Tag: Leah Kaslar

AFL Women’s Saturday wrap: Lions set up potential top of the table clash

By: Peter Williams

BRISBANE Lions have set up a potential top of the table clash with Collingwood – provided the Pies win today – after grabbing their fifth win of the season against GWS GIANTS yesterday. The Lions were a touch inaccurate, booting 7.13 (55) to 2.5 (17), but it was enough to secure the comfortable 38-point win and temporarily move into top spot. With five individual goalkickers for their seven goals, the Lions shared the goals around on the afternoon, and moved to a 5-1 record heading into the final three rounds of the season.

Dakota Davidson was quick off the mark, scoring a goal in the opening two minutes of the match to get the visitors up and about early. New recruit Courtney Hodder soon added her first at the 12-minute mark with a remarkable effort close to goal in tight space under pressure, and Jess Wuetschner in her second game back converted one, and the Lions were out to an 18-point lead with a few minutes remaining in the first term. The quarter time margin – which extended by one from that point courtesy of a Hodder behind – was 20 points, and the Lions were already looking in control of the match.

That only increased in the second term, as Isabel Dawes scored an early goal two minutes into the quarter, and fellow youngster Jade Ellenger drove the dagger in further with a fifth individual goalkicker in the match. When Davidson snagged her second of the contest late in the quarter, the margin had blown out to 39 points, and would by 41 by half-time. The GIANTS were unable to put one through the big sticks, while the Lions were sharing the ball around going inside 50 and reaping the rewards of doing so.

Dawes kicked her second major of the game again early in the third, as the six-and-a-half minute mark ticked past and Brisbane was out to a 49-point lead. It was at this point, the GIANTS began to rise. Katherine Smith was the first to respond two minutes later, and the goal drought was broken. Whilst the GIANTS would not kick another major until the final stanza through Emily Bennetts, they restricted the visitors to just three behinds in the final half an hour of action. The dried up scoring mattered little for the Lions however, as they claimed the important win.

Davidson snagged two goals from 10 disposals, four marks and five tackles to be lively in the first half, while Dawes managed the 11 disposals and four tackles to go with her two majors. Emily Bates was the top disposal winner for the Lions, picking up 20 touches, three marks and three tackles, while fellow midfielder Ally Anderson, and All-Australian defender Kate Lutkins racked up the 19 disposals. Tahlia Hickie was influential in the ruck, and Wuetschner was again lively, kicking a goal from 12 touches, three marks and four tackles.

For the GIANTS, Alicia Eva picked up 22 disposals, four marks and two tackles, ahead of Britt Tully (19 disposals, three marks and three tackles). Young gun Alyce Parker was again busy across the game with 16 disposals, two marks and six tackles, as was Rebecca Beeson (16 disposals, four tackles) and another rising star talent in Georgia Garnett (15 disposals, three marks and three tackles). Bennetts not only kicked the final goal of the game, but had 15 disposals and five marks to boot as well. Brisbane Lions set their sights on Collingwood next Sunday at Hickey Park, while the GIANTS head to RSEA Park on Saturday to clash with the Saints in what are both expected to be tight contests.

GWS GIANTS 0.1 | 0.2 | 1.3 | 2.5 (17)
BRISBANE 3.3 | 6.7 | 7.11 | 7.13 (55)

GOALS:
Greater Western Sydney: Smith, Bennetts.
Brisbane: Davidson 2, Dawes 2, Hodder, Wuetschner, Ellenger

DC BEST:
Greater Western Sydney: Eva, Parker, Beeson, Bennetts, Garnett
Brisbane: Davidson, Lutkins, Bates, Dawes, Anderson

Picture credit: via Adelaide FC

ADELAIDE SEND WARNING SHOT WITH RECORD-BREAKING WIN

By: Tom Cheesman

ADELAIDE has continued its strong run of form with a 70-point smashing of Gold Coast at Norwood Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Crows held their opponents scoreless in the first and third terms while piling on 13 goals of their own for the match, an AFLW record. Adelaide controlled the inside 50s (41-19) and were far more efficient with their disposals inside 50 (56 to 37 per cent). Stevie-Lee Thompson (17 disposals, two marks, one goal) provided plenty of run and carry all day for the Crows, while Anne Hatchard (21 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) and Ebony Marinoff (20 disposals, eight tackles) were influential in the midfield. Superstar Erin Phillips and Danielle Ponter kicked six goals (and had 10 scoring shots) between them, while Alison Drennan (29 disposals, seven tackles) and Kalinda Howarth (18 disposals) worked tirelessly for the visitors.

There were major injury issues for both sides in the opening minutes of the contest. First, Adelaide small defender Nikki Gore courageously flew from the side into a marking contest and went down with a suspected ankle fracture. Two minutes later, Gold Coast midfielder Jamie Stanton‘s ankle buckled underneath her when she laid a tackle in her side’s defensive 50. She was taken from the ground on a stretcher and was seen on crutches after the match. Once the match got going, Sarah Allan immediately set the tone for Adelaide in defence. She made a significant impact defensively but also initiated some counterattacking ball movement with effective forward handballs off half-back. Hatchard was able to kick the Crows’ first after a perfect pass from Phillips, and captain Chelsea Randall soccered through her side’s  second soon after.

For the fourth consecutive week, Adelaide held their opponents scoreless in the opening term. Regardless, it was not all doom-and-gloom for the Suns early. Howarth was classy with her ball use coming out of congestion, Kate Surman found plenty of the ball, and Tori Groves-Little took some spectacular marks up forward in her first quarter of the season. The Suns looked positive at the start of the second term, as Daisy D’Arcy found Leah Kaslar on the lead for their first goal of the day. However, the Crows noticed that the Suns were within a goal and quickly got the game back on their terms.

Ash Woodland earned a free for a hold and kicked truly from 30 metres out, and then Chloe Scheer set up Ponter for her first. Second-gamer Rachelle Martin redeemed herself after dropping a mark inside 50 by applying relentless forward pressure, earning a free kick and snapping her first goal in AFLW. Gold Coast’s only chance to score was from centre clearances at this point because, much like St Kilda last Sunday, they were unable to cleanly move the ball out of their defensive 50 through Adelaide’s zone.

