The Fitzroy Stars did enough to win their highly anticipated SG Print & Paper Division 2 clash over Banyule on Sunday night, prevailing by just six-points at Beverley Road Oval.
Both sides were 3-1 following the grading period and following strong campaigns in Division 3 last year, the Stars and the Bears were set up to face each other in the first round of their new competition.
But in a low scoring affair, a goal from the visitor’s in both the second and third terms would prove to be all that was required to record their fourth win of the season, with the match finishing 2.4 (16) to 1.4 (10).
Shania Austin-Jones was incredibly influential for the Stars, and it was her impressive tackling efforts one percenter’s that led to her team’s goal in the third.
Heidi Cummins and Casey Woodward were also competitive throughout the match for the Bears, as they had been all season. They did all they could to keep the home side in the game.
Under lights at Beverley Road Oval, the match began with both teams showcasing their impressive defensive traits, a sign of what was to come throughout the remainder of the match.
However, neither team truly had their way in the first quarter.
The Bears did most of the attacking in the first period of the quarter, but they just couldn’t convert any opportunities into goals, before the Stars started to show more promise later in the term but they too struggled to find the big sticks.
Rebekah Di Paola was able to break the deadlock for Banyule at the beginning of the second quarter, with a nice goal from a set shot.
But the Fitzroy Stars were able to respond in almost no time as Bonnie Kairouz found the goals to quickly stay on level terms.
A few more behinds from the Stars would end up being the all the breathing room they were afforded in the term as they went into half time with a three-point lead.
The third quarter continued the trend of the first two, in that there was minimal scoring from either side, but a forward entry from the visitor’s did lead to their second major of the match, as an excellent smother from Austin-Jones allowed Tanisha Walsh to finish the play with a goal.
Kicking that goal, as well as containing Banyule to just one behind for the quarter, gave Lisa Roper’s side a nine-point lead heading into the final change.
Banyule were able to get the game on their terms in the final term, as they pushed forward time and time again. But each time they did, the Stars were remained strong under pressure and were able to clear the ball away from their defensive 50 on multiple occasions.
The Bears’ three scoring shots for the quarter were all behinds, with the last coming just seconds before the final siren as the Fitzroy Stars held on to win by six-points.
In what looks to be the match of the round this weekend, the Stars will host Eltham who have won their last three consecutive games, while Banyule will hope to bounce back when they take on Montmorency 2.