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Draft Central Rising Star: NAB League Girls – Round 6

A MATCH-WINNING goal and best on ground performance from Tess Flintoff has earned the Eastern Ranges midfielder our Rising Star of the Week for Round 6. Flintoff was instrumental in Eastern’s narrow four-point win over Calder Cannons, picking up 22 disposals – 21 kicks – as well as taking nine marks, laying four tackles and recording three inside 50s. Her biggest moment came with a minute to play as Tayah Kelly found Flintoff inside 50 with a short kick. With her 22nd disposal, Flintoff split the middle from a tight angle to win the game for Eastern and ensure their finals hopes remain well and truly alive.

Flintoff has been on of the more consistent players this season, averaging 19.3 disposals, 6.0 marks, 2.7 tackles, 4.7 inside 50s and 2.5 rebounds from her six games. Remarkably, Flintoff only turned 16 last month and still has another two years in the NAB League system, showing plenty of promise for the future. The Eastern Ranges ball winner becomes the fourth metropolitan player to earn the weekly nomination.

Rising Star of the Week:

Round 1 – Georgie Prespakis (Calder Cannons)
Round 2 – Elisabeth Georgostathis (Western Jets)
Round 3 – Gabby Newton (Northern Knights)
Round 4 – Luka Lesosky-Hay (Geelong Falcons)
Round 5 – Elizabeth Snell (Bendigo Pioneers)
Round 6 – TESS FLINTOFF (EASTERN RANGES)

Weekend wash-up: NAB League Girls – Round 6

ROUND 6 of the NAB League Girls saw a host players out with AFL Women’s Academy duties but that did not stop the Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights from continuing their winning ways. Geelong once again proved to be the front runners of the competition while Oakleigh also flexed their muscles with a big win over Murray. The round also saw some close clashes between the Eastern Ranges and Calder Cannons along with Greater Western Victoria Rebels and Sandringham Dragons with both games coming down to two kicks or less.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER 0.0 | 0.2 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 1.2 | 4.3 | 7.4 | 10.7 (67)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Gippsland: G. McRae, N. Webber, S. Walker.
Northern: L. Picioane 3, J. Simpson 2,  J. Fitzgerald 2, N. Morris-Dalton, T. Smart, M. Ramsay.

BEST:

Gippsland: G. McRae, C. Abrahams , M. Fitzsimon, S. Walker, M. Van Berkel, N. Webber
Northern: J. Fitzgerald, P. Chisholm, N. Morris-Dalton, A. Snow, M. Chaplin, L. Picioane

After a slow start, Northern Knights pulled away from Gippsland Power to ensure they remained undefeated after six rounds and sitting just two points behind Geelong Falcons on top of the table. In the match against the Power, Northern booted nine goals to three after quarter time to secure the 10.7 (67) to 3.4 (22) win, but not without some resistance from the home side. After the match was moved from Preston City Oval to Garfield, the Knights became the visitors but looked all at home once they had settled in despite missing an number of their top stars – Gabby Newton, Britney Gutknecht, Ellie McKenzie and Sarah Sansonetti – who were all out on AFL Women’s Academy duties. The Knights’ depth stepped up in their absence, with Jess Fitzgerald being the key influencer through the midfield, collecting 16 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and booting two goals, while Phoebe Chisholm led her side for disposals with 19, as well as two marks, four tackles and five rebounds. Ash Snow was prolific around the ground, while Nell Morris-Dalton continued her strong season rotating between ruck and forward, while Lanarose Picioane who booted three majors in an impressive performance up forward. For Gippsland, Grace McRae was named the best for her 19 disposals, three tackles and a goal, while Chandra Abrahams and Megan Fitzsimon continued their great seasons, combining for 49 disposals, 12 tackles and eight inside 50s in a losing side. Nikia Webber also had a solid performance with a goal, while Matilda Van Berkel was strong at half-back.

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 2.2 | 5.3 | 8.7 | 11.8 (74)
MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 2.0 | 3.1 | 3.1 | 3.2 (20)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Oakleigh: J. D”Amato 2, M. Bertuna 2, T. Morton, A. Peck, E. Harley, N. Xenos, K. Kearns, T. Cowan, A. van Oosterwijck.
Murray: C. Boschetti 2, T. Verhoeven.

BEST:

Oakleigh: C. O”Malley, M. Bertuna, M. Hill, N. Xenos, J. Lin, G. Byrne
Murray: S. Locke, L. Sharp, K. Adams, C. Boschetti, A. Smith, A. Favell

Oakleigh Chargers have bounced back from their second loss of the season to record a huge nine-goal win over Murray Bushrangers. Both sides were close in the first term with two goals apiece, before the Chargers kicked away with a three goals to one second term to open up a 14-point lead. Despite their determination in the first half, Murray was unable to restrict Oakleigh in the second half as the Chargers booted six goals to zero to run out 11.8 (74) to 3.2 (20) winners. Jasmine D’Amato and Melanie Bertuna both booted two goals for the Chargers among nine individual goalkickers in a massive team effort. Captain Mimi Hill led from the front with 20 touches, two inside 50s and three rebounds, while Chloe O’Malley was named best on ground for her 14 disposals, three tackles and two inside 50s. Nicola Xenos was influential in getting the ball inside 50 with 13 disposals, one mark, four tackles, five inside 50s and a goal, while Emily Harley booted another goal to take her season tally to 11. For Murray, Sophie Locke was named the best, collecting 13 disposals, four marks and four rebounds while laying an equal-team high eight tackles. Abby Favell was the top disposal winner once again with 14 touches, three marks, four tackles and two inside 50s, while Teagan Brett had 13 disposals and eight tackles in the defeat. Oakleigh now sits sixth after the win, just two points outside the top four, while Murray are ninth but still clear of the Rebels, Jets and Power.

 

EASTERN RANGES 0.1 | 2.1 | 3.5 | 4.5 (29)
CALDER CANNONS 1.4 | 2.5 | 2.5 | 3.7 (25)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Eastern: S. Gibbs, S. Collard, T. Flintoff, J. Dunning.
Calder: G. Prespakis, T. Gillard, E. Yassir.

BEST:

Eastern: T. Flintoff, E. Horne, S. Gibbs, T. Merrett, M. Edwards
Calder: G. Prespakis, F. Theodore, N. Crowley, K. Lennox, T. Gillard, Z. Hardiman

Eastern Ranges have kept themselves in contention for finals heading into the last three rounds after an impressive four-point win over Calder Cannons. The Ranges are now within percentage of the top four, sitting just adrift of both Calder and Bendigo Pioneers who sit third and fourth respectively with 16 points apiece. It was a fairly scrappy game throughout with both sides applying plenty of defensive pressure around the ground as Eastern’s talls stood out with their strong marking at both ends. Where possible the Ranges moved the ball quickly with short, sharp passes, whereas Calder wanted to run the ball and kick long inside 50. Both methods were effective at times throughout the game, but the key defence of Eastern held strong with Tahlia Merrett taking a number of good intercept marks in defensive 50. Serena Gibbs also provided an option between half-back and half-forward, taking marks and booting the ball long to put it in front of the Eastern runners. Tahlia Gillard provided that target for Calder and early looked like breaking the game open, booting a goal and missing a couple of opportunities before the home side restricted the inside 50 entries. Georgie Prespakis and Tess Flintoff were impressive for their respective sides providing plenty of run, while Tarni Brown and Felicity Theodore assisted well through the midfield. In a see-sawing final term that almost saw Calder steal the win through Emelia Yassir, it took until the final minute for Flintoff to mark inside 50 against the boundary and calmly slotted the set shot for the four-point win.

 

WESTERN JETS 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)
GEELONG FALCONS 2.1 | 7.2 | 11.3 | 12.4 (76)

By: Sophie Taylor

GOALS

Western: Nil.
Geelong: M. Skinner 4, P Schaap 2, R.Tierney 2, T. Lewis 2, J. Robinson, A. McKee

BEST

Western: J. Woods, E. Georgostathis, A. Anthony, C. Singleton, N. Wright, R. Tripodi
Geelong: P. Sheppard, M. Skinner, L. Lesosky-Hay, R. Tierney, A. McKee, G. Featherston

It was tough muck for the Western Jets on Sunday afternoon as they hosted ladder leaders, Geelong Falcons at Williamstown. Despite a relatively even first quarter the undefeated Falcons were able to pull away and deny the Jets opportunities in front of goal, running away to a 75 point win. The Jets started well defensively, crowding the Falcons and making it difficult to get a clear kick on goal, but were unable to move the ball downfield to their advantage. A beautiful kick inside 50 from Geelong debutant, Gabbi Featherston set up the first goal of the game after almost eight minutes of play, showing how well the Jets held their ground early. However, Western’s good fortune dwindled from there as the Falcons used their depth of their talent to kick away.

The Falcons proved to be dangerous up forward as the Jets struggled to contain their opposition without two of their main ball magnets in Isabella Grant and Isabelle PritchardPaige Sheppard (22 disposals, four tackles, five inside 50s) and Luka Lesosky-Hay (20 disposals, two tackles) switched on as the Falcons started to pile on the majors, with the likes of Renee TierneyTamika Lewis and Poppy Schaap kicking two goals apiece while Mia Skinner (four goals, 18 disposals) put on her best performance so far this season. Tierney’s tackling pressure was crucial, notching up eight as the Jets tried to force their way through Geelong’s defensive setup, while Lesosky-Hay showed some good footy smarts as she continuously pushed the contest back up the ground.

The Jets were unable to break through Geelong’s midfield barricade as the Falcons crowded and contested every possession, outrunning the Jets and scooping up the ground ball with precision. The Jets showed some good signs in attack in the third quarter, managing some great passages of play through the middle of the ground. Though unable to capitalise, Western’s defensive pressure inside forward 50 granted them opportunities in front of goal, gifting them their only score of the game – a rushed behind off the back of a good attempt on goal from Taya MeiersElisabeth Georgostathis (14 disposals, six tackles, six rebounds) showed her versatility in the backline, with her ability to read the play enabling her to know where the ball would be placed. Georgostathis was arguably one of the best for the Jets, putting constant pressure on her opposition, while a fantastic tackle in the final quarter saved an almost certain goal. Taylah Kolevski dominated hitouts with 23 alone, also racking up four tackles.

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS 2.0 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 4.4 (28)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.4 | 1.4 (10)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Bendigo: J. Jolliffe 2, E. Snell, B. Hards.
Dandenong: S. Stratton.

