Tag: olivia meagher

NAB League Girls Preliminary Finals wash-up: Northern and Calder to meet in decider

THE NAB League season finale is set, with the unbeaten Northern Knights qualifying first, and the Calder Cannons securing their spot with a massive upset win over reigning premiers, Geelong at Shepley Oval on Saturday.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 2.1 | 4.3 | 7.7 | 7.7 (49)
EASTERN RANGES 2.0 | 4.0 | 5.1 | 7.1 (43)

GOALS:
Northern:
N. Morris-Dalton 4, E. McKenzie, M. Appleby, A. Bannan.
Eastern: M. Di Cosmo 2, J. Dunning, T. Flintoff, R. Hall, O. Meagher, T. Merrett.

BEST:
Northern:
N. Morris-Dalton, G. Newton, E. McKenzie, S. Sansonetti, M. Chaplin, P. Chisholm
Eastern: O. Meagher, M. Kendall, J. Richardson, S. Gibbs, M. Di Cosmo, E. Horne

Northern Knights became the first team to qualify for the 2019 NAB League Grand Final, but were made to work for it by the Eastern Ranges in a tense Preliminary Final at Shepley Oval. The sides went goal for goal in the opening term after Northern middle-ager Ellie McKenzie snapped truly to first trouble the scorers. The Knights looked like breaking away in the second stanza as Maykaylah Appleby backed up Nell Morris-Dalton‘s second goal with another major, but the Ranges would hit back with two goals of their own through midfield stars Tess Flintoff and Olivia Meagher to trail by just three points at half time. When Madeline Di Cosmo kicked the Ranges’ third-straight goal to snatch the lead at the start of the third term, an upset loomed large – right up until Morris-Dalton had her say. Two quick goals from the Knights’ forward saw Northern reclaim the lead, and an Alyssa Bannan goal ensured they would go into the final break with a 15-point buffer. Despite a late Eastern charge with two goals to nil over the quarter, and the margin cut to six points with over two minutes left, the Knights held on to remain undefeated and scrape into a second-straight Grand Final. McKenzie was outstanding in the closing stages for the winners, thrown into the midfield and contributing some vital touches when the heat was on. Her midfield partner and skipper, Gabby Newton also played a big hand, while the goals of Morris-Dalton ultimately proved the difference. Sarah Sansonetti had her hands full down back but stood tall, with Maeve Chaplin another defender to be named amongst the best. Meagher led the charge through midfield for the combative Eastern side, with Flintoff proving her partner in crime. The likes of Serena Gibbs and Tahlia Merrett caused headaches with their height and versatility, while Di Cosmo provided the scoring pressure with her two majors. Eastern showed plenty of promise and really took it to Northern at times when other sides could have given in, but the Knights proved too strong and rightly cemented their spot in the competition decider.

GEELONG FALCONS 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.4 | 1.5 (11)
CALDER CANNONS 3.2 | 4.3 | 5.3 | 7.4 (46)

GOALS:
Geelong:
M. Skinner.
Calder: Z. Hardiman 2, A. Magri 2, E. Yassir, G. Prespakis, A. Barba.

BEST:
Geelong:
L. McEvoy, A. Chapman, R. Tierney, P. Schaap, G. Featherston , L. Lesosky-Hay
Calder: E. Yassir, G. Sampson, G. Prespakis, G. Patrikios, K. Lennox, A. Barba

The Calder Cannons saved arguably their best performance for just the right occasion, scoring one of the upsets of the season as they toppled Geelong Falcons by 35 points to book a spot in the Grand Final. The underdogs came out hard, pouring the pressure on Geelong and hitting the scoreboard early to open up a three-goal quarter time lead. In a similar fashion to how their game against Northern went, the Falcons came out hard in the second term and looked to mount a comeback as Mia Skinner bagged their first goal. But when Georgie Prespakis nailed a set shot in reply, it looked more and more unlikely with the Cannons taking a 19-point lead into the main break. A Zoe Hardiman goal in the opening two minutes of the third stanza all but put the result beyond doubt, as the Cannons kept their foot on the gas with unrelenting pressure to keep the game locked up, and Geelong goalless for another quarter. Two more goals in the final term, including Hardiman’s second, cemented the win as the Falcons again could only manage a behind, with the Calder crowd in raptures on the back of their side’s big-time display. Bottom-agers Emelia Yassir and Kasey Lennox played out of their skin at either end, while fellow ’03 birth Prespakis was again phenomenal with every touch of the ball. Georgia Patrikios led the Cannons from the front with her mix of flair and toughness, with fellow midfielder Alana Barba starting well to find the goals and Alisa Magri joining Hardiman with two goals. Skinner finished as Geelong’s sole goal kicker, while skipper Lucy McEvoy a beacon of light in the tough loss through midfield and in the ruck. Abbey Chapman provided a calm head in the beaten Falcons back six, with fellow defender Liz Dowling standing up as an impressive bottom-ager alongside Poppy Schapp. Renee Tierney spent time on each line to good effect, with Luka Lesosky-Hay putting in her usual combative shift. The loss saw Geelong end its season with just one win from their last three tries after previously going unbeaten in their premiership defence, and it would be a hard one to take given they had beaten Calder just three weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Cannons look to be peaking at the right time and move on to the decider, sure to give Northern a hell of a test if this game is anything to go by.

Scouting notes: NAB League Girls – Preliminary Finals

FINALS fever finally hit the NAB League Girls competition and in an exciting day of action, there were certainly plenty of standout performances on the big stage. Here are Michael Alvaro‘s opinion-based scouting notes on a mix of the most outstanding players on the day, and others selected in the Victorian sides for this year’s National Championships.

Northern Knights vs. Eastern Ranges

Northern:

#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

The Knights’ forward focal point continued her scintillating end-of-season form, booting over half of her side’s goals to finish with a bag of four. Morris-Dalton’s competitiveness inside 50 both in the air and at ground level played a big part in allowing Northern to make the most of their forward entries, while also locking the ball in. The Fitzroy junior’s marking overhead has greatly improved, and she was simply on form in front of goal with clinical finishes on her left boot. While she prized a couple of goals out of nothing in open play, arguably her best came on the run with a booming kick, and she claimed two of her goals in the all-important third term as the Knights pulled away.

#6 Alyssa Bannan

Bannan is a constant threat in the forward half with her pace and smarts over the back, and while she was quiet at times, this game proved no different. Unable to consistently find her trademark forward run from half-forward, Bannan spent a lot of time inside 50, where she took a nice overhead mark in the third quarter and slotted the resultant set shot – which proved to be the difference between the sides. Bannan’s best moment came with a couple of running bounces through the corridor which made the crowd stand up.

#11 Maykaylah Appleby

One to watch for a couple of years’ time, Appleby was terrific for the Knights on the wing. At still only 15 years of age, Appleby looked more than up to the level – as she has proven in her previous eight games to date. The bottom-ager provided great forward run throughout the day and constantly looked dangerous with ball in hand. Caught the eye with a sensational running goal in the second term and loves a celebration.

#18 Sarah Sansonetti

Sansonetti’s role was always going to be important against Eastern’s tall timber, and she well and truly stood up to the task. By no means had a high-disposal output, but the key defender did most of the defensive things well while looking to thwart the influence of Serena Gibbs for large chunks of the game. Really came to life in the fourth quarter with some physical showings around the contest – tackling hard up on the wing and pushing the Knights forward with presence from one-on-one wins.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Talk about weapons, McKenzie is one of those players coaches wish they had two of. Snapped the first goal of the game starting one-out at full-forward, and had another opportunity to hit the scoreboard in the third term, but missed her shot on the run after rounding an opponent. Proved a match-winner in the second half with a move into the midfield – seen intercepting twice on defensive 50, winning crucial clearances from the centre bounces when the Ranges were pressing late, and slowing the game down in the final two minutes with composure beyond her years. Will again prove vital in the grand final, and stands out in high-paced contested games as her clean hands allows for more time on the ball and better decisions.

