Tag: Courtney Ugle

VFL Women’s wash-up: Round 1 – Tigers stamp authority, while 2018 top three suffer losses

ROUND 1 of Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) commenced across the past two weekends, with five matches across three days of footy action all but setting the tone for the season to come. Carlton, Western Bulldogs and Williamstown had the bye this week, so will be rearing to go come Round 2.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 0.2 | 2.7 | 3.8 | 5.13 (43)
COLLINGWOOD 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)

GOALS
Southern:
C. Greiser 2, T. Bohanna, C. Jones, A. Allsopp.
Collingwood: M. Doherty.

BEST
Southern:
J. Kelly, C. Phillips, O. Vesely, E. Keaney, C. Greiser, A. Drennan
Collingwood: J. Ferguson, G. Buchan, A. Bild , B. Bonnici, K. Lee, J. Lambert

It was a dominant performance from the Saints in the season opener, coming away 35 point winners against a struggling Magpies outfit. Despite all the momentum in their favour, the Saints were inaccurate inside 50 and missed opportunities to drag out the margin. Caitlin Greiser was the only multiple goalkicker, with two majors to her name, while Morgan Doherty was the sole goalkicker for the Pies. Collingwood’s Jaimee Lambert was the leading disposal winner for the match with 33 touches and six tackles, while the Magpies’ tackling pressure was solid with the likes of Katelyn Lee and Jasmine Ferguson racking up nine and seven alike. Despite the low scoring affair, the Magpies did a good job defensively to keep the Saints’ score down, showing some good composure as they controlled entries inside defensive 50 and piled on the pressure to deny space for marking contests. The Magpies will want to boost their opportunities forward in order to get a win on the board, with the defensive pressure of the Saints just too good.

ESSENDON 1.0 | 2.1 | 4.2 | 5.2 (32)
CASEY DEMONS 0.0 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 5.5 (35)

GOALS
Essendon:
M. DeMatteo 3, M. Collier, S. Audley.
Casey: M. Guerin 3, B. Jakobsson 2.

BEST
Essendon:
S. Nalder, R. Svarc, S. Wilson, A. Morcom, H. Bullas, M. DeMatteo
Casey: E. Zanker , E. Birch, B. Jakobsson, M. Guerin, C. Emonson, K. Bentvelzen

A burst from the Demons in the final moments of the game gifted the side a win to start the season after trailing by 11 at the final change. Multiple goal hauls to two Melbourne AFL Women’s players – Maddy Guerin (three goals) and Bianca Jakobsson (two) – lead the way for the Demons, as they struggled to contain the likes of Monique DeMatteo, who kicked 3.1 in a solid outing for the Bombers. Casey’s Jakobsson and Essendon’s Georgia Nanscawen were among the leading ball winners, with 20 and 19 touches respectively, while Jakobsson’s nine marks and four tackles proved pivotal to the Demons’ success. The likes of Shae Audley and Courtney Ugle provided much needed tackling pressure, combining for 21 tackles as the Demons threatened to overrun the Bombers. Eden Zanker proved to be a solid option across the field for Casey, accumulating 24 hitouts, 12 touches and four marks.

DAREBIN 0.0 | 2.0 | 3.1 | 7.2 (44)
RICHMOND 3.1 | 7.1 | 10.6 | 12.7 (79)

GOALS
Darebin:
J. Stanton, C. Byrne, E. McLaughlin, G. Hammond, L. Szigeti, E. Gardner, M. Wilson.
Richmond: T. Stahl-Smith 6, C. Wakefield 2, M. Klingbeil , J. Colwell, H. Ibrahim, E. Paterno.

BEST
Darebin:
J. Stanton, A. Lister, E. McLaughlin, S. Fairchild, G. Hammond, S. Simpson
Richmond: T. Stahl-Smith, H. Ibrahim, G. Campbell, A. Edmonds, R. Miller, C. Wakefield

A dominant performance from Tayla Stahl-Smith saw the Tigers blow the Falcons out of the water, with six goals alone almost equaling Darebin’s final tally. That being said, it was not all bad news for the Falcons as they shared around possession and showed they have options and versatility across the board. Seven individual goalkickers all but proves Darebin’s depth inside 50, giving the Falcons plenty of opportunity in front of the big sticks despite the defensive pressure of the Tigers. Jamie Stanton (19 disposal, four marks, four tackles) and Hannah Ibrahim (17 touches, two marks, six tackles) lead the way for their respective sides, putting pressure both on and off the ball with their respective ability to take control of possession. Both Shree Fairchild and Alana Woodward came away with 10 tackles to their name, however it was the backup provided by fellow Tigers teammates that kept the pressure on around the ground as Kodi Jacques and Shayla Marsh also came away with solid tackling numbers (nine and eight, respectively).

