Tag: tara stribley

2021 WAFL Women’s Round 2 preview: Grand Final rematch opens action

ROUND 2 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition kicks off with a Saturday night and early Sunday morning fixture to help with the heat, as a number of young guns aim to state their claims against experienced opposition.

SUBIACO vs. PEEL THUNDER
Saturday, February 27 @ 6pm
Leederville Oval

A grand final rematch kicks off Round 2 of the WAFL Women’s, with reigning premiers Peel Thunder unfurling their flag last week, then grabbing their first points of 2021 with an impressive win over East Fremantle. Now they come up against a Subiaco side looking to also go 2-0 after surviving a late fightback from South Fremantle in the last quarter of their Round 1 encounter.

Ella Roberts picked up where she left off in 2020 last week, booting two first half goals before being locked down by the Sharks in the second half. Subiaco knows just how dangerous she can be, so expect another tough day for the teenager who will learn to deal with extra attention. Fellow young gun Courtney Rowley showed good signs in Round 1 and will look to build on that for Round 2, providing a crucial run-and-carry on the outside. Beth Schilling provided a target up forward for the Thunder in Round 1, and throw in Jade Briggs and Kate Bartlett, and the Thunder have heaps of X-factor inside 50. Tanisha Anderson and Jaide Britton are another couple of talents to watch out for, with Britton named as co-captain for Western Australia ahead of the Under 19 Championships.

Despite the Thunder getting up in the grand final last year, Subiaco had won all of the previous four clashes against the Thunder, and will be hoping to restore that back in this game. They have some young talent of their own with Claire Ortlepp off half-back and Jamie Rust up forward. Captain Tarnica Golisano will also give a four-quarter effort, whilst Fremantle AFL Women’s injury replacement player Maggie MacLachlan has been named for the game. Similarly, Kia Buckley and Abbey Dowrick have both been named on the bench with the hope they can return to the side.

Both these sides have some terrific young talent, as well as some crucial state league and top-level experience, so expect it to be a terrific match, though Peel Thunder will be favourites after stamping their authority in Round 1.

 

SOUTH FREMANTLE vs. SWAN DISTRICTS
Sunday, February 28 @ 9.30am
Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Two sides that were on opposite sides of the coin in nail-biting encounters do battle in the second Round 2 clash, with South Fremantle hosting Swan Districts at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. An early 9.30am fixture provides fans with a way of avoiding an averse weather conditions like the Swans suffered through during their six-point low-scoring win over Claremont last week. The Bulldogs lost the points, but certainly lost no fans in a spirited fightback against Subiaco in the final term only to fall short.

Pia Durk in the midfield has been touted as one to watch this season for the red and whites, with Lauren Vecchio the ever-reliable leader onball. Poppy Stockwell returns to the side as a crucial forward option, while Ash Reidy and Tahlia Holtze are others for the Bulldogs who have been named at opposite ends on the flanks. South Fremantle coach Beau McCormack said in the preseason that ex-rugby player Makaela Tuhakaraina is one to keep an eye on in 2021. Zoe Huggett booted three goals in the narrow loss last week and will be a key target once again inside 50.

Swan Districts are a young side, but have plenty of upside, with Dana East and Jessica Cox among the developing talents at the black and whites. They provide the inside presence with ruck Sarah Wielstra getting better by the week as a ruck/forward, while Tara Stribley is the outside distributor needed for that touch of clash. Bella Edgley was the difference for the Swans in Round 1, with her two goals because crucial in challenging conditions, while Jamie Henry is another young talent who will play in defence with the likes of experienced backs, captain Emily McGuire, and Lauren Osborne.

Swan Districts will be favourites to continued South Fremantle’s losing streak, but the Bulldogs showed terrific signs last week and been at home, they know anything is possible with the talent they have brought into the club.

 

CLAREMONT vs. EAST FREMANTLE
Sunday, February 28 @ 1pm
Revo Fitness Stadium

The final game of the round takes place at 1pm on Sunday when two Round 1 losers face-off. Claremont went down in a narrow loss to Swan Districts last week, whilst East Fremantle was competitive early, but ultimately overwhelmed by the end against a dangerous Peel Thunder outfit. The Tigers will be hungry for more success in 2021 after just letting the game slip despite having chances, while the Sharks will need to overcome the loss of Rachel Ashley to injury which was one of the turning points in the game last week after the returning utility booted two goals from full-forward.