In stark contest, Adelaide ran the ball out of their defence very easily, picking holes in Gold Coast’s defence at will. After Ponter and Phillips kicked back-to-back goals, Gold Coast won a centre clearance and got a late goal through Surman. Although Surman and Drennan had a whopping 33 touches between them at the main break, the Crows held a convincing 30-point lead. Ferocious Adelaide player Scheer extended her side’s lead at the start of the third by earning a free and putting through a set shot. Phillips set the ground alight when she unloaded a huge barrel off half-back, but unfortunately for the home fans it went straight to Elizabeth Keaney, who took several intercept marks in the third term. Thompson continued her impressive performance by running onto a loose ball and drilling the Crows’ ninth, and it was very clear that the Suns had no answers on how to stop Adelaide’s momentum.

After some relentless pressure from Teah Charlton and Woodland, Phillips earned a free for being blocked in a marking contest and kicked her second. Things soured for the Crows at the end of the third term, as Hannah Button dislocated her shoulder while reaching to lay a tackle and left the field in the hands of trainers. Adelaide did not slow down to start the fourth, continuing to pepper the goals and refusing to let the ball out of their forward half. This led to Ponter kicking another, this time from a forward 50 stoppage. Soon after, a duck through traffic and clever handball over the shoulder from Phillips set up Ponter for her fourth.

On the other side, all of Gold Coast’s forward movement came through Groves-Little, who got little-to-no support at that end of the ground. When Crows captain Randall got on the end of some unselfish ball movement from Phillips and Thompson to kick her second, Adelaide’s score moved to 85 points, just one behind shy of the highest score in AFLW history (12.14.86 by the 2018 Western Bulldogs). As Adelaide went for the record, the Suns were finally able to lock the ball in their forward 50 for an extended period. Sally Riley had some good moments during this stretch, but the Suns failed to capitalise on her hard work and only added one behind to their total.

After a late end-to-end transition by the Crows, Dee Heslop laid a brilliant tackle on Ponter in the goal square to save a certain score and keep the Bulldogs’ scoring record intact. Regardless, it was a percentage-boosting win that Adelaide’s coaches will be pleased with as they move into the final three rounds of the home and away season.

Next week, Adelaide hit the road to face Melbourne at Casey Fields on Saturday night. Meanwhile, Gold Coast will aim to get their first win of 2021 when they take on the Tigers in a Friday night clash at Metricon.

ADELAIDE 2.1 | 7.2 | 10.5 | 13.7 (85)
GOLD COAST 0.0 | 2.2 | 2.2 | 2.3 (15)

GOALS:
Adelaide: D. Ponter 4, E. Phillips, C. Randall 2, S. Thompson, A. Woodland, R. Martin, C. Scheer, A. Hatchard.
Gold Coast: L. Kaslar, K. Surman.

DC BEST:
Adelaide: S. Thompson, E. Phillips, D. Ponter, A. Hatchard, E. Marinoff
Gold Coast: A. Drennan, T. Groves-Little, K. Howarth, K. Surman, S. Riley

Picture credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

DEES DOWN SAINTS TO KEEP SEASON ALIVE

By: Sophie Taylor

IT was a tight encounter between Melbourne and St Kilda on Saturday night, with both sides looking to get back on the winners list this season after big losses last round. It was the Demons that got a confident and comfortable percentage-boosting victory on the board on home soil at Casey Fields, running out 9.12 (66) to 3.4 (22) victors, credit to a consistent four-quarter effort.

The Dees were on the offensive from the get-go, driving forward and flooding the 50m to lock the ball in attack. It appeared the Melbourne coaching staff were not afraid to switch things up a bit heading into this matchup, with a couple of shaky matches over the last few weeks making for a different approach in the forward line. A classy kick from Maddi Gay hit Daisy Pearce on a lead at the top of the square with the Dees legend putting the first goal of the game through, before minutes later Alyssa Bannan rid herself off her recent goal drought with an excellent running goal to put a second on the board. The Saints were still yet to make it inside their own 50m though despite piling pressure on through midfield, with the Dees making it tough to clear the footy. Gay and Tyla Hanks were never far from the footy as Sainters Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Cat Phillips contested well, while Kate Shierlaw also kept on the pressure around the ground, rarely beaten.

The remainder of the first was hotly contested with Melbourne unable to put a third major on the board despite locking the footy inside 50, and leading 14-0 at the first change. A huge inside 50 from Georgia Patrikios started the second quarter, surging the footy forward, and while it did not work to the Saints’ favour, the effort paid off with the Saints given a couple of chances to put on the scoreboard pressure, all to no avail. An excellent run down midfield from Hanks earned a free kick down field for a late push in the back, with a goal right in front from Shelley Scott undoing all the hard work the Saints had done early to lock the footy inside 50. While she was well held early, Patrikios fired up in the second quarter, throwing herself at the contest and doing everything she could to pile on the pressure around the ground.

The Saints strung some great minutes together in forward 50 as Nat Exon finally put the Saints on the board, reducing the margin and seeing the Saints build up their confidence with a couple more attempts coming in thick and fast but to no avail. The Dees’ midfield was on fire, and led by Hanks and Karen Paxman, they were crucial in quickly and efficiently driving down the centre. A free kick to Tegan Cunningham kept the scoreboard ticking over, seeing an 18-point half-time margin and an intense contest brewing.

A huge first few minutes of the third quarter saw plenty of argy bargy from both sides, with a tough battle through the midfield and Melbourne’s midfielders doing the trick to drive the footy forward, while St Kilda’s defence was just staying ahead of the pack to maintain possession. Lauren Pearce continued her excellent first half efforts utilising her height and footy smarts, before an excellent passage from Eden Zanker saw the forward kick directly to Daisy Pearce at the top of the square once more, before another goal to Bannan saw the second half kick off to an eerily similar way to the beginning of the match, though this time seeing a 31-point margin with 10 left in the third quarter. 