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Gutknecht was an absolute bull at the stoppages, burrowing in to prize out contested possessions and tackling hard all day. The versatile midfielder-forward spent all of her time in the engine room, providing great drive with clearing kicks and short runs out of traffic. Had an outstanding second half where she seemed to be involved in everything, accumulating key possessions at important times to prove her worth as part of Northern’s star midfield trio.

#23 Gabby Newton

It is unlikely that much more can be made about how good Newton is, and she was outstanding once again here. Playing her usual role in the midfield, Newton toned down her use of handballs and belted the Knights forward on multiple occasions early on with clearing kicks from centre bounces. Accumulating at her normally high rate across the day, Newton led from the front in a consistent display. The Northern skipper’s smarts in more of an extracting role proved crucial, with Newton’s ability to keep her hands free allowing her to escape traffic and dispose of the ball effectively. Newton’s overhead marking was again also a feature, forming a one-woman wall across the forward 50 arc. A prime example of that was when she marked from an Eastern kick-out, cleverly shifting to one side before charging back into the open space to intercept and frustrate the Ranges coaches. A step above.

Eastern:

#21 Olivia Meagher

Meagher played an absolute blinder for the Ranges, showing true heart to almost drag her side over the line from midfield. Hard to miss in her helmet, Meagher caught the eye in a different way on this occasion, providing scintillating run from the stoppages and in open play. Showed her intentions early in that sense with a two-bounce dash from defensive wing, with the rest of her breakaways coming through traffic and ending with a kick forward. Won her fair share of contested ball, but was also a danger across the forward 50 arc – finding the goals on the back of a 50-metre penalty in the second term, and assisting one of Madeline Di Cosmo’s two in the second half. Her defensive plays were just as important, laying a big tackle on Ellie McKenzie to set the tone late on, while also affecting a smother which would start the chain for Riley Hall’s goal to cut the margin to six points. A great overall effort, and we can look forward to more next year.

#26 Tarni Brown

It was by no means Brown’s most prolific day, but she started on the right note. The 2020 Collingwood father-daughter prospect was good alongside Meagher in competing against a stacked Northern midfield, winning clearances and proving tough in tackles. She would lay a few of her own too, but her best moment came with a smart steal as the ball was in dispute, which she ended nicely with a clearing kick to enter forward 50. Another we will see more of next year.

#33 Tess Flintoff

Very unlucky to miss out on being named in Eastern’s best for mine, but Flintoff has another two years in the system to rack up the votes. The midfielder is one of the best marking players in the competition, and showcased her skill in that area with phenomenal reading of the play and positioning. Often employed a kick behind the ball in open play, Flintoff had a purple patch in the third term with a series of intercept possessions, while also taking an impressive diving slips catch to show off her highly-touted junior cricketing skills. Flintoff’s clearance game was also strong – particularly when you consider her opposition – and she accumulated well throughout the day.

#39 Laura McClelland

It was not a huge day out of McClelland, but she started well in her usual post at half-forward. She helped the Ranges move forward well, acting as a link in the chain towards forward 50 – often collecting the ball on the arc and wheeling around to boot towards goal. McClelland did so twice in the opening few minutes, and popped up again in the third term with some nice work up the ground.

#41 Tahlia Merrett

One of Eastern’s many tall prospects, Merrett provided good value at either end of the ground. Starting at full-forward and later pitching in through the ruck, Merrett was an important part of the Ranges’ structure and helped to keep the Knights’ defence on its toes. Missed a long-range set shot in the third term but found the goals earlier on, and was later thrown down back to show her versatility.

#46 Serena Gibbs

Touted as a key player before the game for her ability to consistently find the goals, but Gibbs was unable to do so in this game. While she was limited at times by Northern’s Sarah Sansonetti, Gibbs competed well and looked to stand up in the closing stages with a big tackle and terrific overhead mark as the Ranges surged home. The over-ager also took on some of the ruck duties inside forward 50 and looked comfortable there as well.

Geelong Falcons vs. Calder Cannons

Geelong:

#12 Laura Gardiner

Gardiner capped off a fine middle-age year with another solid display, mixing time between her customary wing position and the inside. While she got her hands on the ball well at stoppages, her usual clearing kicks forward went lateral at times, somewhat limiting her damage. Undeterred, Gardiner competed well all day and is one to keep an eye on for next year.

#18 Darcy Moloney

The middle-ager had a quiet opener but built into the game nicely, spending time on half-forward and up on the wing. Moloney became influential in the second half, starting with a nice intercept mark on the Falcons’ forward 50 arc. While she missed the resultant set shot, she followed up the kick well and was unlucky to miss again with another shot on goal – this time though a snap. Moloney’s luck continued to go against her as a long shot on goal which was on target took an unfortunate bounce in the goalsquare, but her ability to create those three chances was hugely promising. Has obvious midfield credentials, but looked very good forward of centre.

#21 Abbey Chapman

Chapman again found herself in uncharted territory as the Falcons defence came under siege, and she again stood tall despite the defeat. Her mopping up deep inside defensive 50 early on was composed, but Chapman came up short on one occasion where she spilt a mark and gifted Alana Barba her opportunistic goal. Bounced back in the second half to save another Cannons goal with a clutch tackle, and followed up with a perfectly placed kick to find touch. Will be a key part of Vic Country’s campaign in the upcoming National Championships.

#24 Mia Skinner

Playing her typical half-forward role, Skinner tried her level best to manufacture the usual chances she would get to pepper the goals. While she worked hard up the ground to provide an option and link inside forward 50, Skinner’s best work came within the arc. She converted Geelong’s only goal with a set shot in the second term, had two quick-fire chances smothered, snapped one shot out on the full, and missed another. Skinner is great at getting dangerous positions and finding the ball in all the right areas, it is just unfortunate that on this occasion, she was hardly given a clean look to duly finish off her hard work.

#38 Lucy McEvoy

The Falcons’ skipper again led from the front and was simply outstanding. Won the first clearance of the game and launched a couple of huge kicks forward as she sought to set the tone for her side through the midfield. She has shown her ability to play just about anywhere, but took it to another level in this game with stints in the ruck after quarter time – playing more like a fourth midfielder at the centre bounces as the Falcons looked to thwart the impact of Calder’s firing midfield stars. McEvoy also tackled well and rose to the occasion with some fantastic overhead marking. Her positioning behind the ball while it was inside the Falcons’ forward 50 was effective, but McEvoy also ventured inside the arc and almost scrounged a goal with a snap out of congestion. Can hold her head up high, great performance as Geelong’s clear best.

#39 Renee Tierney

Tierney started brightly, tackling hard to win a holding the ball free kick which she used to punt inside 50. Given time in the midfield, Tierney won a couple of nice clearances to set Geelong forward and got involved well in a slightly different role. Went on to spend time all around the ground and will be one of Geelong’s better top-agers next year.

Calder:

#2 Felicity Theodore

Named at half-forward, Theodore took on a role in the back half on this occasion. The top-ager competed well in defensive 50 and swept up the scraps well at ground level throughout the day. While her kicking was a little shaky in the first half, she showed her ability to hit targets more effectively in the second, finding Emelia Yassir well from a free kick. A solid performer in the sturdy Calder defence.

