Tag: Lauren Arnell

2021 AFLW U17 Championships preview: Queensland

AN underage Q-Clash between Brisbane and Gold Coast Academies will kick off on Sunday afternoon in the first of two AFLW Under 17 Championship clashes between the sides. The second game will take place on Wednesday with a short turnaround, but both sides have plenty of impressive players to keep an eye on. Both the Lions Academy and Suns Academy will be coached by recently retired AFLW star Lauren Arnell in more of an exhibition clash than anything else.

From a 2022 AFLW Draft perspective, Alana Gee and Charlotte Mullins loom as the two prospects to really keep an eye on in the clash. Hailing from Mackay, Gee is a member of the Gold Coast Suns Academy, standing at 169cm. A balanced midfielder who can use either foot, her work rate in very impressive. Whilst she is a natural inside midfielder coming through the program, she showed an adaptability to roll into an outside position and even as a running defender in 2020.

Mullins is a versatile talent out of the Brisbane Lions Academy who has been plying her trade for Aspley in the QAFL Women’s competition. Mullins is a lively player around the ball who applies great defensive pressure, and was a clever forward when these sides played last year. As an Under 16s talent, she held her own then, and continued to improve through her bottom-age year, with the 165cm midfielder expected to spend more time in there this year, and lead the Lions group.

Gold Coast Suns Academy’s Fleur Davies representing Queensland a the AFLW U19 Championships.

Fleur Davies, a taller and younger sister of recently drafted Suns Academy talent Giselle, is another one to keep an eye on. Like her older sister, Davies is capable of playing up either end, but played forward for the Lions last year, and pinch-hit in the ruck. She had experience at the AFLW Under 19 Championships, and at 185cm is a genuine key position player who will outmark most opponents when reading it well. Still a raw talent, Davies has plenty of upside and will be one to watch.

Not playing in this clash, bottom-age talent Ella Smith is another name to remember for Queensland prospects, and is another Brisbane Lions Academy talent. From a Brisbane Academy perspective, 171cm Aspley youngster Kadie Fletcher who had an outstanding debut season at senior level year year, and Wilston Grange talent Brooke Sheridan are others who were able to make the Queensland Under 19s squad in their bottom-age years. The Suns also had another bottom-age representative with Gee and Davies in this year’s Under 19s program, with Imogen Evans impressing onball for Queensland, picking up 12 disposals, five tackles, three clearances and booting a goal in the loss to Vic Country.

While the Queensland Academy squads are made up of 2022 and 2023 AFLW Draft talents, there are three 2006-born players named for the Suns. Tara Harrington, Nyalli Milne and Havana Harris are ones to keep in mind for a few years away, with the latter two playing at Burleigh, and Harrington out at Broadbeach. Whilst the result in the match does not really matter, the lack of Under 19s carnival for the Queensland girls will mean these games will provide them with some more experience at a higher level.

>> Watch Brisbane Lions vs. Gold Coast Suns AFLW Under 17s Academy clash

Team: Brisbane Lions
Coach: Lauren Arnell
Team Manager: Jason Torney

# NAME SURNAME DOB HT STATE/ACADEMY/REGION LOCAL CLUB / SCHOOL
2 Holly O’Flaherty 20/06/2004 162 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane North Wilston Grange
3 Ava Seton 19/04/2004 165 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane North Wests Juniors / Uni of Queensland
4 Daisy Carter 7/06/2004 166 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane North Sandgate / Wilston Grange
5 Lauren Fraser 13/01/2005 164 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Toowoomba
6 Courtney Page 23/02/2004 165 Brisbane Lions Academy / Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Kawana
7 Neve Underwood 17/03/2004 166 Brisbane Lions Academy / Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Kawana / Maroochydore
8 Harriet Knijff 21/11/2005 167 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Redland-Victoria Point
9 Ebony Milne 3/08/2005 167 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Redland-Victoria Point
10 Jacinta Baldwick 14/11/2005 167 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Jindalee / Wests Juniors
11 Charlotte Mullins 28/10/2004 167 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane North Wilston Grange / Aspley
12 Lara Paget 23/02/2005 168 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Jindalee / Toowoomba
13 Sarah Browne 28/10/2004 169 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Toowoomba / Jindalee
14 Georgia Carmody 13/04/2004 169 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Mt Gravatt
15 Sasha Rival-Quinn 29/12/2004 169 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Jindalee / University of Queensland
17 Leah Siertsema 13/07/2004 169 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Mt Gravatt
18 Christine Watson 11/10/2004 178 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Concordia College / Toowoomba
20 Demi Norton 6/04/2004 170 Brisbane Lions Academy / Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Kawana / Maroochydore
21 Madalyn Hennessy 9/03/2004 170 Brisbane Lions Academy / Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Maroochydore
22 Brooke Sheridan 8/09/2004 170 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane North Boyne Island-Tannum Sands / Wilston Grange
23 Kadie Fletcher 18/08/2004 171 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane North Wilston Grange / Aspley
24 Lily Willoughby 17/04/2005 171 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane North Sandgate
25 Charlotte Millen 2/12/2004 172 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Mt Gravatt
26 Courtney Browne 28/10/2004 173 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane South-Darling Downs Toowoomba / Jindalee
27 Indiana Gosbell-Smith 30/09/2004 173 Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane North Sandgate
28 Kiara Hillier 3/11/2004 173 Brisbane Lions Academy / Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Kawana
29 Grace Pearson-Smith Brisbane Lions Academy / Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Maroochydore
30 Lilu Hung Brisbane Lions Academy / Brisbane North Kedron

Team: Gold Coast Suns
Coach: Lauren Arnell
Team Manager: Jason Torney

# NAME SURNAME DOB HT STATE/ACADEMY/REGION LOCAL CLUB / SCHOOL
1 Jasmine Single 17/12/2005 160 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Burleigh
2 Caitlin Miller 21/07/2004 166 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Southport
3 Monet Ferris 19/02/2004 173 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Yeronga AFC
4 Darcie Davies 14/06/2005 184 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Southport
5 Tara Harrington 24/03/2006 166 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Broadbeach
6 Isabella Iverach 7/07/2004 169 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Broadbeach
7 Josie McCabe 18/04/2005 173 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Burleigh
10 Jasmyn Smith 10/05/2004 158 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Broadbeach
11 Keeley Parker 23/07/2005 163 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Tweed Coolangatta
12 Piper Phelan 11/11/2004 172 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Bond University
13 Grace Ella 9/11/2005 164 QLD/GC SUNS/Northern Rivers Tweed Coast Tigers
14 Sienna McMullen 15/07/2005 164 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Burleigh
15 Makayla Sekac 5/04/2005 169 QLD/GC SUNS/Northern Rivers Tweed Coolangatta
16 Cloe Coombes 1/12/2004 166 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Broadbeach
17 Abbey Bevan 19/06/2004 178 QLD/GC SUNS/Northern Rivers Broadbeach
19 Alana Gee 20/04/2004 169 QLD/GC SUNS/Mackay North Mackay Saints
20 Jessica Frape 27/05/2004 171 QLD/GC SUNS/Cairns Cairns Saints
21 Imogen Evans 5/02/2004 171 QLD/GC SUNS/Northern Rivers Bond University
22 Kayla Giles 28/09/2005 170 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Palm Beach Currumbin
23 Maggie O’Connell 30/01/2004 171 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Southport
24 Avalon Pearce 17/10/2005 182 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Southport
25 Indiana Brough 15/07/2004 173 QLD/GC SUNS/Mackay Bakers Creek Tigers
26 Nyalli Milne 26/05/2006 169 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Burleigh
27 Kialla-Skye Bailey 10/03/2005 165 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Southport
28 J’noemi Anderson 17/12/2004 170 NT/Thunder St Marys
29 Fleur Davies 6/05/2004 185 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Southport
30 Ella Calleja 20/11/2004 171 QLD/GC SUNS/Capricornia Yeppoon Swans
31 Havana Harris 1/07/2006 181 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Burleigh
32 Kaylee Kimber 13/09/2003 174 QLD/GC SUNS/Mackay Moranbah Bulldogs
33 Annabel Kievit 22/09/2005 175 NT/Thunder Warratahs
34 Millie Heathcote 4/01/2004 181 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Palm Beach Currumbin
35 Nikita Cripps 4/07/2005 175 QLD/GC SUNS/Gold Coast Mt Gravatt