BEST:

Bendigo: J. Jolliffe, T. Slender, B. Hards, E. Gretgrix, A. Strahan, M. Tupper
Dandenong: Z. Hill, G. Hodder, J. Radford, G. Howes, B. Vernon, K. McKenzie

Bendigo Pioneers have given themselves a terrific shot at finals after overcoming Dandenong Stingrays by three goals at Epsom Huntly Reserve on Sunday. In a low-scoring affair, the Pioneers got the job done by restricting the Stingrays to just one goal in the game, and only four behinds after quarter time. Despite this, the game was tight throughout and it was not until the final goal of the game that the Pioneers could relax and enjoy their fourth win of the season. Jordyn Jolliffe played the best game of the season with 20 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s, two tackles and two goals in a best-on-ground effort, while Tara Slender was terrific up the other end, racking up 12 disposals, five marks, three tackles and two rounds in the win. The midfield of Brooke Hards, Eloise Gretgrix, Maeve Tupper and Annabel Strahan again took control in the absence of key Stingrays, Molly McDonald, Tyanna Smith and Isabella Shannon. Hards and Tupper both had 18 touches with Hards also laying eight tackles and having three inside 50s and four rebounds. For the Stingrays, Zoe Hill stood tall in defence with 12 disposals, three marks and three rebounds, while Brooke Vernon‘s super season continued, amassing 18 touches, four marks, five inside 50s and six rebounds, while Grace Hodder laid seven tackles from her 15 disposals. With Geelong Falcons, Calder Cannons and Oakleigh Chargers in the final three rounds, the finals are within the Pioneers’ control in what is a tough draw on the run home. The Stingrays can still make finals if they can topple Oakleigh Chargers next round with Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets in the final two weeks.

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 1.1 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 4.2 (26)
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 1.1 | 3.2 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)

By: Taylah Melki

GOALS:

GWV: E. Friend 3, R. Saulitis.
Sandringham: E. Angelopoulos 2, C. Murphy 2, I. Eddey.

BEST:

GWV: E. Wood, N. Dojiok, N. Butler, A. Trigg, E. Friend, G. Pidgeon
Sandringham: W. Laing, C. Cody, P. Staltari, G. Strangio, I. Eddey, C. Murphy

It was a tight contest from start to finish with Sandringham Dragons claiming a seven-point victory over Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. It was neck and neck in the first term with either side unable to pull away going into quarter time at seven points apiece. The Dragons piled on two goals in the third term, keeping GWV to just one point for the quarter. But the Rebels were not going down without a fight applying all the scoreboard pressure to come within striking distance but just falling short after a gallant effort. Without Sophie Molan and Maggie Caris, GWV looked to the likes of Renee Saulitis to lead the way. Saulitis made her presence felt on the field slotting a major, she was ably assisted by teammate Ella Friend. Friend dominated for the Rebels kicking three goals, racking up 10 disposals and laying a team high six tackles. Nyakoat Dojiok also led the way for her side with a team high 18 touches and four inside 50s showcasing the work she does across the ground. She was closely followed by Brook Thompson who also amassed four inside 50s, while 12 of her 15 disposals were kicks. Georgia Pidgeon also impressed with 14 touches while Ally Trigg took five marks to accompany her 10 disposals. Sandringham were missing some key players with Alice Burke, Eliza McNamara and Molly Denahy Maloney all out with AFL Women’s Academy duties but that did not seem to stop them from claiming the four points. Charli Murphy showed her hand up forward slotting two majors for the game while Ebony Angelopoulos also chipped in with her two goals. Through the midfield the Dragons were led by Winnie Laing who finished the afternoon with a game high 20 disposals and seven tackles. She was helped out by Chloe Saultry who amassed 16 touches with all of them kicks and a whopping six inside 50s. Bella Eddey was also impressive for Sandringham getting involved on the scoreboard, laying six tackles and racking up 13 touches for her efforts.

Team of the Week: NAB League Girls – Round 5

BENDIGO Pioneers’ impressive win over Gippsland Power has resulted in four players receiving spots in the Draft Central NAB League Girls’ Team of the Week for Round 5. The Pioneers had the most of any club for the round, one more than Geelong Falcons, while a further seven clubs had two players each. The Power, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Murray Bushrangers all had the one player each after defeats on the weekend.

The Pioneers midfield was ultra impressive and Brooke Hards, Annabel Strachan and Hannah Stewart all made the side, along with goalsneak mid-forward Elizabeth Snell who bagged five majors and earned the title of Draft Central Player of the Week for Round 4. The Geelong Falcons had another impressive win on the weekend, coming from behind to knock off Dandenong Stingrays and were rewarded with three players in Team of the Week, captain Lucy McEvoy, full-forward Renee Tierney and midfielder Paige Sheppard. Their opponents the Stingrays had two players each, with defender Brooke Vernon in the side for a fourth week, as well as Georgia Howes who was impressive up forward.

Also in defence is Sandringham Dragons’ Alice Burke and Sarah Hartwig, with Hartwig and Western Jets’ Isabelle Pritchard likely to form the defensive duo in Vic Metro’s campaign at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Pritchard is joined in the side by teammate Isabella Grant on the wing. On the other wing is Georgia Patrikios who stood out in Calder Cannons’ win over Murray Bushrangers, while Alana Barba has been named at centre half-forward. Sophie McCarthy booted three goals up the other end of the ground at RAMS Arena to earn a spot in the pocket.

Northern Knights Team of the Week regulars, Britney Gutknecht and Gabby Newton made the team once again, while Eastern Ranges opponents Tarni Brown and Serena Gibbs were impressive throughout and also earned nods in our team for Round 5. The other side with two players in the Team of the Week was Oakleigh Chargers, with Mimi Hill (half-back) and Alana Porter making the side. To round out the team is Gippsland Power defender Matilda Van Berkel who has been in good form the last few weeks in defence.

Scouting notes: NAB League Girls – Round 5

OVER the weekend we managed to get to all of the NAB League Girls games and took some notes on some of the players to watch highlighted by respective Talent Managers. All views are the opinion of the individual writer.

 

Calder Cannons 9.7 (61) defeated Murray Bushrangers 5.4 (34)
By: Taylah Melki

Calder:

#2 Felicity Theodore

She applied good defensive pressure and worked hard to trap the ball throughout the game in her attacking half. Theodore showed good speed, tracked the ball well at ground level and consistently ran hard to win the footy. Really good read of the play and used her footy smarts and speed to break away from her opponent and kick to a teammate. She was clever around the stoppages to position well and read the tap to get into an attacking spot and set up a forward thrust for Calder. 

#21 Georgia Patrikios

Patrikios led the way for the Cannons with her good hands out of congestion and impressive spatial awareness to clear the mess. She took a few strong marks and displayed her ability to read the play well. Patrikios backed herself in at the contest and used her clean hands at the stoppages to dish off to teammates. She had a beautiful passage of play in the second picking the ball up off the deck fending off a player and then kicking to a teammate. Patrikios showcased her good evasive side step to shake off an opponent and really built into the game come second quarter. She read the flight of the ball well, provided some repeat forward 50 entries and offered a good lead in the forward 50 to glove the mark and then slot a goal. She showcased her speed going for a run through the middle and bombing the ball long into the forward 50 and provided plenty of good link up play through the middle.

#41 Georgie Prespakis

Good one on one contests and made her opponent work for it throughout the game. She contested everything that came her way and laid a strong tackle in the second quarter. Prespakis worked her way into the game more in the second quarter and moved forward in the second half slotting a goal in the opening minutes of the third term. She showcased her clean slick hands around the stoppages and read the play well to impact the contest. Credit to her footy smarts she stayed down and got a good crumbing goal in the third breaking away from the pack and slotting it through the middle for her second for the quarter. Her quick hands helped to set up a shot at goal for her teammate by tapping the ball to her teammate running into the open goal. She presented up at the footy continuously throughout the game and ran hard to create space in the forward 50. She impressed with one passage of play running down the wing taking a couple of bounces burning off opponents and dishing off a handball to a teammate.

Murray:

#8 Abby Favell

She was in everything and was a real bull around the contest for Murray. She laid a couple of strong tackles and applied good pressure. Favell led up at the kicker, contested well in the air and constantly worked hard around the stoppages. She bodied up on her opponents proving she was not afraid to put her body on the line. Favell showcased her good booming kick and took an impressive intercept mark coming out of Murray’s attacking 50. She was quick in transition and went for a run but just could not get enough on the kick to score a goal. She showed great courage to take a big mark in the third quarter and worked hard both in attack and defence for the Bushrangers.

#10 Sophie Locke

Locke applied heaps of defensive pressure on the ball carrier laying some strong tackles across the ground. She was not afraid to put her body on the line and worked tirelessly to try and win the contest or extract the ball at stoppages. She impressed with her ability to read the flight of the ball and impact the contest when the ball came her way.

#19 Millie Brown

Brown showed her good evasive skills to break through the middle of the ground and kick long to her attacking 50. She was composed under pressure and used her long booming kick to push the ball forward for the Bushrangers. She had good spatial awareness and worked hard throughout the game tracking the ball well at ground level. Brown offered some good leads into space to help open up at the game for the Bushrangers.

 

Sandringham Dragons 5.7 (37) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 5.1 (31)
By: Michael Alvaro

Sandringham:

#25 Sarah Hartwig

The middle-age prospect was instrumental in her key defensive post once again, dominating the air and cutting off many of Oakleigh’s forward forays. Hartwig’s intercept and overhead marking is outstanding for a player who is not yet top-age, and she was so composed in possession when rebounding. While her hands overhead are strong, Hartwig slid for a few marks in the second half which did not quite stick, but still highlighted her superior reading of the game from behind the ball. Hartwig already looks like a complete and dynamic defender, and it will be interesting to see if she can transfer her marking ability when tried up forward.

#28 Alice Burke

Burke was again the Dragons’ key player through the midfield, showing her trademark tenacity to pry the ball clear and tackle hard in the clinches. Her crunching early tackle on the stronger Emily Harley was an example of that, as was her constant pushing forward of the ball from stoppages. Burke’s steady mark under a high ball to send the Dragons inside 50 was another good moment, and it just seemed that she played a key part in setting the tone for her side.

#30 Winnie Laing

Working in tandem with Burke and following her lead well, Laing won a good amount of ball with second efforts by following up her possessions. Another to push the ball forward from congestion, Laing had a nice clearance in the third term to enter Sandringham’s forward 50, while also taking a sharp mark in attack to set up a set shot deep when the game was in the balance.