East Fremantle have a balance of youth and experience on the field, but are a very different-looking side to 2020. Rosie Walsh returns to the side after missing Round 1 and will look to take up a ruck role teaming up with Laura McClelland who stepped up to League football last week. Sharon Wong provided the four-quarter consistency you expect from her, while Ashleigh Gomes and Kahra Sprylan will be some of the crucial talents in adding experience to the Sharks’ lineup. Chloe Reilly has been named to start in defence again, with the forward taking on fellow West Australian Under-19 State Academy talent Amy Franklin in a huge head-to-head. With Alex Williams named in a back pocket and Sara Lewis up forward, the Sharks having marking targets at both ends.

For the Tigers, Rachel Ortlepp was a source of rebound last week, and she will go head-to-head with another young talent in Zoe Gillard. West Coast’s Sophie McDonald has been named to suit up for the Tigers this week for some crucial stability in defence, while the onball brigade of Ella Smith, Jess Low and Sasha Goranova are as hard as they come. Up forward, Franklin is always an imposing figure with her marking and athleticism, while Jacinta Valentini and Sarah Garstone also have State Academy experience. The Tigers are a well-balanced squad with Brooke Hongell showing some promising signs up forward last week and will be keen to capitalise more in this match.

Claremont seem to be set for a win after getting so close last week, but some important inclusions for the Sharks mean they will be more competitive for longer.

Picture: WAFL

Top Performers: Around the Country – WAFLW Round 1

IN the first week where multiple Under 18s competitions have run, we introduce a new article titled ‘Around the Country: Top Performers’. For this week we take a look at the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition and see who impressed on the weekend, with a focus on West Australian State Academy members or Draft Combine invitees from last year.

>> NAB League Girls Top Performers from Round 3

WAFL Women’s:

With two games footage accessible, we viewed Peel Thunder’s win over East Fremantle, and Swan Districts’ victory over Claremont and noted down the top performers.

Jade Briggs (Peel Thunder)

A quick thinker with quick disposal and a lovely left foot, Briggs is a danger inside 50. She finished with two majors including a long goal that flew over the back of a pack. Her vision and placement in the match was impressive as well and is yet another Peel talented teenager.

Bella Edgley (Swan Districts)

Edgley always looked busy inside 50 with raw talent. Her first few kicks inside 50 went astray to defenders, but she was looking dangerous. Then she took a strong one-on-one mark and converted the set shot from 35m out, before dribbling home a second goal from a tight angle. Rushed a flying shot in the third term to kick it out on the full, but certainly caught attention with her X-factor.

Amy Franklin (Claremont)

Like a blank canvas, Franklin is a player with high potential and one who could go far given her attributes. She has high-level athleticism for a tall forward, and while she can clunk her marks, she is even better at ground level, as she showed in kicking the first goal of the game by bursting away and taking a few bounces to kick a major from point-blank range. A powerful kick, Franklin is not afraid to get her hands dirty, spoiling an opponent in her attacking goalsquare front on but only connecting with the ball to try and kick it off the ground but ran out of space.

Jess Low (Claremont)

One of the AFL Women’s Draft Combine invitees last year, Low has used the extra preseason to prepare for an extra season of building on her game. She had a terrific game on the weekend and was constantly involved in midfield. Low cracks in hard and puts her body on the line, and is not afraid to lay some big tackles on opponents. At times her kicks went a bit wide and missed targets, but her disposal is becoming more consistent, with a clean kick inside 50 in the fourth term to a teammate on the lead.

Emma Nanut (Swan Districts)

Plays traditionally in defence but can have an impact further up the field, Nanut won her touches in a variety of positions. She is one who assesses her options before disposing of it, she attempts inboard passes to open the game up. Nanut did well in a one-on-one close to the line in the fourth term to avoid a late goal going the way of the Tigers.

Rachel Ortlepp (Claremont)

A reliable defender already tasked with the kick-out duties, Ortlepp just mopped up her team’s messes in the back half and was consistent with her ball-use. Even though she did fumble a mark at one stage in the third term, her recovery to pick it up and give it off was crucial. A real rock, deep in defence that could also push up and provide a high line. Ortlepp also showed good penetration with her kicks.

