v Eastern Devils
Darebin 1.5, 2.6, 4.9, 6.10 (46)
Eastern Devils 0.0, 2.4, 2.5, 2.5 (17)
Darebin: S. Portway 2, G. Hammond 2, F. O’Connor 1, L. HalfPenny 1
Eastern Devils: M. White 1, S. Perkins 1
Darebin: T. Alexandrow, A. Schwager, S. Portway, V. Smiljanic, K. Scodellaro, R. Hatahet
Eastern Devils: O. Marson, S. Carver-Moore, J.Malouf, A. Brindley, R. Buck, A. Seymour
It can be hard for teams to back up incredible performances and often they can not be as switched on the week after. Against the undefeated Eastern Devils, we needed to make sure we were switched on.
The fact that we held the Devils scoreless in the first quarter, the fifth time in a row we’ve held a team scoreless for a quarter in a row, is a big credit to our defensive awareness as we held an 11-point lead going into quarter time.
Although we controlled the play for the large majority of the first half, we let our concentration slip at vital moments in the second quarter which led to two Devils goals, including one late in the quarter. Despite that small blip against our names, the defensive positioning and ball movement of Dash, Gunners, Swede, Bec and Halfpenny made sure that when the ball went forward for them, it didn’t stay there for long.
Holding a two-point lead heading into the second half, we upped the ante and made sure we were front and centre at contests deep inside the forward 50, leading to a well-crumbed goal from Sommer, who is proving that she can be put anywhere on the field and be effective.
With a 16-point lead heading into the final quarter, it was important that we got on the scoreboard early and had a score that we could defend. Not only did we get the first goal, we kicked the only two goals of the quarter and again held our opposition scoreless, something that is becoming a bit of a routine.
It’s understandable that the Devils wouldn’t be happy about being thoroughly worked over by a great Falcons outfit as an after-the-siren spotfire broke out with it being on for young and old. The difference between the two sides was that when everything was broken up, it was us Falcons that could say we were victorious.
It could have been easy to crumble under the pressure the Devils put us under in the final quarter but we stood strong and started to string handpasses together to work our way out of defence rather than bombing it long. Getting first use of the football out of the middle is incredibly important and Schwager’s ability to win hitout after hitout made life much easier for our midfielders. It was also great to see Shaz back out on the field, albeit being sidelined due to a knock to the knee after five minutes.
It’s becoming routine for Toni to lead from the front and put her body on the line at contests. With Toni and Sommer digging the football from packs and bumping girls out of the way, the likes of Vanja and Frenchy were allowed the chance to take their games up a notch, which is extremely promising for the future. Layna again displayed her desperation for the football and willingness to put her body on the line, continuously recovering the footy along half-back and in the centre. With Schwager taking the ruck duties, Kate’s ability to take saving marks in defence was put to great use.
It was very impressive for us to back up from a comfortable victory and bring the same defensive pressure we brought against St Albans. To have only 86 points kicked against us after four games is a huge credit to the work the girls have put in on the training track as far as defensive structures and ball movement goes.
With Berwick ready to come out swinging (hopefully not as literally as East Burwood!) in our first home game of the season, it becomes incredibly important to back this effort up.
Four games in, we’ve got ourselves playing a good brand of football but we still have plenty of improvement ahead of us. Considering how good the team is looking at the moment, that can only mean bigger and better things.
(Catherine Wotton Cup)
Darebin 5.4, 6.9, 13.14, 16.15 (111)
Eastern Devils 0.0, 2.1, 3.1, 5.1 (31)
Darebin: S. Smith 3, K. Zacharopoulos 3, D. Vescio 2, L. Arnell 2, N. Callinan 2, J. Lange 1, K. Paxman 1, A. O’Connor 1, S. Egan 1
Eastern Devils: M. Beadles 2, S. Beggs 1, S. D’Arcy 1, H. Scott 1
Darebin: A. O’Connor, M. Hickey, S. Smith, K. Paxman, D. Vescio, E. O’Dea
Eastern Devils: H. Scott, L. Wotton, J. Wotton, F. Steiert, C. Freeman, M. Beadles
The day was one of positivity as both teams battled it out for the Catherine Wotton Cup with both clubs pitching in to raise money for the Catherine Wotton Scholarship Fund, helping to fund the education of nurses to help battle gynaecological cancers.
Although both teams were united off the field, it was always going to be a hotly-contested battle on the field, one that Darebin won comfortably in the end.
The five-goal start was exactly the Falcons needed in what was going to be a tough game, as shown in the second quarter when the Devils put more points on the board. Nevertheless, it was a 32-point margin at the major break with Aasta’s midfield dominance being the major tipping point.
Seven Falcons goals to one in the third term spelled the end for the Devils with the Zachy, Sammy, Loz and Darcy giving their forward headaches on the scoreboard. With a solid margin established, the Falcons cruised home for a comfortable 80-point win.
Hickey played a major role in defence while the midfield trio of Aasta, Daisy and Paxy left the Devils scratching their heads.