It brings me such pleasure to write this match report, to have the opportunity to reflect and marvel at such an amazing game. It was truly impressive not because of the outcome, but because of the amount of improvement, from each girl and the team as a unit, that was exhibited. The girls are really taking things on board and implemented them at every chance they got.
The first quarter was a bit slow but still had many bright moments. Sienna Briscoe (1) lead the pack. The ball didn’t spend much time in the forward line in quarter one so she didn’t get many opportunities to gain possession, (she made up for later), but when she did she made an impact. Attacking the ball, and sweeping it up with clean hands, she moved the ball on quickly helping to set up a goal. She also brought her traditional in and under football to the game that was crucial at stoppages. Kali Humphreys (9) was quick thinking, taking full advantage of every possession, snapping the first goal of game late in Quarter 1. I was also so thrilled to see Humphreys working on quick disposals which she excelled at, hand-balling off wherever she could. She battled hard which came at a cost getting a battering to the head late in the game, but not before she contributed greatly to the team. Another girl who was an excellent team player on Sunday like every day is Celia Blomberry (3). She played behind the ball, skilfully, using her football smarts to position herself accordingly. She was first-rate in the contests and working with teammates to create great sequences of plays to set up players, particularly in the forward line.
The second quarter started with a focus on running and tackles. Charlotte Dema (2) took these points on board and she delivered as well as more. She was a vicious tackler, perfecting the pin the arms technique. If she wasn’t tackling she had the ball, collecting a mountain of clean possessions. She was rewarded with a beautiful goal just before the half time siren. The other girl to damage the scoreboard in quarter 2 (as well as other quarters) was Olivia Williams (6). On Sunday she demonstrated her unique skills, the ‘Mark and Twist’. It highlights her skill, quick thinking and football awareness. Williams takes a screamer mark, then proceeds to twist quickly to play on heading straight for goals. This technique equipped her to finish off with 3 awesome goals, two in this quarter and one in the final term. The next girl who exhibited remarkable marking skills was Heidi O’Donohue (10). I’m renaming her the marking specialist, showing off her marking skills not once, not twice more than 6 times in one game which is an enormous statistic. She was the rock in the backline.
As we expected it was going to be a battle, even with two players down the girls levelled up. Eloise Darvall (5) was really concentrating on her running and boy did it pay off. She was the most improved by NINE possessions, in the clean possessions recordings. She just seemed to always have the ball, along with as usual she was blasting through packs with her great strength which is thrilling to watch. She also used the handball perfectly promoting teamwork on the field. Cyan Van der Merwe (20) also proved her handling skills today. As customary Van der Merwe ran herself into the ground, covering great distance. Consequently, this allowed her to co-ordinate great handball sequence that moved the ball up the ground quickly and put our forwards in great scoring positions. Anna Smith (13) was another player exhausted from all the midfield work she did. Playing two quarters, covering large amounts of the field, Smith played behind the ball for the majority of the game which she excelled at. She fought hard, particularly in the later parts of the game when it really counted. She competed well at the contests laying strong, tough tackles.
We went into the fourth term tied at 24 a piece. Jemima Pitts (7) stepped up holding down the fort in the backline. She did a great job of attacking the ball, winning the ball in contests and getting it out of the backline as quickly as she could. This meant she and the other backmen were able to keep the other side almost scoreless in the final quarter. The backline’s great work was further enhanced by the power of the forwards. Ella O’halloran (8) had a great work ethic which meant she got lots of the ball. O’Halloran seemed to do some of everything on the ground, kicking, hand-balling, tackling and marking in the pack. She finished off her grand effort with a brilliant running goal cementing the final score. Before the final goal Jorja Haeata (16) put some of her own pressure on the scoreboard. Before now she hadn’t had much time in the forwardline. No worries, that didn’t stop her brutality, I have never seen her tackle so well. She refused to let a girl past her, whether she was in the backline, midfield or forward line. This effort was beautifully topped with two hard fought goals.
An outstanding effort by every single girl. This was truly the greatest team effort I have seen from the girls to date. I don’t think they realise just how much they have improved, and how quickly they are improving week to week. They were tested against a tough opposition and they look strong and confident. I look forward to seeing more of this footy.
From Coach Jess