#3 Emelia Yassir

Yassir put in an incredible performance to be named the Cannons’ best as part of a trio of promising Calder bottom-agers. After finding the goals in the first term as her side broke to an early lead, Yassir never looked back. The bite-sized forward played well above her height, marking strongly up the ground and becoming a key link into the forward 50. Played out of her skin, but could be one to keep an eye on in the coming years.

#4 Kasey Lennox

Another outstanding Calder bottom-ager on the day, Lennox was a rock in defence. The Calder back six collectively stood tall to intercept a wealth of high balls which entered their own 50 arc, and Lennox played a key part in that factor. The 15-year-old looked unfazed by the challenge, and is already a good height to play as a key defender.

#11 Alana Barba

Barba played a fantastic game as the third prong in a dynamic Calder midfield, and made arguably the best start to the game of all three. After a previous dribbled effort fell short, the top-ager cleverly snatched a spilled mark off her Falcons opponent and snapped truly, lifting her side with a big celebration to boot. While she did not find as much room to move after half time, Barba won some nice clearances and played her role well.

#21 Georgia Patrikios

Patrikios is an out-and-out leader, and stood up when it mattered as arguably the most skilful player on the ground. Winning clearances and providing a wealth of run, Patrikios delivered the ball aptly on both sides and was one of the more effective short passers by foot on the day. She is just so clean on the ball and her searing pace means she is hardly caught in possession – if ever – making her such a damaging player. Patrikios used her pace well in a particular passage along the boundary, skipping past players as she soccered the ball forward for some valuable meterage. She also proved her smarts with a holding the ball tackle on the back of a 50-metre penalty against the Cannons, and proved tough in contested situations. Missed the chance to hit the scoreboard in the final quarter and cap off a big day, but should be proud with her effort to lead Calder to their unlikely win.

#38 Laura Cocomello

‘Coco’ was combative on the wing, helping the Cannons to both break forward and keep the ball inside attacking 50. Cocomello’s overhead marking was impressive at times, with one from behind over the smaller Elise Vella a particular highlight. The middle-ager’s ability to keep her hands up allowed her to escape tackles well, and she was usually impactful with ball in hand. Had the chance to find the goals with a long-range set shot in the final term, but fell short.

#41 Georgie Prespakis

We are running out of superlatives to describe how scarily good Prespakis is at just 16 years of age, and she looked to have thrived in the finals atmosphere. Hard to miss in her standard long-sleever, Prespakis was the anchor at each centre bounce for the Cannons, bursting forward on multiple occasions and slicing through traffic with ease, while often finishing with a long roost inside 50. Laid a huge holding the ball tackle on Geelong star Lucy McEvoy the second term to further prove Calder’s intentions, and was an unstoppable presence around the ground all day. She was simply damaging with almost every possession, and has the ability to make opponents look silly in open space as she looks to deliver forward. Is the leading prospect for 2021 at this stage, and is more than living up to her pedigree.

NAB League Girls Preliminary Finals preview – Grand Final spots up for grabs at Shepley

FINALS fever hits the NAB League Girls competition, with a revamped finals series set to get underway at Shepley Oval on Saturday. A spot in the grand final is on the line in both games as first does battle with fourth, and second plays third. In the weekend’s other game, Oakleigh hosts Tasmania at Windy Hill in a one-off exhibition.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS (1st, 8-0-1) vs. EASTERN RANGES (4th, 6-3)
Saturday May 18, 12:30pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Round 9:
Northern Knights 7.8 (50) defeated Greater Western Victoria Rebels 0.5 (5)
Eastern Ranges 3.1 (19) defeated by Sandringham Dragons 3.5 (23)

Last Meeting:
Round 5 – Northern Knights 7.8 (50) defeated Eastern Ranges 4.2 (26) @ La Trobe University Oval

MATCH PREVIEW

The undefeated Knights came into the year as strong premiership fancies, and firmed as favourites with their 36-point Round 8 win over reigning premiers, Geelong – avenging their 2018 grand final defeat and snapping the Falcons’ two-year winning run in one fell swoop. The only hiccup in Northern’s season thus far was a Round 2 draw with Oakleigh, with the best attack in the league and a raft of stars helping them ease to eight wins – including ones over two fellow finals sides. They are only one step away from a second-consecutive grand final berth, but an exciting Eastern team stands in the way. The Ranges are one of the best marking sides in the competition, and can compete with most teams on their day, but suffered a couple of disappointing losses to lower-ranked sides and had a close encounter with Tasmania in Round 7. Their narrow margins of victory and defeat – including three wins by under a goal – make for heart-stopping games, but their more convincing wins like their 51-point one over Gippsland show why they are always a chance. Eastern’s prime movers in the middle include potential 2020 Collingwood father-daughter selection Tarni Brown, as well as gun bottom-ager Tess Flintoff, and Olivia Meagher, but their most potent threats will come through the tall duo of Laura McClelland and Serena Gibbs forward of centre. Northern key back Sarah Sansonetti has been in terrific in recent weeks, and could well find herself playing on both of those Ranges talls throughout the game. While her role will prove vital, if the likes of Gabby Newton, Britney Gutknecht, and Ellie McKenzie are thrown into the middle at the same time as we have seen recently, it may be tough for the Ranges to venture forward in the first place. The versatility of those three will make a huge difference, and one would think the range of Knights weapons could well prove too much as it did in the side’s previous meeting. With Northern getting one back on Geelong two weeks ago to come in as the top seed, and Eastern suffering a defeat in their final regular season outing, this will be a tough mountain to climb for the Ranges.

KEY PLAYERS

Northern:

Gabby Newton

The Northern skipper has been sensational throughout the year, averaging almost 20 disposals over her eight NAB League games. Much has already been made of her basketball background, with the gun midfielder showing off her hops in the ruck at times and her equally impressive composure in traffic to no end. While her starting position will most likely be at the centre bounces, Newton’s role as a general behind the ball will be key in this clash – with a potent Eastern tall duo likely to line up down forward. Her intercept marking and overall overhead prowess is profound, so look for that to be a feature in this game along with her consistent ball-winning ability – with over 20 disposals in five games this year. Versatile and damaging, Newton is key.

Eastern:

Serena Gibbs

Gibbs is one of three Eastern talls who pose an enormous risk to the Northern defence, often trading time between centre half-forward and the ruck. If she is matched up on Northern’s Sarah Sansonetti, the clash becomes one of the more important ones for the game with the likes of Laura McClelland and Tahlia Merrett also able to be freed up should they play forward at the same time. Gibbs has found the goals in seven of her nine NAB League appearances, led by a dominant 3.4 from 18 disposals against Gippsland in Round 8. While her Round 9 return saw her collect under 10 disposals for just the third time, Gibbs has been a consistently dangerous threat and will be a key focal point this time around.

