Tag: zoe bourne

NAB League Girls Round 1 preview: Undefeated 2020 sides to face off in huge round of action

AT least one of the three undefeated sides from the 2020 NAB League Girls season will extend their winning run to 18 months or more, when the competition returns this weekend. Starting tomorrow, the NAB League Girls will have six games across four different venues – including one double-header – in a new footballing landscape for 2021. For Dandenong Stingrays, they will have to tack on an extra week to their extended break that saw the 2020 season come to an unfulfilled end last year, after they were handed the bye. For the 12 other teams, it will be a chance to start the season off on the right note. For the likes of Northern Knights, Oakleigh Chargers and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, they look to continue what they started last year, having not lost since 2019, or in the Knights’ case, the 2018 grand final.

Eastern Ranges vs. Western Jets
Saturday, February 6 @ 12pm
Kilsyth Recreation Reserve

In what is officially the first NAB League Girls game in almost 12 months, Western Jets will cross the West Gate Bridge and head down to Kilsyth Recreation Reserve where the Eastern Ranges will be waiting for them. These teams last played way back in Round 4, 2019, when the Ranges easily accounted for the Jets by 43 points. A dominant second half where they booted 6.2 to 0.0 saw them run out 7.4 to 0.3 winners, with Olivia Meagher picking up 17 disposals, three tackles and three inside 50s.

Meagher has been named for the match tomorrow, with last year’s captain to play as a 19-year-old prospect in 2020. She is the only Ranges player from that match to remain on the list, whilst a trio of then 15-year-old talents in Caitlin Sargent, Trinity Skenderis and Jemima Woods – as well as now top-age and over-age talents respectively, Nikita Wright and Ciara Singleton – all remain on the Jets’ list having played in that match.

Looking at the teams, the match will be won and lost in the middle, with the Jets having some great height, whilst the Ranges have speed to burn. That is not to say the respective teams do not have the opposite as well, but they are damaging in their respective areas. For the home team, Jorja Livingstone was a player who really shone last year and is a clean ball user and able to work her way out of stoppages. She will team up with the likes of Meagher and Bridget Deed in the middle, roving Georgia Campbell‘s taps. Up forward, Matilda Hardy, Jade Hutchison and Isabella Khoury are ones to watch, whilst Saskia Nannes will be a potential big improver with more matches after having the season cut short last year.

For Western, their under-age group is brimming with talent, though now with extra experience, Sargent, Skenderis and Woods will be among those to watch. Montana Ham and Charlotte Baskaran present as two of the top 2022 prospects, with Ham’s versatility and size through the midfield hard to match, while Baskaran’s run and carry – as well as her elite use by foot – will provide a one-two punch that is always difficult to combat.

This is a game that could go right down to the wire, and difficult to predict with so many new players, but Eastern might have the upper hand at home.

Murray Bushrangers vs. Bendigo Pioneers
Saturday, February 6 @ 12.15pm
JC Lowe Oval, Yarrawonga

From the east to the far north, Murray Bushrangers will host Bendigo Pioneers in a terrific spectacle for the country regions at Yarrawonga. Both these teams have a talented tall in the AFL Women’s Academy which makes things exciting. These two teams have also not played since March 30, 2019 when the Pioneers – during their most successful season to-date – toppled the Bushrangers by 14 points in Wangaratta.

That day it was Annabel Strahan (now Bulldogs) who had 20 touches, seven tackles, five inside 50s and a goal) and Brooke Hards (17 disposals, three marks, 11 tackles, four inside 50s and three rebounds) who teamed up to cause havoc on the Bushrangers, while Millie Brown (now Geelong) racked up 27 disposals and six rebounds, and Abby Favell (22 disposals, five marks eight tackles, three inside 50s and two rebounds) were the best for the losing side.

A then 15-year-old Ally Morphett had 11 disposals, two marks, 14 hitouts and two inside 50s, with the now AFL Women’s Academy member looming as the key player for the Bushrangers. Bendigo’s Academy member Tara Slender also played in that match, picking up seven disposals and having six hitouts, though the pair are unlikely to spend too much time one-on-one considering Slender will roll through a key position role and Morphett will be one of the dominant rucks in the competition.

Looking at the overall squads, Murray’s defence is strong given the likes of Mindy Quade and Kristy Whitehead provided plenty of run down there – though could be utilised further up the ground this season. Lily Sharp has been touted as one to watch by the Bushrangers’ coaching staff following a big off-season, and Keeley Skepper remains one of Vic Country’s top talents for 2022. Kate Adams returning as co-captain and providing experience and strength in the midfield will also be important.

For the Pioneers, Slender could be the top Vic Country prospect this year and will always be difficult to beat in the air, with the Pioneers’ captain not having to shoulder the ruck load given Madeline Marks‘ efforts in 2020. She will have her hands full against Morphett but it could be a fascinating battle, while Jayda Richardson, and now top-age talents Elizabeth Snell and Jemma Finning provide much needed experience to a really young Pioneers outfit.

Murray is excited about the depth of its squad in 2021, and while the Pioneers have some great young talents coming through, the extra experience for the Bushrangers – and what they started to show last year – should have them favourites at home in Yarrawonga.