Chloe Reilly (East Fremantle)

Did not have a huge impact on the game, but a telling moment came 13 minutes into the third term where she slid in to take a good mark just inside 50. Known for her set shot goalkicking, Reilly kicks through the ball, though the ball fell marginally short. Over the off-season Reilly has added size to her frame in order to compete even better in one-on-one contests.

Ella Roberts (Peel Thunder)

Wow, just wow. It is hard to comprehend what the talented 16-year-old is able to do at such a young age, especially given she only turned 16 in December. Her ability to read the play, sidestep more experienced opponents, clunk contested marks and slot miracle goals, she is a human highlight reel who is not eligible to be drafted until 2023, but will be worth the wait. Roberts kicked two goals in the first half and set up some more before being tagged by the opposition before she could get any more off the chain. An elite talent.

Courtney Rowley (Peel Thunder)

Just had her moments on the weekend, and while she is lightly built, is just clean and clever, able to work through traffic with minimal fuss. She had a few chances on goal in the final term but missed, though her highlight came earlier when she was being tackled but still got a handball off to a teammate which enabled them to have a shot on goal. A top prospect for 2020.

Beth Schilling (Peel Thunder)

An athletic ruck who showed some promising potential. Her competitiveness in the air with a good vertical leap was noteworthy, and her attack on the football was great. She had a couple of shots on goal that either fell short or she opted to pass, but as a raw talent she showed some good signs coming through the Thunder program.

Tara Stribley (Swan Districts)

The outside player provided some good run and carry across the ground, and is incredibly quick to put the boot to ball, A couple of times her kicks forward were picked off by the opposition half-backs, but then showed her skill later on with a lovely kick from half-back to bend around her body and hit a target as Stribley was being bumped. Possesses terrific acceleration which she loves to use.

 

Picture credit: Owen Davies / Peel Thunder

WAFLW Round 1 wrap: Peel Thunders to opening round victory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WAFL Women’s Round 1 results:

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

Picture credit: Owen Davies / Peel Thunder

Final quarter frenzy sends Sharks into the prelim

A FINAL quarter frenzy by reigning premiers, East Fremantle has seen the Sharks bob up and defeat Swan Districts for the second consecutive week in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition. Last week’s win over the Swans was to secure home ground advantage – as well as a finals spot itself – while this week was putting the final nail in the black and whites coffin for the season. In what was an unpredictable contest – from the matchplay to the weather – East Fremantle got up just in the knick of time despite being held scoreless for two quarters.

The Sharks kicked the first two goals of the game thanks to a strong breeze favouring their end at New Choice Homes Park, with Samara Pluschke getting on the board via a snap just one minute into the contest. The Swans had chances of their own, with young guns Mikayla Morrison and Shanae Davison combining to give veteran, Fi Boucher a chance but could not quite control it, while Nyra Anderson kicked into the player on the mark from 20m out. The wind was making it difficult for the Swans, with even the football seemingly barracking for the Swans.

Ashley Sharp was running into an open 50, only for a Jack Crisp-like bounce to cause her to reassess, only to be caught by Pluschke at half-forward. Julie-Ann Norrish and Alex Williams were having sensational days down back, whilst Gabby O’Sullivan was doing Gabby O’Sullivan things, and setting up her teammates. A long bomb inside 50 only just missed the hands of Rosie Walsh, but O’Sullivan’s next touch was an intercept and handball to Lily Bird 30m out who made no mistake off a quick step from 30m. The Sharks led by 14 points, and it was only a Jess Cox chance – a snap towards goal – that was knocked through for a behind to make the deficit 13 points at the first break.

The second term was more of an arm-wrestle for both sides, as Mother Nature had a laugh at the players expense. The strange term began with Larissa Versaci winning a free for being polaxed – by her own teammate – much to the shock of Anderson who the umpire blamed for the contact. Light rain began falling a few minutes into the contest, and that became heavy rain seven and a half minutes through, before Mother Nature decided she wanted to go the full distance and just outright bucketed down in what was more of a good day for ducks rather than Swans or Sharks, but both sides adapted to the new conditions.