A goal to Jackie Parry saw the Dees extend their lead further, with the remainder of the match played on Melbourne’s terms as Caitlin Greiser was moved down back to help work the Saints back into the match but to no avail as Rosie Dillon, Rhi Watt and Hannah Priest continued to throw themselves into the contest. But it was a second scoreless term for the Saints, trailing by 39 points at the final change. The Dees needed a percentage boost ahead of the remaining three rounds of the season, and that’s what they got as the Saints failed to close the margin.

Zanker continued her solid work across the ground, putting a couple of behinds on the board and worrying the Saints but ultimately unable to find the big sticks, before Eliza McNamara topped off an excellent effort with her maiden goal. A maiden Claudia Whitfort goal reduced the margin a fraction but it was not enough, with the Dees creating a highlight reel up forward with their continuous hunt on the footy, and Kate Hore joining the party inside 50 with some slick skills towards the latter stage of the match. A Tamara Luke goal with just over two minutes of the clock did plenty for the Saints’ work rate but unfortunately not enough to really shake the Dees, with the home side running out 44-point winners credit to a solid four quarter effort.

For the losing side, Priest, Patrikios and Phillips were the leading ball-winners with 17 disposals apiece, and combining for 15 tackles between them. Dillion picked up 12 touches and eight tackles, whilst Watt (15 touches and five marks) also proved crucial. For the Dees, Lauren Pearce was a revelation in the ruck with 22 touches, 21 hitouts, four tackles, four marks and a behind, whilst Hanks (22 and four tackles), Zanker (23, eight marks and three behinds) and Paxman (24 touches)  were also heavily involved in the contest. Daisy Pearce booted her two from 13 touches and six marks, whilst Lily Mithen and Scott piled on the pressure with six tackles each.

The Dees will have their work cut out for them in the remaining three rounds of the season, currently sitting just outside the top six and matches against Adelaide (second), Fremantle (fourth) and Brisbane (first) awaiting. They host Adelaide during the same Saturday evening timeslot in a week’s time, whilst the Saints host the Giants in the early Saturday timeslot at RSEA Park.

MELBOURNE | 2.2 | 4.3 | 7.6 | 9.12 (66)
ST KILDA | 0.0 | 1.3 | 1.3 | 3.4 (22)

GOALS
Melbourne: D. Pearce 2, A. Bannan 2, S. Scott, T. Cunningham, J. Parry, E. McNamara, K. Hore.
St Kilda: N. Exon, C. Whitfort, T. Luke.

DC BEST
Melbourne: L. Pearce, T. Hanks, D. Pearce, E. Zanker, M. Gay
St Kilda: H. Priest, G. Patrikios, C. Phillips, R. Watt, R. Dillon

AFL Women’s Saturday wrap: Prespakis, Vescio inspire almighty Blues escape

CARLTON overcame a horror start on Saturday afternoon to ward off a roaring Richmond outfit at Princes Park, escaping five-point victors against its traditional rival. The Tigers got the jump with the first four goals of the game, before reigning league best and fairest Maddy Prespakis sparked the Blues to life with two second term goals to help claim an unlikely half time lead. From there, the Darcy Vescio show took full toll to help Carlton kick a winning score, eventually reading 8.3 (51) to Richmond’s 7.4 (46).

While still winless in the AFL Women’s competition, green shoots are beginning to appear for Richmond after arguably its best performance to date. The Tigers’ poor conversion and attacking penetration have been a lead story thus far, but that was far from the case on Saturday as they surged forward with ruthless pace and efficiency to catch Carlton unawares on multiple occasions.

The Tigers’ pressure and early midfield dominance were other key signs of their upside, before Carlton’s prime movers began to take the game over. Having started the season at 0-2, the Blues’ finals hopes are still kicking as they sit just outside the top six, but a much more consistent run of form will be required from here on out.

Much of the hype coming into this clash surrounded the potential matchup of twins Jess and Sarah Hosking, who would take little time to acquaint themselves as opponents at the first centre bounce. It marked somewhat of another new role for Carlton’s Jess, who has been utilised up either end of the ground, while Richmond’s Sarah was typically reliable in midfield.

The Hosking in navy blue finished with 19 disposals, while her sibling managed 15 touches to go with six marks and seven tackles despite missing a chunk of action through concussion protocols. The Prespakis tackle which put Hosking out of action was deemed dangerous at the time, and could see Carlton’s star midfielder face more scrutiny from the match review officer this season.

Richmond’s Monique Conti was busy as ever, leading all comers with 26 disposals and seven inside 50s. Skipper Katie Brennan looked lively in the front half, notching two goals among her 17 touches and five marks with strong work in the air and across the ground. Others to impress in yellow and black included Ellie McKenzie (14 disposals, four marks) and the forward duo of Courtney Wakefield (three goals) and Tayla Stahl (two), who helped materialise each of their side’s momentum grabs.

Prespakis dragged her side back into the contest with 19 disposals, five tackles and two goals, aided by the forward 50 presence of Vescio, who clunked six marks and booted 3.2. Grace Egan was excellent as the Blues’ highest ball winner (21 disposals), while skipper Kerryn Harrington formed a wall in defence alongside Charlotte Wilson with seven rebound 50s.

CARLTON 0.2 | 4.2 | 7.3 | 8.3 (51)
RICHMOND 3.0 | 4.1 | 5.1 | 7.4 (46)

GOALS:

Carlton: D. Vescio 3, M. Prespakis 2, N. Stevens, L. McEvoy, T. Harris
Richmond: C. Wakefield 3, K. Brennan 2, T. Stahl 2

DC BEST:

Carlton: D. Vescio, M. Prespakis, G. Egan, K. Harrington, J. Hosking, L. McEvoy
Richmond: M. Conti, K. Brennan, S. Hosking, C. Wakefield, R. Miller, E. McKenzie

credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

Credit: Will Russell/AFL Photos

Dockers endure slow start to overrun Suns

FREMANTLE added another huge win to its premiership tilt as the Dockers overcame the Gold Coast Suns in convincing fashion in Perth, 7.13 (55) to 1.0 (6). Whilst the Suns got the early jump on the premiership contenders, leading for much of the first and boasting a close margin at half time as the Dockers failed to capitalise on opportunities, it was Fremantle that ran down its foes in an excellent six goal second half to maintain top spot on the ladder. 

