Round 11 was a crucial one for many of the NFNL Women’s sides across the three divisions, producing a range of results that impacted ladder positions.
ANZ DIVISION 1 WOMEN’S
Darebin overcame old rival Diamond Creek Women’s 4.4 (28) to 2.3 (15) at A.H Capp Reserve. The Falcons took a one-point lead into quarter time before a two-goals to one second term saw them secure a seven-point advantage at half time. The Falcons then managed hold the Creekers goalless in the third quarter while kicking a goal themselves to set up a match-winning 13-point differential. Big games from Laura O’Malley and Caitlyn Jeffress helped the Falcons get over the line, while Amanda Kennedy kicked the Creekers’ two majors to be their best performer. Darebin will host their next challenge in Bendigo and Diamond Creek Women’s travels to Yulong Reserve to play Bundoora.
Bendigo etched its name onto the winners’ list for the first time this season with a gutsy 4.4 (28) to 2.4 (16) win over fifth-placed West Preston-Lakeside at J.E Moore Park. The Thunder kicked three unanswered first half goals to take a 19-point lead into half time before the Roosters hit the scoreboard in the third term to trail by only 10 points at the final change. With both sides kicking a goal a piece in the final quarter, the Thunder were able to seal the win. Katelyn Hazlett got rewarded for her efforts with the victory after three-consecutive best on ground performances for the Thunder, while Kristie Hedington was also fantastic. Teresa Cassar and Rachel Millhouse were the Roosters’ best. West Preston-Lakeside now faces a tough challenge to bounce back when it hosts undefeated VU Western Spurs fresh off the bye.
Montmorency heads into the bye full of confidence after defeating Bundoora 11.20 (86) to 0.0 (0) at Montmorency Park. A two-goal opening term to Bailey Schultz, on her way to four by the end of the match, helped her side secure a 28-point lead at quarter time. The Magpies carried the momentum throughout the rest of the match and hit the scoreboard consistently, despite the slippery conditions. Schultz and Sophie Foote were great for the Magpies, while Brieanna Musgrave and Candice Dyson toiled hard for the Bulls.
MC SECURITY DIVISION 2 WOMEN’S
Third-placed Darebin kept in touch with second-placed South Morang with a 5.5 (35) to 1.0 (6) victory over Diamond Creek Women’s. After heading into quarter time with a six-point advantage, the Falcons kicked away in the next three quarters to secure the four points. Jem Wilson was named best afield, while Kate Salemme also stood up with three goals for the Falcons. Zarah York and Stefini Buzzini were solid for the Creekers. Darebin remains at home to play Heidelberg in an important Round 12 clash, while Diamond Creek Women’s will look to hit back away to St Mary’s.
Heidelberg moved a game clear in fourth position after defeating Eltham 6.7 (43) to 0.2 (2). A tight opening quarter saw both sides locked on equal points, before the Tigers put their foot down to kick six goals in the next three quarters. Kimberly Buck and Rachel Sherry excelled for the Tigers, while Claudia Williver and Courtney Donoghue were among the Panthers best players. Eltham returns home to play host to ladder-leader VU Western Spurs, who will be coming off the bye.
South Morang enjoyed a percentage-boosting 8.10 (58) to 0.2 (2) win over St Mary’s to strengthen its claim on a double-chance in the finals. A six-goal opening half by the Lions set up the win and only inaccurate second half kicking let them down, booting a wayward 2.7 in the final two quarters. Star Lion Cassie Hurst notched up a second-consecutive best on ground performance, while Serena Francke tried hard for the Burra. South Morang now heads into a bye as it looks to charge into the final rounds of the season.
MIRVAC DIVISION 3 WOMEN’S
Montmorency made it three on the trot with a 6.7 (43) to 3.3 (21) victory over Mernda at Montmorency Park. The Magpies took a 14-point break into quarter time after kicking the opening two goals. Mernda bounced back via a Natasha Pamouktsis goal, before Amanda Bayes booted a goal for the Magpies to stretch their lead out to 15 points at half time. Mernda kicked the opening goal of the third quarter to be within eight points, but the Magpies responded yet again with a goal. However, Mernda generated their second goal of the term just before the three-quarter time siren to trail by just eight points. Montmorency proved to be too good in the fourth quarter, kicking two goals including a great finish from Jessica Wynn after the final siren. Maddi-Taylor Wilde and Amber Vincent provided plenty of run in the muddy conditions for Montmorency, while Natasha Pamouktsis and Kelly Garlepp were impressive for Mernda. Mernda now plays Laurimar at Waterview Recreation Reserve in an important clash for both sides. Montmorency faces top of the table Greensborough in a match that will play a huge role in shaping the top five.
Hurstbridge returned to the winners’ list after a comfortable 8.5 (53) to 1.3 (9) win over Reservoir at Crispe Park, with the win moving the Bridges within four points of the top-five. Danielle Pike continued her brilliant form for Hurstbridge with a second-consecutive best on ground performance, while Rebecca Hayes booted three majors. Chiara Nardo and Ashlee Paterson tried hard for Reservoir. The win sees the Bridges move into sixth place and only a game behind fifth-placed Wallan, who they now play away in what could prove to be a decisive match for fifth position come the end of the season. Reservoir will host VU Western Spurs.
In a top-two clash, VU Western Spurs came away 4.4 (28) to 2.5 (17) winners over Greensborough at Henry Turner Reserve. With the scores level at half time, the Spurs found another gear in the premiership quarter to kick three unanswered goals and despite the Boro having chances in the final term, they were unable to get back into the match. Stacy Rigon and Jessica McKenzie stood up in the key moments for the Spurs, while Lauren Green and Kelly Mullins were great for the Boro. The loss sees top of the table Boro brought back within touching distance of the three teams tied for second-place, being the Spurs, Laurimar and Montmorency, with only a game now separating them.
Laurimar and Wallan played out the closest game of the round, with the Power prevailing 5.3 (33) to 4.8 (32) at Wallan Recreational Reserve. The Magpies rued missed opportunities in the first quarter, adding only four behinds to the scoreboard, while the Power made them pay with a goal. A goal to both sides in the second term saw the Power take a one-point lead into half time. Wallan kicked two goals to one in the third term to snatch a five-point advantage heading into the final change. But a reverse of fortunes saw the Power enjoy a two-goal to one fourth quarter that ensured they grabbed the lead back. Nicole Aldridge and Donna Keogh played pivotal roles in getting the Power over the line, while Olivia Attard and Madison Reesor couldn’t have done any more for the Magpies.