Montmorency secured a double chance in the Mirvac Division 1 Women’s finals series with a runaway win over VU Western Spurs in the final round of the home and away season.
In a match-up between two premiership contenders, it was the Magpies who prevailed 8.4 (52) to 3.6 (24) at Henry Turner Reserve.
With so much on the line, the first half was played at finals-like intensity, with only one point separating the sides at the main break.
However, a four-goal to nil third quarter was the difference for Montmorency, with the Magpies pushing up into second spot on the ladder and confirming their place in the qualifying final.
The result saw the Spurs slip to fifth spot and they are now destined for an elimination final.
It was Montmorency’s defence which was vital yet again, constantly repelling attacks by the Spurs and then starting great chains of play from the last line.
Montmorency captain Ashleigh Bayes was a standout, intercepting and distributing with class. She was well supported by teammate Megan Allan.
Mika Suzuki was another solid contributor on the wing and up forward, kicking two goals and providing good run and dash.
It was a great match up in the middle of the ground between the two rucks in Emily Beanland and Deena Bassett.
Bassett contributed well for the Spurs, while Beanland was fantastic for the Magpies, constantly providing a target around the ground, hitting it to her midfielders’ advantage and even adding a goal to her name in the third term
VU Western Spurs had several players who excelled, despite the final scoreline, including Erin Bult. Following two goals last game against West Preston-Lakeside, she added another two and was quite often threatening.
Jessica Kinsman was solid in defence, trying her best to stop any Montmorency attack and shutting out the dangerous Madison Bayes for most of the game.
Emma Wheeler had her moments, particularly in the fourth quarter, but the defending premiers will now have to take the long route if they are to claim back-to-back flags.
In beautiful conditions at Henry Turner Reserve, Montmorency kicked away early in the game, booting the game’s opening three goals.
The Magpies shut down any inside 50m entry by the Spurs, whilst their forward line converted nearly every opportunity, particularly in the first 10 minutes, to take a 19-point lead at quarter time.
However, the Spurs came out of the quarter time huddle all guns blazing and applied outstanding pressure on the Magpies.
The home side kicked the only three goals of the second term, including two to Erin Bult, to take a one-point lead at the main break.
With the game hanging in the balance, Montmorency started the second half on fire, kicking three goals in the opening five minutes of the third term, before adding another before the three-quarter time siren.
Not only was their transition work at its best again, but it was their dominance in midfield that started to shine – winning nearly every clearance in the opening few minutes.
Taking a four-goal lead into the fourth quarter, it was a tight and contested final term, with many stoppages and very few scoring opportunities.
Madison Bayes put the icing on the cake for the visitors, putting through a late goal, to hand Montmorency a 28-point victory and a great confidence boost heading into the finals.
Final score: VU Western Spurs 3.6 (24) def by Montmorency 8.4 (52)
VU WESTERN SPURS
Goal Kickers: E. Bult 2, A. Ford
Best Players: J. Kinsman, B. Ash, R. Ceravolo, E. Bult, T. Dinuccio
Goal Kickers: N. Tull-Boyle 2, A. Setches, M. Bayes, M. Suzuki, M. Gallagher-Beanland, E. Beanland, T. Harris
Best Players: T. Harris, O. Lamb, T. Langford, H. Laffey, M. Allan, M. Suzuki