Tag: hayley o’connell

WAFLW Round 1 wrap: Peel Thunders to opening round victory

REIGNING premiers Peel Thunder unfurled the flag and then unleashed their potential – albeit after a comical mishap in hindsight – to win by 32 points over a vastly-different East Fremantle side on the weekend. Opening up the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition, the Thunder and Sharks were set to battle in repeat of last year’s preliminary final. On both occasions the Thunder emerged victorious, and this time it was 8.7 (55) to 3.5 (23).

After celebrating their 2020 WAFL Women’s flag in front of home fans, the Thunder players were so delirious they actually went to the wrong end of the field, with the defenders and forwards needing to switch and re-evaluate. Within 46 seconds, East Fremantle had a goal on the board through returning Sharks talent, Rachel Ashley. It would be the first of two goals for the talented utility who was moved forward after previously playing in defence.

After the first minute of mayhem for the Thunder, the reigning premiers steadied and took full control of the match, starting with a clever snap from Kate Bartlett and then one from star bottom-ager Ella Roberts. Having announced herself in last year’s grand final, the 16-year-old again came to the party for Peel, booting two ridiculous goals – one from long-range into the breeze and another in the second term under pressure tight on the boundary – and having an array of eye-catching moments.

East Fremantle locked down on her in the second half to limit her influence, but they could not contain the entire team, as Roberts was just one of three multiple goalkickers. Bartlett slotted three – including a final term ripper that was arguably the goal of the day to seal the match – and fellow youngster Jade Briggs booted two. With Ashley icing up a hamstring in the second half, the Sharks struggled to find avenues to goal, and aside from Ann McMahon kicking a consolation major in the fourth, went a full 36 minutes without a goal.

Roberts was clearly among the best-on in the first half before being tagged in the second half, with fellow youngsters Briggs, Courtney Rowley and Beth Schilling all showing some serious talent. From a more experienced point of view, Katie-Jayne Grieve and Nel Baxter were also impressive, as was Tanisha Anderson coming off half-back.

For the Sharks, Kate Inglis-Hodge stood out, with Amber Kinnane, Sharon Wong, Hayley O’Donnell and debutant Mylee Leitch having some impressive moments. While East Fremantle showed some potential, the loss of their experience due to AFL Women’s showed a team bringing through plenty of new faces.

The other two matches provided a couple of thrillers as Swan Districts ground out a narrow six-point win over Claremont in hot conditions yesterday afternoon. The Swans got up 2.6 (18) to 1.6 (12) at Steel Blue Oval, with the teams both going goalless in the second half. Claremont did hit back with three behinds to one, but the Tigers not taking their chances really hurt.

Young gun Bella Edgley showed some promising signs with a couple of second quarter goals – one from a set shot and another from a tight angle – to be the chief destroyer for the home team, while AFL Women’s Academy member Amy Franklin showed off her athleticism to get goalside and take plenty of grass on her way to slamming home the opening major of the day.

Franklin was a standout up forward as a target and roaming up the ground, whilst Jess Low was everywhere on the day. Emily Bennett had a great day out for the Tigers, while Rachel Ortlepp and captain Ella Smith also won their fair share of the footy despite the loss.

Swan Districts had a real even team performance across the board, with Bianca Webb and Mikayla Hyde showing off their AFL Women’s experience with great defensive efforts and athleticism respectively. Youngsters Tara Stribley and Emma Nanut had some great moments, as did 15-year-old Jamie Henry, while Emily McGuire was rock solid as usual in the back half, and Sarah Wielstra provided a tall target inside 50.

Meanwhile an inaccurate Subiaco escaped with the win against a fast-finishing and much improved South Fremantle. While the Bulldogs did not manage to breakthrough for their maiden victory, they certainly gave the Lions a scare, piling on three goals to three behinds in the final term, only to fall short by three points.

Casey Byrne was the standout goalscorer on the day, slotting home three majors for the losing side, while Ella Higgins and Lauren Vecchio both added goals to their name. Maggie MacLachlan looked to have benefited from a preseason at AFL Women’s level, kicking two majors for the winners, while Amy Hunt and Jamie Rust both slotted one apiece.

WAFL Women’s Round 1 results:

Peel Thunder 8.7 (55) defeated East Fremantle 3.5 (23)
Subiaco 4.13 (37) defeated South Fremantle 5.4 (34)
Swan Districts 2.6 (18) defeated Claremont 1.6 (12)

Picture credit: Owen Davies / Peel Thunder

WAFL Women’s weekly wrap: Round 1 – Sharks show hunger against newcomers

EAST Fremantle showed no mercy to league newcomers and Derby rivals, South Fremantle during an 88-point drubbing at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. The reigning premiers might not have had an AFL Women’s talents on the field, but it was a new inclusion of ex-Subiaco sharp shooter Sara Lewis up forward that shone booting four goals and was one of five multiple goal kickers in the 14.4 (88) to 0.0 (0) victory.