2021-22 AFLW early look: Brisbane

IN an early look at the upcoming AFL Women’s 2021-22 season, Draft Central checks out each of the 14 clubs over the next three weeks ahead of preseason commencing. Next up is Brisbane, the reigning premiers who took everyone by storm in one of the fastest rebuilds ever recorded.

LAST SEASON:

Position: 2nd (Premiers)
Wins: 7
Losses: 2
Draws: 0
Points For: 390 (3rd)
Points Against: 200 (2nd)

Brisbane was finally able to taste premiership glory after near misses to both Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs in the opening couple of seasons, exacting revenge on the Crows to win their inaugural women’s premiership and send off captain Emma Zielke in style. The Lions only just got over Collingwood in a thrilling preliminary final, but after having to build around a ton of talented kids and hard-working experienced talents following Gold Coast’s introduction a couple of seasons earlier, Brisbane was able to rapidly rebound and return to the promised land and snag that previously elusive flag.

OFF-SEASON:

Ins: Phoebe Monahan (Richmond), Maggie Harmer, Bella Smith (Maroochydore), Mikayla Pauga, Lucinda Pullar (Bond University), Luka Yoshida-Martin (University of Queensland)
Outs: Emma Zielke, Lauren Arnell, Jessy Keeffe, Rheanne Lugg (retired), Beth Pinchin, Selina Priest, Jordan Zanchetta (delisted)
Inactives: Lily Postlethwaite

The Lions will head into the 2021-22 AFL Women’s season even younger than their 2021 campaign with four retirements led by Zielke and another previous AFLW captain in Lauren Arnell. A total of seven players all departed the club in the off-season, opening the door for plenty of fresh faces, including Richmond’s Phoebe Monahan who should provide some additional run off half-back. A trio of Brisbane Lions Academy members in Maggie Harmer, Bella Smith and Mikayla Pauga should all add plenty of talent to the squad in each third of the ground, with Lucinda Pullar and Luka Yoshida-Martin showing great signs of development through the QAFL Women’s competition. Lily Postlethwaite will continue to recover from the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury she suffered during the 2021 season.

2021-22 TEAM LIST:

Ally Anderson
Emily Bates
Greta Bodey
Shannon Campbell
Gabby Collingwood
Sophie Conway
Dakota Davidson
Belle Dawes
Jade Ellenger
Zimmorlei Farquharson
Nat Grider
Maggie Harmer
Tahlia Hickie
Courtney Hodder
Breanna Koenen
Kate Lutkins
Maria Moloney
Phoebe Monahan
Orla O’Dwyer
Mikayla Pauga
Lucinda Pullar
Bella Smith
Taylor Smith
Cathy Svarc
Ruby Svarc
Indy Tahau
Jesse Wardlaw
Sharni Webb
Jess Wuetschner
Luka Yoshida-Martin

KEY QUESTIONS:

  • Can Brisbane go back-to-back?
  • Who will replace the experience left behind by the likes of Zielke and Arnell?
  • What roles will the Academy players fill at AFLW level and when will we see them appear for the first time?

PREDICTION:

Brisbane has always been one of the more exciting teams to watch, with reliable defenders, ball-winning midfielders and exciting forwards. With plenty of firepower inside 50 and depth enviable across the competition, the Lions will remain one of the favourites for the flag, even if their side might be a little different looking in 2021-22. Courtney Hodder winning Goal of the Year was the icing on the cake as one of many young guns who showed their rising improvement last season, and now those who missed out on a premiership medal will be hungry to get their chance.

Picture credit: AFL Photos

Unique community aspects attracts Morriss to Aussie rules

HAVING switched back and forth between the oblong and round ball games of football, Glenelg’s Tamsyn Morriss eventually picked the Australian version after falling in love with the community on and off the field. Unlike many female junior footballers coming through the pathway, Morriss picked up a Sherrin when she was quite young, and while there were times where she did not play, returned to the sport and has not looked back.

“I started when I was five,” Morriss said. “My dad back in the day used to play footy so I obviously got it from him and he obviously enforced it into me and I’ve loved it ever since.”

“I started at Auskick when I was five, so did that when I was five and six. “Moved over to soccer, did a little bit of soccer. “Came back, played with the boys for about three years. “Then obviously went back and forth between soccer but then found girls footy and haven’t moved back to soccer ever since.”

Morriss said she just “loved the community” and that it was different to all other sports in the way teammates and those within the club supported each other. That feeling was maximised during the SANFL Women’s season, with Morriss playing in a premiership alongside her Glenelg teammates. When speaking to Draft Central at the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships, Morriss said she has moved into a higher backline role which released her to provide more offensive drive, and that in term improved her game exponentially.

“Yeah I feel like I’ve definitely grown since my last season,” Morriss said. “Obviously because of COVID we couldn’t have a full season, we played four games at SANFL and then had a break and played another six. “So I feel like it’s definitely better having a structured season.”

“I’ve been playing more of a higher backline role. “So being moved from a back pocket and midfield to just a straight run through the half-back flank and I’ve been loving it, loving the run”

Whilst the South Australian said she was hoping to add more offensive elements to her defensively-minded game, Morriss said it was improving and regarded her disposal and run as some of her strengths.

“Definitely my run and carry and being able to hit targets downfield (are strengths),” Morriss said. “Obviously if you get further down back, you’re kind of stuck in between halfway mark and the goals. “But half-back flank you can run up and down the field, get a bit more run through your legs and what not.”

Balancing her football with working as a lifeguard at a local swimming centre, the Brisbane supporter said she looked up to Lauren Arnell for her leadership around the field, as well as the Adelaide Crows players who filter through the SANFL Women’s. Closer to home, it was no surprise to hear of her main inspirations along the journey.

“I definitely have to say my mum and dad,” Morriss said. “Mostly my dad because he used to play football back in the day and he obviously gives me little tips and tricks to do on the field and encourages me all the way.”

But has Morriss overtaken her father in terms of ability?

