In the second term she contested strongly one-on-one and won a free kick on the wing for in the back and gave the handball off to a running teammate. In the final quarter, she marked the first ball inside 50, working hard on the lead. Her shot on goal missed to the right and was rushed over.

#22 Jordyn Allen

Showed off her trademark penetrating kick, leading out from half-forward and weighing her disposal well. She applied pressure to the ball carrier and was neat by hand or foot in transition and while she did not win a heap of the football, she laid some great tackles.

#24 Darcy Guttridge

A general in defence, Guttridge just patrolled the backline and showed great attack on the ball carrier. In the opening term she showed good strength to shrug off a tackler at half-back and kick cleanly to the wing. She constantly pushed up to the wing and hit the contest at full speed, trying her best to pump the ball long. She is a straight runner and can kick long inside 50. Copped a knock in the final term and was helped off, but could at least walk to the bench which was promising.

#25 Maddie Shevlin

Had a big day out around the ground, winning plenty of the football in the midfield and taking a kick-first approach. She laid some good tackles, but her highlight of the day was a monster kick from 50 metres which bounced through for a huge goal.

 

Melbourne University:

#1 Sophie Abbatangelo

Played a perfect forwards game, finishing with two goals, but also assisting her teammates in a couple more. She lead out and took strong marks, missing an early chance but then conjured something out of nothing, snapping a ball from the pocket. In the second term she set up Caitlin Greiser with a great lead out and then pass to her advantage, then nailed a second goal from a set shot which bent around the post to curl in. In the final term she marked deep and was unselfish to handball off to Kaitlyn Ashmore who ran in and kicked the easiest of goals.

#7 Ashleigh Riddell

The Melbourne University captain was prominent throughout the four quarters, cracking in hard and winning the ball in tight. She would spread to the outside, and hit the scoreboard with a fantastic goal off a step from the left boot deep in the pocket under pressure. She showed how clean she was at ground level on the wet turf, and also had good vision and decision making to kick to her teammates’ advantage in space. She continued to run hard all game and won her fair share of the ball.

#21 Rebecca Webster

Had a good inside game, working hard and putting pressure on the ball carrier, as well as using her stronger frame to assist her teammates. She laid some good tackling pressure in the opening term to force a turnover, and had a highlight reel moment in the second term where she charged from congestion. Unfortunately she found out how wet the ground was, taking a bounce which saw the ball roll away from her, but she recovered and handballed clear. Really strong in the midfield and clean at ground level.

#26 Caitlin Greiser

A prominent forward on the day who was one of Melbourne Uni’s best, dropping into the hole in the first term and intercepting a quick kick from a Demons defender. Her shot was on target but touched on the line. Not long after she used footy smarts to keep the ball in front of her while being chased, enabling a teammate to pick it up in space. She worked hard inside 50 to outbody her opponent in the second term, turn around and kick the goal from 15m out. She had another chance moments later with a snap under pressure but just missed. In the third term she lead out, protected the ball drop well and kicked inside 50. But her highlight-worthy moment came with less than two minutes to go as she won a one-on-one, picked up the ball tucked against the boundary line and snapped on goal, bouncing once before going through for goal of the day.

#29 Kathryn Klatt

Liked her work out of defence, she rarely made a mistake in her ability to peel off her player, take a good intercept mark and kick long, or think her way out of trouble. She was clean and accurate with her disposal on a day which made it tough considering the conditions, and had a number of crucial rebounds throughout the game.

#37 Libby Haines

Just a handful of touches on debut, but she put pressure on her opponents when down back. She used quick hands to keep the ball moving, and the one thing that stood out, perhaps more than any other player, was her closing speed and tenacity at the ball carrier. She mowed down opponents and in the final term, laid two huge tackles in a row, rewarded for her second effort, working super hard defensively.

#38 Kate Angelis

A tackling machine, Angelis just thrived on the contested ball and applying pressure all over, tackling an opponent in the second term to force a turnover. She also pounced on a loose ball and kicked it off the ground for a great goal.

#48 Madison Prespakis

You begin to run out of things to say about this talent, and it is easy to see why. She wins the ball at ease and just has fantastic vision and ability to fire handballs to teammates at will. She missed a shot at goal running in early, as the breeze tucked it away, and another only after which was intercepted. In the third term, Prespakis showed unbelievable courage going back with the flight to spoil a mark and managed to avoid giving away a free, then got up and a moment later, snapped a goal out of nothing. Bounced off opponents at stoppages and never stopped running, having the ball on a string and dominating. Best on ground again.