GEELONG FALCONS (2nd, 8-1) vs. CALDER CANNONS (3rd, 6-3)
Saturday May 18, 2:15pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Round 9:
Geelong Falcons 8.7 (55) defeated Murray Bushrangers 1.1 (7)
Calder Cannons 5.7 (37) defeated Gippsland Power 1.0 (6)

Last Meeting:
Round 7 – Geelong Falcons 3.2 (20) defeated Calder Cannons 1.0 (6) @ RAMS Arena

MATCH PREVIEW

The Geelong Falcons bounced back well from their Round 8 loss to Northern – their first since May 2017 – to secure second place with a welcome return to form, toppling Murray by 48 points after conceding the first goal. Their depth across all lines is scary good, but their premiership defence has largely been built on a typically sturdy back six and dominant midfield, with their forward structure taking greater shape across the year. Abbey Chapman has led the league’s stingiest defence all year, with the Falcons’ highest score conceded (43) coming against Northern, while the likes of skipper Lucy McEvoy, Paige Sheppard, and Luka Lesosky-Hay have been instrumental in the engine room. Pair the inside grunt of those three with the outside class of Laura Gardiner and Darcy Moloney on either wing, and you have a midfield that is hard to beat to say the least. Mia Skinner has been the spearhead forward of centre, booting a league-high 18 goals – including two bags of four – having only been held goalless on two occasions, in Rounds 7 and 8. The Cannons have some firepower of their own, which more often than not comes from star duo, Georgia Patrikios and Georgie Prespakis. Both have the ability to not only find a wealth of the ball through the middle, but to also find the goals – exemplified by Prespakis’ bag of seven in Round 2 from full forward. Prespakis, the sister of Carlton star Maddie, has averaged 23.3 disposals over her eight games with two returns of over 30 touches, while Patrikios averages just over 22 in her seven outings, and the pair should provide a dynamism that Geelong will have to pay great attention to. Include talls at either end, such as the likes of Alana Barba up forward and Krstel Petrevski, along with Makeisha Muller at ground level, and there are some interesting moving parts to the Calder line-up. Having already gotten the better of Calder as recently as in Round 7, Geelong will be confident of repeating the feat and storming into another grand final. If Calder can again keep the Falcons to under four goals though, then anything can happen. Expect fireworks either way.

KEY PLAYERS

Geelong:

Lucy McEvoy

Able to be utilised on each line, the Falcons skipper is arguably her side’s most important player. An ultra-consistent force, McEvoy has only dropped below 20 disposals once in her eight games – incidentally in the Falcons’ only loss – to average 22.2 disposals per outing. Her presence at the centre bounces in undeniable, using her size to prize the ball out and her composure to flick out effective handballs to receivers. In general play, McEvoy utilises a booming kick to rebound and enter either arc, while positioning herself a kick behind the play to act as an impenetrable wall at both ends. Her overhead marking is a feature, but expect to see her mostly in the thick of the midfield action given Calder’s strength in that area.

Calder:

Georgia Patrikios

Patrikios is all but equal to McEvoy in her disposal output, but provides a different kind of threat from midfield. Having shown how damaging she can be on the outside during her bottom-age year, Patrikios has developed into a balanced midfielder very quickly, but is still often seen bursting away from congestion and delivering forward with aplomb. The Cannons star’s best game came in Round 7 against the Falcons, collecting 31 disposals and finding the goals, so she will hope to produce more of the same here. With the strength of Geelong’s midfield obvious, Patrikios’ point of difference in her pace will be key amidst that battle.

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS vs. TASMANIA DEVILS
Sunday May 19, 11:00am
Windy Hill

Oakleigh hosts Tasmania on neutral ground for a one-off friendly game, completing a hat-trick of Devils NAB League appearances. With Oakleigh narrowly missing finals, this game poises the travelling side against the best of the rest as finals gets underway, and will be a third opportunity for them to pick up a win in the competition. Tasmania entered in Round 7 with two games over three days, going down to Western by 37 points under Friday night lights, and giving Eastern a mighty scare just two days later. Oakleigh will be keen to finish off the season with another win to make it six all up, but the Devils showed their fighting spirit already and should provide a good test for the Chargers. The game will also be a curtain raiser for the NAB League boys clash between Gippsland and Greater Western Victoria at 1:00.

Victorian AFL Women’s Under 18 Championship teams announced

REIGNING premiers, Geelong Falcons have dominated the Victorian representation with nine players in the Vic Country 29-player squad, while minor premiers Northern Knights, finalists Eastern Ranges and fifth placed Oakleigh Chargers have six apiece in the 30-player Vic Metro squad. Of the other sides, Dandenong Stingrays also has six players in the Country team, meaning more than half the squad are Falcons or Stingrays, including St Kilda pre-listed duo, Molly McDonald and Isabella Shannon. Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Sandringham Dragons have five players each in the Country and Metro squads respectively, while Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets have four apiece. Bendigo Pioneers and Calder Cannons have three players in their representative squad, while Gippsland Power has the two.

Vic Country has included eight middle-agers (not eligible to be drafted until next year) in its squad, while Vic Metro has seven. The two coaches will have more than their fair share of AFL and AFLW experience, with Nathan Burke taking the reigns at Vic Metro, while Aasta O’Connor will coach Vic Country. The sides face off on June 22, before squads are reduced to fly to Gold Coast for three games against other states from July 8-12. AFL Draft Central will be on the ground in Queensland providing you all the latest.

State Talent Manager Paul Hamilton said the Championships gave Victoria’s best emerging female footballers the chance to highlight their skills on a big stage.

“The NAB AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships have the potential to put our up-and-coming female players firmly on the radar of AFL Women’s clubs,” Hamilton said. “Our Vic Country and Vic Metro girls will have access to some of the best coaching resources in women’s football in order to develop their games and will be able to experience playing at elite-level venues against the best talent the rest of Australia has to offer. “Travelling to the Gold Coast in July will also provide them an extra opportunity to bond with girls who share a common goal of furthering their careers within the elite talent pathway.”

The Country vs Metro under-18 match on June 22 will be part of a double-header along with an under-16 Country vs Metro clash (commencing at 12pm), with the initial squads for those teams to be announced next week. All the non-Victorian state lists will be posted once the final team lists are completed, with some out, while others are yet to be released.

Tomorrow we will provide more details on each of those players selected in the Victorian squads.

VIC COUNTRY

NO. NAME   DOB HT NAB LEAGUE GIRLS CLUB
1 Elise Vella 05-Sep-01 156 Geelong Falcons
2 Teagan Brett 08-Feb-01 157 Murray Bushrangers
3 Paige Sheppard 23-Apr-01 158 Geelong Falcons
4 Renee Saulitis 14-Aug-02 163 GWV Rebels
5 Luka Lesosky-Hay 07-Jan-01 164 Geelong Falcons
6 Laura Gardiner 21-Nov-02 164 Geelong Falcons
7 Ella Wood 14-Feb-01 164 GWV Rebels
8 Elizabeth Snell 14-Mar-02 165 Bendigo Pioneers
9 Darcy Moloney 20-Nov-02 165 Geelong Falcons
10 Sophie Locke 24-Apr-01 166 Murray Bushrangers
11 Brooke Hards 19-Jul-02 166 Bendigo Pioneers
12 Tyanna Smith 29-Oct-02 167 Dandenong Stingrays
13 Molly McDonald 04-May-01 168 Dandenong Stingrays
14 Abbey Chapman 15-Apr-01 170 Geelong Falcons
15 Nikia Webber 29-Aug-01 170 Gippsland Power
16 Renee Tierney 23-May-02 168 Geelong Falcons
17 Mia Skinner 30-Jan-01 170 Geelong Falcons
18 Kate Douglass 19-Jul-01 171 Bendigo Pioneers
19 Brooke Vernon 20-Oct-01 172 Dandenong Stingrays
20 Zoe Hill 13-May-02 173 Dandenong Stingrays
21 Sophie Molan 24-Mar-01 175 GWV Rebels
22 Millie Brown 15-Jan-01 175 Murray Bushrangers
23 Lucy McEvoy 13-May-01 172 Geelong Falcons
24 Isabella Simmons 19-Apr-02 181 GWV Rebels
25 Olivia Barber 14-Jul-02 184 Murray Bushrangers
26 Isabella Shannon 30-Jun-01 178 Dandenong Stingrays
27 Shanara Notman 27-Jul-01 178 Gippsland Power
28 Georgia Howes 26-Jul-00 183 Dandenong Stingrays
29 Maggie Caris 21-Dec-02 188 GWV Rebels

 