I don’t know, maybe not yet, but hoping to one day,” she said.

2021 AFLW Draft preview: Adelaide – Gold Coast

ONE more sleep remains until the 2021 AFL Women’s Draft and the 14 clubs are preparing to welcome a host of new players into the elite system. Draft Central has split its club-by-club draft previews into two parts, starting with the first seven clubs of Adelaide to Gold Coast in this edition, with the GWS GIANTS through to the Western Bulldogs published tomorrow morning. We take a look at the selections your club has, and some of the names who could replace outgoing players, or add something new to the table.

ADELAIDE:

Picks: 17, 20, 34

The Crows enter the draft with three selections, and an abundance of talent at their disposal. Going all the way to the AFL Women’s Grand Final for the third time, the Crows do not need a great deal of anything in particular, and more can grab best available talent. With Rhiannon Metcalfe ruled inactive for the 2022 season, it opens the door for Zoe Prowse to come in, with fellow AFLW Academy member Gypsy Schirmer capable of playing a similar role to the outgoing Chloe Scheer as well. Both players are expected to take up two of the Crows’ three selections.

From there it gets a little tougher, but there are five genuine South Australian options who could fill roles, with Glenelg’s Brooke Tonon – SANFLW premiership player and late addition to the AFLW Academy post-championships – and Zoe Venning – All-Australian and West Adelaide best and fairest winner – the two front runners. Tahlita Buethke adds a point of difference and could be that athletic type the Crows swoop on, whilst Lauren Breguet is a powerful forward that could play the Scheer role if Schirmer is destined for another position, and Abbie Ballard being that pinpoint left foot mid-forward with hardness.

BRISBANE:

Picks: 18, 35, 46, 53, 58

Brisbane coming off its inaugural flag has a fair bit of experience out the door with captain Emma Zielke and the experienced Lauren Arnell among the retirements, as well as Jordan Zanchetta and Rheanne Lugg also departing. They picked up Phoebe Monahan as a free agent from the Tigers, but will be looking to top up with some terrific talent around the field. Luckily for the Lions, their Academy is brimming with talent. AFL Women’s Academy members Maggie Harmer and Mikayla Pauga are the two names at the top of the list, with Harmer a half-back with a capacity to push up to a wing thanks to her strong running power, and Pauga a clever half-forward with clean hands and a nous for goals.

Outside those two, the likes of Bella Smith and Abby Hewett standout, with Smith that inside bull who will put her body on the line each and every contest, while Hewett can play wherever is required from inside, to outside, forward to back, and has versatility very few have. The quartet have been the standout players this season, with Queensland captain and half-back Christine Okesene a chance with her booming boot, and Casey Wynne another member of the Academy who received an AFLW Draft Combine invite. Steph O’Brien is a mature-age tall with a long netball career.

CARLTON:

Picks: 10, 11, 23, 26, 39

Carlton had a busy trade period, and not in terms of incoming players. They lost serious experience in overhauling the list, as Alison Downie, Katie Loynes, Tayla Harris and Jess Hosking all left, though Jess Dal Pos joined the Navy Blues to regain a bit of readymade experience. Whilst the Blues have Pick 10 and Pick 11 in the overall draft, it equates to Pick 6 and Pick 7 in the Victorian pool. Expect the Blues to pick up a tall and a small with the selections if available, with a midfielder on their radar. Whilst unlikely to slip through two Geelong picks, Tess Craven would be high up on the radar to replace Hosking, with Tara Slender and Ella Friend two key position talls who could play the versatile – even more so – role that Harris did.

With a couple of handy mid-20s picks as well, the Blues would look at Tahlia Gillard – at either set of picks – if Slender and Friend are both unavailable – whilst Stella Reid and Brooke Vickers are a couple of slick ball users that the Blues could bring in. For their last selection, the Blues might grab an experienced VFLW player such as Meagan Kiely, Brooke Hards or Alana Barba to immediately fill a hole through the middle, with the Blues known for picking up other VFLW teams’ players.

COLLINGWOOD:

Picks: 29, 32, 33

The Magpies are coming off a great season, getting within a kick of an AFLW Grand Final and pushing the eventual premiers Brisbane all the way. The Magpies will be in and out of the draft quickly once they start, with three consecutive picks in the Victorian pool. Collingwood will almost certainly look to bring in a tall option given the retirements of Sharni Norder and Abbey Green, though Sabrina Frederick and Alison Downie coming into the side gives them some cover in that area. They might want a tall forward option who can roll through the ruck as a long-term solution, which means Tahlia Gillard is a potential player who they bring in, though they could also look internally at VFLW leading goalkicker Imogen Barnett who is right under the Magpies’ nose.

Other Collingwood VFLW players who have stepped up this year include Jasmine Ferguson and Marla Neal, with Matilda Zander and Olivia Meagher among the most consistent talents for the black and white. From a NAB League Girls perspective, the Eastern Ranges and Oakleigh Chargers have a good connection with Collingwood, and Keeley Sherar or Brooke Vickers could be options for the Magpies. Gippsland Power ruck Grace Matser, or Dandenong Stingrays forward Ashleigh Richards are others who could fill needs for the Pies. Ex-Demon Tegan Cunningham is a readymade Round 1 replacement inside 50 as a forward/ruck.

FREMANTLE:

Picks: 14, 31, 38, 44, 52, 57

Fremantle has a lot of list options with six selections given he high volume of outs compared to ins over the trade period. Sabreena Duffy and Ashley Sharp are unavailable next season, with a further five players also exiting the club without bringing anyone in, meaning the Dockers have plenty of room for a mix of youth and experience. The big question mark will be whether or not they go tall or small at their first selection, with West Coast having first dibs on a West Australian prospect. The Eagles are tipped to go Courtney Rowley, which means the Dockers would lean to key position utility Amy Franklin. If the Eagles pick up Franklin, the Dockers will grab Rowley, though Charlotte Thomas is the other possibility, with the AFLW Academy member missing the majority of the 2021 season through a wrist injury.

After their first selection, the Dockers will have a fair bit of free rein at the back-end of the West Australian Pool, with five of the last six picks in that Pool. Dana East is a talented inside midfielder who could be still on the board at the Dockers’ second selection, with Sarah Lakay a ruck potential if the Eagles do not snap her up first. Jade Halfpenny is a Norwood talent choosing to take a chance in Western Australia and is readymade to impact inside 50, whilst Emily Bennett, Bella Mann and Beth Schilling can all play behind the football, and Nyra Anderson and Tessa Doumanis inside 50. Chloe Reilly is a versatile utility with potential to step up to the next level, whilst North Melbourne’s Airlie Runnalls and Geelong’s Thereisa Meissner are those from the VFLW opting to head west.

GEELONG:

Picks: 2, 7, 9, 15

Geelong will be quick to finish off its draft given the Cats hold four picks inside the first nine Victorian selections. Knowing they have the first Victorian pick, they will be able to replace the experience like retiring Aasta O’Connor, and a dozen of delisted players headlined by Richelle Cranston. Olivia Purcell headed to the Dees, and Denby Taylor will sit out the year, whilst Chantel Emonson and Chloe Scheer provide much needed experience back into the line-up. Holding the first pick in the AFLW Draft, the favourite is Calder Cannons Georgie Prespakis, who will immediately provide an improvement to the onball brigade, also able to play forward as a strong one-on-one player. She is tipped to be the one chosen at the selection given her standout season, and following in the footsteps of sister Maddison.