Gippsland Power vs. Tasmania Devils
Saturday, February 6 @ 12.30pm
Highgate Recreation Reserve

In a battle between two teams that are building exciting programs, Gippsland Power “hosts” Tasmania Devils at Highgate Recreation Reserve. The furthest south east side travel up the highway to welcome the league’s newest team that only managed to taste one game in Victoria last year. The Devils had a rough introduction to the NAB League Girls competition – though the improvement from their brutal loss to Oakleigh Chargers to being competitive for the most part against Eastern Ranges has plenty of people buoyant about what they could produce in 2021.

These teams have never played before, and both have younger lists, sprinkled with some top-age and over-age experience. Key position players Camilla Taylor and Shanara Notman are the 20-year-old allowances in those sides, and have the size to cause a matchup dilemma for their respective opponents. Tasmania Devils have the sole AFL Women’s Academy member in this match, with the speedy Perri King looking to breakdown the Power’s zones and create some important run and carry for her side.

Aside from King, Amy Prokopiec remains a player to watch, having predominantly played as a last-line defender in previous seasons for the Devils, but became a reliable goalscoring threat in the TSL Women’s for Clarence. Other players who stood out 12 months ago include Jemma Blair, Aprille Crooks, Chelsea Thomas, Zoe Bourne and Meghan Gaffney. Having received an AFL Women’s Draft Combine invite without managing to get on the park in the NAB League Girls, Charlie Vandenberg will get a great opportunity in the ruck and rotating forward with Taylor against one of Vic Country’s top ruck prospects.

Grace Matser is going to be difficult to stop, with the ruck battle set to be a duel within the match not to be missed. As the only Power player above 180cm, she will look to control the airways. The Gippsland midfield has some nice depth to it, with Grace McRae returning to the fold after being unlucky to miss out on the draft in 2020, and will get a good chance to play consecutive games this season. Matilda Van Berkel is another one with experience and able to play a number of roles, while Holly Booth and Sunday Brisbane are among those tipped to cause problems for the opposition. One name to remember for next year is Lily-Rose Williamson who has come through the V/Line Cup program and been one ready to step up at the level.

This game is as 50/50 as they come, so as is often the case in 50/50 games, we will lean towards the “home” team in Gippsland Power, though Tasmania Devils will be keen to sniff out their first win in the competition.

Geelong Falcons vs. GWV Rebels
Sunday, February 7 @ 11am
Deakin University – Geelong

The final country game of the round occurs down in Geelong at Deakin University when the Falcons host the GWV Rebels. Much like the earlier two Saturday games, these two teams last played back in Round 4, 2019, when the Falcons – on their way to another finals series and coming off a premiership in 2018 – defeated the young Rebels by 36 points at City Oval in Ballarat. Luka Lesosky-Hay (31 disposals), Darcy Moloney (23) and Lucy McEvoy (22) all suffered leather poisoning and showed why they were capable of playing at the top level, whilst Nekaela Butler picked up 21 disposals and had six rebounds bravely defending for the home team.

There are a sprinkling of players from that day that remain on the lists in 2021, such as AFL Women’s Academy member Ella Friend, and Chloe Leonard and Crystal Summers (GWV Rebels), and Zoe Garth, Renee Tierney, Poppy Schapp and Elizabeth Dowling (Geelong). Those players will provide great experience for their respective sides in that clash, in what is sure to feature some of the best talent in the NAB League Girls competition.

The Falcons might not have an Academy member, but have plenty of developing young players, with Dowling a presence in the back half but can play anywhere, Annie Lee beside her in defence, Keeley Hardingham controlling the ruck, and Mia Van Dyke a bottom-age prospect who will be one to watch for next year able to roll through the midfield. Geelong has always been a team flushed with depth, and 2021 appears to be the same, with no shortage of talent across all three lines.

Alongside Friend – who will be that taller marking target at half-forward – Nyakoat Dojiok is the other AFL Women’s Academy member on the Rebels’ list. The running defender could start off half-back or roam along a wing depending on the team’s needs, able to add that mix of power and acceleration to breakaway from would-be tacklers. Leonard returns to the club as a new top-ager and one who will settle down the defence, while Stephanie Glover, Lilli Condon and Summers are some of the names to watch in the match.

Geelong have had such success over the past few years, it is hard to look past them at home. The Rebels will provide a great contest, but we will find out where both these teams are at following the Round 1 encounter.

Calder Cannons vs. Sandringham Dragons
Sunday, February 7 @ 11am
Highgate Recreation Reserve

In the first double-header of the year, a star-studded Calder Cannons outfit hosts an ever-growing talent base in the Sandringham Dragons. The last time these two met was in 2019 back in Round 3, as the Cannons went on to make the grand final that year. They only scored two behinds in the first half and trailed by five points at the main break, before booting the last four goals of the game to win 4.8 (32) to 1.3 (9) over the Dragons at Trevor Barker Oval.

Alice Burke (St Kilda) and Sarah Hartwig (Bulldogs) were among the top players for the Dragons, whilst it was Georgia Patrikios (St Kilda) and Krstel Petrevski (Melbourne) who shone from those who have been drafted. Best on ground that day was Georgie Prespakis who lit it up with 23 disposals, three marks, eight tackles, four inside 50s and two rebounds. The now-Cannons captain will look to have an equally big impact this year, while Emelia Yassir, Kasey Lennox, Alisa Magri, Zali Friswell and Neve Crowley are just a handful of the talented names who also played as 15/16-year-old talents on that day.

