A dominant first half saw St Mary’s claim an impressive 50-point triumph over Heidelberg in their Cleaning Melbourne Division 2 Women’s battle at Whatmough Park on Friday night.
The Burra kicked five goals to nil in the first half, keeping the Tigers to just one behind throughout the entire match to finish 7.9 (51) to 0.1 (1) victors.
It’s St Mary’s fourth win of the season while Heidelberg suffered just their second loss of the campaign.
It was Meg Girolami and Sarah Johnston who excelled inside 50. For the second consecutive week, she kicked four majors while Sarah Johnston slotted home two goals.
Elyssa Rees made her first appearance for Troy Bickerton’s side in 2023 and was quick to get back to her brilliant best alongside the talented Jessica Hardy.
Despite a heavy defeat, there were many shining lights for Heidelberg. Emily De Sando put in a mountain of work in midfield, with her dash and ability to win clearances on full display.
Grace Papagianis also returned to the side and fought hard up forward and in midfield whilst Macy D’Orazio worked tirelessly in defensive 50.
The hosts would get off to a fast start from the opening bounce, with majors from Johnston and Caitlin Kreuzberger in the first five minutes setting the tone of the contest.
St Mary’s continued to press hard and create multiple chances throughout the first quarter, with Johnston’s second major 15 minutes in, extending the lead to 20 points approaching the first change.
Heidelberg had a more promising opening to the second quarter, but the Burra would still find a way to keep kicking goals, with Girolami finding the big sticks five minutes into the term.
She would soon be in the thick of the action again as a checkside set shot sailed through 10 minutes later to increase their margin to a comfortable 31 points at half time.
The forward would pick up where she left off early in the second half, with goals three and four coming within minutes of each other. One of those being an impressive major off the ground, to see St Mary’s lead reach beyond seven goals.
The rest of the quarter saw both sides have patches of territory and dominance, but neither side could capitalise.
Heidelberg showed glimpses throughout the term, but the Burra would pick up four further behinds to extend their advantage to 47 points at three quarter time.
The Tigers continued to work hard throughout the final term. They were able to produce many chances inside 50 as a result of their ability to maintain possession and gain territory.
However, the St Mary’s defensive half stood tall, as they constantly found ways to win the ball back and ensure no further goals came from their opposition, sealing a 50-point victory as a result.