As for the remaining three Geelong selections, a tall is tipped to be somewhere in there, with Ella Friend and Tara Slender both likely to be on the radar, whilst a handful of Geelong Falcons would be considered. Tess Craven is a name that jumps off the page, but whether or not the inside midfielder is still there, is yet to be seen, but another few choices include defender Annie Lee and clean forward/mid Poppy Schaap, with Gabbi Featherston another potential local pick. If looking for an additional ruck, Tahlia Gillard is one the Cats might turn to with their final selection.

GOLD COAST:

Picks: 1, 6, 8, 30

Gold Coast kick off proceedings tomorrow night and should have a fairly predictable draft hand for the first two selections. Sally Riley, Sam Virgo and Leah Kaslar all departed the club, with experience such as Jordann Hickey among a host of delisted players. St Kilda’s Claudia Whitfort and North Melbourne’s Vivien Saad came into the fold late, and left the Suns with four selections – as well as the opportunity to pick a couple of mature-age talents if required. The first pick is predicted to be Oakleigh Chargers’ Charlie Rowbottom who opted to go to Queensland ahead of her home state Victoria, and the Suns will duly reward her with the first pick in the draft. The other consideration is Suns Academy member Teagan Levi, with both players being talented inside midfielders who can impact with their size around the stoppages.

With the first two selections done and dusted, the Suns have some choices after that, with key defender Giselle Davies one player who might get chosen for Gold Coast as a tall option, whilst Madison Goodwin is another big-bodied midfielder who can impact. Having access to the Northern Territory zone, the Suns would consider 18-year-old Grace Mulvahil out of Southern Districts to provide some run and carry off half-back, whilst dangerous forward Ashanti Bush – eligible for an over-age selection – is another top prospect, with Bella Clarke – a 20-year-old who has come through the junior representative programs – the other AFLW Draft Combine invite this year.

AFL Women’s Saturday wrap: Roos book finals spot with clutch win over Dockers

NORTH Melbourne has produced a clutch performance to come from behind and defeat Fremantle at Arden Street and secure a 2021 AFL Women’s finals spot. The Roos trailed by five points at the final break, but kicked the only goal of the last quarter to grind out a win, 4.6 (30) to 4.5 (29) over the finals-bound Dockers. The win meant North Melbourne held off seventh placed Carlton to secure the post-season series wrap, and confirm the finalists for this year.

Back at their spiritual home, North Melbourne took just 57 seconds to kick the first goal of the game off the boot of Sophie Abbatangelo and race off to a six-point lead. Despite the early goal, it was a tight armwrestle for the first term, with just an Emma O’Driscoll behind added to the scoreboard, and the final 15 minutes seeing neither team add to their total. North Melbourne led by five points at the first break, and much like the first term, were out to a flyer in the second. This time it took less than 90 seconds to convert their second goal, this time through Daria Bannister off a perfectly timed crumb, and the lead was out to two straight kicks. In eerily similar circumstances, the Dockers again hit back with a score at the three-minute mark, but this time it was through the big sticks off Gemma Houghton running into goal.

Beth Lynch missed a chance 90 seconds later to respond, and it was Gabby O’Sullivan who capitalised via a free kick for push in the back midway through the term to cut the half-time deficit to just one point. It was neck-and-neck at the main break as neither side could really break away. The key for the Dockers was not allowing North Melbourne another early goal in the third term, and trying to grab the momentum themselves. But alas for the visitors, Jasmine Garner was the first one to create a major, in the first four minutes, and the gap widened to eight as the Roos were edging closer to a finals berth.

Fremantle refused to give in though, and created their own chances in the third quarter with Kiara Bowers being her usual self after being allowed to play in the crucial contest, kicking a goal midway through the quarter. That major cut the deficit to just two points, and when Kara Antonio goaled in the dying minutes of the quarter, Fremantle was out to a five-point lead. The Dockers held that advantage heading into three quarter time, and the onus was on the home side to return fire if the Roos wanted to play finals in 2021.

A Roxy Roux behind in the opening minute was a chance gone begging after a massive contested mark for the Dockers as they came out firing, and the lead was a team-high six points. Three consecutive behinds over the next eight minutes had plenty of nervous moments for the home fans, as North Melbourne slowly clawed its way back into the contest. Daisy Bateman became the hero with a goal in the tenth minute of the term, with her major putting her side three points up after being knocked over going for the mark. It would not be completely done and dusted just yet, as Fremantle would throw everything at the Roos in the last eight minutes to try and win the game. Ironically it would be Bateman again up the opposite end who would again play the role of hero, almost handing the ball across the line in the dying moments, waiting to be tackled for pressure, and it was enough to secure the one-point win.

Ash Riddell was unbelievable in the win, racking up 33 disposals, three tackles and seven inside 50s to lead all-comers, while Garner (24 disposals, six marks, three tackles, three inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal) and Emma Kearney (24 disposals, two tackles and six inside 50s) were also prolific. Bateman’s clutch efforts late were important in getting her side over the line, while Bannister (11 disposals, two marks, two tackles and a goal) and Emma King (eight disposals, three marks, two tackles and 23 hitouts) were also among the best on the day.

For the Dockers, Bowers was relentless throughout, picking up 19 disposals, two marks, two inside 50s, five rebound 50s and laying seven tackles. Stephanie Cain (14 disposals, six marks, three tackles, four inside 50s and three rebound 50s) and Tiah Haynes (14 disposals, three marks and four tackles) were also impressive, while the experience of O’Sullivan (nine disposals, four marks and a goal) and Kara Antonio (nine disposals, two marks, four tackles and a goal) was vital.

North Melbourne’s win means the Roos will finish sixth, but their opponent is yet to be determined. Collingwood plays Adelaide today, and if the Pies get up, the Roos will remain in Melbourne to face the Demons, whilst if Adelaide get up, the margin will depend on whether or not they head to South Australia, Queensland, or remain in Victoria to face the Magpies in the first week of finals. For the Dockers, they are in a similar boat, with fifth place secured, and as of now will head to South Australia if the Crows lose to the Magpies, but could face the Demons in Melbourne if Adelaide wins against Collingwood.

NORTH MELBOURNE 1.0 | 2.2 | 3.3 | 4.6 (30)
FREMANTLE 0.1 | 2.1 | 4.2 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS:

North Melbourne: S. Abbatangelo, D. Bannister, J. Garner, D. Bateman.
Fremantle: G. O’Sullivan, G. Houghton, K. Bowers, K. Antonio.

DC BEST:

North Melbourne: A. Riddell, J. Garner, E. Kearney, D. Bateman, E. King
Fremantle: K. Bowers, S. Cain, T. Haynes, G. O’Sullivan, E. Antonio

 

Picture credit: Robert Cianflone / AFL Photos

 

Image credit: Getty Images

DEMONS CLINCH HOME FINAL FROM LIONS’ CLUTCHES

IT was a two-point ball-game that decided the AFL Women’s top five on Saturday afternoon, as Melbourne pipped Brisbane Lions at the post in a huge battle for a home final next week. Whilst the Lions commanded possession and retained control for much of the middle two thirds, the final quarter was all Demons as the red and blue ran home in front of a home crowd, 6.2 (38) to 6.0 (36).

