Running fresh off the bye, Round 7 of the ANZ NFNL Women’s competition showcased matches of a high quality across the three divisions.
In ANZ Division 1, VU Western Spurs continued their unbeaten run, defeating Bendigo 27.18 (180) to 0.0 (0) at Henry Turner Reserve. Carrying on with their fantastic form, the ladder-leaders kicked five opening quarter goals and were dangerous with each forward 50m entry. The Spurs generating 14 goal scorers for the match, including a match-high five goals from Taylor Moss. Debra Bonde and Aimee Whelan had plenty of the football for the Spurs, while Brianna Burt and Georgia Gordon battled hard to clear the ball for the Thunder. The Spurs will play reigning Division 2 premier West Preston-Lakeside at home in Round 8, while the Thunder will look to regroup with the bye.
Montmorency jumped to third position on the ladder with a 12.6 (78) to 0.1 (1) victory over West Preston-Lakeside at J.E. Moore Park. The match was a rematch of last year’s Division 2 grand final. Only seven points separated the sides at quarter time, but the Magpies clicked into gear from then onwards and ran away with the match. Sophie Foote produced yet another superb performance for the Magpies, Natalie Tull-Boyle, Nicole Blythe and Bailey Shultz combined for nine goals. Michelle Millhouse and Catherine O’Bryan continued their great seasons for the Roosters. The Magpies return home to meet fourth-placed Diamond Creek Women’s in Round 8, with both sides taking 4-2 records into the important clash.
Diamond Creek Women’s returned to the winners’ list after defeating Bundoora 10.11 (71) to 4.2 (26) at Plenty Park Ova. A fast start from the Creekers provided them with a 27-point quarter time lead and the Bulls were unable to grab back the momentum, despite their best efforts. Creekers forward Paige Cardona was best afield with three goals, while Dianna Haines backed up her impressive performance from Round 6. Molly Cronin and Antonietta Parisi were great for the Bulls once again. Bundoora returns home to play Darebin next week, with the Falcons returning from the bye.
In MC Security Division 2, VU Western Spurs defeated Heidelberg 10.12 (72) to 0.0 (0) in slippery conditions at Henry Turner Reserve. The win sees the Spurs remain undefeated and move two games clear on top of the table, while the Tigers dropped to fifth position. Krystle Artuso and Rebecca Bliss led the way for the Spurs, with the goals shared by six players. Monique Cook and Cassia Menkhorst continued their strong form for the Tigers on a tough day against strong opposition. The Spurs will now host Eltham at home, while the Tigers will have a bye and look to reset for the second half of the season as they continue their hunt for a finals place.
St Mary’s bounced back from its loss last round to defeat Diamond Creek Women’s 9.14 (68) to 4.3 (27) at Plenty Park Oval. The Burra led by nine points at the first change, but were unable to make the most of their opportunities in second term, as the Creekers kicked a goal against the run of play to close the gap to six points at the main break. St Mary’s produced yet another inaccurate quarter in the third, kicking 3.6, but still managed to create a handy 23-point buffer at the last change. They then built on that advantage in the final term. Casey Scullin was best afield with three goals, while Nikola Fry and Amy Mitchener were also terrific for the Burra. Cara Edwards and Olivia Murphy were the best performing Creekers, while Grace Addamo finished with three goals. St Mary’s plays a fresh off the bye Darebin at Whatmough Oval in a crucial battle for both sides finals prospects, while the Creekers travel to Mill Park Lakes Reserve to meet South Morang.
South Morang produced a gallant away win, overcoming Eltham 3.4 (22) to 3.3 (21) in a one-point thriller at Eltham Central Park. The Lions trailed by six points at three quarter time but kept the Panthers scoreless in the final term to claim a thrilling win. The victory was an important one for the Lions as they look to set up camp in the top-five in the early rounds of the season. Vanessa Sankovic and Cherie Hallett played pivotal roles in getting the Lions over the line, while Caitlin Wheeler had plenty of the ball for the Panthers, while Leah Rudd was the only multiple goal kicker with two majors.
In Mirvac Division 3, VU Western Spurs produced a dominant 8.1 (59) to 0.0 (0) win over Hurstbridge. Playing in the 11:30am timeslot, the victory kick-started the club’s trifecta, which saw all three sides grab wins in commanding fashion at home – with all three Spurs sides keeping their opponent scoreless. Five opening quarter goals to the Spurs split the game open, with the Bridges unable to hit back for the remainder of the match. Carly Eeles and Angelica Land were huge for the Spurs, along with Stacy Rigon who was at her damaging best with four goals. The Spurs will remain at home to host Reservoir in Round 8, while the Bridges hit the road again to play an in-form Greensborough.
Montmorency held onto fourth position on the ladder after overcoming Reservoir 4.5 (29) to 2.2 (14) at Crispe Park. The opening two goals went the way of the Mustangs and they grabbed a 10-point advantage at quarter time. The Magpies responded in the second term with two goals of their own and carried a four-point lead into half time. A two-goal to zero second half saw the Magpies build on their lead and secure the four points. Taeana Wootton-Tasker and Maddi-Taylor Wilde excelled for the victors, while Alessandra Galletti and Stevie Hare were gallant in defeat for the Mustangs. The Magpies will return home to play third-placed Laurimar next week, where both sides are looking to secure an important four points in a tight season.
Greensborough jumped two games atop the table after defeating Wallan 8.6 (54) to 3.2 (20) at Greensborough War Memorial Park. The Boro controlled the play in the first half to hold the Magpies scoreless and kick five goals of their own. Despite a better showing from the Magpies in the second half, the gap between the two sides proved to be too large. Meggan Nelsen and the ever-reliable Lauren Collis were fantastic for the Boro, while Madison Reesor and Roisin Fitzgerald tried hard for the Magpies. Wallan will look to bounce back against Mernda at Waterview Recreation Reserve next up.
Mernda posted an important 2.9 (21) to 1.5 (11) victory over Laurimar at Laurimar Reserve to jump into fifth spot on the ladder. After recording a two-goal to zero first half, Mernda broke away with a 12-point lead at half time. Missed opportunities in the third term saw Mernda add only four behinds, but the 15-point lead proved to be unassailable for the Power in the final term. Melanie Webb and Jasmyn Lang combined to ensure Mernda got over the line and Renee Grant continued her consistent season for the Power.