In an opening term that was dominated by the underdogs, things began with plenty of excitement as an early goal from Leah Kaslar got the ball rolling with the Dockers seemingly unable to find purchase within a tight contest. But whilst Kaslar’s major was the only score of the quarter, it went on to be the Suns’ only major of the match as, from quarter time onwards, the footy was well within the home side’s grasps with plenty of intent and drive into attack. Whilst the Dockers were ultimately unable to provide the scoreboard danger to rival their offensive pressure, producing a 1.5 (11) to 1.0 (6) scoreline to marginally lead at the main change, a huge second half loomed with much of the momentum going the way of the Dockers with Ebony Antonio and Gabby O’Sullivan unsuccessful but proving dangerous inside 50.

The second half saw the match well and truly open up for Fremantle, as its pressing backline led by Janelle Cuthbertson gained further control and confidence to propel ball forward into its waiting forward line. Back-to-back majors from Antonio and O’Sullivan and a maiden goal from Sarah Verrier created a tough buffer for the Suns to crack as the scoreline extended to 25 points by the time the final change arrived. Despite being tagged for much of the contest, Kiara Bowers shone as the match opened up further, proving unstoppable as Suns’ Jamie Stanton worked up a storm for the opposition but to no avail. 

A huge final term saw the Dockers’ class complete their second half rundown of the opposition, piling on another three goals and six minors as O’Sullivan got her second on the board, whilst Hayley Miller and Ash Sharp piled on the offensive pressure. Another inaccurate term could have seen a huge margin from the premiership contenders – who have now won 11 straight – but the side will surely be content with the 49-point victory as they continue to lead the way atop the tables.

Despite being down in contested ball and clearances in the first quarter, once the Dockers stepped up their game there was no stopping them as the work-rate lifted with a whopping 73 tackles to 46, as Bowers stole the show with 15 tackles to go with her 17 touches (15 kicks). Bowers was only beaten on the possessions count by Stanton, who led her side with 18 and five tackles, while Lucy Single showed some glimpses of what she is capable of with a great tag on Bowers, completing the match with seven tackles as Lauren Bella dominated the ruck contest. O’Sullivan was the lone multiple goalkicker with two from her 16 touches, whilst Miller also showcased her ball-magnet ways with 17 disposals and six tackles to her name. 

FREMANTLE | 0.0 | 1.5 | 4.7 | 7.13 (55)
GOLD COAST | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 (6)

GOALS:

Fremantle: G. O’Sullivan 2, R. Roux, H. Miller, A. Sharp, E. Antonio, S.Verrier
Gold Coast: L. Kaslar

DC BEST:

Fremantle: K. Bowers, J. Cuthbertson, G. O’Sullivan, H. Miller, R. Roux, J.Stewart
Gold Coast: J. Stanton, L. Bella, L. Single, K. Surman, K. Howarth

Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

Hot Pies down shaky Roos in ladder-leading encounter

It was a showstopper waiting to happen, with a fired up North Melbourne side looking to right the wrongs of their Round 3 loss to Melbourne and put another win on the board, coming in hot favourites against an improved Collingwood outfit. But it seemed that once again, the Kangaroos could not compete with a hardened side bursting through the midfield. The side was unable to contain the hot Pies who sit undefeated on four from four, with a low-scoring contest seeing the Roos rendered goalless for the first time, going down 4-4 (28) to 0.8 (8).

An impressive opening term well and truly set the tone for the match, as the Magpies piled on the pressure around the ground to negate any easy forward 50 forays from the Roos. With so many excellent targets within the Kangaroos’ grasps, an Aishling Sheridan goal was exactly what the Magpies needed to spur the side into action as the contest across the field continued to grow, pressurising the midfield as Chloe Molloy looked the goods with an early major to her name. Whilst the Roos forced a tighter contest in the second quarter, it seemingly was already too little, too late as the Magpies had all the momentum and ran with it. Three minors the way of the Roos did little to worry the Pies as Jordan Membrey kicked truly at the other end, with Bri DaveyJaimee Lambert and Molloy running rampant and well and truly outclassing the Kangaroos.

Inaccuracy and a lack of opportunity were the themes of the second half as neither side was really able to exit the tight contest, with North keeping Collingwood to just 1.2 in the second half after a stellar start but also failing to find the big sticks with five more behinds on the board well and truly putting the nail in their own coffin. Despite huge efforts from Jasmine GarnerKait Ashmore and Jenna Bruton, it was not enough as Molloy sealed the deal with a final goal in the last to propel the Magpies up the ladder with the 20-point victory.

For the Magpies, Davey and Lambert led all-comers, with 31 and 27 disposals respectively, whilst Davey racked up six marks and Lambert piled on the pressure with six tackles. Britt Bonnici and Steph Chiocci rang true with 21 and 20 touches, while Molloy’s goal sense saw her finish with two from her 12 touches, four marks and three tackles. Stacey Livingstone was a moving barricade down back with eight marks and seven rebounds. For the flailing Roos, Garner’s 19 disposals led the pack while Bruton (18 and five tackles), Ashmore (17 and six, one behind) and Emma Kearney (15 and five, one behind) also plied their trade.

NORTH MELBOURNE | 0.0 | 0.3 | 0.5 | 0.8 (8)
COLLINGWOOD | 2.2 | 3.2 | 3.4 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS:
North Melbourne: 
Nil
Collingwood: C. Molloy 2, A. Sheridan, J. Membrey

DC BEST:
North Melbourne:
J. Garner, K. Ashmore, A. Riddell, J. Bruton
Collingwood: B. Davey, J. Lambert, B. Bonnici, S. Livingstone, C. Molloy

AFL Women’s Saturday wrap: Dees dismantle Suns with five-goal second term

MELBOURNE Demons have opened their season with a win on the road, toppling Gold Coast Suns by 21 points at Metricon Stadium yesterday. Led by a dominant duo of Karen Paxman and Lily Mithen, the Demons started slowly but recovered to win, 9.2 (56) to 5.5 (35) in front of more than 1900 fans.