The win was soured by an early injury though, as Dees superstar Daisy Pearce went down with what appeared to be a knee injury within the opening minutes, which saw the side sent into a flurry rotating the roles to suit the loss. Eden Zanker was pushed up through the midfield and had an immediate impact, piling on 12 touches in the first quarter alone as the Lions stayed in touch by a lone goal to be a minor down at the first break. But the second was where the game broke open, with both sides finding the scoreboard with ease and a tantalising contest became apparent. Dakota Davidson was the first to put a goal on the board in the second term before a huge running goal from Courtney Hodder proved the Lions would not back down on the Dees home turf. The Demons bit back with two of their own as Karen Paxman and Shelley Scott pounced on the ground ball, while a second within the term to Davidson proved the two sides had a game on their hands. A goal to Taylor Smith right on the halftime siren saw the Lions head into the second half with a marginal 11-point lead, with players across the field playing their roles and doing it well to create a phenomenal matchup.

The second half began with another tight quarter, as the two sides remained accurate in front of the big sticks with limited opportunity credit to tight defence. Veteran Lauren Arnell got in on the action and piled on another major to extend the lead, before a third Scott goal showed the Dees would not relent, especially with finals on the line. The match really came to blows in the final term though as the red and blue overcame the 11-point margin and turned it into a two-point win, with two straight goals to young guns Alyssa Bannan and Tyla Hanks, popping up at the right time to force the Lions onto the back foot as the physical matchup went to the dying moments, with Greta Bodey afforded a shot on goal after the siren but falling agonisingly short.

The tight matchup was set up by the likes of Zanker and Cathy Svarc, with the opposing duo both relentless in their own way – Zanker with her game-high 25 touches and Svarc with her whopping 21 tackles. Hodder (eight tackles, 10 touches, one goal), Sophie Conway (10 touches, seven tackles) and Ally Anderson (22 touches, six tackles) also provided plenty of hunt for the Lions, as Lily Mithen (23 touches, five marks), Paxman and Kate Hore (both 18 touches) and Lauren Pearce and Maddi Gay (both 17) were well and truly in the match. Hodder and Eliza McNamara were both lively for their respective sides as Scott’s three goals and Davidson’s two paved the way in the huge matchup.

Next week’s finals encounters will be decided by tomorrow’s Round 9 results, with both sides awaiting confirmation given their guaranteed finals entry, although the Dees will be waiting for news on Pearce’s injury.

MELBOURNE 1.1 3.1 4.1 6.2 (38)
BRISBANE 1.0 5.0 6.0 6.0 (36)

GOALS
Melbourne: S. Scott 3, K. Paxman, A. Bannan, T Hanks.
Brisbane: D. Davidson 2, J. Wardlaw, C. Hodder, T. Smith, L. Arnell.

BEST
Melbourne: E. Zanker, S. Scott, L. Mithen, K. Paxman, L. Pearce, K. Hore
Brisbane: C. Svarc, T. Hickie, A. Anderson, O. O’Dwyer, S. Conway, N. Grider

 

Image Credit: Matt Roberts/AFL Photos

GEELONG GETS UP IN BATTLES OF THE WINLESS

GEELONG claimed its first points of season 2021 at the final time of asking, holding off Gold Coast to win by 17 points at Metricon Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The result sees Gold Coast finish the season as wooden spooners, becoming just the second side in AFLW history to go winless through a full campaign. The Cats’ three-goal burst in the first quarter set up their salute, as they held strong thereafter to come away 6.5 (41) to 3.6 (24) victors.

The Cats had many reasons to celebrate on the day; with young ruck Rene Caris booting her first senior goal during the opening term, women’s footballing stalwart Aasta O’Connor sent off to retirement in style, and Rebecca Webster‘s goal on the final siren proving the cherry on top of a memorable day for travelling side. On the other hand, Gold Coast could not scrounge a saving grace in what was a season which earned them a series of unwanted records.

First year midfielder Laura Gardiner finished as the winners’ highest ball winner on 18 disposals, one ahead of Amy McDonald who was one of her side’s revelations during 2021. Veteran forward Richelle Cranston was the game’s sole multiple goalkicker with two, while Webster and Olivia Barber were others to prove impactful while hitting the scoreboard.

For Gold Coast, Alison Drennan capped off a terrific individual campaign to lead all comers with 23 touches, as the reliable Lauren Ahrens also fared well for the second year side. Kalinda Howarth tripled her season goal tally in one go with a couple of majors, arcing back to her roots having become an All Australian forward last year.

The 2021 season ends there for both clubs, with just one win between them and plenty to work on heading into the next campaign. With a bunch of exciting youth scattered across either squad, the green shoots have shown and should give these sets of fans plenty more to cheer about going forward.

GOLD COAST 0.1 | 1.3 | 3.3 | 3.6 (24) 
GEELONG 3.2 | 3.3 | 5.3 | 6.5 (41)

GOALS:

Gold Coast: K. Howarth 2, S. Virgo.
Geelong: R. Cranston 2, O. Barber, R. Caris, P. McWilliams, R. Webster.

DC BEST:

Gold Coast: A. Drennan, K. Howarth, L. Ahrens, M. Levi
Geelong: A. McDonald, L. Gardiner, R. Cranston, R. Webster

Lions reclaim top spot with roaring third term

BRISBANE has reclaimed top spot on the AFL Women’s ladder after a five-goal third term saw the Lions run out 45-point winners against West Coast at Hickey Oval. In the competition’s first-ever Monday night fixture, the home side was tested early but absorbed all of the Eagles’ first half pressure to then slingshot it back at them thereafter in what ended up a comfortable 10.5 (65) to 2.8 (20) result.

Having booted 15 goals and conceded just one across the first two rounds, Brisbane was hounded by West Coast in the first half but somehow managed to scrounge a one-point half time lead. It was a case of the Eagles ruing missed opportunities, particularly in the opening quarter as the Lions found it all too easy to score once they broke out of their own half.

While West Coast’s pressure gauge was at an all-time high, the lack of scoreboard impact proved telling once Brisbane clicked into gear. A flurry of three Lions goals immediately after half time broke the game open, and eventually broke the Eagles once that feat was extended to five. The difference; Brisbane was ruthlessly clinical with their territorial advantage, while the Eagles lacked the polish to make good on theirs.

There were some key individual performers and breakout stars across the board, with arguably none more impressive than Brisbane tall, Taylor Smith. The 21-year-old finished with five marks and three goals from her 11 disposals in an exciting display, proving a good barometer for Brisbane’s eventual scoring flow.

Dakota Davidson was strong early and snared two majors to now head the competition’s goalkicking charts. Veteran Lauren Arnell led all comers with 18 touches in a vintage display, as the likes of Sophie Conway (15 disposals), Nat Grider (15), and Ally Anderson (14) all stood up when it mattered. Kate Lutkins and Breanna Koenen were important down back when the pressure was on, while Greta Bodey and Orla O’Dwyer worked to break the game open in the second half.