The Cannons have proven to have such great development over the past few years, and all the above names along with Mali McLeod, Peppa Poultney and Jessica Zakkour makes them a rock solid team across the board. Though their opponents are no slouches either. Back in the 2019 clash, now-captain Kiana Lynch, as well as the likes of Charli Murphy, Summer Trim, Emma Stuber, Isabella Stutt, Ebony Angelopoulos and Chloe Saultry all took to the field, so the Dragons have a core of players with plenty of experience under their belt.

Murphy will provide that marking target up forward, while Lynch will lead a host of bottom-agers with future potential. Bridie Hipwell and Sofia Hurley are just a couple of names who still have another year to go after this one, but are becoming key players in the Dragons outfit going forward. They made great strides last season and play what would be considered the benchmark team in the competition first-up here.

Calder Cannons deserve to be favourites for the overall title, so it is hard to tip against them in any game. The Dragons will be up and about and likely to be among the contenders this season too, so buckle up for an exciting contest.

Northern Knights vs. Oakleigh Chargers
Sunday, February 7 @ 12.45pm
Highgate Recreation Reserve

Wrapping up the weekend might just be the tightest of the lot, with both Northern Knights and Oakleigh Chargers going undefeated last year, and technically the Knights are still the reigning premiers from 2019. Both these sides had a host of players drafted in 2020, with the Knights having the first three Victorian players taken in the draft. These two sides played back in Round 2, 2019, when they played out a thrilling draw in what would be the only match where the Knights did not collect the full points that season.

Future AFL Women’s talents, Ellie McKenzie, Britney Gutknecht, Gabby Newton and Alyssa Bannan were the best for the Knights, while Mimi Hill, Joanna Lin, Alana Porter and Emily Harley all shone for the Chargers. Also playing that day was now AFL Women’s Academy member, Maykaylah Appleby who leads the Knights charge in 2021, with Teleah Smart, Mikayla Plunkett, Jessica Simpson and Tallia Pulcino among the current-listed Northern players running around that day.

Appleby is the one to watch this season, but the Knights have brought back a host of top-age players such as Plunkett, Pulcino, Maeve Chaplin, Trinity Mills and Gulia Ceravolo, so have plenty of experience to guide the next crop of Knights talents. Some names to watch this year aside from the above group with a point to prove are the likes of defender Tarrah Delgado and ruck Georgia Kitchell who showed some promising signs in the short 2020 season.

The Chargers had the likes of Taylah Morton, Kalarni Kearns, Charlie Rowbottom, Eliza James and Emma Chamberlain running around in the draw with the Knights, and have been growing some phenomenal depth of late. Rowbottom is the AFL Women’s Academy talent and if she crosses paths with Appleby, it will provide plenty of highlights. Add in the likes of top-ager Amanda Ling, middle-ager Stella Reid, and bottom-ager Rianna Thiele, and the Chargers have built an exciting list.

Another 50/50 split game that could go either way. It is hard to look past the Knights’ success rate, but what the Chargers were starting to do last year, the depth is among the best going around so Oakleigh could become the first team to knock off Northern in almost three years.

Bourne eyes team success with Devils

ZOE Bourne enjoyed her experience with Tasmania Devils in the NAB League Girls last season, however brief it might have been. The team lost both its games, but it was a memorable time for the talented teenager who now has a team-oriented goal for the 2021 season.

“As a team goal I think just to win some games,” Bourne said. “Obviously we didn’t get much of a chance last year, but I think we have a really strong team this year so hopefully we can get over there and win a few.”

The top-age player has come through the development pathways in the Apple Isle, following her brother into the code, and making her way all the way to the Devils’ program at the elite junior level.

“I started footy when my brother played a lot of football when he was growing up and I sort of got around it then, and then I started playing for North Launceston Juniors,” Bourne said. “So this will be my fourth season of footy. “I played for them for two years, and then went to North (Launceston) TSLW for a year, and then unfortunately that collapsed. I started playing Devils last year, and this year obviously Devils and playing for Old Scotch in the NTFA.”

Predominantly a pressure high half-forward, Bourne is a fierce player who is clean at ground level and eyes off crumbing the tall forwards when inside 50. Using her speed and agility at ground level, Bourne is able to create scoring opportunities through separation from her opponent. In 2021, the North Launceston now Old Scotch-aligned talent is looking to improve her fitness in a more challenging competition.

“Being able to get the ball a lot more, then using it a bit more and using it a bit more smarter with the ball,” Bourne said. “It’s (pathway) definitely been a big change, last year playing Devils was a lot different to playing club football. “The standard is very different, I find it a bit more challenging, but it’s a good challenge. “It’s really eye-opening and you get to know that kind of standard so it makes you a better player.”

Her brother has been someone she has looked up to throughout her football journey and now as she enters her top-age year, she is looking to perform to her best to just see where her football can take her.

“He’s the one I’ve watched playing footy and I wanted to get into it because of him, and he taught me all the foundations and skills that I’ve been able to bring to club footy,” Bourne said. “I guess I’ll just see how far I can go through the Devils program and maybe the draft and see where that goes.”

TSL Women’s Semi-finals preview: Blues and Magpies host do-or-die matches

THERE is no turning back for any of the four Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s sides when the four finalists battle it out in two do-or-die semi-finals. Last year’s runners-up Launceston host the fourth placed North Launceston at Windsor Park, before the classic contest between big improvers Glenorchy and reigning premiers Clarence.

