On what was to become a day of upsets, the Reserves, in blue shorts, took on the Spurs to fight for a place in the Grand Final. The first quarter was a heavily contested affair, with both teams desperate for the ball. A quick Falcon transition out of the square set up Bec in the forward line who after dodging and bouncing around opposition opened the scoring with a behind. Naz was excellent off half-back, with her huge spoils and attack and Aliesha Mclean was fabulous as well, applying smothers and tackles to increase the pressure. Trashby was robbed at every turn by the umpires who pinged her without any prior opportunity. A throw-in in the Spurs forward line and a quick kick into their square led to the Spurs’ first goal. The Falcons tried to peg one back and had control of the ball in their forward half but couldn’t find the big sticks.
The Falcons got off to a great start in the second quarter with a quick transition off the wing setting up Bec straight in front of goal and she converted truly. Both Cassie and Dani were strong off half-back, as was Michelle at full-back, constantly repelling the Spurs’ attacks. A great kick from Taz to Cath then set up Buckets in the forward arc, who wound up and found Gemma in the goal square who slotted through another goal. Mattie then slotted through another goal and the Falcons had got some control back. St Albans then slotted through an almost impossible goal from a free paid in their forward pocket.
After half time Darebin kept attacking but couldn’t manage to score a major. St Albans finally slotted through the first goal in what was to become a messy, rough and heavily disputed quarter. Layna committed to a sensational smother to lock the ball into the Falcons forward fifty that then set up Gemma for a goal. The midfield and backline were working hard to lock the ball up but an unfortunate goal-umpiring decision gave St Albans another goal despite it being touched well over the line.
With the Spurs only a point ahead and everyone with their hearts in their throats, a huge smother from Taz locked the ball into the centre. Then some great teamwork between Bec and Cath found Matty in the forward line who kicked another goal. Michelle and the rest of the Falcons backline were terrific all day, but the pressure was constant and the Spurs kicked one last goal giving them the lead and the coveted spot in the grand final.
Good luck to the Reserves next week!
VU St Albans 1.4, 2.5, 4.7, 5.8 (38)
Darebin 0.3, 3.5, 4.6, 5.6 (36)
GOALS, VU St Albans : Ash Stafford 2, Christina Polatajko 1, Erin Davenport 1, Brooke McKinley 1 Darebin : Matilda Keynes 2, , Gemma Anderson 2, Rebecca Hickmott 1
BEST, VU St Albans : Samantha Johnson, Samantha Radlof, Alana Tully, christina polatajko, Melanie Devlin, Emma Shortis Darebin : Michelle Hennessy, Gemma Anderson, Tracy Ashby, Norieul Kinross, Sommer Portway, Danielle Moore
The pressure was on from the first bounce with the Falcons taking on the unbeaten Spurs at NAB oval in Preston. Both teams were desperate to get on top from the get-go, and the first twelve minutes of the game were heavily contested until St Albans managed a quick transition and slotted the first goal. The Falcons quickly responded with Jane kicking her first of the day. The Falcon’s zone was working well, resulting in two kick-ins forced out of bounds. Another spell of contested footy had the ball in the St Albans forward line with the Falcons backs under the pump and the Spurs kicking another. After a break in play for injury time, Jane kicked another goal and the Falcons went into the break 1 point ahead.
An intense midfield battle started the second quarter and St Albans found the big sticks once again. The Falcons then clicked into gear, with a fantastic passage of play through Daisy, Steph, Jane, Roey and finally Woody kicking the first of four unanswered goals. Jess Dal Pos was fantastic on the wing, finding space and providing an option. Schwager was rucking well to her midfielders’ advantage and took an amazing speccy that wasn’t paid. The Falcons precise use of the ball, moving the footy methodically forward to create scoring opportunities had them 20 points up at half time.
After half time and with the ground smelling like the nearby Fish Market, the premiership quarter was a tight battle, with both teams fighting hard to get control of the ball and clear their respective backlines. St Albans had a couple of opportunities but missed narrowly and the Falcons went into the final quarter 3 goals up.
With the game still up for grabs, the Falcons got off to a great start clearing the ball out of the centre and moving it forward. Roey had a blinder in the final quarter, taking marks with her fingertips, beating several Spurs to keep the ball in and applying huge tackles. Jane kicked another goal, but St Albans found a way to peg one back. Both teams were desperate for the footy and the game was tied up amongst stoppages. Hammo finally found Sammy who passed off to Aasta who kicked a booming goal. St Albans again found one last major but couldn’t manage any more. Roi was fantastic in the back line, applying defensive pressure and saving goals on the last line.
A bloody glorious win and after a deafening rendition of the club song, the lid was put straight back on.
Congratulations to Emma Kerry on her 100th game, a fantastic achievement!
Darebin 2.3, 6.4, 7.5, 9.6 (60)
VU St Albans 2.2, 3.2, 4.5, 6.6 (42)
GOALS, Darebin : Jane Lange 4, Alisha Habib 1, Alana Wearne 1, Lauren Arnell 1, Natalie Wood 1, Aasta O’Connor 1 VU St Albans : Gemma Jones 2, Dale Robinson 1, Bree White 1, Georgia Harris 1, Haley Sanders 1
BEST, Darebin : Lauren Arnell, Julia Chiera, Stephanie Simpson, Alisha Habib, Jessica Dal Pos, Kathleen Roe VU St Albans : Kaz Paxman, Shannon McFerran, Danni Teasdale, danielle green, Kara Donnellan, Emily Stanyer