The original fixture had the Demons at home against Adelaide, but despite the Sunshine State being a fair distance from Casey Fields, Melbourne was determined to make it a home away from home. It did not look that way early when Jamie Stanton converted a goal in the first 30 seconds of the match. Six minutes later and Leah Kaslar had the Suns’ second and the margin was out to 12. It took until past the midway point of the quarter before known goalsneak Kate Hore finally put through a major, and when Tegan Cunningham converted her first of the 2021 season, the scores were level again. A strong pack mark from Gold Coast recruit Sarah Perkins in the dying seconds of the term resulted in her new side taking a seven-point lead into quarter time.

The second quarter belonged to the visitors though, as Melbourne piled on five goals, starting with an Eden Zanker major in the opening minute of the term. Krstel Petrevski and Shelley Heath provided spark at ground level and brought up their first goals, while Cunningham kicked another and when Hore converted her second in the final minute, Melbourne was out to a 22-point lead at the main break. Petrevski became the third multiple goalkicker with a major six minutes into the term, which meant the Demons had kicked 6.1 to 0.2 since quarter time, turning a seven-point deficit into a whopping 28-point lead in just 26 minutes of action.

Brittany Perry finally broke the drought for the home side a couple of minutes later, only for Mithen to counter with another major for the red and blue. Perkins kicked her second to prove her worth as a target inside 50, but despite their best efforts, the Suns had only shaved the half-time deficit by one point to 20 at the final change.

Needing a miracle, Leah Kaslar had a chance but missed, and in what was an anticlimactic finish – though more than suitable for Melbourne – the teams only managed the one behind apiece in the final term for the siren to sound with Melbourne winning 9.2 (56) to 5.5 (35).

For the most part it looked like Paxman might rack up a record with 19 disposals at half-time, to finish with 25, as well as three marks and four tackles, while Mithen picked up 22 disposals and two marks to go with her goal. Tyla Hanks and Eliza McNamara battled above their heights to pick up 18 touches and lay six tackles between them, with McNamara’s debut one to remember. Jacqueline Parry (17 disposals) and both the Pearces – Daisy and Lauren – were also impressive, racking up 15 touches.

The Suns had a number of impressive players, with Stanton leading the way thanks to 18 disposals, three marks, two tackles and a goal, while Alison Drennan had 17 touches and nine tackles. Bess Keaney starred on debut herself with 15 disposals and six tackles. Looking ahead to Round 2, Gold Coast travel to Victoria Park on Saturday for an afternoon game, while Melbourne hosts Richmond at Casey Fields in the evening game.

GOLD COAST  3.1 | 3.3 | 5.4 | 5.5 (35)
MELBOURNE 2.0  | 7.1 | 9.1 | 9.2 (56)

GOALS
Gold Coast: Perkins 2, Stanton, Kaslar, Perry.
Melbourne: Cunningham 2, Hore 2, Petrevski 2, Zanker, Mithen, Heath.

ADC BEST 
Gold Coast: 
Stanton, Perkins, Keaney, Drennan, Ahrens
Melbourne: Paxman, Mithen, McNamara, L.Pearce, Cunningham, Hanks

Picture credit: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Picture credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Phillips and Randall lead the Crows to a winning start

By: Tom Cheesman

Adelaide has produced a dominant second half to run away convincing 38-point winners against a young West Coast side at Mineral Resources Park. Premiership superstars Erin Phillips (23 disposals, five tackles, five marks, two goals) and Chelsea Randall (19 disposals, three marks, three tackles) led from the front and were a class above throughout the contest. Once numerous other premiership Crows stepped up in the second half, the Eagles struggled to get the ball into their forward 50 and could not overcome the Crows’ immense tackling pressure.

Chelsea Biddell gave her side a strong start when she collected the ball cleanly in congestion and kicked the first major of the match from 30-metres out. Draftee Ashleigh Woodland followed this up by kicking a nice snap goal with her first kick for the club, which was one of many impressive signs she showed on the day. Captain Randall, who missed the entire 2020 season with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, started the game at half-forward and made an immediate impact by providing a focal point for her side and continually moving the ball forward. West Coast’s quarter went from bad to worse when Brianna Green exited the field with an ankle injury after a heavy collision in a marking contest. Najwa Allen’s ball movement out of defence was a highlight for the visitors early, as was their pressure game.

The Crows led the tackle count 25 to 14 at the first break, which was particularly important because this was an area that they struggled in last season. This was led by debutant Teah Charlton, who had a remarkable six tackles in just the opening quarter. West Coast started the second term with more aggression and won plenty of contested balls at centre clearances and around the ground. The Eagles got their first goal through Mikayla Bowen after a nice pass from Shanae Davison, but Woodland immediately responded with her second after some clean ball movement from Randall. An uncharacteristic poor turnover from ex-Giant Lisa Whiteley led to some great counter-attacking play from Ashlee Atkins, which Niamh Kelly used her pace to get on the end of and kick her first goal in AFLW. Just minutes later, Kellie Gibson had a golden chance to bring the Eagles to within a point but missed the running shot on goal. Phillips was a sole shining light for Adelaide in the second term, as she was powerful in the contest and turning around opponents very crisply on the outside.

The Crows were lucky to go into the main break with a five-point lead given West Coast’s dominance in that term. Early in the third, Phillips received a 50-metre penalty for an encroachment by the woman on the mark and kicked truly from the goal square. Encroachment 50-metre penalties were a theme of the day in AFLW, as Gold Coast were penalised heavily for them in their match against Melbourne earlier in the afternoon. Just minutes after kicking her first, Phillips kicked another goal, this time on her left after cleverly selling some candy in congestion. Adelaide’s pressure up forward continued to cause problems for the Eagles, as Charlton and Woodland created another turnover and the latter found Marinoff by foot for another major. Speedster Eloise Jones was tripped inside 50 and kicked truly after the siren to give Adelaide a 32-point lead at three-quarter time.

The Crows dominated the inside 50s again early in the last term but missed a few opportunities to extend their lead. This was until Phillips won a free kick on the 50-metre arc and found Ailish Considine with a nice pass, who kicked Adelaide’s eighth goal from 30 metres out. Although no more goals were kicked for the rest of the match, Gibson was dangerous up forward late and created some chances for the Eagles in the closing minutes. Former Bulldog Aisling McCarthy (15 disposals, two marks, seven tackles) and Emma Swanson (17 disposals, 11 tackles, two marks) were two shining lights for the Eagles throughout the contest. The Eagles will look to rebound next week against the relocated GWS Giants on Saturday at Norwood Oval. Meanwhile, Adelaide will look to build on their impressive second half when they take on Fremantle in a Sunday blockbuster.