The Magpies have knocked off Launceston twice this season, a feat that they did not manage to achieve last season – nor did anyone until the grand final – and now must overcome a 0-2 head-to-head in 2020 against the Roos to book a spot in the TSL Women’s Grand Final. It will be a tough game to pick with Glenorchy snatching the home ground advantage with a massive 63-point win over North Launceston in the final round, so now the sides will play out at Abbotsfield Park.

Fresh off her leading goalkicker title, Sarah Skinner (18 goals) will be one the Roos need to contain, whilst up the other end, second placed Jessie Williams (17) is a key component of Clarence’s attack. She is one of three players inside the top five for goals however, with Jacinta Limbrick (12) and Amy Edmand (nine) up there, as is Magpies’ Molly Mitchell (nine).

Skinner has been an outstanding force this season for the black and whites, with Zoie Crawford the other one who has caught the eye of coaches, named among the best on seven occasions each. Young talent Jemma Webster has also had a great year, whilst former AFLW player Libby Haines has rebounded strongly through the league.

For the Roos, Nicole Bresnehan provides much-needed experience in the red and white, whilst the likes of Bronte Scott, Limbrick, Amy Prokopiec and Brianna Oates have all had some strong season, with the latter ones impressing beyond their years. Clarence start favourites in this clash given their 2-0 head-to-head record, but expect Glenorchy to bring the heat because the Magpies would back themselves in the decider against Launceston.

Speaking of Launceston, they are heavy favourites to roll through to another grand final when they come up against North Launceston. The Bombers pushed them in the opening round of the season, but have only managed the two wins – both against the winless Tigers – whilst Launceston has only lost to Glenorchy this year. The Blues grabbed the all-important top spot as the top three in the five-team competition were so even, and now have a chance to build some confidence.

Daria Bannister is third overall for goals with 13 this season, and has been amongst the Blues’ top performers throughout 2020. Launceston tend to share the goals around with recently drafted North Melbourne forward Brooke Brown (five goals), Angela Dickson (four) and Meg Sinclair (four). Bannister’s fellow AFL Women’s teammate Mia King has also found herself in the bests on five occasions, with Dickson, Camilla Taylor and Kelsie Hill all making it in four times.

There is no doubt the game is an uphill battle for North Launceston, but the Bombers have nothing to lose, and the likes of Zoe Bourne (five bests), Maggie Cuthbertson (four), Ruby Slater (four), Jodie Clifford (four) and Kayla Sheehan (four) will not shy away from a challenge. They have struggled to score against the big three teams, and will need to conquer that to have a huge upset, but finals footy is a different ball game.

TSL WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS FIXTURES:

Launceston vs. North Launceston
Glenorchy vs. Clarence

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s wrap: Glenorchy snatches second by 0.16 per cent

GLENORCHY snuck home by a whisker. Not in terms of their final round match result against North Launceston, the Magpies won that by 63 points. But in terms of their overall season finish, Glenorchy won by enough in the final round of the season to sneak past Clarence and grab second spot on the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s ladder.

The Magpies arguably could have won by a lot more, kicking 8.17 (65) to 0.2 (2), but it was enough to see them finishing on 264.24 per cent, marginally ahead of Clarence on 264.08 per cent. It was a feat that did not look likely after a quarter of play as Glenorchy kicked four behinds to North Launceston’s one to lead by just three points in a low-scoring term. They found their rhythm in the second term, piling on an inaccurate 4.6 to lead by 33 at half-time.

The third term was the same as the first, with the Magpies again kicking just four behinds to the Bombers’ one to hold a 36-point advantage. Needing almost 30 points to surpass Clarence into second in the final term, the visiting side booted 4.7 to run out 63-point winners and get there by a point in the end, showing how every score matters.

Sarah Skinner took the outright title of leading goalkicker, booting three which was the minimum to win the award solo. Elise Barwick kicked a couple of goals as the other multiple goal scorer, as Brieanna Barwick and Jemma Webster converted a major and were among the Magpies’ best. Perri King was the other goalkicker for the winners, as Laura Negri and Zoie Crawford both impressed in the victory as well.

The Bombers did not manage to kick a goal in the loss, but had a number of impressive players including Ella Maurer, Zoe Bourne and Ruby Slater. Others who were named in North Launceston’s best were Carly Farrow, Sophie Farrow and Raigan Kettle. While the loss was disappointing for the Bombers, they had already secured a finals berth last week.

Launceston finished on top of the table and now take on the Bombers at Windsor Park at 9.30am on Saturday, whilst Glenorchy’s late grab of second spot has a home ground yet to be determined – usually KGV – when they take on Clarence in a massive contest. The winners of both games will advance through to the TSL Women’s Grand Final the week after.

TSL WOMEN’S RESULTS:

North Launceston 0.2 (2) defeated by Glenorchy 8.17 (65)

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s weekend preview: Round 12 – Bombers and Magpies to close out season

A STANDALONE match between two finalists will close out the 2020 Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s season. Fourth placed North Launceston hosts third placed Glenorchy in a nice tune-up for finals in the only game of the round from 11.30am on Saturday at UTAS Stadium. Realistically there is not a great deal on the line with both secured in finals, and the only chance of movement comes in a massive win to Glenorchy who could then mathematically overtake Clarence in second.

