BALLARAT Grammar have turned back the clock and reversed the result from 12 months prior as their Senior Girls took out the Division 1 Herald Sun Shield in a wet and windy decider at RAMS Arena. Ballarat defeated Hallam Senior College by 47 points and won every quarter, booting two goals in three of the terms and eventually getting home 7.7 (49) to 0.2 (2). Respective captains, Alice Astbury (Ballarat) and Shaneece Stratton (Hallam) were named their sides’ bests in what was a difficult day for football with the temperatures dipping to single digits and the recorded ‘feels like’ temperature as low as -1.1.
Ballarat were in control from early, with a blustery gale making life difficult for the players. Ten minutes ticked by without a goal and it took until a checkside snap from Pip Metcalfe to put her side up. Ballarat Grammar was relentless in attack and as strong as Hallam was, Ballarat maintained the rage by not allowing them an inside 50, with Stratton doing all she could to restrict the attacking movement of Ballarat. A free kick moments before the siren saw Victoria Jewell kick truly from the set shot and put it straight through the middle for Ballarat’s second for Grammar to be in jubilation heading into the break, leading 2.1 (13) to 0.0 (0).
The second term was much the same as the first with neither side able to take advantage, and Hallam managed to get the first score on the board, through Mikayla Cipriani, but it was just one behind. Like the first term, Ballarat just found a way and put a third goal on the board with Metcalfe getting free and marking close to goal with a nice quick lead and converted for Grammar to head into the main break with an 18-point advantage. Maggie Caris was having an impact in the air for her side as the Rebels contingent at Ballarat was moving the ball well forward.
The first half of the third term saw both teams have chances with a behind to Hallam off the first clearance and back-to-back rushed behinds to Ballarat. Remarkably the star of the show Metcalfe found herself free again and lead back to the right spot as her opponent though the ball was going to the front. Metcalfe marked and slotted it from point blank and the margin was 25 midway through the quarter. Then Annabelle Fox converted after having a set shot falling short, following up shortly after and winning a free kick which they delivered with a second set shot which went through. Ballarat almost had a sixth goal after the siren, but the set shot was touched on the line for one behind. A key omission from the game was GWV Rebels and Vic Country utility Renee Saulitis who copped a knock to the nose and with the game done and dusted, she was able to sit the rest of the match out.
Determined to finish off the game strongly, Ballarat worked the ball forward time and time again and while Hallam’s defence was stringent in keeping it out of the danger zone, clearing it time and time again, it took until the seventh minute for the drought to be broken as Nyakoat Wuol ran onto a loose ball, sidestepping and opponent and putting it through. After a couple of near misses, Wuol made it two in a term, winning a free kick then immediately playing on catching the defence offside and putting it through the middle. The siren sounded not long after with Ballarat enjoying the big shield win. Whilst Hallam did not score a major, the likes of Cipriani up forward and some great defensive efforts by Lucy Grocock on the wing made sure the losing side still had some highlight-reel moments.
BALLARAT 2.1 | 3.1 | 5.5 | 7.7 (49)
HALLAM 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.2 | 0.2 (2)
Ballarat: P. Metcalfe 3, N. Wuol 2, V. Jewell, A. Fox.
BEST ON GROUNDS:
#12 Alice Astbury (Ballarat)
The captain led from the front and was a standout in the midfield for four quarters, often winning first possession on a number of occasions and looking strong in the midfield. Astbury had a shot on goal in the final minute of the game but was knocked off the ball and just missed.
#14 Shaneece Stratton (Hallam)
The uncompromising midfielder copped a lot of knocks but kept getting up and never gave up throughout the match. She won the ball on the outside and laid some big tackles, and would go to the inside and pick up the hard ball as well. She was vocal on the field setting up her side and had a nice left foot when coming out of the back half. Provided courageous attack on the ball.