The 2015 AFL Youth Girls Championships have concluded with natural order being restored; Victoria Metro are champions once more.
Another warm 20-degree morning was in store for the players on the final day of the Championships in Mandurah.
|Vic Metro: 2015 YG National Championships Pool A premiers. Image provided by Phil Barnes.|
It all kicked with the Pool B third v fourth battle of NT-Tasmania facing The Woomeras and it was hard going for both sides with just three behinds kicked between them in the first term.
However, it would the Indigenous side that broke free in the second term with Kiarra White (NT) kicking their first major and giving them a 10-point buffer at half-time.
Come the third term, the Thunder Devils needed to respond but couldn’t break through The Woomeras’ defence. To make matter worse for them, Kathleen Prosser (WA) kicked a six-pointer to help extend the margin to 19 points at the final break.
The last 15 minutes of the game were identical to the first, with a tough battle ensuring only three points in total were scored for the quarter.
In the end, it would be The Woomeras claiming victory by 18 points and third place in Pool B.
The better players for The Woomeras were Hayley Smith (Vic), Alyx Glanville (Vic) and Tyeisha Tighe. For the Thunder Devils, Kaitlyn Armstrong, Jessica Heenan (Tiwi Islands) and Georgia Hill (Evandale) stood tall.
Game two of the final day saw the third v fourth Pool A clash between last year’s champions, Western Australia, and Victoria Country.
In a case of deja vu for WA, it again would be an even contest for three quarters with WA running over top to claim victory.
It would take five minutes for the first goal to be kicked with the Coastal Titans’ Claire Ortlepp landing one for the hosts. It would turn out to be the only goal for the term with WA taking a 10-point lead into quarter time.
The tables were turned in the second term, with Victoria Country keeping WA scoreless, while Eshe Lane (Gisborne) and Ainslie Kemp (Kyneton) kicked a goal each to snatch the lead for the Big Navy Blue V by five points.
A arm wrestle ensued between the two sides for the third quarter with Western Australia kicking two goals to one and taking a slim two-point advantage into the final break.
Once again the final quarter was all about leg speed, but this time it had the added bonus of the Asha Price show as the Swan Districts star slammed home three final quarter goal to secure third place for WA and the title of Pool A’s leading goalkicker for herself, as WA won by 21 points.
Best on ground for WA was South Fremantle’s Beatrice Devlyn while for Victoria Country, Sarah Chapman (Geelong West St Peter’s) was the stand out.
The third game of the day was the Pool B Grand Final between the unstoppable South Australia and NSW/ACT.
The Croweaters began their Grand Final in truly devastating fashion, with Sarah Milham booting the first two goals inside eight minutes and her Morphettville Park team-mate, Tait Mackrill, kicked the first two of her three for the day.
|South Australia: 2015 YG Championships Pool B premiers. Image provided by Phil Barnes.|
From there, it was going to be an uphill battle for the Blues, facing a 26-point deficit at quarter time. It would be Queenwood’s Sassa Barnes that would get things going for NSW/ACT, kicking the first of her two for the Grand Final, to help her side stay on pace with SA for the quarter.
The half-time break seemed to do the Blues good at first, with Blaise Miller-Hill (Mosman) bringing the margin back to a respectable 20 points.
However, it saw the sleeping giant awake, with the red, blue and gold girls adding a further goals to their tally to blow the lead out to 40 points at three-quarter time.
The foot was taken off the peddle for the final quarter, with NSW/ACT just outscoring SA, 1.2 to 1.0, but the result was never in doubt: South Australia by 38 points, claiming the title of Pool B champions.
The Championships ended with the main event, the Pool A Grand Final between the giant of female football that is Victoria Metro and the quickly upcoming threat that is Queensland.
It would be the Big Sky Blue V that would shoot out of the blocks, taking a 12-point lead into the first break and all the momentum.
Led brilliantly by Brittany Bonnici (St Kilda) and Monique Conti (Melbourne University), Victoria Metro denied Queensland a path to goal and by half-time, a lead of 18 points seem to suggest the Grand Final was done and dusted.
Slowly but surely enough the girls from the sunshine state dragged themselves back into the match with Luana Healy (North Cairns) and Gabby Collingwood (Jindalee) helping the charge, as the Queenslanders kicked the only goal for the quarter to bring the margin back to 12 points with a quarter to go.
The last quarter of the championships was simply unforgettable as Glenmore’s Tashina Ketchup slotted a goal on the run to reduce the gap to just one straight kick.
Without doubt, the most memorable duel of the Grand Final was the final quarter battle inside the Queensland forward fifty between Tayla Harris (Zillmere) and Katherine Smith (Blackburn). Smith’s turns out of trouble were sublime, while Harris’ bursting leads had the crowd on the edge of their seats.
In the end, a crucial behind by Victoria Metro late in the quarter was enough to seal the deal; the cup was heading back to Victoria with Victoria Metro, winners by seven points and AFL Youth Girls Champions for 2015.
Pool A – Final Placings
1st. Victoria Metro – 4 wins 0 lose
2nd. Queensland – 2 wins 2 loses
3rd. Western Australia – 2 wins 0 loses
4th. Victoria Country – 0 wins 4 loses
Championship Best and Fairest: Tayla Harris (Queensland)
Leading Goalkicker: Asha Price (Western Australia)
Pool B – Final Placings
1st. South Australia – 4 wins 0 loses
2nd. NSW/ACT – 2 wins 2 loses
3rd. The Woomers – 1 win 3 loses
4th. NT-Tasmania – 1 win 3 loses
Pool B Best and Fairest: Sarah Allan (South Australia)
Leading Goalkicker: Ashleigh Woodland (South Australia)
|2015 YG Championships All-Australian team. Image provided by Phil Barnes.|