#42 Margie Purcell

Purcell was in the mix early with some nice possessions to start the game, but somewhat faded in the second half. Positioned on her customary wing, Purcell provided a good amount of outside run and was influential between the arcs. A good overhead mark in the second term and a composed read of a high ball in the same stanza showed Purcell’s versatility, and it would be good to see her display those flashes more often.

Oakleigh:

#2 Mimi Hill

Oakleigh’s best ball winner on the day, Hill contributed a wealth of work throughout the game. She seemed to be involved in everything, taking the game on and accumulating well with clean touches around stoppages. Her hands overhead early on were impressive, as was her efficiency by foot with short kicks to teammates in space. A bursting clearance in the second term caught the eye, and Hill was unlucky overall not to have helped her team to the win.

#4 Emily Harley

The strong utility was tried in the midfield, and did well to make her presence felt in tight spaces. While she could not quite collect the ball with one touch and burst away, Harley won a good amount of contested possessions and was not deterred by being caught holding the ball in the second term. Harley looked to be learning as the game went on and did the basics well as her midfield time wore on, but was thrown into defence in the final term to add solidity to the back six. A mark in defensive 50 late on looked to be a crucial contribution, but a Sandringham goal not long after denied the Chargers a draw.

#8 Alana Porter

Porter was Oakleigh’s only multiple goalkicker, and boy were both of them impressive. Her first came in the second quarter, using her electric speed to take on and burn an opponent and finish into an open goal. Porter’s second goal was from long range, coming out of seemingly nowhere as she booted the ball from the arc and bounced it home. The speedster was dangerous around the ball, competing well and attacking it hard whenever given the opportunity. Porter also attended a heap of centre bounces in the second half, and looks a versatile type who is damaging in strong bursts.

#12 Amelia Peck

Spending a fair amount of time in the ruck, Peck won her share of hitouts and followed up well to win the ball at ground level. While she looks raw at this stage, Peck showed glimpses of her potential with a nice sliding mark in the third term and a neat kicking action to send the Chargers inside 50.

 

Bendigo Pioneers 8.15 (63) defeated Gippsland Power 0.1 (1)
By: Peter Williams

Bendigo:

#3 Elizabeth Snell

The star of the show up forward, booting 5.2 and looking dangerous whenever the ball went near her. She had a couple more chances to add to her tally, but could not quite convert, though with the blustery conditions, goals were difficult to come by as shown in the 8.15 scoreline. Snell has a great goal sense to be able to turn opponents inside out and snap the ball through the big sticks with very little time. Great composure from her inside 50.

#4 Brooke Hards

Along with Annabel Strahan, was the key playmaker behind getting the ball inside 50 to create opportunities for Snell and the other forwards. She was often winning the contested ball and extracting it out of a stoppage via handballs to teammates. She laid tackle after tackle, applying terrific defensive pressure to her opponents, and set up the first goal to Snell through a fend off and great kick to her at half-forward. Hards’ first steps out of a stoppage can burn off an opponent and she has a great first touch. Had a chance on goal herself in the second term but just missed.

#14 Annabel Strahan

Backed up last week’s impressive game with another good effort. Working with Hards in midfield, Strahan was able to keep the ball going forward and is able to sum up a situation quickly and get boot to ball under pressure. She set up a goal to Snell in the second term with a quick kick, and would often win the ball on the outside or receive the handball and pump it long inside 50. In the fourth term she had a long-range shot on goal from outside 50 but the breeze just went to the left and it bounced into the post.

#19 Jemma Finning

Did a few nice things around the ground, missing a set shot early in the game but continually went in to find the ball. She showed good core strength in the second term to handball while being tackle, and was able to kick well on the left to a leading forward. She had another good play in the final term by kicking around the body into midfield, repelling a Gippsland Power attack.

#40 Tara Slender

Did not always see much of it such was the Pioneers’ dominance early, but when required, Slender peeled off her opponent and would fill the hole in defence. She has really clean hands at ground level and was able to pick-up off the deck and kick long along the wing. Her body position one-on-one and vision to kick to a free teammate was noticeable. Considering she is a bottom-ager, she already has the game smarts of a more experience player and knows when to keep the ball live without taking possession. She is also quick to get boot to ball under pressure.

Gippsland:

#8 Chandra Abrahams

One of Gippsland’s more impressive players through the midfield, she just refused to give up, constantly attacking the ball and the ball carrier. She showed good smarts to cleverly tap the ball along the ground in the first term and was unlucky not to be paid a mark in the final term when she flew for a specky. Her long kicking was a help in the swirly conditions and even with the game out of reach, Abrahams continued to crack in hard and win the ball.

#9 Maddison Shaw

Tried hard throughout the day and her powerful kicking was on show when she was able to win the footy. Not a huge possession winner in the loss, she provided great defensive pressure and tried to kick long at every opportunity.

#12 Megan Fitzsimon

Battled hard through the midfield and half-back, attacking the ball and using quick hands under pressure. One of the better Power players on the day, she laid a number of big tackles and was mostly right at the coalface trying to get the ball out.

#13 Holly Andrews

Her defensive efforts were noticeable in a game that was highly contested at times. She had a quick gather at half-back and able to kick out of trouble in the first term, and then led up at the football along the wing in the second term, unfortunately just slipping from her grasp. Andrews was another Power player who showed a fierce attack on the ball carrier and had good second efforts, taking a good intercept mark late in the game and kicking long.

#27 Nikia Webber

It was a tough day to be a forward in these conditions, especially with how impressive the Bendigo midfield was in this match. Webber did get to show off her versatility after quarter time, playing through the midfield and even full-back.

 

Western Jets 6.7 (43) defeated Greater Western Victoria Rebels 3.3 (21)
By: Sophie Taylor

Western:

#13 Isabella Grant

Grant put her clean hands on show, worked well with Isabelle Pritchard down back to create scoring opportunities for the Jets. Grant also caused great difficulty for the Rebels with her ability to apply constant pressure on the ball and ball carrier and some well-executed tackles through the midfield.

#17 Elisabeth Georgostathis

Georgostathis was great among the action, and seemed to be everywhere on the field. Put on her best performance in the final quarter when she showed off her two-way running ability to be constantly around the ground ball and creating opportunities up forward. Some fancy footwork and speed led to a brilliant forward 50 entry and goal assist in the final term, putting the ball in the perfect position for a strong mark in front of goal. Had a snap on goal with five minutes left in the match but registered a behind, but showed off some footy smarts in the way she wheeled around and got the ball off the boot under pressure.

#23 Isabelle Pritchard

Pritchard was one of the most influential players on the field, and was a constant buffer off half back with her readiness for every contest and ability to mark under pressure. Some great marks taken by Pritchard in the second half helped to keep the ball trapped forward to create scoring opportunities, while also demonstrating a good understanding of ball placement when running back for a goal-saving mark. Worked well with teammates to put constant pressure around stoppages off half back, and also kept the likes of Isabella Simmons from having too much on an influence on the match.

GWV:

#9 Renee Saulitis

Saulitis showed off her ability to run both ways in this match but was unfortunately unable to convert for the Rebels after a beautiful kick over the top saw her given an opportunity for a running goal in the goal square early in the first term, but hit the post for a behind. Did not have much of an opportunity to receive the ball inside 50 after the first quarter and at times was double teamed to prevent her access to the ball at stoppages.

#10 Ella Wood

Wood put her running and stamina on show with some great movement around the ground. Showed some good footy smarts with a clever punch to the advantage of a teammate at a stoppage on the wing, instinctively getting the ball out of a pocket of Jets players. Had a good understanding of where teammates were when under pressure to scoop up the ground ball and handball out of the pack, while also working well with Sophie Molan to move the ball to advantage.

#24 Sophie Molan

Molan had some really good moments early, put a great deal of pressure on the air ball and going for the mark, and really exerting some influence on the field. Spoiled some opportunities for the Jets, showing some good instincts in a pack scenario, but missed a few marks early under pressure. In the second half she showed her commitment to the footy, putting her body on the line to spoil a kick that was almost certainly an inside 50 opportunity for the Jets.

#30 Nyakoat Dojiok

Dojiok was dominant in the first half on return, showcasing her clean hands and presence around the ball off half back and causing the Jets to rethink their movement into their forward 50. Dropped a big mark inside 50 in the second quarter, but took on the ground ball with a second try at the footy, earning a ball up for her efforts and causing chaos for the Jets. Dojiok showcased her ability to read the play well defensively but needs some work moving back into attack. Some iffy decisions when it came to kicking off half-back into the forward line saw her not always kick to the advantage of teammates, meaning some forward opportunities for the Rebels turned to grappling for the ground ball. Did not take part in a chunk of the second half after limping off midway through the third term and did not take the field to start the final quarter, but eventually came back on at full forward.

 

Northern Knights 7.8 (50) defeated Eastern Ranges 4.2 (26)
By: Michael Alvaro

Northern:

#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

Morris-Dalton just always seems to find the goals and this game was no different as the forward contributed two majors. Her vision and execution by foot up the ground was pleasing to see, but Morris-Dalton’s best traits come out inside 50 as her anticipation, positioning and goal sense all helped her snare her goals. An opportunist, Morris-Dalton’s clever dribble goal through a bit of traffic in the fourth term was the better of the two.

#14 Jess Fitzgerald

Positioned mostly on the wing, Fitzgerald comes in and out of the game with exciting passages of play, hitting the ball at speed and delivering it inside 50. Her break and pass to Ellie McKenzie in the second term was impressive, and Fitzgerald is one of the better movers in a stacked Northern side. She shows glimpses, but Fitzgerald can sharpen up her finish product in front of goal to make her a more complete and damaging outside player.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

McKenzie is such a classy player, and showed her best traits when it mattered for Northern. While she was caught holding the ball early on, McKenzie bounced back well in her customary deep forward position, snapping a classy goal on her stronger left foot and taking an impressive one-on-one overhead mark to slot another goal in the second term. McKenzie’s evasiveness while looking for options up the field was great to watch, as she summed up all the options ahead of her and used the ball cleverly going forward. Her kick to Britney Gutknecht deep inside 50 was a prime example of that, but McKenzie arguably works best as the deepest forward – highlighted by how she worked her opponent under the ball in the final term and almost snared her third. A reliable target, McKenzie looks to be converting her skills well to playing further up the ground.