 

Darebin vs. Hawthorn

By: Taylah Melki

Darebin:

#2 Nicole Callinan

She was solid throughout the game, winning plenty of the ball and taking a heap of good contested marks. Callinan’s use of the ball was efficient and effective, hitting up targets while under pressure, showing good composure with ball in hand.

#7 Lily Mithen

Mithen applied plenty of physical pressure, laying a really strong tackle and winning a holding the ball call in their forward 50 leading to a goal from a teammate who played advantage. She used the footy well throughout the game showing great composure with ball in hand to check her kicks and hit up a teammate.

#14 Meghan McDonald

Solid down in defence once again, hitting the packs hard and showed good composure under pressure. She showcased her class with a clean pick up off her toes and then good hustle to break a tackle and get boot to ball in the second quarter. McDonald continued her impressive intercept marking game, taking some goal saving grabs down back once again for the Falcons. She was a key player down back proving how important she is to their side.

#15 Annalyse Lister

Lister took a good strong mark going back with the flight in the second quarter and showed good agility to get around her opponent and then bomb it inside 50. Her second efforts were good all game, showing she was not afraid to put her body on the line and win the ball at the coal-face.

#22 Georgia Hammond

Good strong juggling mark just outside the goal square and converted in front of goal. Hammond showed some good hustle to trap and win the footy at ground level in the forward 50 and was clean in and around the stoppages with a really good pick up off the deck in the middle of the ground. She highlighted her footy smarts to dish off to a teammate and create a forward thrust for her side.

#40 Lauren Pearce

Pearce continued her good form, taking a heap of good strong intercept marks which was credit to her ability to read the flight of the ball. She consistently impacted the contest and showcased her footy smarts, winning plenty of taps in the ruck and hitting it to her team’s advantage. She laid a crunching tackle in the third term where she chased down her opponent and won a holding the ball call, showing how important the one percenters are.

# 43 Hannah Mouncey

Mouncey had a really good game for the Falcons taking a heap of contested marks under pressure and offering good leads through the middle of the ground for her teammates to hit up. She provided a good presence in the forward line and was effective in the ruck, showcasing her footy smarts with some good taps to advantage. She worked herself into the game and hit the scoreboard at a critical moment with a clever scrumming goal in the third term. Mouncey also bagged another major in the fourth quarter, helping to secure the win for the Falcons.

 

Southern Saints:

#2 Alison Brown

Brown showcased her good hands in tight and around the stoppages. She used her long kick to clear the ball and move it forward for her team. She really started to work herself into the game in the second half, highlighting her strong hands and ability to read the flight of the footy. Brown worked tirelessly throughout the game, impacting the contest and scrapped hard at ground level to extract and win the footy.

#28 Rhiannon Watt

Watt was solid across the ground for the Southern Saints and showcased her good quick hands to release teammates into space. Her leads up at the footy were strong, helping to create space in the forward half and took a big contested mark. Watt created a real presence up forward and worked tirelessly throughout the game, proving to be one of the key players on the field. 

#36 Sophie Bolding

She showed some good dash and covered the ground with ease, highlighting her ability to run both ways. Bolding burnt off her opponent in the third term while streaming into the forward 50 but missed her shot at goal. She had some good passages of play but just missed a sense of composure with ball in hand, needing a few more steps to balance and compose herself before having a shot at goal or dishing off to a teammate.

#39 Eleanor Brown

Had a really solid game for the Southern Saints and was not afraid to go in hard and win the footy at the stoppages. Brown showcased good clean hands in close and worked hard to release her teammates on the outside. Her ability to get into damaging positions and use the footy effectively and efficiently was second to none. She was strong around the stoppages, scrapping hard and imposing herself on the contest as well as laying some strong tackles across the field.  

#42 Courtney Jones

Jones was cool, calm and collected throughout the game, taking a good strong mark under a heap of pressure from the Falcons. She slotted a big goal from about 40 metres out, showing her footy smarts and composure to go back and take her time to keep the Saints in it. Jones flicked the ball out of congestion with ease and was relatively accurate by foot, ensuring that she checked her kicks and hit her targets.  

