Barring a dramatic draw, one of Seaford or Box Hill Hawks will claim its first win of the 2017 Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s season this weekend, and both teams are determined to ensure they are the ones to claim the four points, as Mitch Wynd reports.
Both teams had difficult losses last week, but are looking forward to the opportunity to win this week.
A scoreless second half undid much of the good work that Box Hill had done to remain competitive with St Kilda, trailing by two points at half time but eventually succumbing by 54 points away from home.
Box Hill captain Mel Kuys says that the match this weekend has been likened to a Grand Final for the Hawks’ players.
“It’s a big week for the club and obviously the team as well. It’s a game that we’ve been thinking about for probably about a month now. We’ve been focusing week to week, obviously, but this is, you may say it’s a grand final for us, really,” she said.
Seaford were outclassed by Geelong, losing their eighth match of the season by a final margin of 47 points. Both of Seaford’s goals were off the boot of Georgia Walker, who put her hand up as one of Seaford’s best. The loss means that Seaford remain on the bottom of the ladder on percentage.
Seaford coach Brett Alexander says there have been positive signs despite the winless season so far.
“We knew we’d be up against it, particularly with the injuries we’ve had…it’s been a great opportunity for the girls to get used to this level, we keep educating them, trying to teach them each week some focus points, the areas they need to get better in,” he said.
“There’s been plenty of positives, some of the younger girls have definitely risen to the occasion, particularly some of the girls who play in the backline that have had to put up with a lot of pressure.
“They’ve stood up well, considering how much the ball’s going into the forward 50 for the opposition.”
A win on the weekend would mean plenty for both teams, who have put in the effort all season for little reward.
“The mental side of the game has been the most challenging thing for our girls against such a strong opposition every week, virtually. To get four points would be just reward for a lot of toil and persistence, particularly with the last three to four weeks, we’ve really shown a lot of spirit in trying to get that first win,” Alexander said.
“As a coach, all you try and do is give your players the best opportunity to walk off the ground on the day with the four points. Hopefully this weekend the girls can get the opportunity to do that.”
Other matches this weekend include:
VU WESTERN SPURS v DAREBIN – 2:00PM Saturday July 15 @ Henry Turner Memorial Reserve
LAST TIME THEY MET – Darebin 18.8.116 vs. VU Western Spurs 7.2.44 – 2016 Round 16 @ A H Capp Reserve
VU Western Spurs overcame a slow start against the Eastern Devils to snatch a one-point win at home. Goalless in the first half, the Spurs came out of the main break with renewed vigour and determination, and fought their way back for a late, dramatic victory. Aliesha Newman led the way with two goals, along with one each from Sarah Jolly and Shelley Scott.
Darebin cruised to a 94-point victory over Cranbourne in a powerful performance away from home. With several AFLW marquee players among the team, Darebin simply had too much class for the unlucky Cranbourne. Five players kicked two goals each, including Daisy Pearce, Katie Brennan, and Darcy Vescio. The win means that Darebin leap up into 2nd place on the ladder, one game behind outright leaders Diamond Creek.
GEELONG v CRANBOURNE – 12:00PM Sunday July 16 @ Osbourne Park
LAST TIME THEY MET – Cranbourne 2.4.16 vs. Geelong 3.5.23 – 2017 Round 3 @ Frenken Homes Oval
Four goals to Kate Darby led Geelong to a 9.8.62 to 2.3.15 victory against Seaford away from home. Geelong increased its lead at every change, with three goals coming from Danielle Higgins in support of Darby. The win moves Geelong into 6th place, though still two games below St Kilda in 5th.
Cranbourne simply had no answers to the star-studded lineup of Darebin, defeated 1.1.7 to 14.17.101 with a host of players missing on AFL U18 duties in Queensland. Cranbourne did the entirety of their scoring in the final quarter, with Jasmine Grierson kicking the solitary goal, but her teammates up the field had an extremely difficult task containing several AFLW marquee players.
MELBOURNE UNI v ST KILDA – 2:00PM Sunday July 16 @ Melbourne University Oval
LAST TIME THEY MET – St Kilda 5.5.35 vs. Melbourne Uni 6.4.40 – 2017 Round 2 @ Peanut Farm Reserve
Melbourne Uni had a good second quarter, kicking three goals. Unfortunately, those were their only goals scored for the match, as Diamond Creek defeated them by 42 points. Deanna Berry, Dalia Edward, and Kate Shierlaw were the individual goalkickers for the team. The loss has been a costly one for Melbourne Uni, as it sees them drop from 2nd to 4th on the ladder, indicating how closely fought it is in that region of the ladder.
St Kilda had to fight past a determined Box Hill for a half, before pulling away for a 54-point victory. The Sharks did not concede any score at all in the second half, after leading by just two points at the main break. Brianna Davey was the leading goal kicker with three, and was well supported with two each from Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Alison Brown. With the victory, St Kilda remain two games clear of 6th place. This game will be the first for Mo Hope against her former side side, after transferring to Melbourne Uni just weeks ago.
EASTERN DEVILS v DIAMOND CREEK – 2:00PM Sunday July 16 @ Mulgrave Reserve
LAST TIME THEY MET – Eastern Devils 10.11.71 vs. Diamond Creek 5.8.38 – 2016 Round 18 @ Box Hill City Oval
Eastern Devils will feel that they let one slip against VU Western Spurs, going down 4.8.32 to 5.1.31 away from home. It was a match of two halves, with the Devils keeping their opponents goalless in the first half. A goal in the third quarter was the only score of the second half for the Devils, who watched as the Spurs stole a dramatic victory. Jessica Foster and Jaimee Lambert both kicked two goals, while Tara Bohanna scored one.
Diamond Creek had a solid 9.8.62 to 3.2.20 victory over Melbourne Uni, that ensures that they are all alone at the top of the ladder with a 7-1 record. Competition leading goal kicker Chloe Molloy booted three for the Creekers to take her season tally to 23, five ahead of the second-placed Darcy Vescio. Brittany Grech kicked two to be the other multiple goal kicker for the day.