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Tried again in the midfield, Gutknecht was clean early on but showed the most when she lifted after quarter time. She looked to get on the move more at stoppages, winning a clearance which led to goals from Nell Morris-Dalton and Mia Papachristos. She chimed in with a goal in the third term while resting deep forward, but was thrown back into the midfield with the game in the balance and really stood up alongside Northern’s prime movers to seal the win. While her possessions are damaging, Gutknecht also hurt Eastern with her second efforts and tackling, with a key one on Ranges star Tarni Brown capping off a good day.

#23 Gabby Newton

Newton is an out-and-out star, and seemed to be everywhere for Northern. She started well with the first clearance of the game, following up well to accumulate over the first term. A mark overhead from the kickout in the same quarter was impressive, as was her ability to keep her hands up and flick out handballs around stoppages. Perhaps the most impressive of Newton’s traits proved to be her leadership, with the Knights skipper standing up well in the second half to help her side get over the line. Spending time in the ruck, Newton palmed down well to find Britney Gutknecht on one occasion and has an unbelievable leap, but also looked more like a fourth midfielder at the centre bounces which was invaluable. A crazy good prospect, Newton’s versatility and skill makes her a close to complete player.

#32 Ash Snow

While she is not as consistent a ball-winner, Snow was a terrific competitor throughout the day and fought hard from defence. While Snow looked to have bitten of more than she could chew as she was caught by Tarni Brown early on after an attempted ‘don’t argue’, she continued to take the game on and drive the Knights forward. Snow’s burst and second efforts were important to the team’s cause, with her competitiveness an attack on the ball making her a valuable team player.

Eastern:

#21 Olivia Meagher

Meagher is a zippy type in the midfield and did well to find space around the ground. Buzzing around her opponents with good speed, Meagher is hard to miss under her helmet and her opponents clearly looked for her in open areas. Meagher often picked up the scraps well and found the ball inside 50 having spent some time in attack in the third term.

#26 Tarni Brown

Brown was one of Eastern’s best as its second-highest possession earner. A smooth mover through midfield, Brown looked every bit the natural footballer as her pedigree would suggest, while also showing smarts in her positioning. Brown’s tenacity and willingness to work hard for her disposals was good to see, but was still secondary to her class on the ball. Brown’s awareness in traffic and evasion really aided her clearance game on the weekend, and she should get Collingwood supporters excited as a potential father-daughter selection.

#39 Laura McClelland

McClelland did not win huge amounts of the ball, but was dangerous when she found it. Spending the bulk of her time up forward, McClelland was a good presence around the forward 50 arc and was one who really attracted the ball as it came in long. While she seemed to fade out of the game late, the Ranges co-captain has something about her and catches the eye when around the goals.

#46 Serena Gibbs

A prolific netballer, Gibbs was tried as a key forward and in the ruck – showing glimpses of skill conversion throughout the day. She took a nice overhead mark and looked to have judged the ball well when sitting under high kicks. As Gibbs grew into the game, she won a handy clearance from the ruck late on, and could have snared a goal with her set shot in the third term.

 

Dandenong Stingrays 4.7 (31) defeated by Geelong Falcons 7.5 (47)
By: Brandon Hutchinson

Dandenong:

#12 Molly McDonald

Remained prolific in the loss, delivering the ball effectively inside 50 and rebounding well down back. Her impact dwindled slightly from previous weeks, but she made good use of the footy and continued to utilise her supreme kicking ability. For the day she had 13 disposals, 11 kicks, four marks, four tackles, two rebounds and five inside 50s.

#26 Isabella Shannon

Shannon was arguably Dandenong’s most impactful player, zoning off well in defence and charging clean at the loose ball. She was remarkably effective at gathering the ground ball given her height and approaches her opponents with confidence, rewarded for two strong tackles in defence and ripping the ball from an opponent’s hands inside 50. Her ability to gather off Dandenong’s backline created opportunities going forward and caught plenty Geelong Falcons midfielders out of position. She finished with 13 disposals, 11 kicks, two marks, six tackles and two inside 50s.

#28 Tyanna Smith

Smith brought a real fighting spirit to the Dandenong midfield when the game started slipping from their grasp. She gathered well out of the stoppage and found space in congestion. As with last week (seven inside 50s), Smith remained pivotal in the centre, repeatedly sending the ball inside 50. In the third she was awarded a free kick after following up her smothered kick with a tackle, taking back some momentum for her side. She finished with 17 disposals, four tackles and four inside 50s.

#31 Brooke Vernon

Stood up well defensively despite a three-quarter onslaught from the Falcons. Exited well up the guts and picked her targets well. Proved reliable by foot, finishing with 11 disposals, eight kicks and two rebound 50s.

Geelong:

#8 Paige Sheppard

Alongside Tierney, Sheppard completely tore up the midfield, attacking the hard ball and breaking free from congestion. She kicked the first goal of the fourth to further their lead and led the game in inside 50s (seven). She earned two free kicks for her efforts and tied with Tierney for a game-high 22 disposals. She also accumulated two marks, seven tackles and two rebounds.

#18 Darcy Moloney

Moloney remained a tough utility for the Falcons, standing up in the win. Brought repeat efforts to the contest and cleared well from the stoppage. She was dropped in a hard tackle midway through the fourth but returned for a third effort following the head knock, assisting the footy clear. Works hard on the inside and looks comfortable in front of goals. Moloney finished with Falcon’s first goal, 18 disposals, three marks and two inside 50s.

#24 Mia Skinner

Fought hard for the contest and worked her opponent on the ball. Found a lot of the footy and was one of Geelong’s better users for the day. She kicked a goal to open the third, putting her team within five points and delivered the ball well to her forwards. She had 11 disposals on the day, nine kicks, three marks, five tackles and five inside 50s.

#38 Lucy McEvoy

A good worker on the inside, McEvoy finds the contested ball well and delivers well by hand and foot. She worked the ball carrier well and had her efforts rewarded with six strong tackles and finished among the top three for disposals (20). She also finished with three marks and four inside 50s.

#39 Renee Tierney

A powerhouse with the football, Tierney finished one of the most impactful players across both sides. Strong overhead and a good mover with the ball. She delivered well by foot and kicked the goal which put them in front for the first time in the third quarter, seeming impossible to contain once their lead increased. She also had a game-high 22 disposals with 16 kicks, seven marks, three tackles and three inside 50s.

NAB League Girls Round 5 wash-up: Western claims first win as Geelong and Northern remain undefeated

WITH the end of the season quickly approaching Round 5 brought plenty of action with both Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights remaining undefeated. The Bendigo Pioneers also stamped their authority on the competition with a 62-point win to keep them in the hunt for a finals spot.

Western Jets 6.7 (43) defeated Greater Western Victoria Rebels 3.3 (21)
By: Sophie Taylor

WESTERN JETS 1.1 | 2.2 | 3.3 | 6.7 (43)
GWV REBELS 1.1 | 3.1 | 3.1 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:
Western:
L. Wright 3, J. Goodman, P.Ozols, C. Sargent
GWV: S. Nolte, C. Leonard, E. Friend

BEST:
Western:
I. Grant, L. Wright, I. Pritchard, E. Georgostathis, C. Sargent, T. Kolevski
GWV: S. Molan, I. Robson, K. Harris, L. Condon, M. Ciavarella, L. Sykes

It was a tight contest between eleventh and twelfth on the ladder as the Western Jets hosted Greater Wester Victoria (GWV) Rebels on Sunday at Williamstown. It was a tough slog all round from the start but it was the Jets’ composure in the final quarter that ultimately got them their first win for the season, with a three goal to nil final term gifting them a well deserved 22 point win. Both sides started well defensively, with the likes of Nyakoat Dojiok (GWV), who returned to the side this week, and Isabelle Pritchard (Western) holding ground off half back, not allowing the ball to enter their defensive 50. Even in the early stages of the match it looked like the Jets had the upper hand, putting pressure on every stoppage and making it hard for the Rebels to clear the ball out of the pack. Some missed opportunities early saw the sides head into the first change even on 1.1 (7) apiece, proving the intensity of both sides’ backlines.

The Rebels showed some great footy smarts at ground level scooping up the footy, but were unable to hold onto it with the constant pressure applied by the Jets. Some clean kicking through the guts saw some great play but more missed opportunities from both sides, before the Rebels took a five point lead into half time with a beautiful kick after the siren. The Rebels’ good fortune ended there, unable to convert in front of goal for the second half credit to Western’s ability to trap the footy in their forward 50, with the likes of Pritchard and Isabella Grant continuously feeding the ball back. The Rebels showed great signs early, but could not compete with the intensity and pressure in their forward. Pritchard was not only a constant moving the ball back forward, but also held her ground well on GWV’s Isabella Simmons, getting the upper hand on a number of occasions and preventing her from having a big influence on the match.

Repeated forward 50 entries proved key for scoring opportunities, a tactic that clearly worked for the Jets against GWV’s punishing defensive structure. On return Rebels’ half back, Dojiok limped off midway through third term, diminishing the Rebels’ backline which had held strong for most of the match. Though Dojiok did not take the field to start the final quarter she did return midway through at full forward, however the side missed her influence defensively after a stellar first half. Despite a falcon in the final quarter, the likes of Elisabeth Georgostathis stood up to make the match count, being a constant asset through the midfield and feeding into the forward line. The Jets cemented their first win of season with a strong final quarter, kicking 3.4 (22) to 0.2 (2) to take home their first win for the season.

Calder Cannons 9.7 (61) defeated Murray Bushrangers 5. 4 (34)
By: Taylah Melki

Calder Cannons 3.1 | 4.1 | 7.4 |9.7 (61)
Murray Bushrangers 0.0 | 2.1 | 3.2 | 5.4 (34)

GOALS:
Calder: A. Barba 2, G. Prespakis 2, G. Elarmaly, M. Muller, A. Magri, T. Gillard, G. Patrikios
Murray: S. McCarthy 3, M. Quade, M. Jones

BEST:
Calder: A. Barba, G. Patrikios, G. Prespakis, Z. Hardiman, K. Delia, Z. Friswell
Murray: M. Quade, S. McCarthy, A. Smith, M. Jones, M. Brown, L. Sharp

The Calder Cannons impressed with a 27-point win against the Murray Bushrangers. The Cannons looked hot from the get go nailing three goals in the opening term and they did not look back applying plenty of attacking pressure throughout the game. Their slick ball movement and ability to hit a target while under pressure was impressive while they were able to control the flow of the game with ease. Murray had some good passages of play credit to some cleve ball movement but it was simply not enough to compete with Calder who dominated from start to finish. The Cannons were led by the likes of Georgie Prespakis and Georgia Patrikios who starred through the midfield and slotted a combined three goals. Their clean hands and ability to win one on ones allowed the Cannons to push hard throughout the game. Alana Barba was solid up forward for the Cannons finishing the afternoon with two majors and collecting her fair share of touches. For the Murray Bushrangers, Sophia McCarthy impressed with her attacking flair up forward nailing three goals to keep the Bushies in it. Meanwhile Millie Brown had some moments of magic aided by teammate Abbey Favell who used her speed, good vision and strong kick to propel her side forward. Mindy Quade also chipped in with her one goal and timely touches around the ground for Murray.