SOUTH FREMANTLE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)
EAST FREMANTLE 2.0 | 4.3 | 11.4 | 14.4 (88)

GOALS:

South: Nil.
East: S. Lewis 4, S. Sparke 2, E. Burton 2, K. Catalano 2, C. Reilly 2, L. Versaci, S. Wong.

ADC BEST:

South: B. Spencer, C. Taylor, L. Vecchio, M. Tyrrell, T. Holtze
East: K. Catalano, S. Lewis, L. Versachi, S. Wong, S. Sparke

Katelyn Catalano, Stephanie Sparke and Chloe Reilly all looked dangerous in the forward half of the ground, while top-age talent Hayley O’Donnell mopped up off half-back in what was a day that the Sharks’ defence did not have a lot to do. At times South Fremantle looked like scoring, particularly early in the final term, but East Fremantle were in control from the opening bounce and the flood gates opened in the third term when the winners piled on seven straight goals. Among the best players for South Fremantle were defenders, Breanne Spencer and Chloe Taylor who tried hard throughout the contest taking multiple intercept marks.

Lewis looked like she was going to be in for a massive day, booting the first goal of the game from the top of the goalsquare, and then two more early in the third term to sit on four with almost a full half remaining. Whilst she did not add to that total, it was the likes of Emily Burton (two), Catalano and then Reilly in the final term who all booted majors to put an exclamation mark on the performance.

It was an accurate performance from the Sharks who managed to boot the 14.4 and were able to be reliable with their set shots, but their pressure inside 50 was also a feature. On a number of occasions when it looked as if the Bulldogs would clear, an extra Sharks tackle would allow the ball to be spilled and East Fremantle scored on the turnover.

Some of the highlights of the day included Lewis’ contested marking, Reilly’s clever snap around her body after fending off and opponent in the final term, and the third term by Sharon Wong who suffered leather poisoning with her weaving in and out of the contest. She was rewarded with a goal over the top in the term after a contest from Lewis spilled over the back and a quick handball found Wong all alone for the easiest of goals.

Burton who was helped off late in the game showed her touch of class not long after by forcing a fumble from her direct opponent, then controlling the ball well to tap over her head and grab it cleanly for another goal in the goalsquare. The most noticeable difference between the teams was East Fremantle’s effectiveness with its ball movement, while South Fremantle was not quite as clean due to it being the first official game played together with a lot of inexperienced talents still learning to gel.

Overall it was an impressive statement from the reigning premiers who take on Lewis’ ex-team Subiaco next weekend, while South Fremantle face Peel Thunder.

YOUNG GUN TO WATCH: CHLOE REILLY (EAST FREMANTLE)

It is remarkable to think that the talented forward is still a year off being eligible to be drafted, but it was clear as day that there is plenty of upside there. Reilly had one of those threatening days where if a few marks had stuck or a ball had bounced the right way in the first half, she could have had a massive day out feasting on the Bulldogs. Instead, it did not quite go to plan on the scoreboard until the final term where she got her just rewards with a couple of majors. The first was a talented snap around her body after waiting an eternity in the hole, forced to spill the mark, fend off an opponent then produced a clean finish. With her confidence up, Reilly soon made it two goals with a nice long-range set shot from 45m out in. Overall, it will be fascinating to see what she can produce with the first game out of the way and finishing so strongly.

In other results, both Swan Districts and Subiaco won in thrillers to round out the opening weekend of the modified season. Swan Districts got up in a thrilling contest against Peel Thunder, defeating the Thunder by just six points after the teams were level at half-time. Subiaco had an even greater nail-biter, winning by two points over Claremont in a low-scoring 4.4 (28) to 4.2 (26) victory.

Kira Phillips booted three goals for the Thunder to be second in the leading goalkicker award behind Lewis, while Swan Districts had a trio of players kicking multiple goals in Tara Stribley, Mikayla Morrison and Fiona Boucher. Krystal Carter also booted a couple for the Thunder. Among the top performers for the Swans were Lauren Osborne, Aimee Ralph and Mikayla Hyde, while Tanisha Anderson, Abby Barnden and Courtney Rowley were also impressive in defeat for the Thunder.

In the Subiaco-Claremont game, Philippa Pienaar was the only multiple goalkicker with two majors. Jayme Harken, Claire Ortlepp and Tylor McIntosh stood out from a Lions perspective in the narrow victory, while Jacinta Valenti, Brooke Whyte and Ella Smith were named in the best for Claremont.

Picture: WAFL