It was unlucky for the Swans who could not take full advantage of the wind like the Sharks had in the first term, but after a few chances from Anderson and Tara Stribley, Swan Districts broke through. Morrison had a set shot that looked like it was a dry day, putting through a vital major, the first of the contest for the visitors to draw within five points at half-time. The work of Mikayla Hyde and Hayley Cole had been impressive, as the Swans just kept within touch at the main break.

The rain lightened up after that, with the third term more wet conditions than consistent rain, and it was Swan Districts that emerged beneficiaries despite kicking into the wind. They booted three goals to zero, holding the Sharks goalless for a second straight quarter. Off the back of some great work by Anderson, Sharp was able to get ball to boot early despite slipping over, handing her side the lead. Not long after a multitude of 50s in an undisciplined effort by the Sharks, handed dour full-back Lauren Osborne with the most unlikely of set shots from the goalsquare. The defender delivered for the Swans, extending her side’s lead out to seven points at the 10-minute mark of the quarter.

A kicking in danger call against Ruby Schleicher gave Mikayla Hyde a set shot from 30m, with the talented top-age teenager making no mistake, judging the breeze perfectly. Along with Anderson, Davison and her sister Brianna Hyde, Mikayla was willing her side to victory. With the lead out to 14 points, East Fremantle needed a response, but unfortunately could not muster anything of note as Versaci had a good old fashioned worm burner in the Sharks’ only set shot of the term.

Having to match Swan Districts’ effort of three goals against the breeze in the last quarter, the Sharks got to work looking damaging from the get-go. Katelyn Catalano got them on the board for the first time since midway through the first term, albeit soccering through a behind. Swans had moved Boucher to defence in order to add some extra experience behind the ball, but she was caught holding Sara Lewis who made no mistake from 15m out and got the ball rolling for the home team. The Swans continued to attack, but the work of Norrish, Williams and Schleicher was keeping them at bay. Morrison missed an uncharacteristic flying shot at the goal six minutes into the term to make the margin eight points, which would end up being the Swans last score of the game.

East Fremantle dominated possession the next six minutes, but it would take a defensive effort from Versaci who laid a terrific tackle, to nail a set shot from 15 metres to draw within two points. In a surprise to no one, it was O’Sullivan who popped up with the game-winner. Receiving the handball out of a stoppage, O’Sullivan put ball to boot with a clever snap to create something out of nothing and hand her side the lead with five minutes to play. Chloe Reilly almost kicked a third goal in a few minutes with the outside of the boot, but it went through the wrong sticks.

The lead was still four points, and despite Mikayla Hyde and Davison pressing up the wing great defensive pressure from the Sharks kept the Swans from advancing any further. With a couple of repeat stoppages inside 50 – and an O’Sullivan set shot that chewed her 30 seconds off the clock – the reigning premiers were able to hold on in a game that was as unpredictable as the 2020 year, and move through to face Peel Thunder in the preliminary final next week.

EAST FREMANTLE 2.2 | 2.2 | 2.2 | 5.5 (35)
SWAN DISTRICTS 0.1 | 1.3 | 4.4 | 4.5 (29)

GOALS: 

East Fremantle: S. Pluschke, L. Bird, S. Lewis, L. Versaci, K. Catalano.
Swan Districts: M. Morrison, A. Sharp, L. Osborne, M. Hyde.

ADC BEST:

East Fremantle: G. O’Sullivan, S. Wong, M. Ross, J. Norrish, A. Williams
Swan Districts: M. Hyde, B. Hyde, S. Davison, J. Cox, A. Ralph

In an equally topsy-turvy game, minor premiers Subiaco were able to hold on in a low-scoring win over Peel Thunder to book a spot in the WAFL Women’s Grand Final. The Lions booted the only two goals of the first term to lead by 13 points, before the Thunder kicked three of the next four majors to hit the front at half-time. Trailing by two points at the main break, Subiaco edged ahead courtesy of a 1.2 to 0.0 third term, and in wet conditions held on in a no-score final term. The end result was a 4.4 (28) to 3.4 (22) victory in favour of the Lions who now have a week off to await the winner of Peel Thunder and East Fremantle in the preliminary final next weekend.