#43 Shelley Heath

Heath showed some good break-away speed to burst away from the pack and was good in tight, dishing off effective and clever handballs. She worked herself into the game, gathering a few possessions and tackling well to win the ball for her team. Her strong hands were a highlight of her game along with her good leads into space through the middle of the ground.

 

Collingwood vs. NT Thunder

By: Julia Montesano

Collingwood:

#3 Nicole Hildebrand

Hildebrand delivered a good kick inside 50, penetrating the ball forward. She won a good one-on-one battle against Jenna McCormick. Also delivered a nice centering kick into the centre square.

#8 Brittany Bonnici

Laid some great tackles, showing her intent to win the footy. A highlight of her game was when she streamed through a couple of players and gave off the handball. Also took a good intercept mark.

#28 Holly Whitford

Delivered a magnificent pinpointed pass to Kristy Stratton on the lead inside 50. In another instance, Whitford sold the candy, evaded two tackles and thumped the ball forward, which was a highlight of her game. She also displayed good run and carry towards forward 50 during the game.

#54 Hillary Grubb

Grubb won a lot of the footy and got a well-deserved goal on the board for her efforts. Executed a great fend-off and followed it up with a nice kick inside 50. Grubb also displayed great run and carry through the middle of the ground.

#59 Katie Lynch

Lynch was able to read the play well and show good composure. Delivered a nice short kick to Hannah McLaren and took a good mark on the edge of defensive 50 out of the full back kick-in. Also delivered a good kick to Jessica Edwards, which started a forward thrust.

#66 Daisy Bateman

Had excellent awareness to chip a kick to Stacey Livingstone in the goal square rather than try to attempt the goal from a difficult angle. In another instance, Bateman read the bounce of the footy beautifully and converted her first major of the day.

#67 Hannah McLaren

Played a sensational game for the Pies and was their best-on-ground in my opinion. She executed a good burst of speed and followed this up with quick hands out of the pack. Was able to play on out of defensive 50 to find a target, highlighting her footy smarts out of the back half. McLaren also took some good defensive marks and did whatever she could to get the ball moving. This was demonstrated when she gave off a great handball on hands and knees which opened up the play for the Pies. In another instance, she evaded her opponent well and got the ball forward. Also gave off a nice high handball to get it out of the contest.

 

NT Thunder:

#3 Angela Foley

Took a good intercept mark off a Brittany Bonnici kick. Also read the the play well to get her boot on the ball and kick a goal to bring the margin within one point.

#5 Machaelia Roberts

Roberts did well to kick the ball inside 50, always trying to penetrate the ball forward. She was able to hit targets with her kicks and even did so while being tackled on one instance. Roberts executed a great pick-up of the footy and followed this up by streaming inside 50 to put the Thunder in front in the dying stages.

#11 Jordann Hickey

Hickey was the main target up forward and led hard to the footy all day. She was able to kick the ball nice and straight through the goals, highlighting her sound kicking action. Hickey too showed great run and carry inside 50 with an exciting element of acceleration. She was able to use this acceleration on her leads, bursting away from her opponents to mark the ball lace-out.

#22 Jenna McCormick

Like Thorn, McCormick played a sensational game for NT. Delivered a nice spearing pass to the wing, getting the ball on her boot plenty of times. Also delivered a nice long ball down the wing and also used her hands well, executing a long handpass. Executed a nice kick toward forward 50 and backed it up with some great intercept marking throughout the game. A highlight of her performance was when she stopped Jessica Edwards in her tracks when she was streaming inside 50. Laid another great tackle to dispossess her opponent and kick it down the line.

#31 Jessica Sedunary

Executed a good kick while being pushed, showing her strength in the contest. Did well to burst through traffic and showed good run and carry out of the back half. Sedunary also hit up Sue Nalder nicely inside 50.