HAWTHORN 0.1 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 4.3 (27)
NT THUNDER 1.3 | 3.8 | 5.10 | 6.13 (49)

GOALS
Hawthorn:
J. Sibley 2, C. Perera, T. Luke.
NT: A. Considine 2, J. Hewett, J. Baird, A. Foley, L. Roberts.

BEST
Hawthorn:
T. Luke, C. Perera, E. Nixon, P. Peschke, R. Dillon, N. Cormack
NT: T. Thorn, C. Randall, D. Varnhagen, J. Hewett, A. Foley, M. Roberts

It was a slow start for both sides in this matchup, however a second half boost from the Thunder saw the interstate side take control from that point onwards and did not look back. Chelsea Randall (28 disposals, seven marks, four tackles), Ailish Considine (22 touches, two goals) and Angela Foley (20 disposals, one goal, six marks) were named in the best for the NT side, while the likes of Deni Varnhagen (18 touches, seven marks) and Jasmyn Hewitt (one goal, eight tackles) also made their mark on the game. For the Hawks, it took a full field defensive unit to stop the press of the Thunder’s attack, proving strong as they limited Thunder’s accuracy with the constant pressure inside defensive 50. Philippa Peschke and Meg Hutchins were among Hawthorn’s best with 22 and 21 disposals respectively, while Peschke also notched up five marks and five tackles. Also up there for the Hawks was Ebony Nixon, who finished with a solid 20 touches, six marks and five tackles. Jess Sibley was a good option inside 50, kicking an equal game-high two goals to keep her side in the match.

MELBOURNE UNI 3.0 | 7.1 | 9.2 | 12.5 (77)
GEELONG CATS 2.1 | 3.1 | 3.3 | 5.3 (33)

GOALS
Uni:
A. Price 4, J. Garner 3, L. Amelung 2, J. Bruton, M. McDonald, E. King.
Geelong: M. Boyd 2, M. Keryk, B. Beckley, R. Benham.

BEST
Uni:
T. Mesiti, J. Garner, J. Grierson, K. Angelis, A. Price, M. McDonald
Geelong: R. Webster, A. McDonald, J. Ivey, M. Boyd, C. Blakeway, M. Keryk

Melbourne Uni made their presence felt on the field winning comfortably against Geelong. It was a close start but as the game went on Melbourne Uni pushed ahead credit to their accuracy in front of goal and making the most of their opportunities with ball in hand. Geelong were unable to stop the Muggars who were crisp with ball in hand and flexed their muscles in the second term nailing four goals to one, to take a 24 point lead into the main break and did not look back. Jasmine Garner was prolific across the field picking up plenty of the ball with a game high 31 disposals. She also impacted the scoreboard nailing three goals to add to her impressive afternoon. Asha Price was a dead in eye in front of goal booting four goals for Melbourne University while Laura Amelung was also important in the forward half kicking two goals straight, showcasing their accuracy in front of goal. Jenna Bruton was a major ball winner for the Muggars who relished her hard-nosed attitude at the contest, amassing 22 touches and a goal while Kate Gillespie-Jones led the way in physicality with 10 tackles for the game. In a disappointing outing for Geelong, Rebecca Webster recorded the highest number of disposals with 20 touches, using the ball well to hit up teammates and create space. In the forward 50 Maddie Boyd was impressive, slotting two majors and securing a game high seven marks showcasing her strong hands in the contest.

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.

Season reviews: VFLW – Essendon

ESSENDON’S first season in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition is certainly not what the side would have hoped for. But some close losses and pulling through for a win late in the season has given the Bombers some positives to take out of the year.

