Day three saw the completion of the round robin matches and two clear frontrunners emerged: Victoria Metro in Pool A and South Australia in B.
A 20-degree morning greeted at the players at Bendigo Bank Stadium in Mandurah, as the Pool B sides fought it out for the second spot in their pool Grand Dinal, while the Pool A sides had a ‘practice run’ before the real deal on Friday.
|Image provided by SANFL Female Football.|
In game one for the day, it was the combined NT-Tasmania side that got out of the blocks first, landing their first goal just three minutes into their match against NSW-ACT.
From there, however, the Blues firmly applied the handbrake on the Thunder Devils’ scoring capacity, kicking three goals themselves to take an 11-point lead at quarter time.
Great work from the likes of Angelea Priftis (Marouba), Blaise Miller-Hill (Mosman) and Shania Jones (Lavington) saw NSW/ACT edge further in front and enjoy a 17-point buffer at the main break.
With their backs against the wall, Alana Coombes (St Mary’s), Hayley Whyte (Launceston) and Michaela Long (St Mary’s) kept working hard to restrict NSW/ACT to just two points for the quarter and brought the margin back to 13 points with a quarter to go.
However, the Blues would respond to the challenge, adding a further goal to their score to run out winners by 20 points and clinch the second spot in the Pool B Grand Final.
Game two brought an unusual scenario; Victoria Metro and Queensland had both qualified for Friday’s Pool A Grand Final, so meeting each other a day before the title decider, it was uncertain exactly how much they would show of what they are capable of.
The first quarter gave all in attendance a possible preview of the Grand Final, with a goal-for-goal dogfight between the Big Blue Sky V and the girls from the sunshine state.
It would be Victoria Metro who would be ahead at quarter time and from then on, they began to flex their muscle in the form of five goals to one over the next thirty minutes, with Blackburn’s Katherine Smith dominating and ably assisted by Beaconsfield’s Taylah Clayton and Cranbourne’s Courtney Jones.
On a positive note for Queensland, they took the honours in the final term, kicking two goals and keeping the Big Blue Sky V scoreless. Rockhampton’s Hannah Davidson was the best player for the sunshine state, along with Kelsee Sills and Maroochydore’s Taliah Randall.
When the final siren blew, it was Victoria Metro running out winners by 17 points, with Pascoe Vale’s Sarah Dargan and Sunbury’s Madison Prespakis kicking two goals each.
Once again, it just took the first 60 seconds of a match for SA to get a goal on the scoreboard, this time against the Woomeras. When Morphettville Park’s Amy Czernich-Pearce sent the ball between the big sticks, one could be forgiven for thinking it would be another landslide win for the South Aussies.
However, the Woomeras had other ideas and took it right up to the South Australians, with the hard-fought first term ending in just a six-point lead to SA.
An Ashleigh Woodland (Salisbury) goal would be the only one for the second quarter as the indigenous side kept the margin at a respectable 13 points at half-time.
A goal-for-goal battle ensured an entertaining third term, and with the lead reduced to just 10 points at the final change, a nervous crowd wondered if the bubble was going to burst for SA.
With The Woomeras kicking the first goal and shrinking the gap back to four points, it was time for Sarah Milham (Morphettville Park) to step up, kick her third goal and get the red, blue and gold girls going.
Three goals to one for the quarter was enough to do the job and secure South Australia’s third win in row as they claimed the win by 24 points.
The final game of day three saw both Western Australia and Victoria Country battle it out for their first win of the championships.
For three quarters it was a tight, low-scoring contest, with WA holding a 13-point advantage with one quarter to go.
Suddenly, the West Aussies got their run and spread game going and ran the Vic Country girls off their legs.
In the end, it was Craig Degebrodt’s girls from the West Coast picking up their first win of the championships with a convincing 26-point victory.
Day 3 (Thursday 7th May) results
NSW/ACT (5.6.36) defeated NT-Tasmania (2.4.16)
Victoria Metro (8.5.53) defeated Queensland (5.6.36)
South Australia (8.9.57) defeated The Woomeras (4.7.31)
Western Australia (6.2.38) defeated Victoria Country (2.2.14)
Day 4 (Friday 8th May) fixture – WA time
Pool B (3rd v 4th) – 10:15am – NT-Tasmania v The Woomeras
Pool A (3rd v 4th) – 12.00pm – Western Australia v Victoria Country
Pool B (Grand Final) – 1.55pm – South Australia v NSW/ACT
Pool A (Grand Final) – 3.45pm – Victoria Metro v Queensland
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