#55 Tayla Thorn

She was NT’s best for mine. Executed a good fend-off and burst well into the forward line. She evaded a couple of players and kicked it to Jordann Hickey for a set shot in a marvellous piece of play. Thorn fended off well again in another instance, this time against the strong Emma Grant. Worked well with Hickey inside 50, delivering another good kick to her. Thorn displayed excellent run and carry and combined this with good bursts of speed. Took a great uncontested mark off a Sue Nalder kick that dropped short to give her a shot at goal. Also laid a great tackle on Stacey Livingstone.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 14

COLLINGWOOD lost its first game of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s after 14 rounds of action and consequently lost top spot on the ladder. At the bottom of the ladder, the Seagulls experienced a rare highlight for their season when they clinched a thrilling one-point win over Richmond. With only two rounds to go, the ladder could still change in what looks to be a thrilling finals series.

 

Casey Demons 1.6 (12) defeated by Melbourne University 10.5 (65) 

By: Peter Williams

Melbourne University has claimed a huge 53-point win over Casey Demons, courtesy of a dominant first half. The Mugars booted the only five goals of the first two quarters, with the Demons managing just the one behind in challenging conditions. With the ground wet and the blustery wind causing problems for some, the Mugars made the most of it. Casey played well in the third term, with Maddie Shevlin producing a huge 50 metre goal for the Demons’ only of the game, to outscore the visitors. Unfortunately for the home team, Melbourne University got back on top in the final term, booting two goals early to wrap up the match, and then two in the final two minutes to blow the margin out to almost nine goals.

Madison Prespakis starred again for the winners, doing some unbelievable things, including a snap out of nowhere for a goal, on her way to 28 disposals, two marks, six tackles and a goal. Captain Ashleigh Riddell was prominent with 18 disposals and an important first quarter goal, while Sophie Abbatangelo (15 disposals, four marks and two goals) and Caitlin Greiser (12 disposals, three marks and two goals) worked hard together in attack.

For Casey, Shevlin was the big ball winner, racking up 22 disposals and booting the Demons’ only goal, while Casey Sherriff was arguably the best for her clean ball use in defence, racking up 14 disposals and laying six tackles. Sherriff teamed well with Darcy Guttridge back there, who picked up 11 disposals and three marks, while Eden Zanker was promising in the ruck.

 

Darebin 7.1 (43) defeated Southern Saints 6.3 (39)

By: Taylah Melki

It was a good old fashioned shoot-out at Bill Lawry Oval, with both the Falcons and Saints going goal-for-goal. In a hotly contested match, Darebin looked to have broken away in the second term, but the Saints fought back to go in even at half-time. Accuracy did not seem to be a problem for either team with no behinds scored in the first half of footy, credit to their cleanliness by foot. But in the end, it was the Falcons that secured the win by four points in a very tight game to keep their finals hopes alive.

The Falcons were on song with the likes of Hannah Mouncey finding the goals and imposing herself around the contest with her strong hands. Teammates, Lily Mithen and Georgia Hammond were also impressive with their clean hands at the coal face and ability to dish off clever handballs under pressure. Down in defence, Meghan McDonald played her usual role, taking a heap of intercept marks and controlling the defensive 50 for the Falcons.

Meanwhile for the Southern Saints, Alison Brown showcased her good hands in tight, extracting the footy out of the congestion cleanly and cleverly. Rhiannon Watt provided a good target up forward and worked tirelessly throughout the match to win the footy. Courtney Jones was impressive for the Saints, opening their scoring account and getting involved in the contest, as was Alison Drennan who was influential across the ground with her silky skills.

 

Collingwood 4.4 (28) defeated by NT Thunder 5.8 (38)

Collingwood experienced the losing feeling for the first time this year on the hallowed turf of Victoria Park. The Pies couldn’t kick a goal during the whole second half while the Thunder kicked three crucial majors to claim a vital win, and top spot on the ladder.

Captain, Angela Foley had a blinder of a game, being one of two multiple goal kickers for the Thunder, as well as racking up 29 disposals and taking four marks. The other multiple goal kicker was 23 year-old, Jordann Hickey, who booted home two majors from her 10 disposals. In terms of disposals, Adelaide AFLW forward, Jenna McCormick led the way with 31 touches to go along with seven marks.

Vic Metro forward, Daisy Bateman was one of four single goal kickers for the Pies, and also racked up nine disposals. Her Oakleigh Chargers teammate, Hannah McLaren racked up the disposals, gathering 20 touches for the Pies. She was complemented by a great all-round game from Sophie Alexander, who gathered 23 disposals and laid six tackles. Former Murray Bushrangers defender, Iilish Ross led the way in the tackling department, laying 11 for the match.