 

Position: 13th
Win-loss: 1-13
Percentage: 40%

Results:

Round 1: Lost against Hawthorn by 39 points
Round 2: Lost against Melbourne University by eight points
Round 3: Lost against NT Thunder by 72 points
Round 4: Lost against Southern Saints by 36 points
Round 5: Lost against Richmond by 34 points
Round 6: Bye
Round 7: Lost against Hawthorn by 27 points
Round 8: Lost against Casey Demons by 26 points
Round 9: Defeated Richmond by eight points
Round 10: Lost against Western Bulldogs by six points
Round 11: Lost against Darebin by 27 points
Round 12: Bye
Round 13: Lost against Collingwood by 26 points
Round 14: Lost against Geelong by 45 points
Round 15: Lost against Williamstown by 28 points
Round 16: Lost against Carlton by 75 points

 

Key players:

#1 Jessica Trend

Trend was one of Essendon’s most reliable players, often being a stalwart in defence. Her football smarts were second to none and allowed her to see plenty of the football. She finished fifth in Essendon’s Best and Fairest count and has earned herself an AFL Women’s contract at North Melbourne as a result of her consistent year at the Bombers. She was Essendon’s leading disposal-getter in Round 8 with 20 touches. Trend also took two marks and laid six tackles in that match.  

#8 Hayley Bullas

The most ferocious tackler in the competition, Bullas gave opposition midfielders headaches. She was a workhorse on the inside for the Bombers this season and won the Best and Fairest as a result. Bullas played all 14 games this season, consistently earning a spot in the side for her midfield efforts. Remarkably, she racked up more than 10 tackles on five separate occasions, with the standout being in Round 4 when she laid a whopping 19 tackles.

#25 Rebecca Neaves

Like Trend, Neaves was also a reliable player for the Bombers, playing a solid role in defence. Neaves was able to move the ball swiftly out of defensive 50 and was a good marker of the football. She came third in Essendon’s Best and Fairest count after an excellent year.

#44 Maddy Collier

The Greater Western Sydney (GWS) midfielder showed her experience in the red and black, playing some stellar games throughout the season. Collier seemed to find the football with ease and kicked it nicely. Her quick hands and tackling were also impressive features of her game. She led the way for the Bombers in Round 11, racking up 21 disposals, four marks and six tackles. Collier was also named best-on-ground by her coaches in five of her 12 games this season.

#46 Courtney Ugle

Ugle’s run and carry out of defence often saved Essendon from some big losses this season. She was smart with the ball in hand and could use it well both by hand or by foot. For a defender, she still managed to rack up plenty of touches, highlighting her ability to find the football under duress. She came second in Essendon’s Best and Fairest count. One of her best games was against Collingwood in Round 13 where she gathered 16 disposals and laid five tackles.

 

Season summary:

Despite just the one win, Essendon did come close on a couple of occasions. The Bombers were able to push the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne University right until the end, going down in both those games by less than 10 points. Two losses by more than 70 points would have dampened their spirits, but the Bombers would be going into the off-season excited about their young list. Additionally, exciting players like Valerie Moreau and Kendra Heil would boost their chances of getting a few more wins in 2019.

AFL Draft Central’s VFLW Team of the Year

PICKING the AFL Draft Central Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Team of the Year was very difficult as there has been numerous terrific performers throughout the year. We compiled the best 22 players at the end of the VFLW home and away season, which takes into account the standout performers from the 16 rounds of VFLW this season.

Jess Duffin starts in the centre due to her outstanding season for Williamstown. She was picked in the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Week five times during the season, showing how dominant she was in the competition. She had a wonderful VFLW season and will hope to continue her great form with North Melbourne in the upcoming AFL Women’s season. Darcy Vescio is rightfully named at full forward after winning the VFLW goalkicking award, with 26 goals from nine matches. Nine of these goals were kicked against the Bombers in Round 16.

The back line is headlined by Hawthorn gun defender, Jayde Van Dyk. Van Dyk has been a revelation this season with her consistency and ability to lock down key players. Richmond’s Jacqueline Graham, who was also great down back for her side, accompanies Van Dyk in the back line. She featured in the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Week eight times, which is only beaten by Jayde Van Dyk and Jess Duffin’s nine appearances.

The midfield is littered with some of the competition’s superstars. Ashleigh Riddell was outstanding for Melbourne University across the wing, while Alison Drennan was extremely reliable for the Southern Saints. She appeared in the Team of the Week seven times this season. Darebin’s Lauren Pearce got the nod to be the starting ruck as she was one of the standout rucks in the competition alongside Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints) and Alice Edmonds (Richmond). Pearce just edged out the latter duo to make the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Year.

The forward line has plenty of fire-power and is easily capable of kicking a winning score. On the left half-forward flank is NT’s Jess Sedunary, who finished third in the goalkicking tally. Alongside her at centre-half forward is North Melbourne recruit, Jasmine Garner, who kicked 10 goals in nine games for the Seagulls.