VIC METRO

NO. NAME   DOB HT NAB LEAGUE GIRLS CLUB
1 Olivia Meagher 10-Dec-02 158 Eastern Ranges
2 Felicity Theodore 14-Mar-01 159 Calder Cannons
3 Gemma Lagioia 03-May-01 160 Oakleigh Chargers
4 Nicola Xenos 08-Mar-01 161 Oakleigh Chargers
5 Elisabeth Georgostathis 17-Oct-01 162 Western Jets
6 Madeleine Edwards 19-Jan-01 164 Eastern Ranges
7 Amelia Van Oosterwijck 08-Nov-01 164 Oakleigh Chargers
8 Mimi Hill 04-Oct-01 165 Oakleigh Chargers
9 Bella Eddey 02-Nov-02 165 Sandringham Dragons
10 Alana Barba 26-Sep-01 166 Calder Cannons
11 Tarni Brown 26-Mar-02 166 Eastern Ranges
12 Alice Burke 10-Mar-02 166 Sandringham Dragons
13 Britney Gutknecht 20-Apr-01 167 Northern Knights
14 Laura McClelland 03-Jul-01 169 Eastern Ranges
15 Alyssa Bannan 13-Apr-02 169 Northern Knights
16 Emily Harley 04-Dec-01 169 Oakleigh Chargers
17 Georgia Patrikios 30-Mar-01 170 Calder Cannons
18 Emma Horne 29-Nov-01 170 Eastern Ranges
19 Marguerite Purcell 27-Jul-01 170 Sandringham Dragons
20 Sarah Sansonetti 02-Aug-01 172 Northern Knights
21 Ellie McKenzie 17-Oct-02 173 Northern Knights
22 Sarah Hartwig 04-Dec-02 173 Sandringham Dragons
23 Nell Morris-Dalton 05-Apr-01 174 Northern Knights
24 Isabella Grant 21-Sep-01 174 Western Jets
25 Tahlia Merrett 08-Jan-01 174 Eastern Ranges
26 Gabrielle Newton 31-Aug-01 175 Northern Knights
27 Molly Denahy Maloney 25-Feb-01 175 Sandringham Dragons
28 Isabelle Pritchard 08-Mar-02 176 Western Jets
29 Cleo Saxon-Jones 04-Nov-01 181 Western Jets
30 Amelia Peck 13-Jan-00 183 Oakleigh Chargers

Scouting notes: NAB League Girls – Round 7

WITH three rounds remaining there were some surprising results and finals-defining events, with a number of individuals standing up across the NAB League Girls competition. We took note of some of the top performers that respective Female Talent Managers highlighted at the start of the season as ones to watch. We attended five games live and noted the final game at the bottom. All notes are the opinion of the individual writer.

Western Jets vs. Tasmania Devils

By: Sophie Taylor

Western Jets:

#17 Elisabeth Georgostathis

Georgostathis was dominant in this matchup, had great intensity and some really good footy smarts when in possession. Picked up 24 touches and racked up seven tackles from her exceptional pressure around the pack. Had some good opportunities to go for marks but in the cold and wet only managed one, but was still flying for the ball at every opportunity. Also did some great shepherding, showing off her game smarts to give her teammates opportunities around the ground ball.

#23 Isabelle Pritchard

Pritchard was another player who had a great game, denying Tasmania entry into their forward 50 and putting immense pressure on the carrier if it made it inside 50. Racked up 18 disposals running off half back, with five tackles to show for her ability to create opportunities in defence ready to move the ball back forward. Put in the hard yards at the ground ball to cause issues for the Devils, had the strength to get out of the pack.

Tasmania Devils:

#4 Mia King

King was one of the highlights in the high pressure match, doing her best to create opportunities despite issues across the field. Despite the weather had some good moments, with her ability to run both ways and move the footy down field. Good run and carry as well as pressure on the carrier. Also had some great opportunities down back to move the footy out of defence, however had little options to kick to, proving difficult.

#7 Netty Garlo

Garlo had a quiet match but still made her mark on the contest. Had some good defensive and tackling intensity, putting pressure on the ground ball and going for the second try on a number of opportunities to regain possession for the Devils.

Calder Cannons vs. Geelong Falcons
By: Taylah Melki

Calder

#2 Felicity Theodore

She had a relatively slow first half but kept her player well held. Theodore really came alive in the final quarter showcasing her speed and desire to keep the game moving going for a run and bounce through the middle of the park in the last term to open it up for the Cannons. Her intensity sparked in the fourth quarter taking a strong mark under pressure and using her dash on more than one occasion to apply pressure on her opponents and open space.

#21 Georgia Patrikios 

She was a real ball winner for the Cannons credit to her ability to read the play and intent to get involved at the contest on more than once occasion. She applied good pressure across the ground covering her player well and worked hard in attack to put the ball into a damaging position for her teammates. She showcased her good evasive skills to shake off her opponents and kick the ball long down the line in the second quarter. Patrikios kicked their only goal for the game in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter and worked consistently hard to extract the ball out of the stoppages.

#41 Georgie Prespakis

Prespakis was her usual dominant self across the ground. She had clean hands out of the middle and kept her arms free in the tackle to dish the ball off to a teammate in space and allow them to run free. She constantly put her body on the line and impressed with her follow up work across the ground to get involved in the contest. Prespakis went in hard at the coalface trying to extract the ball and lay it off to a teammate in a better and more attacking position. She tackled hard and did not back down at the contest. She used her long booming kick to bomb it long inside forward 50 and create some attacking play for the Cannons who were starved for most of the game. She was a real ball magnet and looked electric every time she got the ball. Prespakis showcased her good spatial awareness to know where her opponents were and to pass the ball off to teammates in space. Overall she had a really impressive game and paired well with Patrikios.

Geelong Falcons

#8 Paige Sheppard 

She was clean with ball in hand and ran hard across the ground providing support for her teammates. Sheppard was really clean and took a good mark to keep the ball in her attacking 50 and pepper the Falcons attacking end. She was really strong around the contest and laid some strong tackles credit to her intent to win the ball. She displayed her accuracy and beautiful kick with a pinpoint precision pass to a leading forward. Her hands were good under pressure taking a couple of strong marks and laid a big tackle to lock the ball in. Sheppard also nailed a goal to go with her handy contributions around the ground.

#21 Abbey Chapman

Chapman was solid in defence applying plenty of pressure throughout the game and was a constant in defence taking some good grabs and reading the flight of the ball well. Her hands were exceptional under pressure taking a heap of marks and won plenty of the ball. She offered good run out of the back half and was clever with ball in hand.

#24 Mia Skinner

She reads the flight of the ball well and showed good awareness in the forward 50 to keep the ball moving into dangerous areas. Skinner had a good passage of play running through the middle of the ground to open up space and create a spark for the Falcons. She had clean hands on the up and was strong in the marking contest not afraid to stand under the ball and bring it down. She provided a good option up forward but was unable to capitalise in front of goal missing both shots. She worked hard across the ground laying some strong tackles and consistently fought hard in the air and on the ground to win the footy

#38 Lucy McEvoy

McEvoy led from the front the very first whistle getting involved in the contest. She was a tackling machine, laying crunching tackle after crunching tackle and showcasing her desperation and love for the fight. She once again showed composure with ball in hand, having time to look around and hit up a target. Her clean hands under pressure were very impressive and she imposed herself across the ground. She almost took a big fly getting hands to ball but just dropped it when she came down in the second term. In around the clearances McEvoy was solid going in hard to extract the ball and dish it out a passing teammate. She consistently got boot to ball cleanly and provided plenty of attack across the ground. She displayed her strong set of hands and read the play well to make sure she got into the right spots. Her on-field leadership was on show providing a calming figure in the dying minutes of the last term when the Cannons were coming hard, doing the little things well.

