The competition’s best teams continued to put their best foot forward during the 2021 Anzac Round, which coincided with the third round of grading.
The three games played on Saturday each provided a headline, which included Whittlesea scoring its maiden win in the NFNL Women’s competition. Playing against another 2021 newcomer in Banyule, the Eagles ran away with the game after quarter time to record a 9.7 (61) to 3.1 (19) triumph at Whittlesea Showgrounds. Tiana Markey was the Eagles best player for the second time in the opening three games, with her performance including two majors. Paris Schmiedel played her best game for her new club, while Samantha Temple impressed for the Bears.
Lower Plenty’s perfect record continued, with the Bears booting four unanswered goals after quarter time on their way to a 5.14 (44) to 1.3 (9) win over Bundoora at Montmorency Park South Oval. Tilly Macdonald and Megan Maxwell led the way for the victors, while Milla Fereday’s three goals lifted her season tally to eight. Talia Vincent was best for Bundoora, while Amy Callaway’s goal in the opening term was the first goal conceded by Lower Plenty this year.
Montmorency 1 made it three-straight wins to start the campaign and brought an end to Greensborough’s winning streak in a commanding 7.8 (50) to 1.2 (8) win at Greensborough War Memorial Park. A three-goal first quarter saw the Magpies race to a 21-point lead at the opening break. That was marginally stretched to 23 points by three-quarter time, before the Magpies kicked right away with another three goals in the final quarter. Emily Beanland and Nicole Blythe continued their good form, while Taylah Harris booted a game-high three goals. Lauren Collis was Greensborough’s best and has maintained the form that saw her win the Division 3 Women’s Coaches MVP Award in 2019.
Darebin scored a double over VU Western Spurs at A.H. Capp Reserve, which was kickstarted by Darebin 2 scoring a 6.4 (40) to 1.0 (6) triumph over VU Western Spurs 2. The Falcons raced to a 20-point lead in the opening quarter and were always in control of the contest. Emily Baldwin, Jessica Marks and Ruby Cray enjoyed top performances, while Louise Potter snared three goals. Maria Soldatos and Natalie Schilov performed well for the Spurs.
It was much closer in the match that followed, with Darebin 1 scoring a hard-fought eight-point win over VU Western Spurs 1. The Falcons had their chances to win by more but were inaccurate in the 2.11 (23) to 2.3 (15) win. The home side trailed at quarter time despite registering five scoring shots to one but took the lead during the second quarter and never surrendered it thereafter. Julia Phung and 2019 Division 1 Women’s Coaches MVP Tamara Olcorn were in great touch, while the Spurs were well served by Rita Ceravolo and Tori Snelleksz, who scored both her side’s goals.
Montmorency 2 kept their club’s undefeated start to the year intact, romping to a 9.7 (61) to 3.1 (19) triumph over Diamond Creek Women’s 2 in a high-scoring affair at Montmorency Park North Oval. Montmorency made the better start and kicked four of the five opening-quarter goals to lead by 20 at the first change. The Creekers tried gamely to close the margin over the next two quarters, but to no avail as the Magpies held sway before stretching the lead with two unanswered goals in the last term. Eilish Feehan was best afield for Montmorency while former AFLW player Amelia Barden kicked two goals and was Diamond Creek Women’s best player.
Hurstbridge scored its first win of 2021 with a 33-point triumph over Fitzroy Stars at Ben Frilay Oval. The Bridges booted six unanswered goals in the first half to lead by 33 at the main break before a much more even second half, which saw both sides add three goals. Rebecca Hayes slotted four majors for Hurstbridge, with Keely Fitzgerald, Teaghan Watt, Belinda Harris and Chelsy Corcoran also getting on the score sheet.
West Preston-Lakeside opened its winning account with a 12-point win away to Eltham at Eltham Central Park. The Roosters held a slight lead at the end of every quarter before prevailing 4.4 (28) to 2.4 (16). Michelle Millhouse has made a great start to 2021 and was again among the game’s most influential players, while Rebecca McDonagh also enjoyed a strong showing for the winners. Claudia Williver was her usual busy self for Eltham.
Wallan and St Mary’s played out the season’s first draw, with the sides locked at 2.1 (13) apiece on the final siren. In fact, the sides were tied at 13-all at three-quarter time with neither side registering a score in the final term. Larissa Sahyoune and Ebony-Lee Collins were among the most prominent players for the Magpies, while the Burra were led by another strong showing from Brigid McEntee and Elyssa Grace Catherine Rees.
Mernda won an arm-wrestle against local rival Laurimar, with the result handing the Demons their first win of 2021. Mernda led right throughout the 2.2 (14) to 0.1 (1) result at Waterview Recreation Reserve, with the goals coming in the first and last quarter. Abigail Adams was best afield for the Demons, while both goals came via Shenay Reeves. Kiera Hunter tried her best to spark the Power.
Perhaps the biggest statement of the round came from Diamond Creek Women’s 1, who booted 19 goals in a huge win over Heidelberg. The Creekers have been the most formidable team in the competition in 2021 and backed up last week’s win over reigning Division 1 premier VU Western Spurs with a fearsome display again at Warringal Park. Karly Cobern continues to find plenty of the football, while Linda Thorp and Taylah Mount shared nine goals. Megan Harwood and Mia Tascone gave their all for Heidelberg.