Photo credits: Yvette Fitzpatrick

Saturday 31 March, Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham

Darebin Falcons 1.3-9 def by 5.4-34 St. Kilda

In slippery, hazy, dewy early morning conditions, the Falcons were not able to quite finish off their opportunities, and their opponents were able to put enough on the scoreboard to take the match. It was certainly a much better showing in Round 2, with some new promising green shoots showing the connections which are forming in the 2024 squad. A couple of errors created opportunities for Saints to get 2 goals early in the match but Falcons rallied well and were able to take the game to them. The full team defensive efforts restricted the scoreboard flow, with only one goal conceded in the following 3 quarters. New Falcon Georgina Gough kicked the first goal of the year.
The VFLW Easter Sunday match started traditionally for the Falcons.  Ball up, tap down, Ange Gogos gets the ball and gets taken down with a high contact, no free kick.  With early goals conceded through small lapses of composure and decision making, the midfield leaders worked hard to reset.  This included a determined Caitlin Bunker with 6 tackles, and a busy 5 kicks, 4 handballs from Ange Gogos in the first quarter.   Although the game was mostly played in St. Kilda attacking territory, the Falcons showed their strong commitment to one on one and unit defence.  The Saints were restricted with their 3rd goal coming just minutes before the half time siren.

In the third quarter, the Falcons were able to get more attacking flow, and get the ball deeper into their own forward 50.  At a stoppage in the forward line, Alyssa Mifsud tapped to a perfectly placed front and centre Ange Gogos.  Unfortunately her kick on goal went wide for a point.  Another good foray, Piper Louey got herself into some great attacking position, battling against 4 defenders in the goal square, and turned one way, then another but just unable to find space.  With the ball in hand on the edge of the 50 metre arc, Emily Rayment used cool composure and pinpoint accuracy, finding Sabine Cowley du Parquet leading into a gap.  Cowley du Parquet with a mis-kick, unable to convert the goal opportunity.  The forwards battled hard to keep the ball forward and Gogos won a free kick on the 50 metre line with a wrap up tackle.  Lively leading from the attackers put the Saints defenders under pressure, and they duly infringed on Mifsud’s movement.  Her kick at goal was offline, resulting in another behind unluckily.

The final quarter saw a similar pattern with some good teamwork from the Falcons.  After a rushed behind at the 7 minute mark, the full forward line worked hard to shut down the options for the kick out of the backline.  The defender ran too far, and a free kick was awarded to Georgina Gough.  Gough’s kick got the distance but lost the accuracy.  Again the forward pressure to keep the ball inside the Falcon’s 50 was effective, and Gough ran hard to take a great intercept mark from around the same distance out on the other side of the goals.   She showed poise and assurance to go back again, this time with a lovely high kick for the Falcon’s first goal of the season.

The squad featured debuts from three new falcons Riley Christgoergl (Collingwood VFL) Lauren Collis (Coburg), Georgina Gough (Melbourne University), all having a good impact on the game.  Christgoergl worked her way into the game, looking more confident with the ball in hand as the game went on, finishing the game with 3 marks, and 8 kicks.  Ange Gogos finished on a game high of 24 disposals, while Caitlin Bunker’s 15 tackles across the game was also immense.   A big shout out to Sam Baisas’ five star tackle in the last quarter, and Katie Lee’s solid one on one contests all game.

To see the Falcs in action, come along to the next match on Saturday 6 April.  VFLW Darebin Falcons v Essendon from 11.05am, at the Hangar, Watson Drive, Melbourne Airport

In 2024, VFL Women’s matches are streamed LIVE and with commentary on and the VFLW Official App.

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