The bench consists of midfield pair, Richelle Cranston (Geelong) and Jenna Bruton (Williamstown) as well as utility, Katherine Gillespie-Jones (Melbourne University). Rounding out the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Year is Thunder captain, Angela Foley. Foley was able to provide outstanding leadership while simultaneously playing some consistent football.

Due to only 22 making the final cut, there was destined to be many unlucky players. Falcons forward, Hannah Mouncey can consider herself unlucky as she kicked the second-most goals in the competition. But as we saw with Tom Hawkins in the AFL, who did not make the 2018 All Australian side, goals sometimes are not enough. Hawthorn midfielder, Melissa Kuys is also unlucky as she had a great season leading from the front. Former Calder Cannons pair, Chloe Molloy and Madison Prespakis are two more who had an argument to be included in the Team of the Year, but will definitely be featuring prominently in the future.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 16

COLLINGWOOD, Hawthorn and Carlton all have three players each in the Team of the Week after their big wins on the weekend. On the other hand, every loser from the weekend only has one player in this week’s best 22, headlined by Kelly Thompson making her debut in the line-up.

The final home and away round gave fans plenty to smile about. Darcy Vescio kicking a season-high nine goals for Carlton to win the leading goal kicking award was a major highlight. She cemented her spot in the full forward position after her dominant performance against the Bombers. Hannah Scott was also tremendous for the Western Bulldogs, gathering 17 touches while pushing forward and kicking two goals, which proved pivotal in the Dogs’ four-point win over Darebin.

Gabriella Pound and Olivia Vesely both gained a spot in this week’s back line after both being instrumental in Carlton’s demolishing of Essendon. Bombers defender, Courtney Ugle has regained her spot after a two-week hiatus while Hawthorn’s Jayde Van Dyk is once again named at full back after a tidy match where she gathered 18 disposals.

Madeline Keryk starts in the midfield this week after an impressive 24 touches and a goal. A pattern that this week’s midfield has is that all players got forward and delivered with important goals, highlighted by Collingwood’s Jaimee Lambert kicking three and Hannah Scott kicking two for the red, white and blue.

Key forwards, Sarah Perkins (Hawthorn) and Kate Dixon (Richmond) helped get their team over the line with two goals apiece, and therefore earned a spot in the best 22 this week. Williamstown pair, Jasmine Garner and Jess Duffin also made their way into the side thanks to their sublime performances. In a change, Duffin was sent forward and delivered, kicking three goals, while Garner was also important with two goals. 

Round 16 was the final chance for some to gain a spot in the Team of the Week and there were many who staked their claim to come up short in the end. Collingwood’s Stacey Livingstone is one who is unlucky, as she kicked two goals from four scoring shots. Richelle Cranston is in the same boat as she was vital for Geelong in the midfield, collecting 25 disposals.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 13

THIS round’s Team of the Week is evenly spread out, with no team having more than two representatives in the best 22. After their disappointing losses on the weekend, Williamstown and the Western Bulldogs are the only two teams to only have one player represented. Every other team has two players who made the cut in a week with many solid performances.

Eden Zanker had a breakout game for Casey up forward in its win against Carlton. She kicked three goals and had a real presence up forward all game. Anne Hatchard was also superb up forward for the Northern Territory, kicking four goals from 15 disposals in its big win over Williamstown. These two were locks in the Team of the Week after their stellar performances.

In the midfield, Alison Brown dominated for the Saints with 28 disposals. As well as Brown, the Thunder’s Emma Swanson was also a lock in this week’s midfield as she kicked one goal from 27 disposals. In the back line, Hawthorn’s Jayde Van Dyk and Richmond’s Jacqueline Graham once again held their spots after 18 and 20 disposals each, respectively. Tanya Hetherington from Essendon and Iilish Ross from Collingwood both managed to get forward and kick goals from the back line as well as racking up a number of disposals each. The back line was easy picking this week with performances like these.

Jess Sedunary can count herself as unlucky not to be in the best 22 this week after a really good game for NT on the weekend. She kicked 21 disposals from the half forward flank and also managed to kick a goal in a really positive performance. Jenna Bruton is also in the same position, as Bruton and Jess Duffin were fighting for the same spot and Bruton unluckily missed out. She lit up the midfield for the Seagulls with 22 disposals in a losing effort to the Thunder.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 13

BIG wins from NT Thunder and Geelong combined with a loss to Hawthorn made for a shake-up of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s top four in Round 13. In other games, the Casey Demons defeated the Blues, the Saints upset the Dogs and the Pies took care of business at RAMS Arena against the bottom of the table Bombers. 