Regardless of the result of this match, North Launceston will take on top of the table Launceston next weekend, whilst Glenorchy plays Clarence. Both sides will be up against it considering both of Glenorchy’s losses have coming against Clarence, yet they have accounted for Launceston both times. Just as strange, while Launceston has lost to Glenorchy twice, the Blues have sought revenge on the reigning premier Roos in both meetings. The Bombers on the other hand have had just the two wins, both coming against the winless Tigers in fifth. Nonetheless, the regular season gets thrown out once finals start as that is a different ball game.

The last time these sides met, Glenorchy got up by 32 points, defeating North Launceston 7.6 (48) to 2.4 (16). It was the Bombers who raced out of the blocks to shock the Magpies in the first term and lead by seven points, but then only managed three behinds for the rest of the game as the home side piled on 6.6 at KGV. Molly Mitchell (three goals), Tiarna Ford (two) and Sarah Skinner (two) made up the Magpies’ seven goals, while Maggie Cuthbertson and Bonnie Farrell kicked the two Bombers goals. Libby Haines and Skinner were the standouts for the winners, while Sophie Farrow and Hayley Breward both impressed for the losers.

One intriguing aspect of the match is whether or not Skinner can take home the competition’s leading goalkicker award. She sits two behind Clarence’s Jessie Williams, and without Williams playing another game, multiple goals will see her either share the award or take it outright, having kicked 15 majors this season. Mitchell is next with that three-goal haul against the Bombers her most of the season having kicked nine in total, while Ford (seven) and Elise Barwick (six) are not far behind. In terms of standouts this year, Skinner and Zoie Crawford have both been named among the best six times, just ahead of Jemma Webster and Haines who have received four bests this year.

For the Bombers, Farrell leads the way with four majors, one ahead of Cuthbertson, as four players have two goals a piece being Ella Maurer, Emily McKinnell, Sophie Townsend and Breward. As for the bests, Cuthbertson and Zoe Bourne have been named there four times, as has Jodie Clifford and Kayla Sheehan. North Launceston is the underdog in this game and will need to be at their best, but the Bombers would love to claim a scalp on the eve of finals and head in with a two-game winning streak.

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s Round 11 wrap: Blues secure minor premiership with penultimate round win

LAUNCESTON has secured top spot in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s competition with a crucial win over Clarence in both sides’ final matches of the regular season. In the other of two matches played, North Launceston sentenced Tigers to the wooden spoon handed the Tigers an eighth loss and see the Bombers lock up fourth spot ahead of the final round.

The Blues never had it all their own way, leading by two points at quarter time and three at the main break, but neither team could apply too much scoreboard pressure. Launceston kicked a couple of crucial goals in the third term to stretch the lead out to 17 points, before Clarence came home to kick the final goal of the match. It would not be enough for the home side however, as Launceston recorded a memorable 3.7 (25) to 2.3 (15) win.

Daria Bannister booted a couple of goals and was named among the Blues’ best, with Brooke Brown also superb, kicking the other major and was prominent across the ground. Young gun Mia King was named best on ground in the 10-point victory, while Kelsie Hill and Cecilia Cameron were also among the top players on the day. Jessie Williams and Grace Mitchell booted the two goals for Clarence, as Nicole Bresnehan, Natalie Pearce and Charlotte Kenny all shone in the victory.

In the other match, North Launceston won its second game of the season, holding Tigers to one goal in a 33-point triumph. The Bombers kicked 3.4 in the first half and kept the home side scoreless to head into the half-time break 22 points ahead. Tigers gave their fans a glimmer of hope in the third quarter, kicking 1.1 to cut the deficit to 15 points, before the Bombers ran out stronger with their best quarter of the match, kicking 3.0 and getting up, 6.4 (40) to 1.1 (7).

Ella Maurer was best on ground for the Bombers, also converting two goals, while Ruby Slater and Sophie Townsend were also named amongst the best and hit the scoreboard. Zoe Bourne and Hayley Breward impressed in the victory, while Bonnie Farrell and Emily McKinnell kicked majors. For Tigers, Gillian Millar kicked the only goal, while Hailee Baldwin, Bianca Bell and Bianca Phillips were all strong despite the loss.

In the final round of the season next weekend, Glenorchy returns from a bye to face North Launceston, with the Magpies gunning for second spot. Either way the finals are locked in, with North Launceston having to take on Launceston the week after, and the Magpies taking on the Roos. If Glenorchy gets up, then the Magpies will secure second spot and a home final against Glenorchy.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 11 RESULTS:

Clarence 2.3 (15) defeated by Launceston 3.7 (25)
Tigers 1.1 (7) defeated by North Launceston 3.7 (25)

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

TSL Women’s weekend preview: Round 11 – Top two battle for minor premiership

THE Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s minor premiership will be decided on the weekend when top of the table Clarence locks horns with second placed Launceston in a potential Grand Final preview. Indeed, those teams were last year’s grand finalists, with the Roos upsetting the Blues on the big day after Launceston had gone undefeated throughout the 2019 regular season. Fast forward to 2020 and Launceston got the better of Clarence earlier in the year, but now the stakes are higher with the minor premiership on the line.

Clarence sits four points clear on top of the table, and with both teams playing their last clash, it is a simple scenario. The Roos win and they secure the minor premiership. The Blues win, and due to their higher percentage, grab top spot and cannot be knocked off their perch. Third placed Glenorchy cannot grab top spot regardless of the result, with the Magpies having a bye and then facing North Launceston in the final round. However a Launceston loss would see Glenorchy leapfrog them with a Round 12 victory over the Bombers and gain home ground advantage for the semi-finals.

