v Berwick @ A.H Capp Reserve
Darebin 4.2, 5.4, 8.8, 11.11 (77)
Berwick 0.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.3 (9)
Darebin: F. O”Connor 2, J. Milne 2, R. Hatahet 2, V. Smiljanic , N. DeGiorgio , T. Mifka , L. HalfPenny , K. Read
Berwick: S. Downward
Darebin: V. Smiljanic, T. Alexandrow, L. HalfPenny, M. Van Riel, R. Hatahet, K. Scodellaro
Berwick: D. Shedden, C. Cullis, M. Schmolling, M. Martinovic, J. Sanders, E. Smith
It was great to finally be having our first home game of the season in Round 5 and even better that we put in yet another solid four-quarter display against a physical Berwick side to claim a 68-point win.
With Bec, Potter and Georgia all missing from the ressies for various reasons, we lost an awful lot of experience going into the game and a lot of fire power up forward, especially considering Georgia and Potter were the two top goalkickers at the start of Round 5. However, having eight goalscorers certainly made the chance relatively easy.
In yet another strong opening quarter display, the girls raced out of the blocks to lead by 24 points at the first change. We couldn’t have asked for a better start than a kick to the leading Faele and a converted goal and we didn’t ease up, locking the ball inside our forward 50 for large parts of the game. Kate’s ruck work and Halfpenny’s intensity around the ground were highlights in what was a terrific team quarter.
As Berwick made a strong attempt to apply scoreboard pressure, our back six held strong and were assisted excellently by our midfielders. Dash’s willingness to mark and run was inspiring and the desire to win the football couldn’t have been higher. While Gunners rendered her opponent useless in a selfless effort, Renie took it upon herself to win some vital contests and get the ball to our advantage and Layna chopped off countless deliveries inside their forward 50. Although we didn’t hurt them on the scoreboard as much as we wanted to, we carried a 26-point lead into the break.
We knew that the contest could swing in Berwick’s favour if we allowed them to get back into it. With speed on our side, our midfielders began to exploit our slower opposition and pushed them to their physical limits. With Toni extracting the football from contests, aided by Halfpenny, the run and carry of Vanja, Nic, Tory, Tilly, Mif and Frenchy made it tough for Berwick to get a sniff. As a result, we kept them scoreless for the quarter and put a further 22 points between ourselves and the opposition to lead by 48 points going into the last change.
With such a solid lead against a tired team, it would have been easy to take the foot off the pedal and coast to victory. However, with a break coming up due to the bye, the girls were dedicated to piecing together a solid four-quarter effort. Any effort by Berwick to go forward was swiftly cut out by Dash, Gunners and Swede, all of who were quick to play on and run the ball out of the defensive 50 which is extremely pleasing. As the final siren blew, a 68-point win against a strong side was definitely deserved.
Completely disregarding the scoreboard, the way the game went couldn’t have been better. With so much experience missing from our forward line, two goals to each of Faele, Roo and Frenchy was incredibly important. Kristy also presented extremely well and was rewarded with a mark on the lead and a well-converted kick for her first ever goal. Tilly was forced to play Bec’s regular role at centre half forward for parts of the game and didn’t miss a beat, acting as the link between midfield and the forward 50 as far as our run and carry is concerned. Halfpenny’s step up into more congested situations aided us greatly for the entire game as she throws her name into the cap for a spot in our midfield.
Eliza, Nikki and Layna did a fantastic job looking after the wide spaces on the half-back line and applied plenty of pressure when not winning the football. Dash’s defensive positioning and Kate’s ability to get behind the football and provide an option, especially playing as a ruckman, is also extremely pleasing.
It goes without saying that we are improving every week. We add something new to our game plan each week and we have built up from the basics to running in numbers, running the ball forward rather than bombing it and hoping and kicking laterally into space.
A 68-point win is always pleasing but the fact that the girls appear to be playing with a certain confidence that comes with knowing that your teammates are there to back you up is by far the most pleasing aspect. The best part about it is that we now have two weeks to improve before we face another challengin St Kilda.