In what was largely a front-loaded effort from the Eagles, Aisling McCarthy (17 disposals, one goal) gave her all rotating forward from midfield, much like Parris Laurie did in the ruck. Young midfielders Bella Lewis and Mikayla Bowen were both promising in patches with their attack on the ball, with skipper Emma Swanson solid and Imahra Cameron a shining light up forward.

With Round 3’s fixtures run and done, the next set of games lie just around the corner. Both sides are set to play next on Sunday, with Brisbane back home to take on Adelaide while West Coast travels once again to face Greater Western Sydney in Blacktown.

BRISBANE 1.0 | 3.1 | 8.5 | 10.5 (65)
WEST COAST 1.5 | 2.6 | 2.6 | 2.8 (20)

GOALS:

Brisbane: T. Smith 3, D. Davidson 2, G. Bodey, A. Anderson, J. Wardlaw, L. Arnell, E. Bates
West Coast: A. McCarthy, A. Gilmore

DC BEST:

Brisbane: T. Smith, L. Arnell, S. Conway, A. Anderson, K. Lutkins, G. Bodey
West Coast: A. McCarthy, P. Laurie, E. Swanson, M. Bowen, B. Lewis, I. Cameron

Image Credit: AFL Photos

AFL Women’s Sunday wrap: Lions secure roaring Q-Clash victory

BRISBANE roared to a record-breaking Q-Clash win on Sunday, gaining bragging rights over its local rival with a 63-point thrashing of Gold Coast at Hickey Park. The 10.5 (65) to 0.2 (2) result served as the first Q-Clash win in AFL Women’s history, while also making for Brisbane’s highest ever score in the competition. On the flip-side, Gold Coast’s two behinds became the lowest-ever total and just the second goalless effort on record.

Dynamic Brisbane tall forward Jesse Wardlaw was awarded the Q-Clash Medal as best afield, booting goals in each quarter and having a hand in plenty more as she dominated both in the air and around the ground. She was a key benefactor of the Lions’ slick and quick ball movement on the outside, which put the Suns’ defence under enormous pressure.

While the scoreboard only showed two goals for Brisbane’s early ascendancy, signs were ominous when the Lions headed into the main break 29 points clear – all while keeping Gold Coast scoreless. In a sign of maturity for the maroon, blue, and gold, they put the foot down after half time with six-straight goals to run away comfortable winners.

Dakota Davidson let fans know it was party time as she sunk four majors for the Lions, while speedy second-year jet Greta Bodey added two more goals to her career tally in an electric display. Ally Anderson and Nat Grider (20 disposals) led all comers, with the likes of Emily Bates (17 disposals), Lauren Arnell (15), and Sophie Conway (14) were prolific going forward.

Lauren Aherns was Gold Coast’s leading ball winner with 19 touches, followed closely by Alison Drennan and Hannah Dunn on 18 apiece. A knee injury to prized 2020 draftee Annise Bradfield in the first term only rubs salt into the wound of Gold Coast’s mammoth loss, on top of an 0-2 record.

Image Credit: Jono Searle/Getty Images via AFL Photos

BRISBANE 2.4 | 4.5 | 6.5 | 10.5 (65)
GOLD COAST 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.2 (2)

GOALS:

Brisbane: J. Wardlaw 4, D. Davidson 4, G. Bodey 2
Gold Coast: Nil.

DC BEST:

Brisbane: J. Wardlaw, E. Bates, S. Conway, D. Davidson, N. Grider, L. Arnell
Gold Coast: A. Drennan, H. Dunn, L. Aherns, J. Pregelj

Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

HARDENED ROOS HOP PAST SAINTS ON HOME TURF

NORTH Melbourne secured its eighth-straight AFL Women’s victory on Sunday with a 26-point triumph over St Kilda at Arden Street Oval, but it was not enough to hold onto top spot. The Roos were tested for a half and only led by five points at the main break, but kept St Kilda scoreless thereafter to run out 5.6 (36) to 1.4 (10) winners.

The home side was met by a tenacious Saints outfit keen to compete, with the pressure gauge turned up in a competitive contest. But the more mature side, North Melbourne, was able to keep its foot on the gas for longer and eventually opened the game up on its own terms with more fluid ball movement and relentless attack at the contest.

Skipper Emma Kearney led the way for her Roos, collecting 22 touches in a vintage display of her class. Jemma Bruton was North’s leading ball winner with 23 disposals, while Ash Riddell was lively and sunk the sealing goal to boot. Jasmine Garner (18 disposals) and Ellie Gavalas (17) were the other second-half goalkickers who helped North pull away.

Georgia Patrikios broke her own record for the most disposals by a Saint in the AFLW, collecting 27 touches as she continues to go from strength to strength. Second-gamer Tyanna Smith was her side’s lone goalkicker in another promising display, while Cat Phillips (21 disposals) was also influential. The hard luck continues for Bianca Jakobsson though, as she was injured in her club debut, and first game back from collarbone surgery.

NORTH MELBOURNE 2.2 | 2.3 | 3.6 | 5.6 (36)
ST KILDA 0.1 | 1.4 | 1.4 | 1.4 (10)

GOALS:

North Melbourne: J. Garner, A. Riddell, D. Bateman, E. Gavalas, T. Randall
St Kilda: T. Smith

DC BEST:

North Melbourne: E. Kearney, A. Riddell, J. Bruton, J. Garner, E. Gavalas
St Kilda: G. Patrikios, C. Phillips, T. Smith, H. Priest, K. Shierlaw

Credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images via AFL Photos

CROWS FLY PAST GIANTS IN ROAD ROMP

ADELAIDE looks every bit the premiership contender after another convincing win, this time over the GWS Giants by 47 points at Blacktown International Sportspark on Sunday. Signs were ominous early as the Crows opened with three quick goals, before closing even better to secure the emphatic 9.8 (62) to 2.3 (15) result.

Danielle Ponter opened the game up in the first half with three majors, causing headaches inside 50 as Adelaide’s scoreboard pressure quickly began to mount. GWS was competitive at the coalface but had little to show for it in goalless second and third terms, a factor which eventually became telling as the Crows cruised to victory.

The Crows’ prime movers in Anne Hatchard (23 disposals), Erin Phillips (19), and skipper Chelsea Randall (14) were all prolific while managing to secure second half goals, while Ebony Marinoff was her side’s leading ball winner with 24 touches. Ponter finished as the game’s lone multiple goalkicker in a game-breaking performance.

Alyce Parker was again the Giants’ most valuable asset, proving monstrous at the contest to lead all comers with 27 disposals – including 16 contested possessions. She put the cherry on top of a big individual game with her first-ever AFLW goal in the final term. Rebecca Beeson also stood up in the charcoal and orange with 22 touches.

