Round 5: Division 1 + Division 3 Match Reports
By Deborah Konopnicki
Each week we will be bringing you match reports from the players who witnessed the game first hand.
DIVISION 1 MATCH REPORT - ROUND 5 VS UHS-VU By Siobhan Giles
Our Division 1 ladies lined up against UHS-VU, hoping to repeat last week's success and make 2 straight. South Melbourne were off to a good start right from the beginning. With a home ground advantage, bloods won the toss and elected to kick with wind on a gusty autumn day. With the wind behind them the ball went straight into the Blood's forward 50 and it wasn't long before Ebony booted one off the ground to give South Melbourne an early lead. Continued dominance in the first quarter was lead by Captain Lauren and centre Em J, both surging forward with unstoppable force. A well aimed kick from Sammy hit Ebony on the lead and saw Ebony lining up directly in front of goal, 20m out. Her aim was true and bloods went into quarter time with a comfortable lead, UHS-VU scoreless.
Kicking against the wind in the second proved a bigger challenge for South Melbourne. UHS-VU showed they were strong competitors, clawing back South Melbourne's lead point by point. Despite blood's strong defensive pressure, a lucky free in front of goal gave UHS-VU their first goal and saw them going into halftime just 6 points behind.
A goal by Vice Captain Cheree early in the third term reinstated South Melbourne's dominance on the game. Through the centre, division 1 debutant Ella took some solid marks and paired with powerful ruckman Roey to keep the ball flying into blood's foward 50. Full back Maya chased down a lone UHS-VU player in the goal square to save a crucial goal.
The fourth quarter saw Roey delivering a soaring goal from 50, bringing UHS-VU to their knees. A few last ditch efforts by UHS-VU were foiled by the defensive power of South Melbourne's backline. The final siren sounded, South Melbourne undefeated at home. Now 3-2 bloods are gaining momentum and looking to make their mark in VAFA's division one women's competition.
DIVISION 3 MATCH REPORT - ROUND 5 VS Westbourne By Nikki Smith
The Bloods division 3 women’s team couldn’t have asked for better conditions as they took the field for their second home game. The team has improved game on game, quarter on quarter, since round one, which marked the first game of footy a majority of the team has ever played. The first half of round 5 saw some of the best footy the team has delivered in 2018, and was a clear warning to the Westbourne Warriors: like Olivia Newton-John, this game is going to get physical.
The game had a promising start, with South Melbourne forwards putting pressure on the Warrior’s back line and keeping play up our end of the oval. The pressure paid off, with always-reliable Meg Brydon delivering the Bloods’ first goal. Meg somehow managed to find time for the goal in between running rings around the Warrior’s halves and back line. But it wasn’t long before the pressure moved to South Melbourne’s backline, a well-oiled machine by this time in round 5, and the intensity of the game lifted.
Sarah McCarthy (full back) and Gemma Reynolds (half back flank) proved they can play anywhere, making their defensive debuts and lending some great speed and agility to the back line. Unfortunately the Warriors managed to slip two goals through before the quarter was over, leaving the score at quarter time 6 – 16 to Westbourne.
It’s not in the Bloods to be easily put off, and the intensity didn’t falter in quarter two and star forward Alix Kearney managed South Melbourne’s second goal. Returning player Lucy Hall didn’t let her first game of 2018 pass without making a mark… or 5. Lucy’s marks did not go unnoticed, with even one of the Westbourne players heard to say ‘that number 26 is pretty good, look out for her!’ Not to be outdone, Emma Harvey took some fantastic marks and helped guide the ball up the oval. Wherever it did hit the ground, Emma ‘Madgie’ Madgewick was there to collect - and fight through as many Warrior’s as needed to come out with possession.
Sadly the Bloods didn’t come away with a win in round 5 however, with the standard of play increasing week on week as the team builds skill and confidence, I wouldn’t want to be the next one standing in their way of a win.