Eastern Ranges vs. Tasmania

By: Peter Williams

Eastern:

#21 Olivia Meagher

Meagher was a strong addition into the middle and won a number of clearances from stoppages. She is not afraid to take the game on and fended off a number of opponents throughout the game, or wrestled the ball back. She went a bit too far in the second term, breaking away from one but eventually got pinged for dropping the ball, but she was still very impressive.

#26 Tarni Brown

Using her strength at ground level, Brown won the ball back from her opponents when one-on-one and was providing an option when spreading to the wings or flanks at half-back. She used the ball fairly well and her long kick inside 50 put it to a contest for Tahlia Merrett to soccer home in the goal square in the first term. Had a couple of clearances from defensive stoppages, putting it on the outside of the boot. The first time she kicked it straight to the opposition but the second time got the ball clear. Had great movement out of the stoppages.

#39 Laura McClelland

Doing a lot of things that might go unnoticed on the stats sheet, but providing good defensive pressure and blocks, as well as laying tackles creating space for teammates. She has quick hands and was able to dispose of the ball quickly late in the second term to set up the goal to Serena Gibbs. McClelland came out in the second half with great determination, winning a clearance through a handball then laying a tackle. She locked the ball up a number of times with crunching tackles and was able to wind down the clock by causing repeat stoppages late. Had a really good last term for her intensity and determination.

#41 Tahlia Merrett

Kicked a great opportunistic goal in the first term, creating a contest at the top of the goal square then recovering well to soccer it home. Not a huge possession winner but laid a great tackle inside forward 50 in the final term and won a holding the ball free kick.

#46 Serena Gibbs

Had a terrific game with two majors in a low-scoring contest. Put her side in front with a quick snap around her body in the second term which proved vital, but had put together a strong first half. Won her fair share of the ball along the wing and pumped the ball inside 50 to give her teammates the best opportunity to score. Her tap work was also clean and she covered ground well. She continued her good work through the second half and scored the winning goal with a quick snap in a congested pack late in the match. Played good wet weather footy. Gibbs did have a mind blank that she could laugh about after the game, bombing it long from half-forward to half-back forgetting the direction they were kicking, in that third term.

Tasmania:

#4 Mia King

A clear talent in the Tasmanian team and will no doubt be a key member of the Eastern Allies again this year as she was last year. She has a long kick and had a couple of chances on goal with one falling short from an accurate kick hugged against the boundary, and a second from long range which missed to the left. King competes at ground level and has good strength, but is a natural ball winner as well. Stood out in the second half as well, using her long kicking and competitive nature to effect to keep her side in it. Had a lovely kick inside 50 to a teammate in the final term but the attempted mark was spoiled by a defender.

#6 Tahlia Bortigon

Bortigon had a number of impressive plays, showing good strength to get her hands on the ball at ground level then get them free from the would-be tackler and dispose of the ball to a teammate in space. She won an interesting free kick for a piggyback ride on Laura McClelland in defence, but her attitude showed how determined she was to win the ball back. Bortigon also showed good composure under pressure when hemmed in the back pocket.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Oakleigh Chargers

By: Brandon Hutchinson

Dandenong Stingrays:

#10 Abbey Jordan

Jordan played off the ball against Oakleigh, recording a season-high four tackles and accumulating lower numbers (seven disposals) than in previous rounds. She managed to record most of her disposals by foot (five) and proved reliable going inside 50 (three).

#12 Molly McDonald

Utilised well in the second half, McDonald’s attack on the footy cleared and rebounded well off half-back. She lifted her work in the third, brought clean hands to the ground ball and continually put boot to ball off the back-flanks into space. The first half was not her best work, but she picked up her intensity at the main break, recording most of her 13 disposals after the break.

#58 Georgia Howes

Howes was both dominant and strong in the ruck. She utilised her strengths in the stoppages, muscling out her direct opponent at the drop of the ball (15 hit-outs). Of her four disposals, she recorded two inside 50s and one rebound alongside two tackles.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#1 Gemma Lagioia

Lagioia injected speed and agility into Oakleigh’s midfield, taking the loose ball from traffic in a blink and looping out with many effective kicks downfield. She set her team off well, kicking a goal in the first. While unlucky not to have all her efforts rewarded, her eye through congestion often tipped the odds Oakleigh’s way. She worked hard getting to the next contest, showcasing a good tank and commitment to the play. Untouched around congestion, Lagioia glided with the ball and created space with pure class and silk; her footy sense and instinct turning almost any contest on its head.

#2 Mimi Hill

While less damaging than she has been in previous weeks, Hill still had an impact at the stoppages. She brought clean hands to the ball, contested well and delivered effectively by foot. She remains an important ball winner for Oakleigh despite playing a bit below her own standards.

#4 Emily Harley

A tried and proven contested ball winner, Harley did well through the midfield with a game and individual season-high 20 disposals. She took the ball well overhead in the backline, rebounded well up the ground and applied important defensive pressure in pivotal moments. Her kicking remained a feature, quickly putting boot to ball to find the player out the back – breaking lines, and once setting up a shot inside. All in all, a clever user and important ball winner in Oakleigh’s victory.

#8 Alana Porter

Porter brought great hands and acceleration to the stoppages, surging with the ball and clearing well. She found the board after impressing in a forward stoppage, side-stepping and ripping her way through Dandenong’s defence. Porter accumulated 15 touches the best for her season but did not rack up any marks and tackles for her efforts throughout the game. Despite this, she remained key on the contested ball, initiating and contributing well to linking plays.

#12 Amelia Peck

Held up well in the ruck and showcased her craft effectively against a stronger opponent, getting over the top in the centre bounce. Through the stoppages she struggled with body on body on contests, giving the edge to her opponent, though unlike Howes, Peck managed to see a lot more of the footy (10 disposals), as well as delivered well to her forwards (three inside 50s).

Gippsland Power vs. Greater Western Victoria Rebels

By: Brandon Hutchinson

Gippsland Power:

#8 Chandra Abrahams

Abrahams brought a great deal of defensive effort to the contest, proving to be a real thorn to the Rebels in the first half. In the first, she was rewarded for a chase down tackle heading toward goal and countlessly threw her body at the contest, tackling and smothering hard. A relentless defender with an enormous work rate.

#9 Maddison Shaw

Held up well in defence, bringing strong hands overhead and effective tackling. Shaw remained an important piece to Gippsland’s defensive efforts throughout the game trying to cover her opponent and win the ball at any chance she could. She showcased great acceleration out of traffic and played her footy with great intensity.

#27 Nikia Webber

The most important player in the Gippsland outfit, Webber accumulated plenty and moved well with ball in hand. She demonstrated great vision inside 50, power through the stoppage and brought strong hands to the contested ball. In the third, she willed her team back in the game with two amazing goals and outstanding work trapping the ball in their forward half, as well having many score involvements throughout the game.

#33 Shanara Notman

Notman rebounded well off half-back and intercepted well. Her height served her throughout, beating her direct opponents with versatility and clean ball use. A tried and proven kicker, Notman remained reliable in the backline when the game was on the line.

GWV Rebels:

#10 Ella Wood

Excelled with her clearance work, Wood brought great awareness and agility clearing the stoppage. In the dying minutes, she spun out of a tackle and broke free into space to help keep the game alive. She fought hard for the footy and moved well in traffic but was unlucky not to have her efforts rewarded at the end. She also recorded one goal for the day.