GWS 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 2.3 (15)
ADELAIDE 3.1 | 5.2 | 5.4 | 9.8 (62)

GOALS:

GWS: A. Parker, H. Zreika
Adelaide: D. Ponter 3, C. Randall, A. Woodland, M. Newman, E. Phillips, E. Jones, A. Hatchard

DC BEST:

GWS: A. Parker, R. Beeson, H. Zreika
Adelaide: E. Marinoff, E. Phillips, A. Hatchard, D. Ponter, S. Allan, C. Randall

Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images via AFL Photos

DOCKERS GIVE EAGLES THE SLIP IN WET WESTERN DERBY

Fremantle slipped, slid, and secured its ninth-consecutive AFL Women’s victory on Sunday, defeating West Coast by nine points in a wet Western Derby. The heavens opened above Fremantle Oval and a hard-fought, contested scrap ensued as the local rivals searched for ascendancy. Having been drawn back to within just six points in the final term, Freo was able to hold on and win 2.11 (23) to 2.2 (14) in an enthralling encounter.

West Coast struck first through Aisling McCarthy, who teamed up with fellow Irishwoman Niamh Kelly for a precise opening goal considering the conditions. But another glorious feat in the wet from Docker Gemma Houghton put Fremantle ahead in the second term, before Kiara Bowers bombed home from 50 to give her side a handy 12-point buffer at the final break. It proved enough, despite Imahra Cameron‘s six-pointer making the final exchanges all the more dramatic in the fourth term.

Bowers won the best afield medal having come up clutch with her goal and led all comers on the back of 23 disposals and 14 tackles in a game which was seemingly made for her. Stephanie Cain (12 disposals, two behinds) and Hayley Miller (15 disposals) both worked two ways with six tackles apiece, while Sabreena Duffy was lively in the front half.

Young gun Mikayla Bowen (18 disposals) was West Coast’s leading ball winner, followed closely by Belinda Smith (17) and skipper Emma Swanson (16). Kelly and McCarthy were also prominent for the Eagles, who came away worse for ware with multiple injuries throughout the bruising battle. The two sides remain on opposite records, with Freo flying at 2-0 while West Coast remains on the hunt for points at 0-2.

FREMANTLE 0.3 | 1.6 | 2.8 | 2.11 (23)
WEST COAST 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.2 (14)

GOALS:

Fremantle: G. Houghton, K. Bowers
West Coast: I. Cameron, A. McCarthy

BEST:

Fremantle: K. Bowers, S. Cain, H. Miller, S. Duffy, G. Houghton,
West Coast: M. Bowen, B. Smith, E. Swanson, A. McCarthy

Devils kick last eight goals of the game to sink Bluebirds

AFTER conceding the first goal of the game, it was all Yeronga South Brisbane as the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s side claimed a remarkable 47-point win over Coolangatta Tweed on Sunday. The Devils had a terrific back-end of the season, coming from fourth on the table to defeat danger side Coorparoo in the elimination final, then the top two teams in succession, from minor premiers Bond University last week and the Bluebirds in the decider.

Jordan Zanchetta won the best on ground medal, but it could have gone to any number of players for Yeronga South Brisbane, who booted 8.8 to 0.2 after the first eight minutes. The midfield brigade of Zanchetta, Courteney Bromage and Emily Bates, and the outside run of Jacqui Yorston was outstanding for the winners, while Zimmorlei Farquharson looked damaging every time she went near the ball.

For the Bluebirds, Alex Hamlyn was a standout in defence, trying incredibly hard with a number of intercept marks, whilst the likes of Beth Pinchin and Selina Priest were also gallant. Courtney Ugle got better as the game went on, and Ebony Peterson was another who showed some great signs despite the lob-sided scoreboard, as all those players were among our best in the contest.

The first term started well for the Bluebirds, as Leah Kaslar had the first shot on goal registering a behind. A few minutes later, Paige Parker marked strongly on the lead and converted from just inside 50 to get the higher ranked side up and about at Bond University. Unfortunately, that would be where the celebrations ended as the last eight goals of the game went in favour of an impressive Devils outfit. Despite this, the Bluebirds never really looked completely out of the contest until midway through the final term.

Pic: RF Photography

Later in the first quarter it was great work from Farquharson at the top of 50 to sidestep her opponent and kick long to a pack that was roved by Sam Virgo who centred it to Lucy Bellinger at the top of the square for a quick snap and goal. Not more than a few minutes later, Bellinger was in the thick of it again, hitting up Lexia Edwards who clunked a massive contested mark going back with the flight and drilled the goal with a minute left on the clock to hand her team a five-point lead at the break.

Peterson was getting busy, while Bromage was absolutely everywhere in the first half, but it was Yorston with her slick skills hitting up Edwards early in the second. Looking like she was going to convert back-to-back goals, spotted a leading Lauren Arnell and surprised the defence to set it up. The veteran who would become a 16-time premiership player by the final siren and made no mistake with a goal from 20m out.

The Devils could have blown the game apart in the second term, but inaccuracy and pressure from the Bluebirds’ defence kept them in it. The Devils kicked 2.5 to 0.0, but it was Hamlyn and Priest who showed courage in defence. In one instance, Priest flew across the marking contest as third up, copped a huge knock in the path of Edwards and had to come off a bit sore, whilst Edwards was bleeding from her head. With all that going on, it was Courtney McDonnell who decided to put in her contender for goal of the day, sidestepping Hamlyn and with the outside of the boot curled it around and in.

Once again it was Edwards early in the third term that almost had a huge major, but her shot on goal at the 32-second mark missed to the right. Zanchetta was starting to build as Yorston, Bellinger and Edwards were combining strongly in the first half. Kate Surman looked to come off sore but returned to play a key role in the second half for the Bluebirds. Most of the premiership quarter was an arm-wrestle with Keyshia Matenga providing some run but a couple of great tackles by Jade Pregelj helped the Devils counter.

Picture: RF Photography

Ugle was also starting to build, but it was Farquharson who had the moment of the term. With another quick step to the right and shot on goal just inside 50 missed, but she read the kickout perfectly to intercept and this time convert the goal midway through the term from 30m out. It was the only goal of the term, but it provided the Devils fans with much celebration from their young gun. Meanwhile Coolangatta had a number of chances late in the term, with Peterson hitting up a leading Holly Mirfield in the 17th minute but her set shot 20m just stayed left of the post. It was the Bluebirds’ first score since the eighth minute of the second term.

With one last roll of the dice, Coolangatta Tweed had to start the final term strongly facing a 29-point deficit at three quarter time. They looked good in the opening couple of minutes as Parker got it out of the middle and hit up a leading Kaslar 40m out. Unfortunately the set shot fell short and the ball was locked up, and then in a cruel twist of fate, the Devils went end-to-end aided by a huge bump from Farquharson in midfield and landed in the arms of Edwards 35m out. In what effectively iced the game, she kicked the goal that her opponent missed up the other end, and drove another nail into the coffin for the result.

Coolangatta refused to give up despite the goal, with Lauren James trying to repeat her six-goal heroics from last week with a couple of snaps on goal, but it would not work as this would be Yeronga’s day. Once against rebounding off half-back, the Devils ran it down the other end with Virgo cleverly putting it over the tip for McDonnell to run in and kick her second and ice the game. It was party time from then on, as Bromage, Yorston and Zanchetta enjoyed a great finish to the match. A late goal to Virgo stretched the final margin out to 47 points, the highest of the game. When the siren sounded just after 22 minutes, it marked the end of a terrific performance by Yeronga South Brisbane and despite the Bluebirds’ best efforts, they could not hold up the overwhelming inside 50s from the Devils.

