A mixture of close contests and statement making victories headlined the first week of finals action in the NFNL senior women’s competition.
Winning Edge Division 1 Women’s
West Preston-Lakeside 1 advanced to the second semi-final with ease after defeating Montmorency 1 by 49 points in the qualifying final. The Roosters won every term and kept the Magpies scoreless after quarter time to prevail 8.8 (56) to 1.1 (7) and set up a date with Diamond Creek Women’s 1 next week. In just her fifth game for the side, Jade Lyons was outstanding alongside two players who have already had brilliant seasons in Tallia Pulcino and Ashleigh Snow, the latter kicking two majors for West Preston-Lakeside. Molly Reinke was named in the best for the fourth consecutive week for the Magpies while Shelby Coall and Taylor Langford did what they could to get Montmorency back in the game.
In an elimination final that went right down to the wire on Sunday, Darebin 1 held on by the barest of margins to move on to the first semi-final, defeating Greensborough by just one point. The Falcons kept the Boro scoreless in the first term and led by 10 points at three quarter time before Greensborough clawed their way back. A shot on goal in the last minutes from the Boro went out of bounds on the full, with the siren sounding just moments later to give Darebin a 4.6 (30) to 4.5 (29) triumph. All but one goal was scored to the right side of the ground thus the impact the wind had on the contest. But that one major against the wind was scored by Falcons’ player Julia Mcardle in the last quarter. It would prove to be the winning major.
SG Print & Paper Division 2 Women’s
A highly anticipated qualifying final ended with Eltham booking their second semi-final spot with a comfortable 30-point win over Banyule. Only percentage split these sides throughout the regular season but at the Whittlesea Showgrounds on Saturday, the Panthers kept the Bears scoreless until half time and goalless throughout the match to finish 4.8 (32) to 0.2 (2) victors. Panthers leading goalkicker Jacki White was at it again up forward, finishing the match with two majors while Sienna Gunning made it her second best on ground performance in three games with an excellent display. Candice Dyson and Jane Cahir stood out for a Banyule side that were kept goalless for the first time since grading.
With both sides venturing in their first finals series in the women’s competition, it was Whittlesea that won through to next week’s semi-final after defeating the Fitzroy Stars by 12 points. You can read the full match report here.
Cleaning Melbourne Division 3 Women’s
Hurstbridge broke away in the second half to set up an intriguing second semi-final against Mernda, after claiming victory by 20 points over West Preston-Lakeside 2 on Saturday. The margin was just three points at half time, but the Bridges kept the Roosters scoreless in the second half while producing seven scoring shots themselves to win 3.8 (26) to 1.0 (6). Chelsy Corcoran kicked a season high two majors up forward while Sheridan Bennett made her presence known with another terrific performance. Olivia Woods made it three consecutive weeks of being West Preston-Lakeside’s best on the ground, but it wasn’t enough to will her side over the line.
In their fourth meeting of the season, it was Laurimar who were too strong for Heidelberg 2, winning by 25 points in the elimination final on Sunday. The Power started the match strongly with a 16-0 first term before the Tigers rallied back to make it a four-point game at half time and then a 13-point game in the early stages of the final quarter. Laurimar then went on to kick two goals to one for the remainder of the match to prevail 6.8 (44) to 3.1 (19) to advance to the first semi-final against West Preston-Lakeside 2. Tiahn Cowan was outstanding up forward for the Power, kicking four majors on top of multiple chances on goal throughout the morning.