CANNONS DREAM START CONTINUES
By Tim Miller
The fairytale start has continued for Calder Cannons’ TAC Cup Girls side, which scored its third consecutive victory with a 98-point pummelling of Western Jets on Wednesday.
So dominant were the Cannons in their 15.15 (105) to 1.1 (7) victory at RAMS Arena, the Jets were held scoreless after quarter-time.
Basketballer-turned-footballer Chloe Molloy again stole the show up forward, her five-goal haul giving her a competition-high 14 for the season, while midfield trio Monique Conti, Madison Prespakis and Georgia Patrikios were just as influential in midfield.
“I thought we had some room for improvement after the first quarter,” coach Jason Peak told Cannons Media.
“But in the second and third quarters, I don’t think the Jets had an inside-50, so that shows our work rate was really high and we were very disciplined as a group.”
The Cannons’ talented backline, which played a critical role in last week’s hard-fought triumph over Eastern Ranges, was left with little to do after quarter-time as Calder’s midfielders dominated possession around the ground.
“Last week against Eastern, our backs were well and truly under the pump at times, but not so much tonight,” Peak said.
“But when they were challenged, they were very competitive.
“We’ve scored more than any other team so far, and a lot of that comes from the fact that we’ve won our defensive match-ups on the day.”
Once again, the Cannons’ sharp skills and slick ball movement were on display as the Jets’ defence was under constant siege, and according to Peak, perfecting this style was a priority over pre-season.
“In the pre-season, the skill was a very high focus for Alicia [coach Alicia Eva] and myself,” Peak said.
“It was more about that than any sort of game plan or structure.
“We were lucky to some degree that we had a handful who were really skilful in the first place, but I think we’ve seen some girls come a long way with their skills over the games we’ve played and the training we’ve had so far.”
Molloy was once again irrepressible up forward, benefitting from a plentiful supply of opportunities, and is sure to have attracted the attention of AFL Women’s recruiters, even months out from the draft.
But in news that will send a shudder through rival TAC Cup teams, Peak believes the 18-year old could get even better.
“She’s not the finished product by any means yet,” he said of Molloy, who made the decision earlier this year to overlook a promising basketball career to focus on football.
“She’s certainly got some work ahead of her, but she’s a very talented young girl and I’m sure there are- as there should be- many AFLW clubs looking around and seeing how she could obtain her.”
The Cannons will be looking for a fourth consecutive victory when they face off against the Oakleigh Chargers next week.
Calder leads Murray Bushrangers and Geelong Falcons, the two other undefeated teams, after three rounds.
The inaugural TAC Cup Girls premiership will be awarded to the team on top of the ladder at the end of the five-round season.