 

Casey Demons 5.7 (37) defeated Carlton 3.9 (27)

By: James Halley

The Casey Demons held on to a 10-point victory against Carlton as the Blues failed to capitalise on their chances late in the final quarter at Casey Fields. Carlton was 16 points down at the final change, needing four goals in the last quarter to win. However, the Blues had only kicked three majors for the game, making for a very difficult task. They had the advantage of a major breeze in the last term but unfortunately for the Blues, they only were able to kick six behinds in the last quarter, missing crucial chances in front of goal.

The Demons’ dominant first term negated Carlton of any chance of scoring, as they locked the ball inside their forward 50 for the majority of the quarter. Their first quarter dominance was soon squandered as Carlton got its chance to attack with the breeze, as Vescio showed why she is such a star. The Blues denied Casey for a large part of the third term, as they placed a number behind the ball, but Katherine Smith broke the drought with a smart goal out a pack moments before three quarter-time, allowing the Demons to hold on for victory. 

Eden Zanker starred for the Demons up forward as she kicked two goals within the first five minutes of the game, ending up with three for the match. For Carlton, Darcy Vescio stood up when needed, taking big marks and kicking a crucial goal. She made her Demon opponents nervous whenever she was near the ball.

 

Williamstown 4.2 (26) defeated by NT Thunder 11.5 (71)

NT Thunder got another win on the board in stunning fashion, defeating the struggling Seagulls by 55 points. The Thunder led at every break and did the most damage in the third quarter. The away side kept Williamstown scoreless and kicked four unanswered goals to sit a at second on the ladder and a game ahead of Hawthorn.

In her return to the NT lineup, Anne Hatchard did not disappoint. The Adelaide AFLW forward booted four goals while Crows teammates, Jessica Sedunary and Georgia Bevan each kicked one major. Bevan was named best on ground for the Thunder and was complemented by fellow goal kicker, Emma Swanson, who has been in fine form for the Thunder this season. Tayla Thorn also played a great game for NT, kicking two goals and making her way into the best as well.

It was all single goal kickers for Williamstown, as the side only scored four majors for the day. Georgia Harris, Jess Duffin, Sarah Chapman and Sharnie Whiting were the ones who got on the board with a goal each, doing what they could to provide a contest. A standout in that area was Rebecca Dardengo, who was named best afield for the Seagulls in the loss. She was complemented by Belinda Hateley, Chloe Portelli, Jenna Bruton and Jessica Bartolo.

 

Geelong Cats 10.7 (67) defeated Richmond 1.2 (8)

In one of the biggest wins of the season, the Cats took care of the Tigers, easily beating them by 59 points. Geelong held Richmond scoreless for three quarters and used the third quarter to blow the game out of the water. In that quarter, the Cats got out to a 65-point lead, thanks to kicking six unanswered goals.

Mia-Rae Clifford had an absolute day out in the blue and white hoops, kicking four majors for the day, two of which came in the first quarter. Maddie Boyd also joined in the scoring, kicking two goals and being named best on ground for her efforts. Richelle Cranston continued her stellar season at Geelong, as she booted a goal on the weekend and contributed well around the ground. She too was named in the best Geelong players for her great game. Maighan Fogas, Erin Hoare and Cassandra Blakeway also had performances to remember, playing solid games on the day.

For Richmond, it is no surprise to see who was named best on ground. Phoebe Monahan has been an exceptional midfielder for the Tigers this season and was no different on Saturday. Despite the heavy loss, she managed to make her efforts shine through which was a positive for Richmond on a dour day. Monahan was complemented by good games from Murray Bushrangers midfielder, Tamara Smith as well as Ella Ross, Alice Edmonds, Laura Bailey and Lisa Davie. Jess Gardner was the only goal kicker for Richmond, booting through a major in the last quarter.

 

Darebin 4.5 (29) defeated Hawthorn 3.7 (25)

By: Taylah Melki

In a relatively low-scoring affair, it was the Darebin Falcons that took home the four points, knocking off the third-placed Hawks. It was a scrappy game with neither side able to capitalise on their scoring opportunities and often fumbling the ball. Both teams struggled to break away from one another with the final margin being a mere four points, making for a hotly contested match. Most of the game was played between the arcs, resulting in a lot of stoppages and very few shots on goal.

For the Falcons, the experience and class of players such as Elise O’Dea and Jessica Dal Pos stood out with their ability to open up the space and create some good run and carry through the middle. O’Dea bagged an important goal for her side, and showed great leadership in trying times to will her side back into the contest. Teammate, Kate Shierlaw also impressed for Darebin with her composure and ability to take strong marks under pressure while Meghan McDonald starred down back, taking a number of good intercept marks to stop the flow of the Hawks.

