Darebin Falcons 1.2.-8 def by North Melbourne 8.9-57

Photos by Rob Lawson

Darebin were outplayed by North this week, but showed a gutsy team character to keep going in strong at the contest right to the end of the match.  The match began in bright sunshine with strong gusty winds, but the lights had to be turned on during a sidewise rain storm that sent all the spectators for the limited verandah cover in the second quarter.  A magnificent rainbow started the final half in the pouring rain.  North Melbourne restricting the Falcons and linked well all game by handball.  With more accurate kicking, North ran out comfortable winners and are still mathematically in the running for a finals berth.

The Falcons struggled at the start, mostly in chase mode as the Kangaroos ran and handballed to get the ball deep in their 50.  Many of the Falcons best attacking runs on the other hand, were let down by inaccurate kicking.  In the second quarter, the Falcons were more lively.  Talented youngster Lauren Jatczak took on the game and combined well with Shan Egan and Ange Gogos to bring the ball into the Falcons forward.  Emma Mackay crumbed well, running forward to have a shot at goal, but her kick was just touched on the goal line.

As the rain bucketed down, Mikayla Plunkett linked well with Zoe Larkin who read the play well to get a kick at goal, but the ball was too wide for a score. keeping up the pressure, Falcs captain Steph Simpson got a quick kick from the pack under pressure, but similarly off line.  By this stage, it was raining so hard, it was difficult to see the length of the field, and the Falcons were desperate to keep the ball in their forward.  Millie Shone chased down a ball heading straight to the boundary line, but the ball was so wet that it come to a complete stop just inside the line.  Shone’s kick was right into the hot spot, where Jatczak was awarded a free kick for being pushed out of the marking contest.  Jatczak’s kick after the siren went straight through for a goal.

The second half continued with pouring rain making scoring difficult in the third quarter.  The Falcons battled hard but much of the game was played on North’s terms.  The defensive line kept up the pressure, with 27 rebound 50’s.  Gogos (15 kicks, 8 handballs, 11 tackles), Mifsud (12 kicks) and Mackay (15 kicks) had the most of the attacking play, with Gunn, McNiece and Blackwood taking on the leadership in defence.  With 9 kicks and 9 tackles for the game, Mikayla Plunkett joins Angelica Gogos in the competition’s stats leaderboard top 10 for tackles.  Paije Kearney was named the Falcon of the Week, for her supportive role in the team.  This season Kearney has played out of position when needed, adapting her game to fit and always playing her role to the best of her ability.

The last home and away round and plenty to play for, with every match determining the make up of the 2023 VFLW finals.  With Port Melbourne on top of the ladder  the only team to have secured a place in the final, there are still 8 teams in contention for the other 5 places. Next week Falcons play Carlton, who are currently sitting out of the finals, but a win is likely to project them into the top 6 on percentage.  The final game of the year is also our annual Pride Match.  Come down to see the Falcons celebrate as a club at the 2023 VFLW Pride Match, Saturday 1 July, 10.30am, Ikon Park.


In 2023, VFL Women’s matches are streamed LIVE on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App.

Keep up to date through the 2023 VFLW app or through https://vfl.aflwstats.com/season/2023

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