Kia Buckley (two goals), Aimee Schmidt (one) and Abbey Dowrick (one) all hit the scoreboard for the Lions, while Kate Bartlett (two) and Chloe Wrigley (one) were the major goalkickers for the Thunder in defeat. Subiaco’s best were Jessica Ritchie, Tiah Haynes and Ange Stannett, while the experience of Hayley Miller was crucial. For the Thunder, Wrigley, Courtney Rowley and Tanisha Anderson were all named amongst the best and will be important in their clash next week.

Picture: (via) East Fremantle Women’s Facebook

WAFL Women’s weekly wrap: Tigers hold off Swans in most even competition yet

CLAREMONT Tigers have enjoyed their first ever win over Swan Districts in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition, triumphing by 21 points in a highly entertaining contest to claim the Dhara Kerr Cup. The win meant the Tigers are one of four sides who have recorded a win and a loss from the opening two rounds with their Round 1 conquerors Subiaco the sole undefeated side, and newbies South Fremantle the only side yet to taste victory.

Swan Districts kicked the opening goal through young gun Mikayla Morrison, but it would not be long before the new-look Claremont forward line began to click. Brooke Whyte often found the going tough last year as the main target, but was relieved to find the likes of Julia Uhe and Amy Franklin inside 50 with her. That duo kicked two apiece in the opening half, with Brooke Hongell kicking a fifth team goal for the Tigers to have piled on five unanswered majors – from 10 scoring shots – to head into half-time with a 29-point advantage.

Claremont coach Andrew Di Loreto said whilst his side started slow, he was proud of how they quickly gelled and were able to swing the momentum in their own favour.

“I think the Swans seemed to settle quicker than us and they put their heads over the ball and just wanted it more in the first five to 10 minutes of the game,” he said. “That resulted in them getting the first score and then I think the girls started to wrestle back a bit of the momentum and started to give us first crack at the footy and allowed us to work our way back into the game and maybe take control for the next little bit.

“It was disappointing not to start in the fashion that we maybe got to, the 10 or 15 minutes into the first quarter. “But it’s nice to see the maturity of our group to arrest back momentum after that fast start from Swans.”

Swan Districts started strongly again early in the second half, and with work of teenage talents, Tara Stribley and Brianna Hyde busy, it was Mikayla Hyde who pushed hard forward and intercepted a ball just inside her forward 50. She went for a short run and drilled the goal without a problem to put her side back within 23 points. Claremont refused to let the visitors build any momentum though, with Amanda Robertson immediately replying with an over-the-back goal moments later.

It happened again when Swan Districts’ defender-turned-forward Fi Boucher outbodied her opponent at the top of the goalsquare earning a free and kicked truly. Once more Robertson stepped up and kicked an almost immediate reply from a great passage of team play. Jess Low had been prominent at half-forward and she spotted up Whyte on the lead. Quickly moving it on sensing the forward was out of range, she popped it up to the middle-ager in Franklin, and despite the good defensive work to spoil from the Swan Districts defenders, it came off hands and Robertson played the role of crumber perfectly to again answer with an over-the-back goal. For all of the Swans’ great work, Claremont had won the quarter by a couple of points and now led by 31 at the final change.

Di Loreto said the side knew how important momentum was through the game given the youth of the opposition and the confidence a roll-on would bring. He was particularly proud of how Robertson stood up and led from the front in regaining the momentum for her side.

Swans are a really talented young side,” Di Loreto said. “Even though they may not have a lot of their AFLW talent available to them at the moment. They’ve got a lot of state representatives and up and coming talent so we knew that if we didn’t really try and win that armwrestle and reply as soon as they were able to probably score or gain some momentum, that a young talented side like they are, they could really get their tails up.

“Amanda Robertson is a veteran of our club and of the league and I thought she played outstanding and took it upon herself to do the couple of team things here and there and then was rewarded with a quick couple of goals as well.”

Swan Districts knew it had to be perfect in the last term to come from behind and take an unlikely win, but unfortunately for the visitors, they missed some early chances. Stribley, the Hydes and Morrison were all fiercely attacking to try and get a goal on the board, but could only muster a pair of behinds. In what was a dagger to the heart of the black and whites supporters, Claremont went end-to-end and a brilliantly placed kick by Jacinta Valentini got it to Uhe who worked her opponent under the ball, stayed on her feet and had a paddock of space to run into an open goal and seal the game.

