Fresh off the representative bye, Round 7 of the ANZ NFNL Women’s competition showcased matches of a high quality across the three divisions.
In Division 1, Darebin and the VU Western Spurs split the points with the teams finishing on 4.2 (26) and 3.8 (26) respectively to play out the first draw of the season. Stephanie Normington-Dickens provided the Falcons with an ideal start, kicking the first goal of the match and helping her side to a seven-point quarter time lead. The Spurs responded brilliantly with goals from Mary Sandral, Kimberly Hemenway and Kerrie Clarke to take a 16-point advantage into the main break. The Falcons rose to the challenge with Normington-Dickens kicking two great third-quarter goals to bring them within four points at the final change. The Spurs added two behinds to the scoreboard before a sensational pack mark from Falcon Shannon Egan in the goal square levelled the scores and the teams remained locked on 26-points apiece at the final siren. Stephanie Normington-Dickens’ three goal performance was crucial for the Falcons, while Lauren Murphy was excellent for the Spurs. Darebin will host Bendigo and the VU Western Spurs will be on the road again, travelling to Whitehorse in Round 8.
Diamond Creek Women’s gathered back-to-back wins, defeating Whitehorse 4.9 (33) to 2.10 (22) at Springfield Park. The Creekers started the game with a fierce attack on the ball and took a 22-point lead into the main break. The Colts took back the momentum in the third term but were unable to make the most of their opportunities, managing only four behinds. Two final term goals via Laura Seddon gave the Colts a chance at pinching the match, but inaccurate kicking again cost them as they added another four behinds to their tally and the Creekers made them pay with a goal of their own at the other end. Alicia Maskell and Stephanie Yoannidis were great for the Creekers, while Kaitlin Richards and Morgan Khan were the best performing Colts. Diamond Creek Women’s will look to carry its momentum to Joe Brown Reserve to face the top-of-the-ladder Keilor.
After a 14-point loss in Round 4, Keilor turned the tables to inflict Bendigo’s first defeat of the season with a 5.1 (31) to 3.6 (24) victory. In a top of the table clash, Keilor delivered the first blows, kicking the opening two goals of the match to earn a 10-point quarter time lead. A two-goal to one second quarter stretched Keilor’s lead out to 15 points at the main break and they took the same advantage into the final change. An experienced Bendigo outfit were able to gain back some of the momentum in the last quarter but were unable to chase down Keilor’s lead. Sarah Wright kicked three goals for Keilor in her third best on ground performance of the season, while Grace Edlin was excellent for Bendigo.
In Division 2, La Trobe University secured its fourth win of the season, defeating Darebin 15.7 (97) to 2.2 (14). After a competitive first term from both sides, La Trobe took a 10-point lead into quarter time, before kicking 12 of the next 13 goals to run away comprehensive winners. After kicking nine goals in the previous round, Samantha Greene added another seven goals to continue her rich vein of form, while Emma McIntyre was a strong performer in defeat for the Falcons. La Trobe will look to make it three wins in a row against South Morang and Darebin will play Montmorency.
The VU Western Spurs posted a 12.6 (78) to 3.0 (18) away win over Laurimar. With the Spurs only 12-points ahead at quarter time, they put their foot down and produced fantastic football to secure the all-important four points in terrific fashion. Stacy Rigon was the focal-point up forward with 10 goals, and Sophia Power was also great for the Spurs. Molly Cronin kicked all three goals for Laurimar, while Ellie Koiker and Tenille Webb continued their strong form. The Spurs will now look to challenge undefeated West Preston-Lakeside at J.E Moore Park and Laurimar will enjoy a bye.
West Preston-Lakeside strengthened its position atop of the ladder with a 16.9 (105) to 3.3 (21) win over South Morang. Opening the match with five-straight goals, the Roosters’ momentum couldn’t be stopped, and they went on to produce yet another impressive performance. Catherine O’Bryan and Monique Dematteo, in her first game of the year, excelled for the Roosters, while Hayley Osborne and Alisha Pryde tried hard for the Lions.
In Division 3, St Mary’s continued its charge, recording a fifth-consecutive win with a 2.11 (23) to 0.0 (0) victory over La Trobe University. Despite struggling to convert their chances, the Burra controlled the match to seal a victory that keeps them within a game of ladder-leader Bundoora. Stephanie Trkulja and Ruby Colley were fantastic for the Burra while Claire Henderson and Tess O’Brien were strong for La Trobe. St Mary’s will now look ahead to their match against Mernda while La Trobe will prepare to face Eltham at Eltham Central Park.
Third-placed VU Western Spurs moved two wins clear of fourth with a 4.4 (28) to 2.7 (19) win over Mernda. The Spurs took a six-point advantage into the main break but the home side came out firing to take an eight-point lead heading into the final break. The Spurs however, responded superbly in the last quarter to hold Mernda to a single behind and kick three goals of their own. Emma Wheeler and Trinda Lampard were best afield for the Spurs, while Teneisha Fiore and Courtney Dickinson were great for Mernda. The Spurs will look to go back-to-back with a match against Greensborough at Greensborough War Memorial Park.
Bundoora showcased why it is leading the competition with a 13.14 (92) to 1.1 (7) win over Greensborough. In a free flowing first quarter, the Bulls took a 14-point lead into quarter time. After converting an early second quarter goal, the Bulls confined the play to their forward half and capitalised on their opportunities for the rest of the match. Bridgette Taylor-Gray and Brieanna Musgrave were fantastic for the Bulls, while the Boro’s Rita Slewa toiled hard all day, repelling several of the Bulls advances.