Sunday 27 March 2022, VU Whitten Oval
Darebin Falcons 12.12-84 def 0.4-4 Western Bulldogs
An 80 point victory this week makes it three in a row for the Darebin Falcons and takes them to fourth place on the ladder. On a bright sunny day, it was the opening 6 goal quarter that set the scene for the day at Footscray. The excitable Falcon crowd were loud and enthusiastic for the impressive 4 goal haul for Alyssa Mifsud, and 2 each from Katie McAloon and Sabrine Cowley du Parquet, and one goal to Emma Mackay, Angelica Gogos, Millie Shone and Naomi Celebre, making it 7 individual goal scorers for Darebin. The Falcons had a strong game in defence and worked hard with clear structures in attack, and the Bulldogs never really got into the game.
Only one rotation this week with Steph Normington-Dickens selected her first 2022 game. “Team selection is continuing to be difficult for the coaching group because the entire squad is training well, and giving themselves every opportunity to be selected each week.”
The Falcons were super quick off the mark with the ball pressured forward from the first bounce, and running into goal, Emma Mackay had a swing and a miss, followed hard in by Katie McAloon who connected and soccer-ed in her first VFLW goal. In the next 2 minutes, Nicole Callinan blazed through the pack strongly but was unlucky her kick was off line. Gogos showed her quick reactions and fast feet to the ball with another rapid goal. Captain Steph Simpson gave a clever knock back over the pack to McAloon for her second goal. It was a blink and you might have missed it first 5 minutes, but the Falcons kept up the relentless pressure going.
Sally Lynch made some nice space in the forward and was hit up on the lead, but her shot on goal was offline. Another effective kick forward was well read by Rachel Hibbert, who also was unluckily offline. A poor kickout was neatly intercepted by Sabine Cowley du Parquet who was able to run back in and kick the goal. Emma Mackay roved well off the packs and snapped a goal from the pocket. A nice intercept mark from Sally Lynch in the centre of the field started a good chain from the Falcons, with quick hands in the pack from Mikalya Meyer and Naomi Celebre spinning round to snap another goal, taking the Falcons to a 40 point lead at quarter time. It was 10 scoring shots to none.
The start of the second quarter saw a wind advantage but importantly some more composed footy from the Bulldogs. They were able to get some more possession and slow the rampaging Falcons. Good pressure from the Darebin defenders meant they were only able to put on 3 points on the scoreboards.
In the third quarter, the Falcons came back out and immediately found the way back into their forward 50 once more. The ever lively Gogos took the ball out of the contest and kicked through, but the ball was touched on the way through. From the kick out, McAloon took a clever intercept mark close in the pocket but the angle was too tight, resulting in only a behind. The Falcons kept the ball locked in well, peppering the goals. Alyssa Mifsud won a free kick from a push in the back in the goal square and made no mistake kicking it straight through the middle. Mackay kicked a couple of behinds with some clever attacking and crumbing well. Mifsud also had another kick touched on the line.
Although all the scores had been up the Geelong Road end, the last quarter was another strong one for the Falcons, with goals to Sabine Cowley du Parquet, Alyssa Mifsud and Millie Shone.
Coach Kate Tyndall was very pleased with the result and the development of the squad in the first half of the season. “Our focus was on applying pressure consistently for four quarters. We were particularly happy with the first quarter after coming off a bye round, and I thought they continued for the remainder of the game.” She also has an eye for the tasks ahead. “This next week is going to be a tough game. Williamstown proved how strong they are, by dominating the first quarter against us in Round 1, so we know we will have to be at our best this weekend. We are also looking forward to representing the Falcons in the Pride game.”
The Falcons are honoured to play in annual VFLW Pride Round, which has been a fixture of the competition since the start with the 2017 Pride Cup held in regional Victoria with the MUWFC. The Darebin Women’s Sports Club (DWSC) are committed to providing an inclusive and safe space for all players, supporters, parents and volunteers. The club has a proud tradition of participation in sport for girls and women, straight or queer, as well as increasing participation of gender diverse players.
Next match will be at Williamstown. Saturday 2 April, 2pm Darebin Falcons v Williamstown Seagulls. After the most extraordinary come from behind win in Round 1, the Falcons will be keen to get a better start of the game, but the Seagulls will also have some motivation to play well. Round 8 is another important game for the Falcs Fan Diary with Darebin hosting North Melbourne at Bill Lawry Oval, 10am on Saturday 9 April.
The first half of the match and all live VFLW matches in 2022 can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/AFLVictoria
Keep up to date through the 2022 VFLW official app with all fixtures, scores, players and stats
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