Bendigo Pioneers 8.15 (63) defeated Gippsland Power 0.1 (1)
By: Peter Williams

BENDIGO PIONEERS 1.2 | 2.13 | 5.14 | 8.15 (63)
GIPPSLAND POWER 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 (1)

GOALS:
Bendigo: E. Snell 5, H. Stewart, G. Barton, E. Bell
Gippsland: Nil.

BEST:
Bendigo:
H. Stewart, E. Snell, B. Hards, J. Jolliffe, A. Strahan, M. Tupper
Gippsland: M. Van Berkel, M. Fitzsimon, C. Abrahams , C. Robinson, S. Beaton, M. Shaw

Bendigo Pioneers made it back-to-back wins and their third victory for the season, with an impressive 62-point win over Gippsland Power at Epsom Huntly Reserve on Sunday. In what was arguably their best performance in their short history, the Pioneers controlled the game from start to finish, finally adding the scoreboard pressure in the second half that they had trouble with in the first thanks to blustery conditions. Kicking against the wind in the first term, the Pioneers could only manage the one goal, before piling on 11 behinds for one major in the second term as they headed into the break with a 25-point lead and Elizabeth Snell with both goals. Snell would finish with five for the game, as the Pioneers ran out 8.15 (63) to 0.1 (1) winners, with Gippsland scoring a late behind to ensure they got on the board, while the Pioneers manoeuvred through the strong breeze in the second half, booting 6.2. Snell was the star up forward with her five goals from 14 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and four tackles, while the midfield combination of Brooke Hards, Annabel Strahan and Hannah Stewart was dominant across the board. For Gippsland, Matilda Van Berkel tried hard in defence with 16 disposals and two rebounds while assisting in the ruck with 13 hitouts, while Chandra Abrahams laid eight tackles from 12 disposals, always in amongst it with Megan Fitzsimon, Cailin Robinson and Maddison Shaw.

Sandringham Dragons 5.7 (37) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 5.1 (31)
By: Michael Alvaro

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 1.5 | 4.7 | 4.7 | 5.7 (37)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 1.1 | 2.1 | 4.1 | 5.1 (31)

GOALS:
Sandringham: L. Enders, P. Staltari, C. Cody, E. Angelopoulos, C. Saultry
Oakleigh: A. Porter 2, E. James, B. Fox, S. Morley

BEST:
Sandringham: A. Burke, B. Arnold, A. Moloney, W. Laing, S. Hartwig, J. Stolz
Oakleigh: T. Morton, G. Lagioia, J. Lin, A. Porter, G. Larkey, N. Xenos

A first half blitz helped Sandringham Dragons get over the line for its first win of season 2019, defeating Oakleigh Chargers by a sole goal at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. The Dragons were wasteful out of the blocks, holding a four-point lead at the first break on the back of 1.5, but they made good on their dictation of general play with a more sure 3.2 in the second term to set up the win. While there were a few nervous moments in the final stanza after a goalless third quarter, the Dragons managed to hang on for an unlikely win – sealed late by a Chloe Saultry goal after Oakleigh’s Sarah Morley had levelled the scores. Alice Burke again led the way for Sandringham in the engine room, laying nine tackles and winning a heap of contested ball in a selfless display. Winnie Laing narrowly beat her out in the ball-winning stakes with 16, while middle-ager Sarah Hartwig was a force in the air down back, reeling in five marks – many of which were interceptions. Oakleigh’s Mimi Hill was arguably the best player on the ground, collecting 26 damaging possessions and buzzing around the stoppages well to push her side forward. Fellow Chargers Alana Porter and Amelia Peck also contributed nicely, with the former booting two impressive goals in the low-scoring affair. Suffering two losses in the last three weeks, Oakleigh will hope to bounce back against Murray at home next week, while Sandringham travels to Ballarat to take on GWV, hoping to start a winning run.

Northern Knights 7.8 (50) defeated Eastern Ranges 4.2 (26)
By: Michael Alvaro

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 0.3 | 4.3 | 5.3 | 7.8 (50)
EASTERN RANGES 1.1 | 2.2 | 4.2 | 4.2 (26)

GOALS:
Northern: N. Morris-Dalton 2, E. McKenzie 2, M. Papachristos, B. Gutknecht, M. Appleby
Eastern: S. Collard 2, I. Khoury

BEST:
Northern: B. Gutknecht, G. Newton, J. Fitzgerald, A. Bennett, N. Morris-Dalton, E. McKenzie
Eastern: N/A

Northern Knights charged home to a 24-point win against Eastern Ranges on Sunday to maintain its unbeaten season thus far. The home side started shakily as Eastern took advantage of a strong wind to lead by a goal early on, but the 2018 grand finalists hit back well in the second term to snatch a 13-point half time buffer. The Ranges looked to be making a game of it as they bridged the gap to seven points at the final break, but the Knights clicked into gear as they so often do to see out the game, keeping their opponents scoreless while pouring on 2.5 to almost double Eastern’s final score. Star Knights trio Gabby Newton, Britney Gutknecht, and Ellie McKenzie all lifted late on to seal the game and threatened throughout, with Nell Morris-Dalton again finding the big sticks to join McKenzie as Northern’s multiple goal kickers. The signs were promising for Eastern, with potential Collingwood father-daughter Tarni Brown living up to her pedigree, winning a good amount of ball alongside Tess Flintoff, with Serena Gibbs a handy tall presence in the ruck. The game was somewhat soured by injuries to players on both sides, with Marina Taverna suffering a nasty dislocated finger and Tayah Kelly very proppy in the second half, while Northern’s Mia Papachristos was helped off the field with a crook right leg. With changes imminent, Eastern hosts Calder next week in search of a win to sneak back into the top four, while Northern returns to Preston City Oval to face Gippsland.

Dandenong Stingrays 4.7 (31) defeated by Geelong Falcons 7.6 (48)
By: Taylah Melki

DANDENONG STINGRAYS 3.4 |3.5| 3.6 |4.7 (31)
GEELONG FALCONS 0.0 | 2.0 | 4.4 | 7.6 (48)

GOALS
Stingrays: G. Howes 2, H. Thomas, A. Liddle
Falcons: P. Schaap 3, P. Sheppard, R. Tierney, D. Moloney, M. Skinner

BEST
Stingrays: C. Bell, B. Vernon, G. Howes, G. Grimmer, M. McDonald, J. Radford
Falcons: L. McEvoy, R. Tierney, P. Sheppard, A. Chapman, E. Vella, P. Schaap

The Geelong Falcons continued their unbeaten stretch claiming a 17-point win against the Dandenong Stingrays at Robinson Reserve, Doveton. The Falcons worked their way back into the game after a quiet start, ramming it home in the last quarter nailing three goals. Dandenong were up and about early on but credit to the pressure of the Falcons the Stingrays were unable to maintain their composure and pressure falling away in the second half. Poppy Schapp led the way for the Falcons in attack slotting three goals to get her side back in the contest while Renee Tierney was sensational across the ground. Tierney chipped in with a goal and was helped out by teammate Lucy McEvoy who impressed through the middle of the ground with her clean hands, impeccable vision and good decision making. Abbey Chapman was also important for the Falcons with Paige Sheppard making her presence felt on the ground with her one goal and laying some strong tackles. For the Stingrays Georgia Howes was solid and proved to be a real target in the forward 50, slotting two goals for her side. Georgia Grimmer and Tyanna Smith led the way for Dandenong with their slick hands and work around the contest.

Draft Central Rising Star: NAB League Girls – Round 5

A FIVE-goal haul in windy conditions up at Epsom Huntly Reserve in Bendigo has earned 17-year-old Elizabeth Snell our NAB League Girls Rising Star of the Week for Round 5. Snell was everywhere on the weekend, booting the only two goals of the first half before finishing with three more in the second half. She also booted two behinds in challenging conditions for goal kicking. Having kicked just the one goal in the opening three rounds playing predominantly midfield, the athletic 165cm player had 14 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and four tackles as well as the five goals in a vital game for the Pioneers who defeated Gippsland Power by 62 points yesterday.

Scouting notes vs. Gippsland Power

#3 Elizabeth Snell

The star of the show up forward, booting 5.2 and looking dangerous whenever the ball went near her. She had a couple more chances to add to her tally, but could not quite convert, though with the blustery conditions, goals were difficult to come by as shown in the 8.15 scoreline. Snell has great goal sense to be able to turn opponents inside out and snap the ball through the big sticks with very little time. Great composure from her inside 50.

Rising Star of the Week:

Round 1 – Georgie Prespakis (Calder Cannons)
Round 2 – Elisabeth Georgostathis (Western Jets)
Round 3 – Gabby Newton (Northern Knights)
Round 4 – Luka Lesosky-Hay (Geelong Falcons)
Round 5 – ELIZABETH SNELL (BENDIGO PIONEERS)

NAB League Girls preview: Round 5

THE halfway point of the inaugural NAB League Girls is up this weekend, with Round 5 shaping up to have a host of interesting matchups. The Calder Cannons will be looking to maintain their high position on the ladder with another win this week, while two other matches will include the other four sides in the top five of the competition.