WEST COAST 0.1 | 2.3 | 2.3 | 2.6 (18)
ADELAIDE 2.1 | 3.2 | 7.5 | 8.8 (56)

GOALS:
West Coast: M. Bowen, N. Kelly 1.
Adelaide: E. Phillips 2, A. Woodland 2, C. Biddell, E. Marinoff, E. Jones, A. Considine 1.

ADC BEST:
West Coast: E. Swanson, A. McCarthy, D. Hooker, A. Atkins, M. Bowen, N. Kelly
Adelaide: E. Phillips, C. Randall, N. Allen, E. Marinoff, N. Gore, T. Charlton

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)

QAFL Women’s weekend preview: Semi-Finals – Top four sides remain in title hunt

IT was fitting that the two highest ranked teams in the Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s competition won through their respective elimination finals last week, allowing the top four teams to remain in the hunt for the 2020 QAFL Women’s flag. In the two do-or-die semis, top of the table Bond University will host fourth placed Yeronga South Brisbane, while second placed Coolangatta Tweed takes on third placed Maroochydore.

You have to go all the way back to Round 1 to find the last time Bond University lost. Since then, they have strung together nine wins, as well as two COVID-related cancellations. Given one of those cancellations was against bottom two side Wilston Grange, it is fair to say the Sharkettes could have been even further ahead at the top of the table. For the Devils, they lost to Bond University back in Round 11 to effectively lose the chance at a top two spot, but have won four of their past five matches, and are coming off the back of a nine-point win against Coorparoo so they bring form into the clash.

The Round 11 battle between the sides has been the only clash thus far, with Bond University winning in a low-scoring match, 4.6 (30) to 1.5 (11). Trailing at both quarter time and half-time the Sharkettes kicked the last four goals of the game, with a three goals to zero third term being the difference. Jess Maher kicked a couple of goals for the winners, with Maddison Levi and Taylor Smith also snagging a couple, while Emily Bates kicked the opening goal of the game for the Devils.

Having had a nice rest over the first weekend of finals, the potent Sharkettes forward line returns with Smith leading the way with 15 snags in 10 matches, and being one of her side’s best throughout the season. The team has plenty of good young talent with Annie Muir and Annise Bradfield also named among the best on multiple occasions, as has been the case with Gold Coast’s Lauren Bella, and both Krystal Scott and Lucinda Pullar.

For the Devils, Lexia Edwards leads all-comers in the goalkicking with 13 majors in 11 games, ahead of Lucy Bellinger (nine), Courtney McDonnell (eight) and Sam Virgo (eight). The experience of Bates, Jordan Zanchetta, Jacqueline Yorston and Lauren Arnell has been telling this year and the quartet have been among the top players for Yeronga South Brisbane in 2020.

The Sharkettes will head in as favourites for the clash, but the Devils will hope to catch the rested Bond University off early, trying to take full advantage of the fourth placed side’s recent form.

Coolangatta Tweed comes into its semi-final clash against Maroochydore having won six of its past seven games, and having only dropped three matches for the season. No doubt avoiding Coorparoo in the finals would have been a relief for the Bluebirds, who have suffered two defeats at the hands of the Kings, whilst the other loss came against Bond University in the first match back from the restart on July 11.

Meanwhile Maroochydore is on a four-game winning streak, having had some percentage-boosting wins in the final fortnight to leap up to third, After dropping back-to-back games against Coorparoo and Yeronga South Brisbane following a COVID-19 related cancellation, Maroochydore looked to have slipped down the order after such a strong start to the season. The Roos have picked it up since and enjoyed a good run home.

The last time these sides played was on July 25, when Coolangatta Tweed got home in a five-point thriller, 3.4 (22) to 2.5 (17). It was neck-and-neck for the most past, with the Roos leading by seven points at the first change, then the Bluebirds holding a solitary point advantage at the next two breaks. Kicking the only goal of the final term, Coolangatta Tweed held on in a low-scoring win. Leah Kaslar booted one of her side’s three goals and was named among the best with Alexandra Hamlyn and Keyshia Matenga, while for the Roos, Mikayla Pauga was the best and also slotted a goal, with Sophie Bale and Maggie Harmer also named among the best.

Looking across the whole season, Kaslar won the club goalkicking for the Bluebirds with nine majors, two ahead of youngster Kitara Farrar and another AFL Women’s talent in Selina Priest. The AFL Women’s experience of Kaslar and Sally Riley has helped the Bluebirds this season, with Hamlyn, Matenga, Kate Surman and Ebony Peterson all featuring in the bests five times.

At the Roos, Shannon Campbell has been the competitions most reliable goalkicker with 18 majors in 10 games, and also been named among the best five times. Pauga is next, with 13 goals and six bests. Overall Harmer leads the way in the coaches votes, with eight bests in 12 games, one ahead of young gun Lily Postlethwaite, whilst Isabel Dawes and Ruby McDowell also feature highly.

Coolangatta Tweed will be favourites in this game, but Maroochydore is a huge chance based on recent form and will be looking to carry that form into the semi-final with no turning back for the loser.

QAFL WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS:

Bond University vs. Yeronga South Brisbane
Coolangatta Tweed vs. Maroochydore

Picture: RF Photography

QAFL Women’s weekend wrap: Round 11 – Roos skip over Kings with percentage-boosting Hornets win

DESPITE winning by 40 points themselves, Coorparoo has seen Maroochydore not only make up 20 percentage points, but run away to be 16 per cent ahead of the Kings in a whopping 42 per cent swing over the weekend thanks to a 95-point shellacking of last placed Aspley Hornets. Playing at the same timeslot of 4.45pm on Saturday, Coorparoo would have felt pretty confident moving up to third spot on the table after an 11.8 (74) to 5.4 (34) win over Wilston Grange, only to arrive home and see that Maroochydore had kept the Hornets scoreless in a 25-scoring shot demolition of 14.11 (95) to 0.0 (0).