 

Geelong Cats 8.11 (59) defeated Essendon 2.2 (14)  

Geelong took care of business at GMHBA Stadium, recording another big win over another cellar-dweller in the competition. This time, Essendon was on the end of the big margin, only managing two goals for the game, while the Cats booted eight.

Danielle Orr and Mia-Rae Clifford were the two multiple goal kickers for the Cats with two majors each. In the midfield, it was Richelle Cranston who dominated yet again with 24 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Geelong Falcons duo, Olivia Purcell (18 touches) and Nina Morrison (16 touches) also contributed well on the day.

For the Bombers, Hayley Bullas provided some positives with her 20 disposals, three marks and a whopping 17 tackles. She was complemented by the consistent Jessica Trend, who racked up 18 disposals, five marks and nine tackles. Trend led the way for marks in the match, taking the most grabs out of any player in the match. Alex Quigley and Monique DeMatteo were Essendon’s goal kickers.

 

Richmond 5.7 (37) defeated by Williamstown 5.8 (38) 

Williamstown has recorded a thrilling come from behind win to secure its second win of the season. The Seagulls hadn’t scored a goal up to half time, but found their mojo in the second half, outscoring Richmond five goals to two.

North Melbourne recruit, Jasmine Garner had a marvelous game for the Seagulls, kicking two goals and racking up 21 disposals as well as five marks. Her fellow Kangaroos recruit, Jess Duffin led the way in disposals, gathering 30 touches as well as two marks and four tackles in another sensational performance. Jenna Bruton’s fierce attack on the ball was key to Williamstown’s victory, as she laid a game-high 12 tackles to go with her 19 disposals.

Phoebe Monahan once again led the way in disposals for Richmond, gathering 25 disposals and seven tackles. Of those 25 disposals, 23 were kicks, highlighting her ability to get the ball on the boot and penetrate it forward. She was complemented by Lauren Tesoriero, who gathered 22 touches and took three marks. Kate Dixon was a focal point up forward, kicking two majors to go with her 10 disposals.

 

Hawthorn 11.13 (79) defeated Western Bulldogs 4.0 (24) 

The Bulldogs succumbed to their second consecutive loss, but this time the margin was much greater, hurting their late finals charge. The Hawks led at each break and did the most damage in the third quarter, where they kicked three unanswered goals.

The Hawks had three multiple goal kickers in Sarah Perkins (three), Emily Gilder (two), Phoebe McWilliams (two) and Rosie Dillon (two). One player that could have kicked multiple goals was Rebecca Beeson, who finished the match with one goal and three behinds. That didn’t seem to faze her though, as she was the leading disposal-getter on the ground, gathering 25 disposals. Julia Crockett-Grills and Meg Hutchins also found plenty of the footy, racking up 18 touches each.

For the Bulldogs, it was Lauren Spark who led the way in disposals. She gathered 17 touches and took six marks on the day. Ashleigh Guest was next best with 14, while Bonnie Toogood racked up 12 touches in her first VFLW game. Bailey Hunt provided some positivity for the Dogs, as she kicked a goal and led the way in tackles, laying eight for the match.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 11

LADDER leader, Collingwood was given a big scare by the gallant Blues while Melbourne Uni just scraped over the line in a tight contest at Frankston. The Pies now have the NT Thunder on their heels, after they recorded a handy win over Richmond. The Thunder sit second on the ladder and will be keen to push the high-flying Pies in the coming rounds.

 

Williamstown 4.5 (29) defeated by Western Bulldogs 10.9. (69)

After a close first quarter that saw the Seagulls and Western Bulldogs level, Williamstown was not able to keep that momentum after that. Instead the Bulldogs went bang in the second quarter, kicking four goals to none in a display of dominance. From then on, the away team was able to flex its muscles and come away with a comfortable 40-point win.

Alyssa Mifsud performed well inside 50 for the Dogs, kicking three goals from her seven disposals. She was complemented by Greater Western Victoria (GWV) captain, Lauren Butler, who also kicked three majors for the day to go with her 13 disposals and four tackles. Sarah Jolly was a ball magnet as she racked up 23 disposals, seven marks and six tackles to go along with a nice goal.