The winner of the clash not only secures the minor premiership, but will face North Launceston in the first week of finals. The Bombers have been more competitive than last placed Tigers, but there is minimal difference between the top three teams, and second has to take on third in the other semi-final. The last time the teams played, Launceston got up against an inaccurate Roos outfit, 6.5 (41) to 1.6 (12) at Windsor Park.

Abbey Green played what would be her only game of the season, slotting three goals in a best on ground performance, whilst the likes of regular performers, Camilla Taylor and Daria Bannister also slotted goals, as did Sian Beeton. Abbie Hoiberg-Cox and Melissa Smith also impressed in the win. For the Roos, leading goalkicker Jessie Williams booted the only goal of the match, whilst Louisa Marmion, Bronte Scott and Nicole Bresnehan all stood out.

Given Glenorchy is playing North Launceston in the final round, it is the last chance for Williams (16 goals), Jacinta Limbrick (12) and Bannister (11) to hit the scoreboard in the search of the leading goalkicker award. Magpie, Sarah Skinner has slotted 15 goals this season and is a huge chance to take the award if the Blues’ defence can hold the dangerous Williams. Others to watch for from a Clarence perspective are young guns, Amy Prokopiec and Netty Garlo, whilst Mia King and Angela Dickson have also had superb seasons.

Whilst that is the feature game, fourth placed North Launceston takes on fifth placed Tigers in a bottom two clash. For Tigers to get off the bottom, they would need to win by a substantial amount, though a win would close out the season with confidence, The Bombers can head into the final round off the back of a second win this season to try and upset Glenorchy in Round 12.

For the Bombers, the players to watch are Jodie Clifford, Kayla Sheehan and Maggie Cuthbertson who have all stood out this season, with Zoe Bourne another who has found her way into the best on multiple occasions. Hailee Baldwin has been named in the Tigers’ best on five occasions, whilst Mikayla Absolom, Mimosa Middleton Miller and Priscilla Odwogo have also stood out in a trying season for the young Tigers.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 11 FIXTURE:

Clarence vs. Launceston
Tigers vs. North Launceston

TSL Women’s weekend wrap: Round 9 – Magpies and Roos secure top three spots

GLENORCHY and Clarence have secured their top three spots in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s finals series with impressive wins over bottom two sides, Tigers and North Launceston. While the existing 12-point difference was all but certain to be enough, the wins allowed the sides to move 16 points clear, rather than have that cut to just eight. It also allowed both sides to draw level with Launceston on 20 points, and the Roos having a game in hand.

The Magpies continued their great form with a comprehensive 76-point triumph over Tigers at KGV. Glenorchy had an inaccurate start to the game, booting 1.5 in the first term, 3.8 by half-time and 5.13 by the last change. The 43-point margin was not indicative of what the lead could be for the home team, though they had kept the league’s last placed team scoreless in the first three quarters. Keeping up with their recent form though, Tigers booted a goal in the final term to ensure they score, but Glenorchy also found its kicking boots, piling on 6.3 in the final term to run away with an 11.16 (82) to 1.0 (6) victory.

Sarah Skinner proved a match-winner with four goals, as the Magpies had seven other individual goalkickers chipping in. Among those who kicked goals and were also named in the best, were Elise Barwick, Zoie Crawford and Laura Negri. Madison Shaw and Gennaveve Sullivan were the other players named among their side’s best in the win. Elsie Lamb kicked the Tigers’ sole goal in the final term, while Priscilla Odwogo, Olivia McKee and Hailee Baldwin all impressed for the visitors.

Clarence did all of its work in the first half, then held on against a determined North Launceston side to win by 21 points at Richmond Oval. The Roos booted three goals to one in the opening quarter, then repeated the effort in the second term to lead 6.3 to 2.1 at half-time. The 26-point lead was comfortable, but the Bombers would go on to kick the last goal of the game in the third term, and draw within 21 points prior to the game being called off in the quarter due to an injury.

Melanie Wise and Jacinta Limbrick were stars for Clarence, kicking a couple of goals each and named among the best for the Roos, while young guns Netty Garlo and Amy Prokopiec also hit the scoreboard. Katherine Johnson and Brianna Oates were also impressive in the victory. For the Bombers, Zoe Bourne was nominated her side’s best and kicked one of the three goals, while Bonnie Farrell and Emily McKinnell also snagged majors. Carly Farrow and Sophie Townsend also stood tall despite the defeat.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 9 RESULTS:

Glenorchy 11.16 (82) defeated Tigers 1.0 (6)
Clarence 6.4 (40) defeated North Launceston 3.1 (19)

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography

Tasmanian weekly preview: Round 8 – Blues look to atone for Wednesday night defeat

REIGNING premiers North Launceston have joined Launceston at the top of the table in a rare Wednesday night fixture, defeating the Blues to kick off Round 8 last night. The Bombers won by 18 points, defeating the Blues 8.4 (52) to 5.4 (34) heading into a bye, and reversing the result from earlier in the season where the Blues were too strong. In this week’s Tasmanian State League (TSL) weekly preview, we look at the upcoming three games still remaining.

Launceston will have a chance to atone for the loss on Sunday when it takes on Tigers, while the Bombers will earn a nice rest over the weekend. In other matches, Glenorchy and Clarence do battle at KGV, while Lauderdale hosts North Hobart. All four teams are split by just four points in the middle of the table, with Clarence and Lauderdale looking to increase their lead on their opponents to eight points, and sit just four points behind North Launceston. If the Blues win they will go further ahead at the top and regain breathing space over the Bombers, while Tigers are desperate to join the Demons and Magpies on eight points to remain in finals contention.

