The NFNL Women’s 2019 season kicked off across four days, with the first of four grading rounds completed at the weekend.
Eltham opened its season under lights on April 5, with a solid 6.5 (41) to 1.5 (11) win over St Mary’s. Kicking the opening four goals of the match, the Panthers put the game out of reach early and led by 26 points at half time. Alannah Murray, Sarah Huntington and Jacki White playing starring roles.
Diamond Creek Women’s 1 also got its season off to a winning start last week, defeating reigning Division 2 premier West Preston-Lakeside 5.12 (42) to 1.3 (9) at J.E. Moore Park. The Creekers were unable to make the most of their early opportunities, managing only seven behinds for their efforts in the first half. But a five-goal second half split the game open and secured the win. Isabella Farchione picked up where she left off last season with a great display, while Simone Secombe also stood out for the Creekers. Qwai Sibbald and Natasha Stoikos were the Roosters’ best.
VU Western Spurs 2 couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season, with a comprehensive 17.11 (113) to 0.1 (1) win over Mernda at Waterview Recreation Reserve on Saturday morning. The Spurs forward line looked unstoppable, with five goals coming from the boot of Shanel Camilleri and three-goal hauls from both Stacy Rigon and Danielle Mazzocca. Michelle Davies and Tiana Markey tried hard for Mernda.
With both sides fielding women’s teams in the NFNL for the first time, Heidelberg made an imposing statement with a 26.6 (162) to 0.0 (0) win over Hurstbridge at Warringal Park. The Tigers came out firing, with nine first-quarter goals and never looked back as they dominated the play. Sarah Barlow nailed eight goals, while Ashleigh Riley scored seven of her own in an incredible opening display. Rachel Sherry capped a best on ground display with a goal.
Darebin 2 began its season on a positive note with a 6.7 (43) to 3.3 (21) win over Montmorency 2 at A.H. Capp Reserve. The Falcons kicked four goals to the Magpies’ one in the opening half and consequently took an 18-point lead into the main break. Two third-quarter goals from Megan Allan kept the Magpies in the match and brought them within five-points at the final change. However, the Falcons responded strongly in the last quarter and booted 2.5 to run away with a 22-point win.
The result was flipped in the match between the two clubs’ first teams, with Montmorency 1 prevailing over Darebin 1 with a 8.7 (55) to 3.10 (28) victory. Taking an 18-point lead into half-time, the Magpies long looked in control of the match and the Falcons were unable to close the gap. Madison Bayes kicked four goals at full-forward for the Magpies, while Caitlyn Jeffress was the best performing Falcon.
Greensborough edged out Laurimar with a 2.3 (15) to 2.1 (13) victory at Laurimar Reserve. There was little separating these two sides right throughout the afternoon, with the lead Boro managing to hold on to a two-point lead at the final siren. Lauren Collis and Meggan Nelsen were pivotal in getting the Boro over the line, while Sarah Scheggia and Georgia Smith tried their hearts out for the Power.
South Morang proved too strong for VU Western Spurs 3, producing an 11.11 (77) to 1.0 (6) win at Mill Park Lakes Reserve. With only an eight-point lead at quarter time, the Lions clicked into gear after the first break to generate 10 goals in the next three quarters, while keeping the Spurs to a solitary one. Cassie Hurst carried her fantastic 2018 form into the new season while Demi Hallett also played great football for the Lions.
Bundoora picked up where it left off last season with a dominant 14.10 (94) to 0.0 (0) win over Diamond Creek 2 at N.J. Telfer Reserve to maintain its unbeaten record in women’s football. The reigning Division 3 premiers didn’t miss a beat in Round 1, kicking five opening-quarter goals and followed on to dictate the play for entire day. Molly Cronin and Marnie Jarvis (three goals) were brilliant for the Bulls, while Caitlin Daly and Lilli Walker played their roles for the Creekers.
VU Western Spurs 1 sent a strong statement to the rest of the competition, toppling the two-time defending Division 1 premier Bendigo 15.9 (99) to 0.0 (0) at Weeroona Oval. The Spurs stunned the new-look Thunder in the first quarter to take a 28-point lead into the first break and proved unstoppable from there on. Kerrie Clarke was excellent up forward with six goals, while Jasmine Maljevac had plenty of the footy for the Spurs. Thunder captain Ayrlea Bailey-McClanahan and Tara Wilson tried their best to stem the flow.
Wallan overcame Reservoir 5.5 (35) to 2.0 (12) in what was both clubs’ first foray into women’s football. The Magpies booted three goals in the first quarter to take a 13-point advantage into the first break. They were then able to hold a comfortable advantage throughout the afternoon. Abby Potts and Lauren MacPherson contributed to the win with two goals apiece, while Terrie-ann Haydon will also take plenty of confidence after her great performance for Wallan. Stevie Hare and Chloe Simmons stood out for Reservoir.