Heading into the Queen’s Birthday long weekend bye round 8 was a consolidating one for many of the Northern Football/Netball League’s (NFNL) Women’s top teams as they strengthened their finals chances.
In Division 1, Bendigo bounced back from its first loss with a 9.6 (60) to 3.2 (20) victory over Darebin. The Thunder took a 22-point lead into half time, but the Falcons worked hard to close the gap to a manageable 14-points by three quarter time.
Bendigo however, hit its best form in the final term, responding with four goals to end the match on a high note. Beppina Marshall and Billie-Lee Humphrey were Bendigo’s best, while Sophie Boyden and Millie Caddy were great for the Falcons. After the bye, Bendigo will travel to Henry Turner Reserve to play the VU Western Spurs, while Darebin confronts a tough road trip, facing top-of-the-table Keilor at Joe Brown Reserve.
VU Western Spurs reinforced its position in the top-four with a 12.6 (78) to 1.9 (15) win over Whitehorse at Springfield Park. The Spurs took a handy 13-point lead into the second quarter and despite taking back some of the momentum, the Colts were unable to make the most of their opportunities, kicking 1.4 in a competitive term of football. The Spurs put their foot down after half time, kicking the final eight goals to run away 63-point winners.
Olivia Storer and Brittany Wunhym were fantastic for the Spurs, while Morgan Khan and goal kicker Margaret Kershaw were the best performing Colts. The Colts will next travel to Plenty Park Oval in search of their first win against Diamond Creek Women’s.
Keilor solidified its position on top of the ladder with a 13.14 (92) to 0.3 (3) win over Diamond Creek Women’s. Getting off to a flyer with four first-quarter goals, Keilor proved to be unstoppable and were at their brilliant best for the entire match. Keilor’s Megan Neill and Gemma Wright were named best afield, while Emma Fraser and Karly Cobern continued to try hard for the Creekers.
In Division 2, West Preston-Lakeside was pushed to the brink for the first time this season but came away 3.9 (27) to 4.2 (26) winners over the VU Western Spurs. With the Roosters taking a 10-point lead into the main break, the Spurs hit back in the second half to close the lead, but a composed Roosters outfit held on to keep their undefeated record intact. Catherine O’Bryan produced her second-consecutive best on ground performance for the Roosters, while Belinda Huynh was fantastic again for the Spurs.
The Spurs return home to face South Morang, while the Roosters will have two weeks off, with a bye after the Queen’s Birthday weekend.
La Trobe University secured a vital four points with a 5.5 (35) to 1.3 (9) win over South Morang. Adding only three behinds to the scoreboard in the opening term, La Trobe eventually kicked the ball through the big sticks, kicking two goals in the second quarter.
A South Morang third quarter goal came via Stefini Buzzini and applied scoreboard pressure to La Trobe, but they were able to respond with two goals of their own to maintain control. Brittany Bordignon and Stephanie Castagnini were excellent for La Trobe who now sit a game-clear in second position, while Cassie Hurst continued her superb form for South Morang. La Trobe will now look to carry momentum into an important clash with third-placed Montmorency at Naughtin Oval.
Montmorency earnt its fourth win by defeating Darebin 14.16 (100) to 0.1 (1). With the ball locked in the Magpies’ forward half, they dominated the play and hit the scoreboard hard. With four multiple goal kickers, the Magpies forward line was damaging. Nicole Blythe booted four goals to bring her season tally to 13 and Tanisha Giordano also chipped in with three. Natalie Tull-Boyle also excelled.
In Division 3, La Trobe University kept its finals hopes alive with a 6.3 (39) to 1.3 (9) win over fellow finals contender Eltham. La Trobe started the match with two goals while the Panthers proved inaccurate, scoring only three behinds.
A 16-point half time lead saw a spirited La Trobe outfit grow in confidence and they stretched the lead out to 30 by the final siren. La Trobe now turns its attention to a crucial clash against Greensborough, who they sit on equal points with. Eltham will look to bounce back against the VU Western Spurs at Henry Turner Reserve.
Greensborough produced the upset of the round, defeating the VU Western Spurs 8.5 (53) to 1.0 (6). Taking a 25-point lead into half-time, the Boro were exceptional at the contest and maintained their high standard throughout the second half. Naomi Pickford and Mackenzie Griffin were instrumental in the win that sees the Boro leap into fourth position, while Breanna Keath and Jacinta Ganino were solid contributors for the Spurs.
St Mary’s kept in touch with the ladder-leader Bundoora by downing Mernda 11.11 (77) to 1.3 (9). After a tight opening quarter that saw no goals, the Burra kicked four in the second quarter to Mernda’s one to take an 18-point lead and the momentum into the main break. A seven-goal to zero second half saw the Burra run away comprehensive winners. Serena Francke was fantastic once again for the Burra with a four-goal performance, while Kelly Garlepp played her role for Mernda.
PHOTO: 95 Snaps/Supplied