CALDER CANNONS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 5 – 6/4/19
12pm
Rams Arena, Craigieburn

The Calder Cannons will have the home advantage when they take on the Murray Bushrangers to open Round 5, and will come in needing a burst of confidence after a 10 point loss to the Oakleigh Chargers last week disrupted their fantastic start to the season. The third placed Cannons will take on Murray in eighth, sitting on two and two, with a disappointing loss to the Bendigo Pioneers last round likely to spark them into action this week. This week’s Murray lineup has seen a lot of changes, but Round 4 best on, Millie Brown was not one of them after a phenomenal performance last week saw her pick up 27 touches, six rebound 50s and two marks. Abby Favell also put on a great effort last round with 22 disposals, five marks and eight tackles, so will want to replicate her fine season form again this week to propel Murray to a better result than last week. Calder bottom-ager, Georgie Prespakis is back in the side this week after missing Round 4, so the Cannons will be hoping for another influential performance from her with Krstel Petrevski missing from this week’s lineup. To beat the Cannons the Bushrangers will have to boost their opportunities in front of goal, or otherwise suffer a fate similar to last week.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 5 – 6/4/19
1pm
Robinson Reserve, Doveton

The second match of Round 5 will be one to watch, with fourth placed Dandenong Stingrays hosting table toppers, Geelong Falcons. Both sides registered big wins in Round 4, so will be looking for another opportunity to get a win on the board. However, both sides seemed to have an issue with accuracy, with Geelong kicking poorly in front of goal, finishing with 17 behinds in their win against Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. If the Stingrays can put on the pressure in their defence they may have an opportunity to stop the Falcons’ strong forward line in its tracks and come out on top. That being said, the Stingrays posted 12 behinds against the Gippsland Power in Round 4, so will want to make sure their kicking is on when they take on the reigning premiers. With at least 6 confirmed changes to the Stingrays’ lineup since last round, it will be interesting to see how the side takes the field against the Falcons at full strength. Luka Lesosky-Hay will be looking to replicate her strong Round 4 effort (31 disposals, eight marks) this week after being a standout performer across the board last round, but in front of goal will need to double down after three behinds contributed to Geelong’s frustrating winning margin last week. Maeve Skinner is another one who will want to boost her accuracy this round, with two goals from six kicks last week after a dominant four goal haul in Round 3. The Stingrays had five individual goalkickers against the Power, with Georgia Howes booting two, so the side will need to keep up their team effort in front of the big sticks if they want to get on top of Geelong this round.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 5 – 6/4/19
2:45pm
Trevor Barker Oval

The Oakleigh Chargers are sitting in sixth at this point of the competition, and with such a short season every point matters, so will want to win this one against the Sandringham Dragons in tenth. The Chargers have only dropped one game and drawn with Northern this year, so are shaping up to be real contenders if they keep up this good form, while the Dragons have yet to win a game. For Oakleigh, Amelia Van Oosterwijck is out of the side this week, so it will be interesting to see how they perform without one of their main targets forward. Gemma Lagioia was strong last week, with 21 touches and a goal, so will look to continue her form to get another win for her side. Meanwhile for Sandringham, Bryanna Arnold put on a good performance last week with 17 disposals and six tackles, so will want to put the pressure onto Oakleigh to aim for their first win of the season. The Dragons only managed to get two majors on the board last round, both through Sophia Rothfield, so will want to double down on that effort this week to create a strong team effort against the Chargers.

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 5 – 7/4/19
11am
Epsom Huntly Reserve

Sunday’s first match will see seventh placed Bendigo Pioneers host eleventh placed Gippsland Power, with Bendigo needing a win if they want to stay in touch with the leading sides in the competition. The Pioneers had a good win against the Bushrangers last week, kicking two final quarter goals to cement their second win for the season. Tackling pressure seemed to be a major focus in that match with seven players registering five or more, while Brooke Hards alone racked up a massive 11 tackles to go with her 17 touches. The Pioneers will have to bump up their attacking pressure and volume in front of goal to combat the Power down back, with Megan Fitzsimon racking up 26 touches, five marks, four tackles and five rebounds last round while Nikia Webber was out. Webber will be back this round, so it’s likely we will see Hards and Webber line up alongside each other in this matchup. Missing from the Power this week is ball magnet, Grace McRae, while her Pioneers counterpart, Elizabeth Snell is a big inclusion for the home side.

WESTERN JETS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 5 – 7/4/19
1pm
Downer Oval, Williamstown

Cellar dwellers, Western Jets will host ninth place GWV Rebels in the penultimate match for Round 5. Both sides will be looking toward a win this week after a winless Round 4, but the Jets will want to take advantage of their opponent also sitting low on the ladder.The Rebels had a disappointing match when rendered goalless against ladder leaders, Geelong last week, though Nekaela Butler was impressive despite the loss, with 21 touches, four marks and six rebounds. Lauren Sykes put up her best performance for the season so far, with 16 disposals (15 kicks), seven rebound 50s and three tackles. The pair will be bolstered this week with the return of Ella Woods and Nyakoat Doijok, though dominant ruck, Maggie Caris has not been listed for Round 5. Isabella Grant (17 disposals, seven tackles) and Elisabeth Georgostathis (13 disposals, two rebounds) were best on for the Jets last round, however the loss of Cleo Saxon-Jones will surely be an issue through the midfield. All in all, it should be an interesting match with both sides chomping at the bit for a win.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. EASTERN RANGES

Round 5 – 7/4/19
2pm
La Trobe University, Bundoora

In the final match of Round 5, second and fifth on the ladder will face off in another game that could be one to watch. Both Northern Knights and Eastern Ranges come into this round off the back of two wins in a row, so it’s likely to be a close one if Eastern put in the hard yards against last year’s grand finalists. The Ranges will want to take advantage of Alyssa Bannan being out for the Knights, however will still have the likes of Round 4 performers, Britney Gutknecht (19 disposals, six tackles, one goal) and Gabby Newton (19 disposals, five marks, five tackles) to worry about, while Nell Morris-Dalton was strong forward with two goals, 15 touches and 11 tackles in a season best performance. A second-half goal blitz from the Ranges saw them jump up the ladder last round, with Serena Gibbs and Laura McClelland kicking two goals apiece, while Tess Flintoff was also dominant, picking up 23 touches and six marks.The Knights have a number of options forward who have the ability to kick goals, so that will be the big task for Eastern this week as they aim to do what Oakleigh managed in Round 2, stifling the ball, stopping it from moving forward and going in hard at ground ball opportunities. Both teams have the ability to produce high scores and quickly, so it will certainly be an interesting match to finish up the round.

Team of the Week: NAB League Girls – Round 4

GEELONG Falcons and Eastern Ranges have recorded the most nominess in the Draft Central NAB League Girls Team of the Week for Round 4 following impressive victories on the weekend. In an even spread across the competition, Calder Cannons and Western Jets recorded the one nominee each, while the remaining eight sides had two players in the Team of the Week.

Geelong Falcons’ captain Lucy McEvoy, and Rising Star of the Week teammate, Luka Lesosky-Hay fill out the midfield with full-back Abbey Chapman slotting into full-back. Eastern Ranges’ Olivia Meagher returns to the side and joins the Falcons pair in the centre line, while forwards, Serena Gibbs and Laura McClelland make the team of the week for the first time this year. Also in the midfield is last week’s Rising Star of the Week, Gabby Newton, joined by Knights’ forward, Nell Morris-Dalton in Round 4.

Bendigo Pioneers’ Brooke Hards is the remaining starting midfielder, in the team with Annabel Strachan who was best on ground in the Pioneers’ win over Murray Bushrangers. Millie Brown made the Team of the Week after an impressive game for the Bushrangers, as did Ally Morphett who has shown good signs as the season has progressed. Georgia Howes has been named at centre half-forward, while Stingrays teammate Brooke Vernon makes the team for the third time this season. In defence, Maddison Shaw and Megan Fitzsimon represent Gippsland Power, while rounding out the defence is Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ defender Nekaela Butler, while ruck teammate Maggie Caris makes the team again.

Emily Harley has slotted into the Team of the Week in Round 4, joined again by Chargers’ teammate Amelia Van Oosterwijck. Sandringham Dragons also had two nominees in the Round 4 Team of the Week with Winnie Laing making the team for the second time this year, this time joined in the side by Chloe Saultry. Rounding out the interchange bench is Western Jet, Nikita Wright and Calder Cannon, Emelia Yassir.

Weekend wash-up: NAB League Girls – Round 4

WITH Round 4 of the NAB League Girls complete the Geelong Falcons have continued their winning streak while the Northern Knights have moved into second spot on the ladder after a convincing victory over Sandringham. Up the other end of the table the Jets, Dragons and Power are yet to win a game.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 1.2 | 2.4 | 5.4 | 5.6 (36)
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.3 (15)

By: Michael Alvaro

GOALS:

Northern: N. Morris-Dalton 2, B. Gutknecht, E. McKenzie, M. Papachristos.
Sandringham: S. Rothfield 2.

BEST:

Northern: G. Newton, N. Morris-Dalton, S. Sansonetti, E. McKenzie, T. Smart, P. Chisholm
Sandringham: W. Laing, C. Saultry, B. Arnold, C. Cody, T. Grasso, D. Walker

Northern Knights remain undefeated in 2019 after an impressive 21-point win over Sandringham Dragons to open the round. After a tight first half under intermittent rain, the Knights could only manage a nine-point buffer at the main break, but broke the game open as prime movers Britney Gutknecht and Ellie McKenzie stood up to hit the scoreboard. Nell Morris-Dalton was another to score in the third term, putting through her second to be the Knights’ only multiple goal kicker, while Sophia Rothfield booted both of the Dragons’ majors. While Gabby Newton was the prime ball-winner for Northern on top of McKenzie and Gutknecht, Winnie Laing and Alice Burke were constants in the engine room for Sandringham and tried hard all day. Bottom-ager Sarah Hartwig was also important for the Dragons having played at both ends, and took a couple of important intercept marks while in defence. With two wins on the trot after a draw to Oakleigh, the Knights moves on to another clash at La Trobe University with the 3-1 Eastern Ranges, who are coming off a big win over Western. Meanwhile, Sandringham faces a tough task to back up this one, set to do battle with Oakleigh at home on Saturday.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 0.1 | 0.1 | 1.3 | 1.3 (9)
BENDIGO PIONEERS 1.1 | 1.4 | 1.4 | 3.5 (23)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Murray: E. McPherson.
Bendigo: A. Strahan, E. Gretgrix, J. Jolliffe.