#24 Sophie Molan

With a classy element to her football, Molan seems to glide with the football of half-back. She finds space in traffic and sets her eyes to the next play, seeming unbeknownst to the pressure around her. Her kicking was a feature, breaking lines and quickly rebounding forward presses, as well putting one through the sticks. Molan was also the player tasked with a kick after the siren to tie the game, having pushed up the ground to trap the footy inside. While she was not successful on the kick, she was more than impressive throughout four quarters.

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Northern Knights

By: Maddy Pieper

Bendigo Pioneers:

#1 Maeve Tupper

Tupper was a force through the midfield, continually fighting hard for the ball. She took some good contested marks for a smaller player, driving the ball forward and constantly trying to create opportunities inside 50.

#4 Brooke Hards

Hards showed off her footy smarts against the Knights, moving well through traffic and finding a lot of ball in the middle and around stoppages. Had a quiet patch in the third quarter, however had a never give up attitude and continuously tried her hardest in what was a frustrating game for the Pioneers.

Northern Knights:

#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

Morris-Dalton did not put on her usual strong performance forward, unable to make an impact on the scoreboard with goals, but still had a strong presence up forward taking some good marks with clean hands. Did not let her game affect her playmaking, however as she continued to try hard and create opportunities for her teammates up forward.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

McKenzie was another player who had a lot of the ball, playing a consistent game wherever she was on the field and was not rattled when she got a knock to the head during a strong tackle. Her ability to clear the ball and take strong marks made her a standout in this match, while her clever footwork came in useful around traffic, on multiple times sidestepping opponents to find space and move the ball forward.

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Gutknecht showcased her ability to break through tackles, leading by example in the midfield to create opportunities forward for the Knights. Was persistent through the middle of the ground, putting in the hard yards in both the defensive and forward 50 to clear the ball. Was rewarded for her efforts with a good kick at goal in the second quarter to take Northern’s tally to four goals at half-time.

#23 Gabby Newton

Newton showcased her good game smarts in this matchup credit to her clean kicking inside 50 to Knights forwards, putting the ball to the advantage of her teammates and creating opportunities on goal. Worked well with Gutknecht in the midfield to gain possession and start the charge forward.

In the other game played on the weekend…

Murray Bushangers 5.6 (36) defeated Sandringham Dragons 1.11 (17)

Murray:

#7 Kate Adams – Booted a goal from seven tdisposals, one mark, three tackles and one inside 50.

#8 Abby Favell – Continued her good form this season with a game-high 23 disposals, three marks, four tackles, four inside 50s and one rebound.

#10 Sophie Locke – Laid five tackles to go with her 10 disposals and three marks, while also recording two rebounds.

#19 Millie Brown – Named best on ground for her 22 disposals, two marks, four tackles, two inside 50s and six rebounds working hard across the ground.

Sandringham:

#25 Sarah Hartwig – Equal highest disposal winner for the Dragons, taking two marks, laying five tackles and having a team-high five rebounds propelling her side out of defence.

#28 Alice Burke – Usually a prolific tackler, Burke worked more offensively with 16 disposals, one mark and two inside 50s.

#30 Winnie Laing – The inside midfielder had 13 touches, one mark, four tackles, two inside 50s and one rebound.

#33 Bella Eddey – The talented forward might not have hit the scoreboard, but registered 15 disposals, three marks, three tackles and two inside 50s.

Scouting notes: NAB League Girls – Round 5

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

 

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

Calder:

#2 Felicity Theodore

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

#21 Georgia Patrikios

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

#41 Georgie Prespakis

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

Murray:

#8 Abby Favell

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

#10 Sophie Locke

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

#19 Millie Brown

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

 

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

Sandringham:

#25 Sarah Hartwig

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

#28 Alice Burke

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

#30 Winnie Laing

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

#42 Margie Purcell

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

Oakleigh:

#2 Mimi Hill

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

#4 Emily Harley

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

#8 Alana Porter

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

#12 Amelia Peck

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

 

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

Bendigo:

#3 Elizabeth Snell

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

#4 Brooke Hards

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

#14 Annabel Strahan

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

#19 Jemma Finning

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

#40 Tara Slender

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

Gippsland:

#8 Chandra Abrahams

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

#9 Maddison Shaw

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

#12 Megan Fitzsimon

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

#13 Holly Andrews

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

#27 Nikia Webber

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

 

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

Western:

#13 Isabella Grant

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

#17 Elisabeth Georgostathis

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

#23 Isabelle Pritchard

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

GWV:

#9 Renee Saulitis

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

#10 Ella Wood

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

#24 Sophie Molan

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

#30 Nyakoat Dojiok

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

 

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

Northern:

#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

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

#14 Jess Fitzgerald

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

#21 Ellie McKenzie

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

#22 Britney Gutknecht

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

#23 Gabby Newton

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

#32 Ash Snow

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

Eastern:

#21 Olivia Meagher

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

#26 Tarni Brown

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

#39 Laura McClelland

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

#46 Serena Gibbs

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

 

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

Dandenong:

#12 Molly McDonald

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

#26 Isabella Shannon

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

#28 Tyanna Smith

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

#31 Brooke Vernon

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

Geelong:

#8 Paige Sheppard

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

#18 Darcy Moloney

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

#24 Mia Skinner

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

#38 Lucy McEvoy

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

#39 Renee Tierney

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

Team of the Week: NAB League Girls – Round 4

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

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

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

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

Weekend wash-up: NAB League Girls – Round 4

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

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

By: Michael Alvaro

GOALS:

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

BEST:

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

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

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

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

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

BEST:

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

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

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

By: Taylah Melki

GOALS:

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

BEST:

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

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

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

By: Cameron Ross

GOALS:

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

BEST:

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

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

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

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

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

BEST:

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

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

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

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

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

BEST:

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

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

Scouting notes: NAB League Girls – Round 4

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

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

Sandringham:
#25 Sarah Hartwig

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

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

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

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

Northern:
#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Murray:

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

Bendigo:

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

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

Gippsland:

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

Dandenong:

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

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

Calder:

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

Oakleigh:

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

Weekend preview: NAB League Girls – Round 4

WITH the NAB League Girls competition ladder taking shape, some teams are looking to break away on top of the table, while others are still searching for their first victory. With the six games on the weekend across six different venues, it makes for some interesting viewing for spectators.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 4 – 30/03/2019
11:15am
La Trobe University – Bundoora

The first game of the round sees the unbeaten Northern Knights taking on the winless Sandringham Dragons. The Knights were forced to share the points with Oakleigh in Round 1, but were able to secure two victories either side of the draw against Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets. Gabby Newton has been a standout performer this season, averagine 19 disposals, 2.3 marks and 3.3 tackles per game, while Britney Gutknecht has been damaging inside 50, with five goals from her three matches as well as 18.3 disposals and 3.7 tackles per game. The Dragons have been competitive for large patches of their game but have struggled to score, booting one goal in each of their three games, while missing chances they would like to take again. Their defence and midfield will match up with the best sides, with Alice Burke averaging a massive nine tackles per game as well as 16.3 disposals and 2.7 marks. Nayeley Borg and Sarah Hartwig have combined for 24 rebounds between them in their three games, while Marguerite Purcell has been crucial along the wings for Sandringham, recording 11 inside 50s, while Knights’ midfielder Ellie McKenzie has averaged 15.7 disposals, 2.3 marks and 3.3 tackles. Northern is a team to beat this season and noone has managed to secure the four points against them, so they will head in favourites, but the Dragons could apply that defensive pressure to try and force it into a slog and get the game on their terms.