The key inclusion for the Tigers will be former Gold Coast Suns talent, Mackenzie Willis who joins Kieran Lovell in the yellow and black as they try and overcome what was a flat-looking Blues side off the bye last night. A slow start cost the Kingborough-based side last round and will be hoping to get off with a better one against the ladder leaders who remain contenders, particularly with the likes of Dylan Riley (6 goals) up forward.

For the Magpies, Jaye Bowden has rekindled his best form at times this season, slotting eight goals to be a danger alongside Matthew Joseph up forward, whilst youngster Braidy Simpson has shown he has a bright future. Playing coach Jeromey Webberley is the man to stop in the red and white, leading his young side well with Noah Holmes (five goals), Sam Banks, Darcy Gardner and Oliver Davis all strong performers this season.

Lauderdale finally broke its losing streak last week, and will be keen to record back-to-back wins, with Luke Nelson (seven goals in four games) and Harry Richmond (three in seven) amongst the top goalkickers in recent weeks. North Hobart’s young legs are starting to be overrun, starring down the barrel of a fourth straight loss if the Demons cannot turn the form around here. Nathan Hardy (eight goals) and Jacob Steele (seven) have been strong as key options, but the youth of Jye Menzie (seven) and Patrick Walker (four) have provided good speed and skill around the forward half.

TSL ROUND 8 FIXTURES:

Glenorchy vs. Clarence
Lauderdale vs. North Hobart
Launceston vs. Tigers

Top three battle the one to watch at KGV

A top three battle between second placed Clarence and third placed Glenorchy is the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s match of the round at KGV. With Launceston reasserting itself as the top team in the league, a Clarence side looking to bounce back from its loss to the Blues two weeks ago and coming off a bye, takes on a Magpies outfit that found the winning formula to knock off the Magpies, but went down to the Roos last time these teams met.

The Roos got up by 32 points in their last encounter, but now back home at KGV, the Magpies will be keen to atone. They have strung three consecutive wins together with a bye in there as well, holding the Blues to their lowest score – just seven points – along the way. Sarah Skinner is travelling very nicely for the black and whites, slotting nine majors in four games, named in the best every match, while Tiarna Ford (six goals), Molly Mitchell (five) and Elise Barwick (four) are all impressive. Former North Melbourne youngster Libby Haines, and teenage talent Jemma Webster have also been named among the best multiple times with Zoie Crawford.

The Roos will be keen to double the dose against the Magpies and cement themselves inside the top two with another win here, having only lost to Launceston this season. Jessie Williams was best remembered for her seven snags earlier this year, and has nine for the season to lead her side’s goalicking, while Amy Edmand (seven) and Jacinta Limbrick (five) are both hitting the scoreboard with a couple of four-goal hauls. The experienced Nicole Bresnehan has not missed a beat this season, named among the best in every game, whilst Bronte Scott and Louisa Marmion have both been impressive for the red and whites.

In a battle of Launceston, the top of the table Blues will hope to blow out their already ridiculous percentage of 405.66 and extend the lead they have at pole position on the TSL Women’s table. They take on the fourth placed North Launceston, who boosted their percentage with a win over Tigers, but went down to Glenorchy last week. Prior to their second bye, the Bombers had lost back-to-back games with a low percentage, but are starting to hit their groove. The last time these teams met, Launceston won by 25 points, but restricted its northern rivals to just one behind for the game.

Daria Bannister is leading all-comers for the Blues with seven majors in her five games, including a haul of three snags at Twin Ovals. Abbey Green popped in for one game and a best on ground performance with three goals against Clarence, while Meg Sinclair (three) is also in the top few goalkickers. Over-age tall Camilla Taylor remains one of the ladder leaders’ best this season with four from five bests, the same as young gun Mia King, with Angela Dickson another one performing strongly.

For the Bombers, Maggie Cuthbertson has been a nice source for the goals the past couple of weeks booting three majors, while Hayley Breward has also kicked a couple as the two multiple goalscorers. In terms of their top performers, the duo are impressing this season alongside the likes of Jodie Clifford, Kayla Sheehan, Sophie Farrow and Zoe Bourne who have all made it into the team’s best on multiple occasions.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 7 FIXTURES:

Glenorchy vs. Clarence
North Launceston vs. Launceston

Tasmanian weekend preview: Devils galore at North Hobart

IN this week’s Tasmanian State League (TSL) weekend preview, we take a look at a couple of head-to-heads across the weekend as the six sides go at it through the midway point of the season.┬áThe match of the round should be the battle between third placed North Hobart and fourth placed Clarence, two sides that clearly have ability, but being young they have not had the consistency thus far in season 2020.

They are among four sides sitting on two wins from five games, with the others being Lauderdale and Glenorchy who take on last placed Tigers and second placed North Launceston this weekend. The round also marks a fully completed half of the season with all seven teams having had a bye to-date as Launceston sits out this weekend. It is fair to the say the Blues will be happy with their season thus far despite dropping their first game last week in an odd 17-16 loss, but have enough percentage to ensure North Launceston do not catch them. The top two sides are sitting pretty at the top of the table, while at the other end, Tigers will be desperate to win their second game in three weeks and level up against at least three other sides.