For Williamstown, Andrea Cameron was the shining light, recording 20 disposals and kicking a goal. The other goals came from Western Jets forward, Sharnie Whiting, Emily Paterno, Jorja Rowe and Chloe Portelli. Paterno in particular attacked the ball hard, laying seven tackles and accumulating 15 disposals.

 

Darebin 5.11 (41) defeated Essendon 2.2 (14)

Darebin has returned to its winning ways, defeating Essendon by 27 points. The Falcons held the Bombers scoreless in the second half while managing to kick two goals themselves in a tight battle.

Melbourne AFL Women’s ruck, Lauren Pearce starred in this match, kicking two of her side’s five goals, racking up 19 disposals and taking 10 marks. Eastern Ranges defender, Lauren Szigeti also racked up the possessions with 17 touches to go along with her four marks. Greater Western Sydney (GWS) star, Jessica Dal Pos also had a good day out with 17 disposals and eight tackles.

Dal Pos’ AFL Women’s teammate, Maddy Collier was one of the Bombers’ most influential players on the day, racking up 21 disposals, four marks and six tackles. She was complemented by tackling machine, Hayley Bullas who recorded 19 touches. Monique DeMatteo and NT Under 18 representative, Danielle Ponter were Essendon’s goalkickers.

 

Richmond 4.5 (29) defeated Northern Territory Thunder 7.10 (52)

By: James Halley 

After an even first term which saw just two points separating the teams, Northern Territory (NT) Thunder was able take control of the contest. Richmond started the better out of the two, kicking the first three scoring shots of the game, with Courtney Wakefield kicking 1.2.

Wakefield continued to cause headaches for NT in the second quarter, booting her team’s two majors for the term. After an Emma Swanson wonder goal from the boundary it left the visitors trailing by five points at half-time. NT owned the third quarter as Thunder piled on three goals to none and attempted to build a decent lead in a low-scoring match. The last quarter continued the Thunder dominance with another two goals piled on. Richmond was held goalless in the second half in superb defending by NT.

Wakefield was one of Richmond’s best with three goals, while Phoebe Monahan was one of the Tigers’ best midfielders in a hard day against seasoned AFLW players. While there were many standouts for Northern Territory, highlighted by Ebony Marinoff in the midfield. Marinoff is a contested freak. She was helped out by the ruck dominance of Jasmyn Hewett.

 

Geelong Cats 10.8 (68) defeated Casey Demons 4.3 (27)

A six goals to two second half earned the Cats a convincing victory at Queens Park. Geelong maintained its lead at every quarter break and didn’t look like slowing down throughout the match, holding a two-point lead at quarter time and booted five goals to one over the next two quarters to lead by 28 points at the last change. A four goals to two final term resulted in Geelong running away with a 41-point win to continue its fantastic form.

Up forward, Maddie Boyd and Kate Darby each kicked two majors. Maighan Fogas also chipped in with one goal and was the leading disposal-getter with 25 disposals as well as six tackles. Rebecca Goring also performed well with 18 disposals and seven marks.

Casey Sherriff played a wonderful game for the Demons with 14 of her 15 disposals being kicks. She also led the way for marks with nine and laid nine tackles. Consistent performers, Madelaine Shevlin and Katherine Smith also racked up 15 apiece while Kaila Bentvelzen kicked two majors.

 

Carlton 4.7 (31) defeated by Collingwood 6.12 (48)

By: Peter Williams 

Collingwood survived a scare from arch rivals Carlton to remain unbeaten, following a 17-point win over the Blues at RAMS Arena in Craigieburn. With the famous RAMS breeze blowing from the Grand Boulevard end, it meant nearly all the goals were kicked up the other end. In fact, Stacey Livingstone can hold claim to the only player to kick majors into the wind, booting two in the space of a couple of minutes, which were vital in the end. Carlton led by eight points at quarter time, but found themselves trailing at the half by five. It could have been a lot worse given the Magpies had eight scoring shots, but converted just the one goal, as the ball was trapped inside their forward half for the majority of the 20 minutes. Carlton nudged ahead with three goals to two in the third quarter, was Kristi Harvey and Livingstone both booted two, while young Blues star Tyla Hanks converted a tight-angled set shot from the boundary. The final term saw the Magpies predictably run away with it courtesy of the breeze and Sophie Alexander booted two majors and ensured the Magpies returned to the top of the table.