The likes of Meg Hutchins and Phoebe McWilliams continued to impress for the brown and gold with their constant intent to win the footy and impact on the contest. Jayde Van Dyk was also amongst the Hawks’ best with her clean hands in close and ability to read the play well. Teammates, Rebecca Beeson and Jessica Sibley also worked tirelessly all game, racking up the touches and imposing themselves around the contest.

 

Western Bulldogs 1.3 (9) defeated by Southern Saints 6.4 (40)

In one of the biggest upsets of the round, the Bulldogs were knocked off their high horse and came crashing back down to Earth against the Southern Saints. They kicked their only goal of the game in the first quarter, and were completely shut down by the Saints for the rest of the game. The Saints were able to increase their lead at each quarter break and ended up taking home a 31-point win.

Tara Bohanna was the focal point up forward with three majors while Courtney Munn, Amy Silver and Holly Bate all chipped in with one major a piece. Kayla Ripari continued her solid season on Sunday, being named best on ground for the winning team. Ruck, Rhiannon Watt was just as impressive and has also had a consistent season, backing it up on Sunday by being named second best. The duo were complemented by Vic Metro Under 18 pair, Eleanor Brown and Gabriella De Angelis, who also earned a spot among the best players.

For the Bulldogs, April Goldring and Libby Birch were the standouts in the loss. In her first game for the season, Hannah Scott contributed well in her first VFLW game, although she would’ve liked to have taken home the win. Fellow AFLW teammates, Angelica Gogos, Lauren Spark and Ashleigh Guest all also did well on the day.

 

Essendon 3.5 (23) defeated by Collingwood 6.13 (49)

Collingwood got off to a fast start in this match, kicking the first four majors of the game. Essendon then fought back in the second quarter, outscoring the Pies two goals to one. But Collingwood’s winning form prevailed, holding onto victory in a tight tussle at RAMS Arena.

Oakleigh Chargers skipper, Hannah McLaren was named best on ground for the Magpies in what was a memorable performance for her. Her Chargers teammate, Daisy Bateman also made an impact by kicking a goal on the day. Iilish Ross, Jessica Edwards and Sophie Casey also kicked singles while AFLW captain, Steph Chiocci booted two majors. Collingwood AFLW teammates, Brittany Bonnici and Holly Whitford also put in solid performances in the win.

Irena Malliaras, Monique DeMatteo and Tanya Hetherington were the goal kickers for the Bombers in windy conditions. Hetherington was also named in the best for Essendon for her great game but she was bettered by one player in Jessica Anwyl, who was named best on ground for the losing side. The duo were complemented solid performances from Courtney Ugle, Natalie MacDonald, Maddy Collier and Alexa Madden.

Number crunching: VFLW – Round 11

THE Best and Fairest is by far one of the most coveted awards in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s. They say that personal awards should not matter in a team sport, but credit is due to the fantastic individuals who can lead their teams to finals or just show unmatched skill on the field. In the Round 11 edition of Number Crunching, we will try to predict the 2018 VFL Women’s Best and Fairest winner. This was done by tallying the amount of times a player was named either the first or second best by their coaches in each match. 

Leading the table is Darebin player, Nat Exon. Exon has made it into the top two six times out of the seven games she has played in. The midfielder has shown to be strong for Darebin, with an average of five tackles per game. Exon’s ability to command her midfield has led to four wins out of the seven games she has played.

Second to Exon is AFLW Best and Fairest winner, Emma Kearney. Despite only have played five games this season, Kearney’s style of play has proven her to be just as great as a player in the VFLW as she in the AFLW. With an average of 23 disposals per game, her ability to move the ball around does not go unnoticed. The Melbourne Uni star continues to make a statement on the field, with the drive to win Best and Fairest twice this year.

The third most likely to win the VFLW Best and Fairest is Collingwood’s Jaimee Lambert. With six goals already this season, Lambert is Collingwood’s second highest goal kicker. The midfielder’s skill doesn’t stop there with an average of five tackles per game. Lambert’s attacking style of play has proven to be very successful for Collingwood with six wins out of the eight games she has played for the Pies. Lambert is a quieter personality, but with Collingwood’s great season so far, she shouldn’t be overlooked for the Best and Fairest.

With the season only just over half completed, there is still plenty of chances for the list to change. In saying that, these players have shown great individual merit and therefore deserve to be acknowledged for that.