It would be Claremont’s only score of the quarter in a 20-minute purple patch for the Swans, but despite a couple of late goals to Morrison and Shanae Davison, it would not be enough. Furthermore, the Swans had a few more chances to really cut the final deficit back, including a chance from Davison who did her best impression of Liam Ryan‘s effort at Optus Stadium around the same time by flying high to take a clean mark from five deep, however she missed the set shot no doubt trying to get her breath back.

The final result saw Claremont win 8.8 (56) to Swan Districts’ 5.5 (35). The Tigers’ forwards in Uhe, Robertson and Franklin were all really impressive, while Ella Smith continued to crack in through midfield, Valentini looked dangerous and Low was a good link in transition. For the swans, both Hyde sisters caused havoc with their ball movement and vision going forward, Morrison was strong with her kick placement, and Stribley showed off jets that her opponents could not match on a number of occasions. Nyra Anderson and Bianca Webb also showed some great signs through the middle of the ground, but it would not be enough.

Di Loreto said he was impressed with a number of Tigers who really stood up throughout the match.

Jess Low played her first minutes in the midfield yesterday, she’s an outstanding young talent,” he said. “She played a little bit of half-back and wing previously. “We needed another onball rotation so we challenged her to have a crack at that this week and we thought she was great playing her role, her tackling pressure was brilliant and she was able to break lines. “She has quite a turn of speed and was able to break lines.

“I thought that our captain Ella Smith was good again, she was good again, good at getting first hands on it. “I thought our back five all day was pretty solid, probably led by Brooke Hongell. “I was pretty happy with the consistent effort across the board. “The girls are really embracing whatever roles the staff are giving them and I’m a pretty happy coach at the moment.”

YOUNG GUN TO WATCH: MIKAYLA MORRISON (SWAN DISTRICTS)

The AFL Women’s Academy member is featured in our Central Insight magazine as one of the Top 20 players to watch this season, and it is easy to see why. One of Western Australia’s top AFL Women’s Draft hopes, Morrison has a lot of superb traits with her speed, athleticism, defensive pressure and elite kicking making her such a damaging prospect. She showed how damaging she can be in the forward half for the Swans, kicking the first goal of the game, and then setting up her teammates with kicks to dangerous areas which allowed her teammates to win one-on-one battles or get over the back for easy goals. Morrison is from the East Perth region, and with no Royals side in the League competition, Morrison runs around with Swan Districts.

In the other two results, Peel Thunder held South Fremantle scoreless during a 64-point win over the Bulldogs to pick up their first win of the season, while Subiaco showed it could be a real contender by shocking reigning premiers East Fremantle by 21 points, holding the Sharks to just 1.2 during the match at New Choice Homes Park. The results meant that Subiaco sits on top with two wins from as many games, South Fremantle on the bottom and still looking for its first score, and the four other sides on an even keel of one win, one loss from season 2020.

In the Peel Thunder thumping over South Fremantle, Demi Okely snagged three goals, with Jade Briggs and Kira Phillips kicking a major apiece. Only four behinds – all to Subiaco – were scored in the second half between the Lions and Sharks in a tight tussle, with both defences holding up strongly. Subiaco had four individual goalkickers in Charlie Thomas, Ellie Blackmore, Taylisha Brown and Philippa Pienaar, while Katrina Tinson was the sole goalkicker from the Sharks.

Picture: Tony Lendrum Photography

WAFL Women’s weekend preview: Round 2 – Tigers and Swans to face off in exciting clash

FOLLOWING the conclusion of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s opening round, the six sides go to battle again this weekend as teams aim to back up from the first weekend of competitive football in 10 months. The feature game this weekend which will be live streamed is between Claremont and Swan Districts.

 

CLAREMONT vs. SWAN DISTRICTS
Sunday, July 26, 2pm
Revo Fitness Stadium

In what is anticipated to be an entertaining contest, Round 1 winners Swan Districts and Round 1 losers, Claremont go at it in a telling clash early in the season. The Tigers fell two points short of knocking off Subiaco, while last year’s runner-up got off to the ideal start with a win over one of the main contenders in Peel Thunder.

Not an easy venture on the road, the Swans will be aiming to take the home ground advantage away early with a strong start. These teams played a remarkable four times last season – including in the first week of the finals – and Swan Districts won all four. The last two victories were one-sided wins, though the only clash at this venue saw the Tigers get the closest they did all season, going down by only 14 points.