COOLANGATTA TWEED 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 (9)
YERONGA STH BRISBANE 2.0 | 4.5 | 5.7 | 8.8 (56)

GOALS:

Coolangatta: P. Parker.
Yeronga: L. Edwards 2, C. McDonnell 2, L. Bellinger, L. Arnell, Z. Farquharson, S. Virgo.

ADC BEST:

Coolangatta: J. Zanchetta, C. Bromage, Z. Farquharson, E. Bates, J. Yorston
Yeronga: A. Hamlyn, C. Ugle, E. Peterson, B. Pinchin, S. Priest

Picture: RF Photography

QAFL Women’s Grand Final preview: Coolangatta Tweed vs. Yeronga South Brisbane

THE big day is almost here, and the two best teams in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s competition are into the decider with Coolangatta Tweed and Yeronga South Brisbane to face off from 2pm tomorrow at Bond University.

The Grand Final will be a repeat of the 2016 decider, when Coolangatta Tweed – led by best on ground Leah Kaslar – won in a thriller by two points. Inaccuracy cost the Devils in that one, booting 4.11 to the Bluebirds’ 5.7 at Leyshon Park. That was Coolangatta Tweed’s first premiership, with Yeronga South Brisbane’s first of the QAFL Women’s coming a year later when the defeated Coorparoo by 18 points and Emily Bates won best on ground.

The sides have played twice this season with Coolangatta Tweed getting up on both occasions. Way back in Round 3, the Bluebirds won by 19 points, 7.9 (51) to 5.2 (32) with Georgia Breward starring, and Ahlani Eddy and Uma Brennan both booting two goals apiece. With neither side stacked with its AFL Women’s talent at that point, the Round 8 repeat on August 8 is the match to look at.

Coolangatta Tweed won 4.6 (30) to 3.8 (26) in a four-point thriller, which helped the Bluebirds secure a top two spot. A tight tussle all day, Coolangatta Tweed booted the only goal of the third term to edge ahead and then hold on in a tense final term. Four players – Kitara Farrar, Sally Riley, Paige Parker and Holly Mirfield – all booted goals for the winners, while Sam Virgo (two goals) and Adrienne Keeffe (one) were the goalkickers for the losers. Alexandra Hamlyn, Keyshia Matenga and Ebony Peterson shone in the win for the Bluebirds, whilst Lily Bougoure, Dee Heslop and Sarah Duncan were named the best for the Devils in defeat.

The Bluebirds come into the match off the back of four consecutive wins, though granted three of them were against the bottom three sides. A confidence-boosting 22-point win over Maroochydore has the second placed side primed for a title tilt, as they look to make it three wins this season against their opponents.

Lauren James was unstoppable last week slotting six goals which took her to the top of the Bluebirds’ goalkicking with 11, one ahead of Kaslar (10). Farrar (nine), Selina Priest (seven) and Riley (six) have all been prominent, while Hamlyn, Peterson and Kate Surman have been impressive players throughout the season.

For the Devils, they have won four of their past five, with only a defeat to Bond University in the penultimate round of the regular season costing themselves a top two spot. A huge win over the University of Queensland, followed up by high-scoring wins over Coorparoo (nine points) and Bond University (35 points) has them full of confidence.

Lexia Edwards has slotted 14 goals for the Devils this season, four ahead of both Lucy Bellinger (10) and Virgo (10). Courtney McDonnell has eight, while AFL Women’s Draft Combine invitees, Madison Goodwin and Zimmorlei Farquharson both have six majors to their names. Bates has been phenomenal this season, as has Jordan Zanchetta who shared in the QAFL Women’s league best and fairest. Jacqueline Yorston, Vanessa Hart and Lauren Arnell are others who have been strong for the Devils this season.

It is a tough match to call, and should go down to the wire. On our Final Siren Podcast this week previewing the clash, special guest Lily Postlethwaite predicted the Devils to win by around four goals with either Zanchetta or Bates to win best on ground.

Picture: AFL Queensland

QAFL Women’s Semi-Finals wrap: Devils cause upset to face Bluebirds in final

YERONGA South Brisbane has toppled minor premiers, Bond University to book its place in the 2020 Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s Grand Final against Coolangatta Tweed. This year’s decider will see the second and third placed sides do battle for the ultimate prize on the weekend.

It was a memorable win for the Devils who grabbed the lead early, held off a second term fightback and then finished strongly to run out 35-point winners over the Sharkettes. Yeronga South Brisbane slotted three goals to one in the opening quarter to lead by 11 points at the first change, before Bond University hit back with three goals to two, cutting the deficit to just four points at the main break. Putting the foot down, Yeronga South Brisbane stepped up in the premiership quarter and final term to pile on six of the last seven goals to run out 11.6 (72) to 5.7 (37) victors.

Young gun Zimmorlei Farquharson slotted three goals and was named among the best for the Devils, as Sam Virgo (two goals) and Madison Goodwin (two) also hit the scoreboard multiple times. Jacqui Yorston (one) was among four single goalkickers, named in the best with Emily Bates, Jade Pregelj, Vanessa Hart and Mia Walsh. Lauren Arnell, Lexia Edwards and Lucy Bellinger were the other goalkickers in the famous win.

For Bond University, Taylor Smith kicked a couple of goals in the third term, with Casidhe Simmons, Jess Maher and Charlotte Hammans also kicking goals in the loss. Maddison Levi was outstanding in the loss, Hammans tried hard with the young brigade of Serene Watson, Lauren Bella, Lily Tarlinton and Annie Muir but could not help their side across the line.

In the Bluebirds’ win over Maroochydore, they controlled play for the most part, winning the first two terms to lead by 10 points at quarter time and 27 points at half-time. Maroochydore fought back in the third quarter to boot three goals to two and claw the deficit to within 21 points at the final break. Whilst the last term was even – both side booting a goal – Coolangatta Tweed had done enough in the first half to run out 11.4 (70) to 7.6 (48) winners.

Lauren James was massive for the winners, slamming home half a dozen goals in a huge performance up forward. She was joined by Kitara Farrar (two) as a multiple goalkicker, whilst the likes of Leah Kaslar, Leigh Alder and Hannah Martin all slotted a goal apiece. Lucy Turney, Paige Parker and Alexandra Hamlyn were all amongst the best players on the ground, with Kate Surman, Ebony Peterson and Casey Samuels also impressed in the win.

For the visitors, Shannon Campbell‘s terrific season up forward came to an end, but not without finishing on a high note of slotting three goals. Kelly Woods and Jacqueline Dupuy both kicked majors and were named among the best, whilst Tahlia Mead and Jennifer Carden-David also kicked goals in the loss. In terms of top performers, Chloe Gregory, Rachel Crack and Lily Postlethwaite all stood out, with Jessee Sills also named among the Roos’ best.

QAFL WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:

Bond University 5.7 (37) defeated by Yeronga South Brisbane 11.6 (72)
Coolangatta Tweed 11.4 (70) defeated Maroochydore 7.6 (48)

Picture: Obtained via Gold Coast Bulletin (supplied by Coolangatta Tweed)