Some huge fixtures are set to take place at Epping Recreation Reserve during week two of the NFNL senior women’s finals series.
WINNING EDGE DIVISION 1 WOMEN’S
Second Semi-Final: Diamond Creek Women’s 1 vs West Preston-Lakeside 1
Diamond Creek Women’s 1
Ladder: 1st (13-1; 440.64%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Linda Thorp (43 goals)
Most times in best (post grading): Georgia Tait (8), Lauren Durante (7), Karly Cobern (6)
West Preston-Lakeside 1
Ladder: 3rd (9-4; 206.48%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Tallia Pulcino (9 goals)
Most times in best (post-grading): Ashleigh Snow (9), Tallia Pulcino (8), Kasey Lennox (6)
After a dominant home and away season which saw them win 13 of a possible 14 games by an average margin of over 75 points, Diamond Creek Women’s 1 are in prime position to take out their first senior premiership in the NFNL competition.
However, the Creekers will be up against the only side to have defeated them this year in West Preston-Lakeside 1, who are brimming with confidence following a 37-point qualifying final win over Montmorency 1 last week.
Both sides have claimed scalps against each other in 2022 and back in 2019, the only time prior to Saturday that two sides have met in a final, the Creekers prevailed in the elimination final by 33-points.
A win would see West Preston-Lakeside play in their first grand final since their successful Division 2 campaign in 2018 while victory for the Creekers would make it back-to-back Division 1 Grand Final appearances.
First Semi-Final: Montmorency 1 vs Darebin 1
Ladder: 2nd (10-4; 389.94%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Jemma Laffey (32 goals)
Most times in best (post grading): Ashleigh Bayes (7), Taylor Langford (6), Shae Collinson (5)
Ladder: 4th (8-4; 125.83%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Chloe Williams (16 goals)
Most times in best (post-grading): Julia Phung (6), Nikita Magriplis (5), Chloe Williams (4), Karly O’Malley (4)
Montmorency 1 will be disappointed with their efforts last weekend when they fell to West Preston-Lakeside 1, failing to score after quarter time to go down by 37 points.
Their opportunity to bounce back will be against a Falcons side who are still trying to catch their heartrate following a thrilling one-point win over Greensborough on Sunday.
Two enthralling encounters have already taken place between these two sides this year. In the opening round of the Division 1 season, the Falcons held on for a four-point victory at A.H. Capp Reserve before the Magpies got revenge on their home deck almost four weeks ago with a nine-point triumph.
With so much on the line this coming Sunday, expect this contest as fierce as their clashes throughout the year.
SG PRINT & PAPER DIVISION 2 WOMEN’S
Second Semi-Final: St Mary’s vs Eltham
Ladder: 1st (11-3; 494.67%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Sarah Johnston (41 goals)
Most times in best (post grading): Jessica Hardy (10), Elyssa Rees (10), Sarah Johnston (8)
Ladder: 2nd (11-3; 461.94%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Jacki White (26 goals)
Most times in best (post-grading): Sarah Huntington (9), Alannah Murray (6), Shanny Ashby (5), Jacki White (5)
A strong 2022 campaign saw St Mary’s sneak into top spot by season’s end to sit in the box seat of a first women’s premiership. They’ll come into this game in hot form too, finishing the regular season with seven consecutive wins by an average margin of 70 points.
The Panthers were on top of the ladder until Round 9 when they were pipped by the Burra, forcing them into a qualifying final last week. However, after a comfortable victory over Banyule, the stage is set to add another chapter into what is a healthy rivalry between these two sides.
Eltham held on to win by three points in Round 3 before St Mary’s broke away in the final quarter of their Round 9 battle to secure a 10-point victory.
To book the first spot in the grand final would be a crucial advantage for whoever can prevail on Saturday and going by previous meetings, it might not be decided until the last bounce.
First Semi-Final: Banyule vs Whittlesea
Ladder: 3rd (11-3; 383.09%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Rebekah Di Paola (20 goals)
Most times in best (post grading): Hayley Moxon (8), Drew Barnes (7), Jane Cahir (7)
Ladder: 5th (6-8; 56.12%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Luka Kennedy (6 goals)
Most times in best (post-grading): Jessica Vilinskis (7), Tahlia Brander (7), Annette Carle (7)
Banyule’s hopes of playing in this year’s decider took a hit last week when they were outplayed by Eltham at the Whittlesea Showgrounds.
It was a different story for Whittlesea, as with scores level at three quarter time, the Eagles pulled away with a three goal to one final term to prevail over the Fitzroy Stars in the elimination final.
The Bears have the wood over the Eagles in 2022, with both meetings seeing Banyule claim 48-point and 36-point wins.
While Banyule might be favourites in this match, and rightly so, Whittlesea will be planning to bring as much momentum as possible from last week over to Sunday’s encounter in the hopes of keeping their dream finals run alive.
CLEANING MELBOURNE DIVISION 3 WOMEN’S
Second Semi-Final: Mernda vs Hurstbridge
Ladder: 1st (11-2; 882.93%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Ameerah Gentle (15 goals)
Most times in best (post grading): Gulia Ceravolo (6), Ameerah Gentle (5), Awek Dut (5)
Ladder: 2nd (10-4; 563.53%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Belinda Harris (17 goals)
Most times in best (post-grading): Belinda Harris (9), Sheridan Bennett (9), Melissa Martini (7)
Mernda have been an impressive outfit in season 2022, winning all but one game in their last 10 matches to finish as minor premiers.
Their one loss in that time was against Saturday’s opponents in Hurstbridge, who are coming off a solid 20-point victory over West Preston-Lakeside 2.
As is the case with the other two second semi-final match up’s this weekend, both sides have had nail-biting games throughout the 2022 season. An inaccurate Mernda hung on to win by a singular point back in May before the Bridges ended the Demons’ winning streak four weeks ago, reversing the result to prevail by one-point.
With a first ever grand final appearance on the line for these two sides, the expectation will be nothing short of an entertaining contest on Saturday.
First Semi-Final: West Preston-Lakeside 2 vs Laurimar
Ladder: 3rd (7-7; 48.62%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Ashlee Marston (8 goals)
Most times in best (post grading): Helena Katsios (7), Alyssa Delos (7), Marsa Arob (5)
Ladder: 4th (5-8; 55.24%)
Leading goalkicker (post-grading): Tiahn Cowan (7 goals)
Most times in best (post-grading): Vicki Tsoulias (7), Stephanie Crook (6), Tess Keogh (6)
For the second time in three matches, the Roosters were no match for a strong Hurstbridge side, this time going down by 20 points in last week’s qualifying final.
Laurimar bounced back from their loss to Heidelberg 2 in the final round of the regular season by defeating the Tigers by 25 points in Sunday’s elimination final.
Although there was a two-game gap between both sides on the ladder this season, the Power will fancy their chances against the Roosters after defeating them convincingly by 34 points.
But in their other two encounters in 2022, West Preston-Lakeside 2 won on both occasions and another victory against the Power on Sunday could be just what they need to reboot their premiership run in Division 3.