Darebin 4.8, 9.13, 13.14, 17.21 (123)
Berwick 1.2, 1.3, 3.6, 3.6 (24)
Darebin: A. O”Connor 4, J. Lange 2, E. O”Dea 2, G. Hammond 2, A. Schwager , N. Callinan , K. Tyndall , K. Zacharopoulos , A. Reivers , D. Pearce , S. Egan
Berwick: R. Davis 2, A. Heins
Darebin: D. Pearce, J. Lange, J. Chiera, S. Egan, A. O”Connor, J. Dal Pos
Berwick: R. Timmins, E. Champion, A. Fennell, D. McIntyre, R. Davis, C. Clarkson
It certainly was a happy homecoming for the falcons in their round 5 clash against the Berwick Wickers. The successful day started early, with the youth girls having a comprehensive win in their clash against fellow ladder leaders South Morang. The victorious trend continued with the ressies dominating, despite their growing injury list. By the time the seniors got on the park, the winning feeling was in the air and spirits around the home ground were certainly high.
Berwick (the artists formally known as the Hawks) had clearly come with a game plan for facing Darebin. Before the first bounce, the falcs could be forgiven for thinking Berwick were short players, with some of the Falcons backline finding themselves free from opposition players. Pushing numbers back, the Wickers (which, for those playing at home, is a slender twig, useful for making chairs or baskets) were initially successful in their game plan. The ball bounced around for some time and it was Berwick who managed the first “inside 30” mark (home game remember) and shot on goal. But accuracy let them down and the Falcons kicked into gear, bringing the ball out from defence with their well rehearsed break away from the backline. Whilst the ball movement was initially scratchy and the Falcons own shots on goal were wayward, the game was still controlled by the home team. Even with early losses to jumping jack Vescio with an ankle and tagger Tracy not long after, the falcons withstood the early physical pressure and stretched resources on the bench, to go into quarter time 11 scoring shots to three and 23 points up.
In the second quarter the Falcs appeared to find their rhythm. For the second week in a row, the skipper stepped up and put her body on the line. She led by example and her troops followed. Hickey spent most of the second quarter on the bench after copping a nasty sideways knock but it was young Sammy Smith who took the physical game to a new level. Her bumping and tackling was nothing short of superb, and her protection of her skipper with numerous shepherding efforts has resulted in her new nickname….Moses (shepherd, Moses, get it??). Georgia Hammond stepped up for her first game in the seniors in 2013 and did not disappoint. Stringer, as she is now known dobbed two in the second quarter, one of which was in true Georgia style with a snap around her body on a tight angle.
At half time, the Falcons lead was significant but still they had more points on the board than goals. The coach urged his players to continue to share the ball around and make sure shots on goal were steady and well constructed. Berwick used their half time break to regain some composure and breath and came out in the third quarter full of steam and hardness at the ball again. The result was even scoring shots on goals between teams, however a more accurate one by the falcs. With injuries and team structure altered, the falcs were very impressive in their ability to adapt their game plan, slow the game down when needed and shoot accurately on goal. With three talls in the side, Aasta is relishing her runs across the half back and half forward line, and continues to boot big goals from outside the arc (albeit slightly less impressive at AH Capp!). And whilst Aasta bagged four for the day, it was rival ruckman Shan, who almost dobbed mark of the year. Right in front of Berwick’s bench too….we think she was just trying to show Sean Smith that women can take big grabs too!
By the fourth quarter Berwick’s game style was getting the better of them and definitely wearing them out. The falcons continued with their dominance across the ground, sharing the ball and staying focused. Roey was heard to comment on several occasions about her confusion seeing Dani past the half way mark in one direction and Janeo across it in the other. (Although by game’s end, Roey could be forgiven for being a little disorientated, given Richo runs her over a distance that not even the players cover!) It was an 11 scoring shots to zero quarter and by the end of the match, the falcons had a spread of 11 separate goal scorers. The falcons will enjoy a bye this weekend and use the time to rest and recover from their first five hard knocks. Congratulations on another impressive and disciplined win to the Falcons and wishing everyone who was hurt/injured a speedy recovery.