Round 8: 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 8 VS Therry Penola by Hannah Walravens
Respect. One word, seven letters, twenty-two different meanings for the twenty-one girls that took the field and the one coach that led them through Sunday afternoon’s match against Therry Penola. Our first encounter against Therry a mere four weeks earlier had been a turning point for our season where we found confidence and belief in each other and our team. This weekend was an opportunity to thrive again, to earn our place in the side, and reinforce the belief that we can achieve as a team. It was about respect - for ourselves, for each other, and from our opposition.
The first quarter started with a bang. Therry pushed forward fast, but the pace of our midfielders and on ballers stopped them in the their tracks, with the ball bouncing quickly off the half back line and entering our forward at record pace. The scene was set early with a goal by rising star full-forward Dru followed by Lauren streaming in to an open goal to rack up our second. The exponential rise of our forward line over the past month has been a key feature in the teams overall success. Lead by Vice-Captain Cheree who is always gutsy and determined in every contest, and backed by “the greatest full back” (now full forward) Dru, the feisty birthday girl Grace, and now joined by the ferocious hard hitting Kath, their accuracy around goals has improved along with their confidence. Topped off by the skill and expertise of Captain Lauren, supported by the big kicking and hard hitting of Roey along with the speed and accuracy of Shiv, their well-rounded unit is becoming a formidable force. South lead at quarter time 2.0.12 to Therry’s 0.1.1.
The second quarter was dominated by the power of The Wall, which goes from strength to strength every week. Led by our favourite American EmJ and joined by everyone’s best little friend Ella and the longest kick in the side Harriet, this trio knows perfectly how to stay “one kick off the play”, ready to rebound the opponents every attempt out of defence. Smiling assassin Ella doesn’t know what it feels like to fall on the ground, EmJ doesn’t know how to back down in a argument contest (and nor would we want her to!), and Harriet knows only how to boot the ball back in long and accurately to the goal square, made even more impressive when she’s chased down an opponent over 30metres and tackled them to the ground. The surprise packet of the quarter came from debutante Sarah Rose who not only supported Roey in the ruck, but made the position her own. Sarah Rose was first at every ball up and topped it off by a sensational mark in the forward line. We went in to half time with a convincing lead of 3.2.20 to Therry’s 0.2.2.
The “premiership” third quarter is always an opportunity to see teams rise or crumble, and our strong game continued thanks to the constant pressure of our taggers. Bel, Liz, and Brooke each took it in turns to shoot for the stars, nominated with the challenging task of quietening Therry’s stronger players. And quiet them they did, with constant body-on-body pressure, a bit of niggling, and lots of tackles. Despite Therry adding an element of pace to their half forward line, the ball once again barely made it past the midline and Therry failed to score in the third quarter thanks to the rebounding pressure of half backs Rachel and Maddy. Both always up for a contest and running a million miles an hour, their effort at and around the ball instills trust that they will dispose effectively and keep the ball from the oppositions scoring range - plus they both lay a very handy shepherd! Our handy lead at three quarter time extended to 5.4.34 against Therry’s 0.2.2.
With the game truly in control, our challenge from Zeb for the final quarter was to pile on four more goals and keep Therry goalless. An unfortunate spoiler alert is we did not achieve either feat, but that was not for lack of trying! Division 1 debutante defender Meg gave a remarkable performance worthy of her promotion, including a lunging dive on the ball which stopped a sure-thing goal right on the line. Trustworthy full back Maya continued to show maturity and calmness under pressure, and teams well with the intensity and niggling defence of Eden and Dre. Therry’s only goal of the match came early in the final quarter and we’ll swear to our dying day that it was touched on the line. Our mids kept the ball surging in our direction, and our forwards managed to pile on another three goals under the crumbling Therry defence. The final siren rang with South winning 8.6.54 to Therry Penola 1.3.9.
Celebrating a first for our season, we are proud to say we have finally won a game by kicking more goals than behinds! With a season-high eight goals to five different players, it’s little wonder we are proud of the improvement in our forward line. With a match-high three goals, Dru elevates herself to seventh on the Division 1 goal kickers list. Shiv snuck in a handy two, utilising her speed and agility to excellent effect. Captains Lauren and Cheree once again led by example, using their formidable ability to play on under pressure and attack the goals taking their opponents by surprise. Then finally with her big boot and terrifying accuracy, Harriet charged for home to round out our scoring list.
Next weekend we will enjoy the break afforded to us by the bye. When we come back, we are excited to test out strength against ladder-leaders and reigning premiers Hawthorn. With all five of our senior women and men’s teams playing at home that day, Saturday June 16 promises to be an excellent day out all round.
DIVISION 3 MATCH REPORT - ROUND 8 VS Powerhouse by Meg Brydon
When our Div 3 girls arrived at the Ross Gregory Oval at 8am, there was frost on the field and a sense of excitement in the air. This was the first opportunity for the season to play a team for the second time, and the Bloods were very keen to measure their improvement.
After a high energy warm up and the usual pre-match pump up tunes, the girls took the field ready to show the hard-running, Gaelic influenced Powerhouse what they are made of. Despite the centre of the ground feeling like rough concrete, the Bloods were hard at the ball from the first bounce as Kasey Jaeger dominated the ruck in her usual style.
Despite a few early scores from Power, the growth in the Bloods midfield was obvious. Our girls managed to shut down many of the clearances that advantaged Power the last time we met them, with fierce tackling from Emma Madgwick and Lucy Hall.
The ‘team first’ attitude of the Bloods was obvious to all on the sidelines, as possession after possession our girls shepherded to protect their team mates, even if it meant getting flattened by a larger opposition player, as it did for the courageous Fi Adinata.
With guest appearances from our Div 1 captain Lauren Gibbs, and the fierce European grit of Helen Tammiste, the girls were able to put some training drills into action and break some packs in the middle. This resulted in forward running pressure, demonstrating to Powerhouse and all who were watching, the massive improvements this team is making week on week.
Facing a Power onslaught, coach Deb Konopnicki stacked the backline, utilising the footy brains and agility of Brooke Pannell as a loose player to allow the determined defence to stick to the game plan of playing body on body at all times. Pannell was spectacular, scooping up loose balls and clearing them from our defensive area with grace and poise.
As a last line of defence, Elise Mace was integral in disrupting Power’s run, her dogged pressure and goal line defence reminiscent of a soccer goalie. Her efforts diverted their offensive push, resulting in them scoring more than 20 points for the game. Whilst the score line did open up in the latter half of the game, the Bloods girls never dropped their heads and ran the game out with pride and a clear determination to continue improving our brand of footy