BEST:

Murray: M. Quade, H. Doohan, A. Morphett, C. Gogoll, M. Brown, A. Favell
Bendigo: A. Strahan, K. Douglass, B. Hards, J. Jolliffe, M. Tupper, R. Stubbings

Bendigo Pioneers balanced their season ledger with a terrific 14-point win over Murray Bushrangers at Deakin Reserve in Shepparton on Saturday, The Pioneers booted the first goal of the game through captain, Eloise Gretgrix, but it was a tough struggle after that as both teams refused to give an inch. The Bushrangers got on the board through Emilee McPherson in the third term. It wasn’t until the final term when Annabel Strahan and Jordyn Jolliffe put the final nails in the coffin to see the visitors hold Murray scoreless and take home an important four points. Strahan was terrific, picking up more disposals (20) in the game than she had in her first three, while also laying seven tackles, having five inside 50s, two rebounds and booted that all important second goal. Brooke Hards was strong again with a game-high 11 tackles as well as 17 disposals, three marks, four inside 50s and three rebounds. Maeve Tupper was prominent in the midfield with 16 disposals, while up either end, Jolliffe and Kate Douglass were solid. For the Bushrangers, Millie Brown had her best game of the season with a game-high 27 touches as well as two marks, while Abby Favell had another 22 disposals and eight tackles. Mindy Quade and Hayley Doohan were named among the Bushrangers’ best in the defeat.

WESTERN JETS 0.1 | 0.3 | 0.3 | 0.3 (3)
EASTERN RANGES 1.0 | 2.2 | 5.3 | 7.4 (46)

By: Taylah Melki

GOALS:

Western: Nil.
Eastern: S. Gibbs 2, L. McClelland 2, R. Hall, J. Richardson.

BEST:

Western: N. Wright, R. Tripodi, E. Georgostathis, S. Asciak, L. Wright, I. Pritchard
Eastern: S. Gibbs, L. McClelland, R. Hall, J. Grace, O. Meagher, M. Edwards

It was a close start but in the end, it was the Eastern Ranges who pulled away in the third term kicking three goals to the Jets one point. The Ranges seemed to look more composed with ball in hand and hit up targets across the field, while the Jets had moments of brilliance but they were unable to sustain a four-quarter performance. Elisabeth Georgostathis impressed once again for the Jets but was down on her usual standards. Teammates Ruby Tripodi and Stephanie Asciak were dominant with their timely touches and smooth movement across the ground. While for the Ranges Laura McClelland proved to be hard to stop both in front of goals and across the ground. McClelland nailed two majors while teammate Serena Gibbs also chimed in with two majors to her name. Olivia Meagher also impressed for the Ranges going in hard at the contest and putting her body on the line more than once throughout the game.

GWV REBELS 0.2 | 0.3 | 0.3 | 0.5 (5)
GEELONG FALCONS 0.4 | 1.9 | 3.15 | 4.17 (41)

By: Cameron Ross

GOALS:

GWV: Nil.
Geelong: M. Skinner 2, P. Schaap, D. Moloney.

BEST:

GWV: M. Caris, S. Molan, C. Leonard, N. Butler, E. Friend, A. Stevens
Geelong: L. Lesosky-Hay, L. McEvoy, A. Chapman, E. Vella, D. Smith, M. Skinner

Geelong Falcons took another scalp on their journey towards back-to-back Premierships, defeating the GWV Rebels at City Oval in Ballarat on Saturday. In cold and wet conditions, the Rebels took it up to the Falcons who had the wind in the first quarter. Neither side could kick a goal in the first quarter, and the Rebels took a surprising one-point lead into the first break. The second quarter was wildly frustrating for the Falcons girls, as they simply couldn’t convert on a plethora of opportunities. The Falcons missed five opportunities that should have been kicked, including a magical piece of play from Lucy McEvoy where she turned her opponent inside out, and hit the post from point blank range. At half-time, the Falcons had kicked 1.9 and the Rebels were still in the game. Falcons coach Jason Armistead was fantastic at half-time, reminding the Falcons girls that the game was a four quarter game, and used a finance analogy that “interest accumulates” and to continue to invest in the team and that they will be rewarded like millionaires. Armistead was right, and the Falcons girls looked like millionaires in the third term, absolutely dominating the game. The Falcons did not allow the Rebels one inside 50 in the third term. Rebels coach Rhys Cahir tried desperately to spark his young Rebels into action in the final term, urging them that “team football is your way back into this game”. Captain Sophie Molan did what all good captains should do, putting into action the coaches demands with an outstanding chase down tackle at the start of the final term. Unfortunately, for the Rebels, the Falcons were far too good, and when Mia Skinner kicked a nice goal off a turnover in the third minute, the game was all but over. The Falcons winners by 36 points, 4.17.41 to 0.5.5. Despite his side not kicking a goal, Cahir stated that it was the best four quarter performance for effort he has seen this season from his side. “They just won some cleaner footy, and when the scoreboard pressure came, we struggled to get back into it,” he said. The Rebels will hope to bounce back next week against the Western Jets, while the Falcons look to maintain their impressive form against the Stingrays.

GIPPSLAND POWER 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 4.2 (26)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 1.4 | 3.11 | 5.12 | 6.12 (48)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Gippsland: C. Turner, J. Chila, M. Fitzsimon, M. Gilmour.
Dandenong: G. Howes 2, C. Bell, T. Smith, L. Grocock, S. Stratton.

BEST:

Gippsland: M. Fitzsimon, M. Shaw, S. Beaton, H. Andrews, C. Abrahams , C. Turner
Dandenong: A. Carroll, B. Vernon, G. Howes, Z. Hill, T. Smith, L. Grocock

Dandenong Stingrays made it three consecutive wins after seeing off a late Gippsland Power challenge to record a 22-point victory at Morwell Recreation Reserve. In challenging conditions, Georgia Howes kicked the first two goals of the game, before Shaneece Stratton made it three and the Stingrays were off and away. Jaime Chila pulled the margin back with her first goal for the Power, but a couple more majors in the third term to Caitlin Bell and Lucy Grocock saw the margin out to 35 points by the final break. When Tyanna Smith converted in the third minute of the final term, the Stingrays led by 41 points. To the Power’s credit, they never stopped fighting and made the margin respectable thanks to goals from Macie Gilmour, Chloe Turner and Megan Fitzsimon. The Stingrays were terrific throughout, with Amie Carroll named their best, while Brooke Vernon‘s phenomenal season continued with a strong performance in defence. Full-back Zoe Hill and bottom-age midfielder Tyanna Smith were again named in the best, while Isabella Shannon had a team-high 17 disposals. For the Power, Fitzsimon backed up her effort last week with an even better performance on Saturday, collecting 26 disposals, five marks, four tackles, six inside 50s, five rebounds and a goal. Captain Maddison Shaw was again impressive in defence with six rebounds to go with 17 disposals, while Chandra Abrahams also stood tall in the win.

CALDER CANNONS 0.0 | 1.1 | 3.2 | 5.4 (34)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 2.1 | 4.1 | 6.2 | 7.2 (44)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Calder: T. Gillard 2, A. Magri, F. Theodore, G. Elarmaly.
Oakleigh: E. Harley 2, T. Morton, A. van Oosterwijck, M. Bertuna, G. Lagioia, K. Kearns.

BEST:

Calder: E. Yassir, A. Barba, K. Lennox, M. McLeod, T. Gillard, T. Fry
Oakleigh: A. van Oosterwijck, E. Harley, J. Lin, N. Xenos, K. Kearns, D. Lloyd

Oakleigh Chargers handed Calder Cannons their first defeat of the season, with a strong 10-point victory in wet conditions up at RAMS Arena. The Cannons came into the match without dropping any points thus far this season, but Oakleigh looked prepared from the first bounce, holding the Cannons scoreless in the opening term, and by the 13th minute, led 4.1 (25) to 0.1 (1) and it was beginning to look like a one-sided contest. Emily Harley had already converted two goals and looked the dominant goalkicker on the ground. Gloria Elarmaly finally got the Cannons on the board and when Alisa Magri converted early in the third term, the margin was back to 11 points. The Chargers booted the next two goals of the game to give themselves some breathing space before Tahlia Gillard found the big sticks with 21 seconds remaining in the term to give the home side some hope heading into the final break. Just 96 seconds into the final term, Gillard made it two consecutive goals and when Felicity Theodore added another at the six and a half minute mark, the deficit was just six points and it looked like all the momentum was with the Cannons. Amelia Van Oosterwijck settled for the Cannons to five them a two-goal buffer, as a couple of missed opportunities late for Calder meant the Cannons fell short of a fourth consecutive victory. Gemma Lagioia had a team-high 21 disposals and a goal, while Van Oosterwijck was named Oakleigh’s best for her pressure work and match-winning goal. Harley’s attack up forward to set the game up with two majors as well as 14 disposals and five marks was solid, while Mimi Hill and Nicola Xenos both had 17 touches in continued good form. For the Cannons, Emelia Yassir had a team-high 14 disposals and was named in the Cannons’ best, while Alana Barba and Kasey Lennox were also among their side’s top players in the loss.

Scouting notes: NAB League Girls – Round 4

IT was a big Round 4 of NAB League Girls action with some of the key players really dominating across the ground. We managed to get to three games across the weekend with notes taken on some of the players outlined by respective Female Talent Managers in the pre-season. All notes are opinions based on the writer.

Northern Knights 5.6 (36) defeated Sandringham Dragons 2.3 (15)
By: Michael Alvaro

Sandringham:
#25 Sarah Hartwig

Employed at both ends of the ground, Hartwig showed strong hands overhead in either role, but fell a little short by foot up forward in the tough conditions. A promising prospect, Hartwig has plenty of time to work on that, as well as her strengths. With two intercept marks in the third term in defence, marking is clearly one of them.

#28 Alice Burke
Burke was one of Sandringham’s key ball winners, digging the ball out from stoppages all day. While breaking away proved tough for most at the stoppages, the Dragons midfielder improvised well at times with kicks off the ground to move forward and won a couple of nice clearances – the most notable coming in the second term.

#30 Winnie Laing
Arguably the Dragons’ best, Laing was combative against stiff competition in the Knights’ midfield and showed a willingness for repeat efforts. Snaring the ball at ground level, Laing often threw the ball onto her boot and pushed her side inside 50 of a couple of occasions on the back of breaking tackles. A mainstay in the midfield, Laing can hold her head up despite a tough loss.

#42 Margie Purcell
Positioned on the outside, Purcell took time to get her running game going but was effective late on as the Dragons scrapped to keep the margin tight. A missed chance in the first quarter could have otherwise provided a nice start to the game, but Purcell was not deterred and tried taking the game on with twists and turns through traffic.

Northern:
#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

A constant up forward, Morris-Dalton built into the game slowly. She read the ball better than three Sandringham defenders to run onto a dropped high ball and slot her first major from the goalsquare, while later claiming one over the back in the third term to finish with two goals in a strong performance.