While it is unlikely the Roos will snatch a top two spot despite taking on the Gorillas in the final round – second placed Coolangatta Tweed plays the Hornets – Maroochydore has given itself the best chance of facing sixth placed University of Queensland in the first week of finals, the side that is 14 points adrift of an otherwise tight top five. The Roos were simply clinical all day, piling on at least three goals in every term, with a huge five-goal second term showing how important percentage can be.

Shannon Campbell slammed home five goals in a best on ground effort, while Mikayla Pauga (three goals) and Jennifer Carden-David (three) both had their fair share of majors and were among the best. Brisbane duo Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes (one goal) were impressive, while Zoe Smith kicked a couple on the day as well. After a few competitive weeks, it was a disappointing round of the Hornets, though Isabella Kotatis stood tall once again, with Kylie Guarino and Anais Kirvan also steadfast in defeat.

In Coorparoo’s comfortable 40-point win over the Gorillas, a 10-goal first half looked like the Kings were going to storm to a massive victory leading by 51-points at half-time. They had booted seven second quarter goals, but could only manage one in the second half, as Wilston Grange went on the attack slotting three consolation goals in the final term to cut the deficit back to 40 by the final siren, 11.8 (74) to 5.4 (34).

Tori Groves-Little booted four goals in the win and was impressive, while regular superstar Jamie Stanton snagged three goals in a best on ground performance. Jenae Govan, Ally Anderson and Tahlia Hickie were also terrific in the win. For the Gorillas, Luka Yoshida-Martin, Catherine Svarc and Rheanne Lugg all booted goals and were named among the best, as were Kristen Tyquin and Eloise Janette O’Connor.

Locking up top spot and sentencing Yeronga South Brisbane to fifth, Bond University produced an impressive second half to run out 29-point winners on the road. It was never easy going, but the Sharkettes came from a point down at the main break to boot 3.4 to 0.2 and record a 4.6 (30) victory. Jess Maher (two goals), Maddison Levi (one) and Taylor Smith (one) all hit the scoreboard, while Lucinda Pullar and Lauren Bella were named among the best. Emily Bates kicked the sole Devils goal in the opening term, but it would not be enough despite the experience of Sam Virgo, Jordan Zanchetta and Lauren Arnell all on the field.

Coolangatta Tweed all but locked up second spot with an impressive 41-point win over University of Queensland. The Bluebirds had to win given their lower percentage compared to their rivals, and they did just that, knowing they have last placed Aspley Hornets in the final round. The Bluebirds were inaccurate at times, but did enough to restrict the scoring of the Red Lionesses, booting 9.14 (68) to 4.3 (27). Leah Kaslar (three goals), Sally Riley (two), Kate Surman (one) and Hannah Martin (one) all were among the best and hit the scoreboard for the winners. Dakota Davidson (two goals) continued her fine form as Megan Hunt (one) also hit the scoreboard, with Nat Grider, Davidson and Jane Childes the standouts in defeat for the visitors.

QAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 11 RESULTS:

Coolangatta Tweed 9.14 (68) defeated University of Queensland 4.3 (27)
Yeronga South Brisbane 1.5 (11) defeated by Bond University 4.6 (30)
Coorparoo 11.8 (74) defeated Wilston Grange 5.4 (34)
Maroochydore 14.11 (95) defeated Aspley Hornets 0.0 (0)

QAFL Women’s weekend preview: Round 11 – Top of the table clash highlights penultimate weekend

THE penultimate round of Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s action gets underway on Saturday, in what will ultimately determine the final makeup of the finals series for the most part. The top six could well be decided following Saturday’s games if the favourites all win, but a top of the table clash keeps things interesting in regards to the minor premiership.

The only certainty coming into the weekend is that Aspley Hornets will not contest the 2020 QAFL finals series, but Wilston Grange has a glimmer of hope if the Gorillas can win the final two games and hope University of Queensland drop them both. The top five is settled, it will just be the order to be determined, with Bond University guaranteed a top three spot, but with a tough fortnight – against Yeronga South Brisbane and Coorparoo in the run home – there are no guarantees they get the week’s break in finals.

The Kings need to take care of Wilston Grange first if they are to get a week off, expected to beat the Gorillas, but will need to topple the Sharkettes in the final round if they are a chance. Even then there are no guarantees, with Coolangatta Tweed tipped to defeat University of Queensland this weekend and have Aspley Hornets net week. In fact the Bluebirds would be very comfortable with how they are sitting, knowing that the weekend’s top two battle will allow them to potentially hold second spot heading into the last round.

The other team that booked its finals spot last weekend was Maroochydore, and the fifth placed side is unlikely to make top two unless a host of near-impossible results occur. However the Roos can still make a play in the post-season series, with matches against the bottom two sides, Aspley Hornets and Wilston Grange in the last fortnight. If they win both chances are they will move up at least a spot or two depending on other results, which means they should face off against a lower-ranked opponent. Third spot is key as the sixth placed University of Queensland – the third placed elimination final opponent – will be 10 points adrift of the top five, with the five sides relatively even.

The key for Coolangatta Tweed is to win and win well, and by doing so can grab and likely hold second spot if Bond University triumphs over Yeronga South Brisbane. The Bluebirds have plenty of experience with Leah Kaslar, Sally Riley and Kate Surman all amongst the top players, as Kitara Farrar and Paige Parker have also shown their class this season. Dakota Davidson remains the key target up forward for the Red Lionesses with 11 majors this season, while Megan Hunt, Jamie Stone and Jane Childes have been among the best players in the competition despite the sixth placed ranking thus far.

The match of the round is clearly the top of the table clash between the Devils and Sharkettes. Whilst Bond University’s percentage will almost certainly see them retain top spot even with a loss, the Sharkettes cannot afford to drop both games in the last fortnight. A host of young guns such as Annie Muir, Lauren Bella, Annise Bradfield and Maddison Levi are all impressing at state league level, while Taylor Smith has been a target up forward with 11 goals in eight games, including a four-goal haul. Lexia Edwards and Lucy Bellinger have been lively for the Devils booting eight goals apiece, but the experience of Sam Virgo, Jacqui Yorston and Jordan Zanchetta has shone through for Yeronga South Brisbane.