Top Prospects for VFLW Best and Fairest

Player

Team

Number of times

in top two club bests

Nat Exon

Darebin Falcons

6

Emma Kearney

Melbourne Uni

5

Jaimee Lambert

Collingwood

4

Lauren Pearce

Darebin Falcons

3

Sarah D’Arcy

Collingwood

3

Jessica Duffin

Williamstown

3

Richelle Cranston

Geelong

3

Katherine Smith

Casey Demons

3

Maighan Fogas

Geelong

3

Kristi Harvey

Carlton

3

Courtney Ugle

Essendon

3

Kate Gillespie-Jones

Carlton

3

Jasmyn Hewett

NT Thunder

3

Naomi Ferres

Western Bulldogs

3

Kayla Ripari

Southern Saints

3

Maddy Collier

Essendon

3

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 10

HAWTHORN has regained top spot on the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s league after an important victory in round 10. Meanwhile, former ladder-leaders, Geelong regained some form after defeating the Southern Saints in a compelling round of football.

 

Darebin Falcons 1.4 (10) def. by NT Thunder 7.8 (50)

By: Taylah Melki

The NT Thunder set the pace early in this game, scoring three goals in the opening term and keeping the Falcons goalless to three quarter time. The Thunder applied plenty of physical pressure, tackling hard and getting numbers around the contest to win the ball at the coal face. Darebin seemed to struggle with the ferocity and intent of the Thunder, unable to move the ball into its attacking 50 throughout the game and failing to convert opportunities in front of goal.

The Thunder had a number of major contributors with the likes of Angela Foley dominating across the ground with her ability to win the footy in the contest and dispose of the ball cleverly and efficiently. Meanwhile, Abbey Holmes dominated on the scoreboard once again with her accuracy in front of goal proving to be deadly. Holmes slotted four goals and looked ominous up forward with her clean hands and ability to read the play. Fellow teammates, Ebony Marinoff and Georgia Bevan also showed their composure while under pressure, showcasing their ability to take the game on with clever kicks and good bursts of speed. Katie Streader also impressed with her fierce tackling and clean hands around the contest.

For the Falcons, the likes of Nat Exon stood up, especially in the third quarter, where she put her body on the line and competed for everything. She worked tirelessly all game and demonstrated her strength to be able to shake off a strong tackle and then deliver a clever ball inside 50. Though Hannah Mouncey did not impact the scoreboard, she did provide a strong option inside 50, taking some big strong grabs. Down back for the Falcons, Meghan McDonald was really solid and more importantly showed great composure with the ball in hand, using her long penetrating kick to clear the footy. The likes of Esther Honybun and Annalyse Lister were also solid throughout the match for the Falcons.

 

Geelong Cats 8.7 (55) defeated Southern Saints 2.5 (17)

Geelong got back on the winners list with a comprehensive 38-point win over the Southern Saints. After gathering momentum in recent rounds, the Saints have failed to register a victory after the bye, succumbing to their second loss in a row.

As usual, Kate Darby was solid up forward for the Cats with two goals and 14 disposals. She was complemented by Jordan Ivey who booted the first goal of the day with an amazing kick which brought the house down, as she played her first game in 14 months after she ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament. In the midfield, it was Richelle Cranston who wreaked havoc once again, racking up 29 disposals, four marks and five tackles. Hayley Trevean also racked up numbers in the 20s, recording 21 disposals, as well as a goal and six marks.

Alison Drennan starred for the Saints yet again, recording 27 disposals, four marks and six tackles. She got a heap of the ball on the day, as she almost doubled the second best amount of disposals accumulated by a Saint on the day. Leah Olsen recorded 15 disposals and laid three tackles, trying hard throughout the match for the Saints. Courtney Munn and Tara Bohanna were the goal kickers on the day.

 

Carlton 8.4 (52) defeated Williamstown 3.5 (23)

Carlton recorded its first win since round two, beating Williamstown by 29 points at the home of female football. The Blues controlled the game from start to finish, making it difficult for the Seagulls to wrestle back the lead.

AFLW star, Darcy Vescio returned to the Blues’ lineup this week and proved extremely valuable, kicking four of her side’s eight goals. Katelyn Cox also chipped in with two majors ad created great run and carry across the field. Captain, Kristi Harvey used her strong hands to advantage while Chloe Dalton showed her tackling prowess.