Harvey was a star at both ends, camping up the end with the breeze, converting when in attack and rebounding when in defence. Sarah Hosking was her usual dominant self around the stoppages and probably the best midfielder on the ground. Tilly Lucas-Rodd was also impressive, while Hanks and fellow TAC Cup Girls’ captain Madeline Brancatisano also showed glimpses of what they are capable of, as did Mika Sukuzi who came in as the 23rd player and showed good hardness at the ball.

The Magpies did not have a standout, rather having many contributors in the win, as Alexander and Livingstone both booted two majors, while Iilish Ross was impressive with her run and carry out of midfield into attack. Brittany Bonnicis attack on the football from half-back, and Nicole Hales‘ work in defence was also admirable. Ruby Schleicher used the ball well by foot in tough conditions, while Emma Grant, Chloe Molloy and Sarah D’Arcy worked hard through midfield.

 

Southern Saints 5.6 (36) defeated by Melbourne University 6.3 (39)

By: Peter Williams

In a thrilling contest that was never quite over until the final siren, Melbourne University toppled the Southern Saints in chilly conditions at Skybus Stadium in Frankston. The game brought plenty of AFL Women’s recruiters to Frankston, with some of this year’s top prospects battling away for their VFL Women’s sides. Melbourne Uni had all the ascendancy in the first term, booting the only two goals of the quarter, including a pin-point curling on-the-run goal from Calder Cannons star Madison Prespakis who set the tone for the match, right after fellow TAC Cup Girls player Caitlin Greiser had got on the board early. The second term was a tight affair, with both sides slotting a goal and competing relatively well with the blustery conditions. A two goals to one third term gave the Mugars a three-goal advantage heading into the final term and looked to have done enough. But when Ashleigh Allsopp and Tara Bohanna slotted goals, the deficit was less than a kick. Bohanna would have been kicking herself, missing two more gettable chances, as the Mugars’ Imogen Milford made them pay with the visitors only score of the final term – a goal. Bohanna kicked a major in the dying minutes, but great work from Melbourne Uni to hold up play in the final minute and ensure a narrow three-point win. There was some controversy at the end with young gun Courtney Jones going down with an injury in the final seconds of the game and the umpire called time off, but the siren sounded a few seconds later. With reportedly five seconds left on the clock, it mattered little what could have happened and all concern from both teams was with Jones’ injury which eventually saw her limp from the field a promising sign from first glance.

Prespakis was the clear standout once against for the Mugars, finding the ball everywhere and copping knocks left, right and centre and just getting straight back up again. Asha Price was impressive up forward, constantly leading for the football, while the likes of Elizabeth Keaney and Hannah Ibrahim were also named in the best. Captain Ashleigh Riddell lead from the front, while Sophie Abbatangelo and Elyce Hay were also good around the ground.

For the Saints, Rhiannon Watt was massive in the ruck and around the ground, while Bohanna, Kayla Ripari and Gabriella De Angelis formed a dynamic trio up forward, all offering something different to the Saints’ set-up. Eleanor Brown was ultra-impressive with her ability to read the play and chop off a number of passes directed inboard by her opposition. Jones was also good in transition, while Jemma Owen stepped up around the contest and put her body on the line on a number of occasions.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 10

AFTER their big wins on the weekend, Geelong and NT Thunder have the most representatives in this week’s best 22, with eight between them. The rest of the sides had quite an even group of contributors, with each team having at least one player in the Team of the Week.

This round was the week of the forwards, with numerous players kicking multiple goals. NT’s Abbey Holmes and Carlton’s Darcy Vescio headline the best 22 this week with four goals each.

Williamstown duo, Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton were once again outstanding in a losing side against Carlton. Duffin gathered 33 disposals while Bruton amassed 29 disposals and a goal. They were both automatic locks for the Team of the Week alongside Holmes and Vescio in the forward line.

Katelyn Cox was quite impressive for the Blues in their win against Williamstown with 13 possessions and two goals, although it was not quite enough to gain a spot in this weeks team. Hawthorn’s Jessica Sibley edged out teammate and Team of the Week regular, Jayde Van Dyk, who can count herself as an unlucky omission from this week’s team. Sibley was instrumental down back for the Hawks in their six-point thrilling win against Melbourne University.