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 4 – 30/03/2019
11:45am
Norm Minns Oval – Wangaratta

Up in Wangaratta, Murray Bushrangers host Bendigo Pioneers at Norm Minns Oval. The Bushrangers were badly beaten in the first round by the Knights, but have since responded with back-to-back wins against the Western Jets and Gippsland Power. Both of those sides are winless from three games, so it will be a great test to see where the Bushrangers are at against a competitive Bendigo Pioneers outfit. The Pioneers went down narrowly to the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels in Round 1 before posting a win against Eastern Ranges in Round 2 and being outclassed by the reigning premiers, Geelong Falcons. Bendigo is a side that will bring teriffic defensive pressure, with Brooke Hards (7.7 tackles per game) and Dakota Villiva (7.3) both in the top three tacklers in the league. They are not a high possession team, but Elizabeth Snell (15.7 disposals) and Maeve Tupper (15.3) know how to find the ball, while bottom-ager Tara Slender leads the league in rebounds with 16 in her three games. For the Bushrangers, Abby Favell has been consistent in the opening three rounds, recording 4.7 marks per game – the second most of any player – as well as 11.3 disposals. Olivia Barber is not a high possession winner, but the key position player has managed 3.3 marks from seven disposals and a goal per game, while having a number of attempts as well and she will be sorely missed in the Bushrangers’ attack this weekend. Millie Brown has now played the two games after missing Round 1 and averages the most touches of any Bushranger with 16.5 per game. This is a genuine 50-50 game and the panel were split as to which way to go with the tipping as both teams are a genuine chance in this clash.

 

WESTERN JETS v. EASTERN RANGES

Round 4 – 30/03/2019
2:30pm
Rams Arena – Craigieburn

Up in Craigieburn, the Western Jets are searching for their first win, while Eastern Ranges look to make it two on the trot after going down in Round 2 to Bendigo Pioneers. In the corresponding game last year between these sides, the Jets won their only match of the competition against a highly fancied Ranges outfit, downing them in Williamstown with a super come-from-behind victory. The win derailed Eastern’s season and gave the Jets plenty of confidence going into the remaining games of the season. Both sides have some top-end talent in this match with Western captain, Elisabeth Georgostathis leading from the front this season averaging 19.7 disposals, two marks and three tackles per game, having also spent time at half-back recording 14 rebounds to be equal third in the competition for the statistic. Potential Western Bulldogs father-daughter selection, Isabella Grant has enjoyed a strong season with 15 touches, two marks and 3.3 tackles per game, while Cleo Saxon-Jones has taken 2.3 marks per game presenting as a key forward, while also recording 11 disposals and three hitouts per match. For Eastern, potential Collingwood father-daughter selection, Tarni Brown is progressing nicely with another year left in the system, averaging 19.7 disposals and two marks per game, but it is her tackling that catches the eye, laying a whopping 6.7 per match. Tess Flintoff and Olivia Meagher have also been amongst the best few each week, averaging 17 disposals per game, with Meagher also averaging 2.7 tackles, while Flintoff finds space for 3.3 inside 50s and 5.3 marks. Eastern will head into the clash as favourites having ground out two wins already this season, but the Jets showed last year they are capable of an upset on their day.

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 4 – 30/03/2019
2:30pm
City Oval – Ballarat

The reigning premiers are heading up the highway to Ballarat to take on the GWV Rebels to try and extend their winning streak to four. For the Rebels, they defeated the Pioneers in Round 1 but have since gone down to Calder Cannons and Dandenong Stingrays on their home turf at MARS Stadium. With this game originally scheduled for Colac Reserve and moved to City Oval, the Rebels will enjoy a closer trip and will want to test themselves against the Falcons. Lucy McEvoy has been in unbelievable form this season for Geelong, averaging 23.3 disposals, 3.3 marks, six inside 50s and 7.7 tackles per game, topping the league in two of those stats. Luka Lesosky-Hay has been great support for McEvoy with 21.3 disposals, two marks and five tackles per game, as well as 3.6 inside 50s per game. Two Falcons who have stood up this season are Darcy Moloney and Laura Gardiner with Gardiner laying seven tackles per game as well as 18 touches through the midfield, while Moloney has got free for 19 disposals and 2.3 marks per game. The second highest disposal winner after McEvoy is her opposing captain with Sophie Molan registering 21.7 disposals per game as well as 4.3 tackles and getting forward to boot three goals this season – two last week. With Ella Wood missing this week, Chloe Leonard will become important in sharing the midfield load, having averaged 16 disposals and 4.7 tackles per game. Along with Molan, Renee Saulitis has managed to hit the scoreboard three times while Lauren Sykes has been important in defence with eight rebounds so far this season. A huge inclusion is that of Maggie Caris, averaging a competition high average of 29.5 hitouts per game, 12.5 more than her closest opponent and will sure be an asset in the ruck. The Falcons are expected to continue their winning ways in this game, but the Rebels will enjoy the challenge and aim to match them in the midfield.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 4 – 30/03/2019
5:15pm
Morwell Recreation Reserve

With the sun setting in the west, Gippsland Power hosts Dandenong Stingrays in the east as the Power hopes to get on the board in season 2019, while Dandenong intend to make it three on the trot after back-to-back victories over Sandringham Dragons and GWV Rebels both away from home. In a super day of football, the game will be the fourth match of the day at Morwell, and a tough task for the Power minus Nikia Webber. They do have some great future talents with a defensive duo of Matilda Van Berkel and Maddison Shaw making life difficult for forwards, recoding 22 rebounds between them so far this season. Grace McRae and Megan Fitzsimon have been able to find the ball enough both averaging 13.7 disposals and laying 7.7 tackles per game. The Stingrays have an even squad across the park with plenty of standouts, none less talked about that St Kilda pre-listed duo of Isabella Shannon and Molly McDonald. Shannon has averaged 17.3 disposals, 2.7 marks, 6.7 tackles and 1.3 goals per game, while McDonald has laid four tackles and booted two goals to go with 12.5 disposals per game. Outside the two highly fancied top-agers, Brooke Vernon has been one of the best defenders in the competition this season, averaging 4.3 rebounds as well as 14 disposals and three marks, while Tyanna Smith has been important on the inside with 16 disposals, 4.3 tackles and 3.6 inside 50s per game. The Stingrays will be favourites in this clash to make it three consecutive wins, but the Power will have plenty of home crowd support.

 

CALDER CANNONS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 4 – 31/03/2019
1:45pm
Rams Arena – Craigieburn

The final match of the round is one of the best with the undefeated Calder Cannons taking on the much improved Oakleigh Chargers. The Cannons have knocked off Western Jets, GWV Rebels and Sandringham Dragons in the first three rounds, but the three sides have combined for just the one win this season so the Chargers will present a big challenge to the Cannons. Calder’s pursuit for four consecutive wins will be made harder without Georgie Prespakis who sensationally booted seven goals in Round 2 and was best on ground in the opening two rounds. Georgia Patrikios has stood tall in her two games as expected, averaging 21 disposals, four marks, two tackles and 5.5 inside 50s. She will be crucial in the Cannons quest for a third win with Oakleigh’s strength lying in their outside run. Gemma Lagioia (14.3 disposals, 3.3 inside 50s) could well be an opponent for Patrikios with the two among the best kicks in the league and are great movers around the field. Mimi Hill (15.3 disposals, 2.7 marks and 3.7 tackles) has been great off half-back and along the wing for the Chargers and could provide important rebound for the Chargers in a game where their opponents have plenty of attacking options. With Prespakis out, Emily Harley has a chance to take the outright lead in the goalkicking, booting eight goals in her three games while also getting involved up the ground with 13 touches and 3.7 marks. The Cannons have an advantage in the ruck with Georgie Sampson averaging 17 hitouts per game, the second highest in the competition. Both sides are evenly matched but the way the Chargers pushed the Knights they are capable of inflicting the Cannons’ first defeat, however Calder has just found a way each and every week even when challenged.