As the Northpark NFLW competitions continue to heat up, the teams stepped out for Round 11 and produced an exciting weekend that featured plenty of dramatic finishes.
Division 1 kicked off with the match of the round, where Diamond Creek Women’s came away 6.10 (46) to 6.8 (44) winners over Melbourne University in a top-four clash. The Creekers controlled the first quarter but left the door open for the Mugars, kicking a wayward 2.8. The Mugars fought their way back into the match to trail by just four points at three-quarter time and with back-to-back goals early in the final term, which included a fantastic long range goal from Prudence Cordes, the Mugars opened up a 12-point lead. The Creekers however, hit back with the final two goals of the match, with the winner coming via an inspired snap in the final minute of play. In a match that certainly lived up to expectations, Linda Thorp and Emma Fraser were pivotal for the Creekers and Louise Stephenson and Catherine O’Bryan showed plenty of fight for the Mugars.
The VU Western Spurs secured back-to-back wins, defeating Deer Park 6.14 (50) to 4.2 (26) at Whitten Oval. With the Spurs running away 41-point winners in their previous meeting in Round 1, the Lions showcased significant improvement ten weeks later to challenge the second-placed Spurs and fall by only 24 points. Olivia Storer continued her excellent season for the Spurs, while Teresa Cassar and Belinda Hateley were the Lions best.
Top of the table Bendigo continued its dominant season with a 9.9 (63) to 2.4 (16) away victory over Kew at Punt Road Oval. After a fairly even first quarter, where the Bears kicked the first and third goals to trail by only nine points at quarter time, the Thunder proved to be too potent and scored the next nine goals. The Thunder’s Michelle Barkla and Leah French and the Bears’ Priscilla Lodge and Isabelle Harding were named best afield.
La Trobe University earned its first win of the season with a spirited 3.4 (22) to 2.0 (12) triumph over Pascoe Vale. After the Panthers got off to a 12-point lead in the opening quarter, an energetic La Trobe outfit pegged its way back into the match, hitting the front in the third quarter before running away with the win. Claudia Gunjaca was excellent for La Trobe and Kate Bond’s two goals proved to be pivotal. Aisling Summerville was the Panthers’ best for a second consecutive week.
Darebin jumped into the top-five with a 17.16 (118) to 2.2 (14) win over Whitehorse. After the Colts kicked the opening goal of the match, the Falcons controlled much of the play, with five-goal second and fourth quarters. Shannon Egan starred with four majors in a best on field performance and Nikola Deiter was also great in the Falcons’ win. Claire Dyett and Kaitlin Richards were the Colts’ best.
In Division 2, Kew’s 3.5 (23) to 3.3 (21) triumph over fellow finals contender South Morang ensured it remains just two points outside the top-five. The Lions secured a nine-point lead with three goals in a row in the second quarter, but the Bears hit back with back-to-back goals in the third. The Lions will rue their three scoring opportunities that only resulted in behinds in the final term. Erin Murphy and Rachel Ayres were important for the Bears, while Sarah Tarrant and Vanessa Sankovic were excellent for the Lions.
Montmorency continued its charge, defeating Diamond Creek Women’s 4.4 (28) to 1.3 (9) for their fifth-consecutive win. The Magpies’ fantastic form saw them leap into fourth position, while the seventh-placed Creekers face an uphill battle to reach the finals with three rounds remaining. Rhiarn Daley and Lauren Dow continued their brilliant form for the Magpies, while Rhiannon Dingley and Teah Stepan produced great games for the Creekers.
Darebin secured the four points away from home with an 11.17 (83) to 0.0 (0) win over Whitehorse. The Falcons dominated the match to maintain breathing space in third spot, holding a game and percentage lead over a fourth-placed Montmorency. Candice Dyson and Xena Campbell were the Falcons best on the day, while Laura Seddon and Isabella Gietzmann tried hard for the Colts.
In the top of the table clash, the VU Western Spurs triumphed 5.1 (31) to 4.3 (27) in a thriller over West Preston-Lakeside. The Spurs took a 13-point lead into quarter time, before stretching it out 18 by three quarter time. However, a fast-finishing Roosters side booted two goals and held the Spurs scoreless in the last quarter to close to within four points, but ultimately fell short of the home team. Kerrie Clarke and Stacy Rigon were fantastic once again for the Spurs, who face an important clash against third-placed Darebin in Round 12. Sarina Galati and Monique Dematteo were great for the Roosters.
Laurimar won a low-scoring affair against La Trobe University 2.3 (15) to 0.0 (0) at Laurimar Reserve. Molly Cronin kicked both of Power’s goals in the second half. Zoe Mallia, Lisa Jaeger and Courtney Corr were among the best players in their side’s fourth win of the year.