For the Seagulls, Western Jets tall, Sharnie Whiting starred with two goals on the day. In the midfield, Jess Duffin stood up once again, using the ball well to get it forward for her side. Fellow North Melbourne recruit, Jenna Bruton returned to the lineup against the Blues and contributed well on the day with a goal and an intent to win the footy at all costs.

 

Western Bulldogs 5.5 (35) defeated Essendon 4.5 (29)

The Western Bulldogs were given an almighty scare by Essendon. The Bombers looked to back up their first win of the year with a huge upset and did so by keeping the Dogs scoreless in the third quarter. The experienced side fought right back though, kicking 1.3 to 0.1 in the last quartet to seal the win.

Mickayla Ward was crucial on the day for the Dogs, kicking two of her side’s five goals. She was complemented by fantastic performances by Ellie Blackburn and Naomi Ferres in the midfield. Annabel Scott also contributed well on the day, kicking a goal and showing intent to win the ball all day.

Canadian forward, Valerie Moreau scored half her side’s goals on the day with another memorable performance inside 50. Up the other end, it was the dangerous duo of Rebecca Neaves and Courtney Ugle who battled hard for the Bombers all day. Usual defender, Lauren Morecroft even streamed up forward to kick a goal, proving her versatility.

 

Melbourne Uni 3.4 (22) defeated by Hawthorn 3.10 (28)

Inaccuracy hurt the Hawks on Sunday, as their victory came solely from a superior amount of behinds. However, they managed to sneak over the line to record their eighth win of the season and snatch top spot fromf Collingwood on the ladder.

Up forward, it was Nicky Cormack, Rebecca Beeson and Emily Gilder who booted through crucial goals on the day. Olivia Flanagan also stood tall inside 50 and contested well, despite not scoring a goal. In the back line, Jayde Van Dyk starred once again for Hawthorn and she was complemented by a great game from midfielder, Julia Crockett-Grills, who continues to rack up the disposals this season.

For the Mugars, their three goals came from Caitlin Greiser, Katie Angelis and Elizabeth Keaney. In defence, new Kangaroos recruits, Kate Gillespie-Jones and Danielle Hardiman teamed up to trouble the Hawks forward, which proved effective, as they kept the opposition to three goals.

 

Richmond 2.9 (21) defeated by Casey Demons 5.9 (39)

Both sides travelled over to Bendigo in a game that went down to the wire. Richmond led at the first and third changes but a three-goal to none fourth quarter undid all the hard work for the Tigers, as they succumbed to their third consecutive loss.

Young guns, Kasey Guttridge and Eden Zanker starred up forward, kicking two goals a piece for their side. They were complemented by new Melbourne AFLW recruit, Shae Sloane, who was able to get a major on the board and contribute well in a solid win. As usual, Katherine Smith tore it up in the midfield and continues to have a good season for the Demons.

Richmond’s goals came from Collingwood AFLW player, Lauren Tesoriero and Murray Bushrangers tall, Sophie Damon. In the midfield, captain, Jessica Kennedy has continued to back up her solid form, competing hard in the middle of the ground. Courtney Wakefield, Bethany Lynch and Emma Gunn also contributed well in the side’s loss.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 8

AFTER their impressive wins over the weekend, Melbourne University and Casey have three representatives each in this week’s best 22. Meanwhile, Essendon, Williamstown and NT only have one player each who made the cut after their disappointing defeats in round eight of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition.

Jess Duffin was exceptional for the Seagulls against Darebin and was a shinning light, despite their loss on Sunday. Her 31 disposals was a massive feat and her 25 kicks were truly impressive. Joining Duffin as a lock in the Team of the Week was Collingwood forward, Sophie Alexander. She kicked a round-high four goals to accompany her 18 disposals.

The AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Week has seen a regular set of defenders perform well week in, week out. The likes of Meghan McDonald, Jayde Van Dyk, Jacqueline Graham and Courtney Ugle have seen their names appear in the best 22 on many occasions this season, which is reward for their defensive efforts. 

Alice Edmonds played a prolific ruck role for Richmond in the absence of AFLW North Melbourne ruck, Emma King. Edmonds gathered 17 touches as well as giving the Richmond midfield silver service. She was unlucky to miss out on selection this week, but was edged out of the team by Carlton’s Breann Moody.

Williamstown pair, Georgia Harris and Jenna Bruton are also unlucky to miss out on a place in this week’s best 22, after each of them had standout performances. Harris was a spearhead up forward with two goals while Bruton recorded 27 disposals. However, it was not enough for her to claim a spot this week with teammate, Duffin edging her out.