Swisse VFL Women's: Rd 13 review
The fight for spots in the Swisse VFL Women's finals is alive and well, with Diamond Creek drawing level on points with fourth placed Eastern Devils after Round 13.
We review indepth Geelong's victory over Cranbourne, as well as Melbourne Uni's win against VU Western Spurs:
SECOND WIN FOR GEELONG
In a contest that proved the old adage ‘a week is a long time in football’, the Geelong Magpies produced a stunning turnaround of form to defeat Cranbourne by 15 points at Osborn Park.
A week after the Magpies lost to bottom-placed Knox, and the Eagles stormed home for a win against 2015 Premier Division side VU Western Spurs, Geelong outclassed Cranbourne in the second half to record win number two for the season, 9.10 (64) to 7.7 (49), as Callum O’Connor reports.
Geelong was determined to make up for their Round 12 defeat. They were first to the ball at the stoppages, despite the dominance of Cranbourne rucks Cara and Breann Moody. Intercept marking was the key, as the Magpies took three out of the four marks in Cranbourne’s inside 50 in the first quarter.
After Maddie Boyd and full-forward Michelle Fedele helped Geelong to a five-point quarter time lead, Cheryl de Groot extended it to 10 points five minutes into the second quarter when she soccered through a major.
When Cranbourne moved the ball directly in the second quarter they played their best football, with captain Bianca Jakobsson one of their four-quarter performers. Tess Thomas and Marlee Tatham provided plenty of run and carry through the middle, as Cranbourne kicked the last three goals of the half. Kirsten McLeod and Hayley Wildes gave the Magpies plenty of headaches, as the visitors recovered from their sluggish start. When Jakobsson kicked a stunning three-bounce goal on the run fifteen minutes into the third, it seemed Cranbourne had gained the upper hand to lead by six points at half-time.
The Magpies set up their win in the third term with a strong finish to the quarter. Lily Mithen soccered through a goal from an attempted rushed behind, then Richelle Cranston snapped her first from thirty metres to get them back into the contest. Fedele converted her second to reclaim the lead for Geelong, then just before the siren, Lucy de Groot out-bodied three Eagle defenders to mark and goal, pushing the margin to 14 points at the final change.
Geelong’s preparedness to move the ball quickly caught Cranbourne off-guard, along with a number of positional changes. Madison Janssen became the most influential midfielder on ground after moving from half-back and youngsters Laura Taylor, Tamikka Beeston and Cheryl and Lucy de Groot came into their own in more prominent positions across the forward line and midfield. Arguably the biggest game-changer was Maddie Boyd’s ability to win the clearances in the second half.
Cranbourne came strongly in the final term, as crisp disposal saw McLeod slot her second and another blistering run from the seemingly tireless Jakobsson slashed the deficit to just a point.
Geelong steadied the ship as Cranston, moved into the forward line to assist her younger teammates in a pressure cooker situation, swept across the front of a pack to gather and bend through her second.
The Magpies finished full of run, with Mithen influential in the packs whilst Laura Taylor and Ash Wilkes just got better as the game went on. Both de Groot sisters stepped into the role of marking forwards alongside primary target Fedele – Lucy’s second goal minutes from the final siren ending Cranbourne’s faint chances of stealing victory. A week after being on the wrong end of a huge upset, Geelong consigned Cranbourne to a long, lonely drive home.
Geelong coach Steve Janssen said attitude was the Magpies’ driving factor all day.
“We all just came with a really good attitude. The best thing for us was we were challenged twice and we used a bit of initiative and common sense to hold them up and win.”
UNI CELEBRATE MILESTONE GAME
A powerful opening term has provided Melbourne Uni with their tenth win of the season against the VU Western Spurs in Round 13 Swisse VFL Women’s.
The Mugars kicked seven goals in the first quarter to help celebrate Kaitlyn Ashmore’s 100th game in style, winning 15.12 (102) to 4.4 (28), as Callum O’Connor reports.
Ashmore started her milestone game in perfect fashion, kicking the first goal after Emma Kearney won the first clearance and a clever switch from half-forward Deanna Berry for Ashmore up forward.
The bullocking strength of the Melbourne Uni engine room was where the dominance began. Uni’s accuracy by foot and their switching play into space cut through the Spurs’ defence; small forward Sian Wilson enjoyed a purple patch in the opening quarter with four marks and two goals. Nicola Stevens and Elise Hay collected inside 50s while Jess Anderson, whose pace and aerial strength is making her a real weapon out of the goal square, was again dangerous up forward.
Mugars defender Cecilia McIntosh highlighted the team’s dominance two minutes into the second quarter when she touched a flying shot from Naomi Ferres on the line at horizontal extension. Ellie Blackburn capitalised from a fantastic second effort from Sinead Omahony to extend the margin to 55 points.
The Spurs fought back after the early Uni dominance to even the contest but not the scoreboard. Ash Guest and ruck Caroline Hardeman took the fight to the Melbourne Uni midfield, limiting the main source of the Mugars’ dominance. Anderson and half-forward Hannah Ibrahim snuck through goals in the last four minutes of the half to push Melbourne Uni to a 68-point half time lead.
The Spurs’ renewed energy in the second half limited the Mugars’ ball movement, as experienced defenders Danni Teasdale and Ricki-Lee Martinuzzo stopped Melbourne Uni’s forward line and repelled attacks. Alyssa Mifsud slotted the Spurs’ first of the second half to cap off a quarter in which she used her physical presence to become the most influential midfielder.
The Spurs limited Uni’s scoring, as the visitors did not kick a goal from the 12-minute mark of the third quarter to the final minute of the match. The Spurs’ defence produced a strong second half while Guest’s bold run and carry was rewarded with a goal in the last.
A final minute goal to Brooke Lochland was the final touch on Melbourne Uni’s tenth 2016 victory but coach Andrew Jago was cautious about overly praising his side after their “unclean” second half.
“We didn’t take the foot off the pedal, full credit to the Spurs’ pressure,” said Jago.
“Our structure was really working in the first quarter but that clean chain wasn’t working in the second half.”
In other results:
- Darebin claimed the Catherine Wotton Cup for the sixth successive year, kicking five goals with the breeze in the third term to defeat fourth placed Eastern Devils.
- Christina Bernardi and Jess Cameron led the way for Diamond Creek with five goals apiece to keep the Creekers in final contention with a 99-point win over Knox.
- A seven-goal first term and nine goals to Moana Hope provided St Kilda with a 113-point win over Seaford.
CLICK HERE for full results
Round 14 fixture
Saturday July 23
Cranbourne v Eastern Devils
Sunday July 24
Darebin v St Kilda
Melbourne Uni v Geelong
Diamond Creek v VU Western Spurs
Seaford v Knox
Photo: Cameron Grimes