To remain in the hunt for top two, Coorparoo must win against Wilston Grange after going down to Yeronga South Brisbane last week. Jade Ellenger is in blistering form for the fourth placed side, named in the best seven of a possible 10 times this season. Emma McKenzie has held her own alongside AFL Women’s guns in Emma Zielke and Jamie Stanton who remain huge reasons why the Kings can take out the flag. Having won only the one game since round one – against the Hornets – form is definitely against the Gorillas getting up in this match. Lucia Liessi has six goals to her name and leads all-comers, whilst Kaitlyn Day remains the clear standout player with nine bests in 10 games, while Catherine Zvarc – is from six – and Kristen Tyquin – five from nine – also remain the clear best from Wilston Grange’s perspective.

Maroochydore will want to build form heading into finals, while Aspley is keen to grab a win on the board in the second last round. The Hornets have ben much more competitive of late and would eye this as a potential win especially with the tough Coolangatta Tweed in the final round. Lauren Kreis has been the leading goalkicker with four majors this season ahead of Michaela Campbell (three) and Rachel Crawford (two). Courtney Daniec has not missed a beat as the only player to be named among the best in 10 games. Isabella Kotatis and Lucy Pengelly are also amongst the Hornets best, showcasing the youth the bottom placed side has. Maroochydore finally snapped a winless streak since the break with a victory last round, and will hope to build into finals. Shannon Campbell (seven goals), Ashleigh Hales (six) and Mikayla Pauga (six) have all been impressive in front of the big sticks, whilst teenagers Lily Postlethwaite, Isabel Dawes, Bella Smith and Chloe Gregory remain lively around the ground.

QAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 11 PREVIEW:

Coolangatta Tweed vs. University of Queensland
Yeronga South Brisbane vs. Bond University
Coorparoo vs. Wilston Grange
Maroochydore vs. Aspley Hornets

Picture: RF Photography

QAFL Women’s weekend wrap: Round 10 – Roos book top five spot with crucial win

MAROOCHYDORE has locked up a top five finals spot with a narrow nine-point win over University of Queensland, whilst leaving the door ajar for Wilston Grange to pounce in the final two rounds. In the eight-team Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s competition, six sides will make finals, and they looked to be secured unless the Gorillas can win their last two matches this season. But the top five spots are all locked away, with Bond University in the box seat for top spot, four points ahead and a massive 379.25 percentage. Just four points separates second from fifth with a fortnight left, so anything can happen on that front.

In the most important game of the round in terms of securing the top five, the Roos got the points thanks to a 5.3 (33) to 4.0 (24) win over sixth placed University of Queensland. The visitors booted the only goal of the first term, but then managed just one behind as the Red Lionesses piled on their entire score in the second quarter, booting 4.0. Maroochydore stood tall in the second half, kicking the final four goals of the game with a 4.1 to 0.0 finish to run out nine-point victors.

Shannon Campbell was the sole multiple goalkicker for the Roos with two majors, as the AFL Women’s experience rose to the top with Isabel Dawes and Lily Postlethwaite named in the best alongside Bella Smith. For the home team, Sophie Ure managed two goals as Nat Grider and Dakota Davidson kicked one each, and Madi Crowley-Long was nominated as the losing sides’ top player.

Yeronga South Brisbane’s top two hopes remain well and truly alive with a stunning seven goals to two effort in the middle two quarters during their 18-point triumph over Coorparoo. The Devils were fourth coming into Round 10 of QAFL Women’s action, with Coorparoo holding the prized second spot thanks to a higher percentage. Both teams only managed one behind in the first term, but the Devils recovered quicker after the break, piling on 7.1 to 2.2 to race out to a 29-point advantage with a quarter to play. As expected the experience of Coorparoo came hard in the last term, but it would not be enough, falling short 7.4 (46) to 4.4 (28).

Lexia Edwards was a match winner with four snags and clearly being amongst the best on ground for the visiting team. Sam Virgo kicked two goals and was also impressive, one of a number of AFL Women’s talents who stood out in the win, as Jacqui Yorston, Lauren Arnell and Jordan Zanchetta also impressed. For the Kings, Jamie Stanton booted two goals and alongside Jess Wuetscher was amongst the best, while Jenae Govan and Alanna Perry were also strong.

Bond University kept its top spot safe with a regulation win over Aspley Hornets. The Hornets have been much more competitive of late and that continued, forcing the Sharkettes to boot 6.13 (49) whilst getting a goal on the board themselves in a 41-point defeat. Michaela Campbell kicked Aspley’s sole goal of the game, while Bond University had six individual goalkickers in the win, led by best on ground, Molly Ritson. Krystal Scott, Lily Tarlington and Wallis Randell impressive for the winners, while Jorja Guyatt, Lucy Pengelly and Isabella Kotatis all shone once again as the youth stood out in defeat for the Hornets.

Coolangatta Tweed took full advantage of Coorparoo’s loss to grab second spot on the table and be in pole position for a week off come finals time. The Bluebirds did all the heavy lifting in the first half, slotting 4.6 to 1.2 in a somewhat inaccurate total, but one that was enough to get the job done. Wilston Grange battled hard and came late with a couple of second half goals, but it would be too little, too late for the Gorillas, going down 5.8 (38) to 3.4 (22). Leah Kaslar and Lauren James both snagged two majors for the Bluebirds, as Courtney Ugle, Amy Fortescue and Kitara Farrar all shone in the Sunshine State. For the Gorillas, Catherine Svarc and Eloise Janette O’Connor were impressive and kicked goals, while Kylie Welsh was also named among Wilston Grange’s best.

QAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 10 RESULTS:

Wilston Grange 3.4 (22) defeated by Coolangatta Tweed 5.8 (38)
Aspley Hornets 1.2 (8) defeated by Bond University 6.13 (49)
Coorparoo 4.4 (28) defeated by Yeronga South Brisbane 7.4 (46)
University of Queensland 4.0 (24) defeated by Maroochydore 5.3 (33)

Picture: RF Photography