#6 Alyssa Bannan
Employed on the outside and moving forward well, Bannan continues to be a key Knights ball carrier. A nice pick up and shrug of her opponent was a particular highlight, but she missed the resultant shot on goal in the first term.

#7 Abigail Bennett
Bennett was another good forward mover alongside Bannan, providing a key link between the wing and forward 50. Her clean hands were a particular feature throughout the day, with her running game proving damaging as she found space at will. Bennett’s mark under a high defensive clearance in the second term was most impressive, as was her clean break and kick to Ellie McKenzie inside 50.

#14 Jessica Fitzgerald
Another good runner from midfield, Fitzgerald drove the Knights forward as one of the only players who effectively broke away from traffic. She kept her hands up and flicked the ball out well in tackles when caught, and bar two misses from gettable chances on the run in the first half, put in a solid shift as part of the Northern engine room rotation.

#18 Sarah Sansonetti
While she did not have too much to do in her key post down back, Sansonetti was a solid part of the sturdy Knights defence. Entrusted with kick-outs, she made good decisions with and without ball in hand – including a calm spoil for a rushed behind when one-on-one deep in defence during the third term.

#21 Ellie McKenzie
The versatile middle-ager was again terrific, looking dangerous inside forward 50 throughout the game. While she found limited opportunities early on while playing out of the goalsquare, McKenzie was competitive at the forward stoppages and came into the game that way. Her highlights included moving cleanly around an opponent to then provide Jess Fitzgerald with a shot at goal, as well as her clean hands and a holding the ball tackle in the final term to give Britney Gutknecht a chance inside 50.

#22 Britney Gutknecht
Another who can trade forward duties for the midfield, Gutknecht hunted the ball well through the middle and was often the best reader of taps. Breaking away was a tougher task, but her tackling and intent around the stoppages gave her a real presence. Moving deep forward in the second half, Gutknecht slotted a set shot goal in the third term and was unlucky not to add to it later on as she looked lively inside 50.

#23 Gabby Newton
Newton again lead the way for the Knights, finding a good amount of the ball through midfield and showing her undeniable class. While the damage on her disposal was not as obvious as usual in tough conditions, Newton’s superior vision and reading of the game was a feature. She took advantage of a 50 metre penalty to gift Gutknecht a goal in the third term, and took a nice intercept mark in defence early on.

Western Jets 0.3 (3) defeated by Eastern Ranges 7.4 (46)
By: Taylah Melki

Eastern 
#21 Olivia Meagher:
Meagher proved that she was a real hard nut throughout the course of the game. She was not afraid to get in and under at the contest and bodied up well against her opponent consistently. She showcased her clean hands with a good pick up in the opening term and used her long booming kick to bomb into the forward 50. She won plenty of the ball in the first term, working hard at the stoppages. Meagher displayed her ability to run both ways working hard in both offense and defence. Out of the centre she was really clean dishing off clever handballs to passing teammates. She worked tirelessly at the stoppages to win the ball and run through the middle of the ground and kick it forward. Meagher kicked a good crumbing goal in the dying seconds of the last quarter to well and truly seal the deal for the Ranges.

#26 Tarni Brown:
She had a relatively quiet game by her standards but when she won the ball she used it well and made her presence felt across the ground. She impressed in one passage of play with a beautiful pick up off the ground in the first quarter and vision to use the ball well. She showcased her clean hands in close and highlighter her good turn of speed to break away from the pack and push the ball forward for Eastern. She applied good pressure in the middle of the ground to worry her opponents out of the ball and laid a good strong tackle in the third term. Brown worked hard in transition across the ground and showed a good burst through the centre going for a bounce and opening up the forward 50 but got wrapped up in a good tackle before she could dispose of the ball.  

#39 Laura McClelland:
McClelland ran hard across the ground with good follow up work and helped her teammates out providing support play numerous times throughout the game. She had good hands under pressure taking a strong contested mark. She applied a good strong attack on the footy and impressed with a clean pick up given the soggy conditions. McClelland was not afraid to put her body on the line to win the footy, impacting the contest and working hard to try and bring the ball to ground. To go with her handy touches around the ground she impressed in front of the big sticks kicking two majors.

#46 Serena Gibbs:
Gibbs was strong in the ruck, reading the flight of the ball well and getting hands to ball with ease. She was able to win the taps and knock it to her teammates advantage creating space across the ground. She consistently impacted the contest and if she could not take the mark worked hard to bring the call to ground and provide a scrumming opportunity for her teammates. She proved to be handy in front of goals as well nailing two majors

Western
#13 Isabella Grant:
Grant was clean at the stoppages and got into some strong positions across the ground to provide some link up play. Laid a really strong smother in the second quarter but was unable to finish off the play. She did well to keep the arms free in the tackle and dish off a handball to teammates and showcased her ability to read the flight of the ball and took a strong mark throughout the course of the game. Grant applied plenty of physical pressure with some big tackles to bring down her opponents, leading the way for her side.

#17 Elisabeth Georgostathis: 
Down on her average output Georgostathis was still solid when she did win the ball. She was strong around the contest going in hard to win the ground ball and ran hard to make space. She was clever with ball in hand, showed good spatial awareness and worked hard to try and set up attacking play for the Jets. Displayed good run and bounce through the middle of the ground in the second quarter then used her strong kick to set up an attacking thrust for the Jets. She managed to keep her arms free and get boot to ball when tackled and laid a strong tackle that got her a holding the ball call proving her hunt for the ball. She sent a scare through the camp coming off in the last quarter with a possible arm injury.

#25 Cleo Saxon-Jones:
She read the flight of the ball well, was good under pressure and attacked the footy hard. Saxon-Jones used her strong hands to take a few contested marks and worked hard around the contest to try and extract the ball. She made her presence felt with a few good strong bumps, good quick hands but seemed to hurt her shoulder in the last quarter coming from the ground.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels 0.5 (5) defeated by Geelong Falcons 4.17 (41)
By: Cameron Ross

GWV:
#9 Renee Saultis
Quiet game from Saultis, but was more effective than her stats suggest. Played in a forward line that saw only 1-2 inside 50s in a half of football, which needs to be taken into account.

#24 Sophie Molan
Another game from Molan where she tried desperately hard to get her side over the line. Highlight of the day was her chase down tackle in the final quarter when the game was all but won. Sums her up as a player, ultra competitive, willing to do the team thing, and a terrific leader.

#32 Isabella Simmons
Simmons is extremely raw. You can see the underlying talent and athleticism, but her game awareness still has question marks. Can’t wait to see her break open a game one day, but will need more footy experience to do so. She did some nice things against the Falcons without being outstanding.

Ella Wood
Missed this game with a thumb injury, and her absence was sorely felt. Wood might be just about my favourite player in the NAB League Girls, due to her ferocity at the ball, and ability to win contested possessions on her own. Coach Rhys Cahir said “Ella was 50-50 this week, but the physios thought it best she sits out this one”. Let’s hope for the Rebels sake she’s back next week!

Geelong:
#8 Paige Sheppard
Dangerous and intelligent forward. Really liked her playing as a high half forward, as she is a beautiful kick, and was able to get into some space for a shot at goal. Great awareness, not a lot of players at this level have the vision to bring the ball back inside, and at a huge ground like City Oval, you can’t continually kick down the wings. The option was there, she took it, and broke the Rebels open.

#18 Darcy Moloney
Not quite sure where she was playing. I thought she was playing as a second forward, as she was up forward and got herself a goal, but then I saw her dashing off half back rebounding the ball a couple of times too! Either way, she’s versatile and proved that she can play at both ends.

#38 Lucy McEvoy
Had the ball on a string and was absolutely dominant. She was too strong, too physical and her aggressiveness was really important in the tough Ballarat conditions. McEvoy vs Molan was always going to be interesting, as they are both quite similar players, but McEvoy took the points on this occasion.

#39 Renee Tierney
Tackle machine. Played a really good in an under game at half forward. Unlucky not too kick a couple of goals, and in better conditions she just might have. Great four quarter performance.

In other games, here’s how some of the top performers stood tall:

Murray Bushrangers 1.3 (9) defeated by Bendigo Pioneers 3.5 (23)

Murray:

#7 Kate Adams – 15 disposals, three marks, five tackles, one inside 50, one rebound
#8 Abby Favell – 22 disposals, five marks, eight tackles, three inside 50s, two rebounds
#10 Sophie Locke – 12 disposals, three marks, six tackles, one rebound
#19 Millie Brown – 27 disposals, two marks, one tackle, one inside 50, six rebounds

Bendigo:

#4 Brooke Hards – 17 disposals, three marks, four inside 50s, three rebounds, 11 tackles
#14 Annabel Strahan – 20 disposals, seven tackles, five inside 50s, two rebounds, one goal
#19 Jemma Finning – 15 disposals, one mark, three tackles, one inside 50, one rebound
#44 Jordyn Jolliffe – 13 disposals, one mark, three tackles, 1.3

Gippsland Power 4.2 (26) defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 6.12 (48)

Gippsland:

#8 Chandra Abrahams – 16 disposals, one mark, five tackles, six inside 50s, one rebound
#9 Maddison Shaw – 17 disposals, one mark, four tackles, one inside 50, six rebounds
#12 Megan Fitzsimon – 26 disposals, five marks, four tackles, six inside 50s, five rebounds

Dandenong:

#10 Abbey Jordan – 12 disposals, two tackles, four inside 50s, two rebounds,
#12 Molly McDonald – 11 disposals, one mark, two tackles, two inside 50s, one rebound, 0.3
#26 Isabella Shannon – 17 disposals, one mark, two tackles, four inside 50s, one rebound, 0.2
#28 Tyanna Smith – 15 disposals, two marks, one tackle, seven inside 50s, one goal
#31 Brooke Vernon – 13 disposals, one tackle, two inside 50s, two rebounds

Calder Cannons 5.4 (34) defeated by Oakleigh Chargers 7.2 (44)

Calder:

#11 Alana Barba – 12 disposals, one mark, two tackles, three inside 50s, one rebound
#21 Georgia Patrikios – 13 disposals, three marks, five tackles, four inside 50s, two rebounds, 0.1
#31 Krstel Petrevski – Six disposals, three tackles, one goal

Oakleigh:

#1 Gemma Lagioia – 21 disposals, two marks, one inside 50, one rebound, one goal
#2 Mimi Hill – 17 disposals, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s, one rebound
#4 Emily Harley – 14 disposals, five marks, two tackles, one inside 50, two rebounds
#8 Alana Porter – Nine disposals, one mark, five tackles, two inside 50s, one rebound