Saturday 19th June 2021
Darebin 1.1.7 def by 9.6.60 Casey Demons
The Falcons, and the VFLW 2021 season, were under considerable stress this last month, with Melbourne hit by yet another snap lockdown, halting all state sports, and delaying the final 2 rounds of the competition. It was confusing, and then challenging to see the potential of an anti-climatic end to a tough season. However, with the COVID outbreak contained, the squad were given an opportunity to return to training, then the final 2 matches were rescheduled. Unfortunately there were no spectators allowed at the match this weekend at Casey, which is indeed less than ideal for our community club.
The Falcons were lively in the first half, matching up well against the more fancied opponents. Defending well, although unfortunately unable to score against the breeze in the first quarter, Darebin had the best of the play in the second. A great piece of play starting with a Peppa Poultney tackle, and by hands to Trinity Mills who kicked the ball to the top of the square with the Darebin attackers hitting front spot. Rachel Hibbert was unceremoniously shoved in the back, and was awarded a free kick, going back to slot the Falcons first goal. Late in the quarter, Demons were able to score off a foray inside their 50 against the run of play, and went into the half time break with a 20 point lead.
The second half started as an arm wrestle again, with neither side able to score in the first 15 minutes. Casey’s more experienced players started to have more of an impact, moving the ball in the corridor and creating lots of opportunities. The Demons kicked 3 goals with the wind in the late stages of the 3rd quarter. Falcons defenders continued to work hard, putting pressure on and showing some composure with the ball. But without a score in the second half.
Coach Mitch Skelly said he was really pleased with the impact of the younger players. The strong pathways at Darebin were on display with Sophia Padovano making her debut on Saturday alongside another player from the Falcon’s U18 premiership team Peppa Poultney, both players looking very comfortable competing at VFLW level. Iliana Zafiriou on debut had an immediate impact, showing her excitement factor. Mikayla Plunkett in her 2nd game and Trinity Mills in her 3rd game linked up well, and played some exciting footy.
Skelly also praised the backline defensive group for standing up well under pressure. Led by Lawson-Tavan, the defenders were staunch and resolute, standing up strong against an opponent who were creating lots of opportunities. Callinan was once more in the side’s best, providing experience and excellent ball use, and a consistent option on the wing. Lucy Schneider, another new VFLW player for 2021, was impressive again playing in the backline and have the highest number of possessions on the field.
The Falcon’s final game of the season will be at our home ground – keep an eye out on the Falcons socials for restrictions easing to allow spectators. Alternatively, check in with WARF radio when they release their schedule for radio and streaming coverage.
Next game: Saturday 26 June, 12 noon, Bill Lawry Oval, Darebin v Essendon
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