FEATURED MATCH: NORTH HOBART VS. CLARENCE

The Demons will want to quickly put behind them their loss last week, which saw them kick their first goal in the third term. They fought hard at the end in trying conditions, but ultimately were too slow to start. Clarence has had an up and down year, dropping its first game, then smashing Glenorchy, and going down in a tough loss to the reigning premiers. The last two weeks got even stranger, belted in the first half against a winless Tigers side to lose by 15 points, then toppled the undefeated Launceston last week in a two goals to one victory.

H2H: Patrick Walker (North Hobart) vs. Sam Banks (Clarence)

These two will not necessarily line-up on one another, but both have played wing roles in the past few weeks throughout games, which means it could be an all AFL Academy head-to-head at North Hobart Oval. Walker is more of a half-back who can play up on the wing, whereas Banks can do his best work forward of the ball setting up nice plays.

Banks has the extra athleticism and skill that helped him earn All-Australian honours at the Under 16s National Carnival as well as taking home the prize as the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Walker was one of Tasmania Devils’ most impressive players in his bottom-age year, averaging 5.4 rebounds to go with 16.5 disposals and 3.8 marks.

Round 5 scouting notes:

#48 Patrick Walker

R5 stats: 16 disposals @ 50% (62.5% contested), 2 marks (1 contested), 1 tackle, 1 clearance, 1 rebounds

“While many of his teammates were missing targets early in the wet conditions, Walker was using the ball well and showing clean hands off the deck… Walker showed composure under pressure and while he made the odd mistake in the wet conditions after the opening term, was still able to show good recovery on the wing when knocked off the ball at first in the third term.” – Peter Williams

#23 Sam Banks

R5 stats: 14 disposals @ 85% (31.3% contested), 2 marks, 3 tackles, 1 clearance, 3 inside 50s

Just like last week Banks began as an outside midfielder, and came to life late in the first quarter grabbing a few possessions out of the contest. While this game he may not have provided anything special for the highlights reel, he showed good vision when he had the ball linking up to multiple scoring chances. He has a good eye for a mark, goes to the contest quickly and even gets the ground ball out in a fast manner.” – Fraser Stewart

[ … FULL SCOUTING NOTES … ]

In other matches, Jackson Callow‘s North Launceston will hope to draw level with top of the table Launceston which is achievable with a win over Glenorchy. The key forward had 13 disposals, three marks – one contested – two inside 50s and two rebounds last week, spending time at both ends of the field to showcase his versatility. He tackles a Glenorchy team that will be buoyant after a win in the wet over the Demons in Round 5, and while he might only be 15-years-old, Braidy Simpson showed he is not afraid to show what he has through the midfield with 12 touches, three marks and three inside 50s.

Meanwhile, Tigers can bounce back from last week’s loss with a win against the out-of-form Lauderdale. The Bombers have lost three on the trot since winning their opening two games of the season, albeit the losses came against the top three sides. Lachlan Gadomski continues to stake his case to be drafted as a 20-year-old, showing off his terrific athleticism in defence on his way to 13 touches, two marks and three rebounds, with a team-high eight one-percenters. He will look to stop the flow through to the Lauderdale forwards, with former Eastern Ranges’ talent Adrian Kalcovski booting four goals in five games, including a couple of rippers in a fortnight ago.

TSL ROUND 7 FIXTURES:

Tigers vs. Lauderdale
North Hobart vs. Clarence
Glenorchy vs. North Launceston

TOP FOUR CLASH TAKES PLACE AT KGV

IN the TSL Women’s competition, a top three clash headlines the weekend, with third placed Glenorchy up against fourth placed North Launceston. The Magpies knocked off the previously undefeated Launceston two weeks ago before a bye in Round 5, while the Bombers grabbed their first win of the season last round. Now there is plenty on the line with the Magpies able to go four points clear inside the top three, or the Bombers able to level with their opponents with an even keel of 2-2 from four matches.

Glenorchy will go into the game as heavy favourites given their percentage, and the Magpies will be confident they can continue their recent form. If as expected they get up, Glenorchy will be on a three-game winning streak. Sarah Skinner (seven goals), Elise Barwick (four) and Tiarna Ford (four) are all damaging players for the Magpies inside 50, with Skinner also named amongst Glenorchy’s best in every match. The Bombers will be pleased they scored a win last week against struggling Tigers, but now have a bigger challenge against the Magpies. Hayley Breward (two goals) and Maggie Cuthbertson (two) both stood out in the win last week, while Jodie Clifford, Zoe Bourne and Kayla Sheehan are others who have been good this year.

New Collingwood AFL Women’s ruck/forward Abbey Green stood up in her first game of the season for Launceston last week booting three goals in the top of the table clash against Clarence. She will prove a handful for a Tigers side yet to get on the board in what is anticipated to be a one-sided contest. Other AFL Women’s stars who make life difficult for the opposition included Daria Bannister and Mia King, while Camilla Taylor and Angela Dickson have been impressive this year. For the Tigers, youngster Priscilla Odwogo continues to impress, booting a goal last week to join Brooke Phillips and Lilly Ellis in the goalkicking books this season. Odwogo, Mikayla Absolom and Mimosa Middleton Miller have all been named among the best in a tough start to the season for the Kingborough side.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 6 FIXTURES:

Launceston vs. Tigers
Glenorchy vs. North Launceston

Picture: Solstice Digital & Photography