Claremont might have the better team balance overall, but it is hard to pick a winner in this clash. Emily Bennett and Amy Franklin were able to debut last week having come across on permit from West Perth with the Falcons not competing in the top grade this year. Swan Districts were able to blood a couple of 15-year-olds in Round 1 in Tara Stribley and Olivia Cripps who did not look out of their depth.

Swan Districts is a young side, with a massive 12 players under 18 in Round 1 that picked up the four points, while Claremont still has some good young talent, but also some much needed experience which makes the Tigers a really competitive outfit.

Players to watch:

Jacinta Valentini (Claremont)

Having come through the West Australian pathways, Valentini is a talented player who was not too far off those who were drafted a couple of years back. She had a really solid appearance last week in Claremont’s narrow loss to Subiaco and looms as a key player in Claremont’s side. Others who stood out in the defeat were Sasha Goronova, Rachel Ortlepp and Jess Low.

Mikayla Hyde (Swan Districts)

The clever forward who can play further up the ground was able to kick a goal for the Swans last week and is capable of some special moments. She has high upside and is one who stands out from a junior level perspective who can impact each game with her goal sense. She is far from the only one though, with Nyra Anderson, Shanae Davison, Mikayla Morrison and versatile veteran, Fi Boucher amongst the players to keep an eye on.

 

SOUTH FREMANTLE vs. PEEL THUNDER
Sunday, July 26, 1pm
Fremantle Community Bank Oval

After a baptism of fire in Round 1, South Fremantle returns to Fremantle Community Bank Oval to host Peel Thunder in the first game of the weekend. The Bulldogs were no match for reigning premiers, East Fremantle as they failed to score in an 88-point defeat. Like any new side, structures and cohesion will take a while to work and one would expect they are better for longer in this match. However Peel Thunder deservingly start as favourites after pushing last year’s grand finalists, Swan Districts all the way in a six-point defeat at home. Given the other results, the Thunder will be looking to capitalise against the League’s newcomers with a big win to help boost their percentage. These teams have never played before given South’s entry into the league this year, which provides viewers with unpredictability.

Players to Watch:

Breanne Spencer (South Fremantle)

The reliable defender really stepped up in the face of some fierce pressure coming into her zone. Time and time again she would intercept mark or drive out of defence. No doubt this week will be just as big of a challenge given Peel has some really damaging forwards.

Kira Phillips (Peel Thunder)

The renowned goalkicker started her 2020 season off with three goals in the narrow loss and will be keen to boost her numbers here. Last year the former Fremantle player won the Reserves goal kicking and is looking to make a real statement for the Thunder.

 

EAST FREMANTLE vs. SUBIACO
Sunday, July 26, 2.15pm
New Choice Homes Park

Subiaco got the win against Claremont last week in a thriller, 4.6 (30) to 4.4 (28), but this is a different beast altogether. The Sharks are a genuine champion side, and have great strength across the board even without their AFL Women’s players. East Fremantle might have been slow to start last round, but soon clicked into gear and showed no mercy against the Lions. Added to this clash will be Sara Lewis lining up at full-forward, fresh off a four-goal haul against the Bulldogs and taking on her former side in Subiaco. The match will be a good measuring stick for the Lions, while the Sharks will have a greater challenge than the week before which makes this a game to watch. Last season the sides played four times with East Fremantle winning two and Subiaco winning two. Interestingly enough, the Lions won their respective clash against the Sharks in Round 2 last year at Leederville Oval, then backed up with an impressive victory at New Choice Homes Park in Round 7.

Players to watch:

Sara Lewis (East Fremantle)

The competition leading goalkicker, albeit from one round will have pencilled this game in her diary. Coming up against her former side, Lewis will be keen to repeat her efforts from Round 1 against the Lions, though will no doubt be up for a bigger challenge in this game.

Abbey Dowrick (Subiaco)

One of the top talents now in her top-age year, Dowrick is the sister of West Coast’s McKenzie and loves a scrap and is really vocal on the field. She knows how to win the ball and really have an impact around the ground, and no doubt can match it with more experienced players.

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

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

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

GOALS:

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

ADC BEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOUNG GUN TO WATCH: CHLOE REILLY (EAST FREMANTLE)

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

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

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

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

Picture: WAFL