With a final five still yet to be decided in both Division 1 and Division 2, Round 12 of Northpark NFLW certainly showcased how wide open the season remains.
In Division 1, Kew returned to the winners list, defeating Deer Park 4.9 (33) to 4.5 (29) at Deer Park Sports Oval. After taking a 21-point lead into the final quarter, the Bears looked headed for a comfortable win before a late three-goal surge from the Lions reduced the lead to just four points. The thrilling win moves the Bears a game clear into the top-five. Natassia Williams and Rachael O’Regan were brilliant for Kew, while Belinda Hateley and Sina Mason were pivotal in keeping the Lions in the match.
The VU Western Spurs won their third consecutive match with a 6.8 (44) to 4.2 (26) victory over Darebin. It was a crucial four points for the Spurs to take away, as they now move two games clear in second place. Quick out of the blocks, the Spurs took a 21-point lead into quarter time, before the Falcons responded with a dominant second quarter to close within three points. The Spurs however, controlled the second half of the match, scoring 3.5 to the Falcons’ 1.2. Emma Mackay and Yasmin Speekman were fantastic for the Spurs, while Tamara Olcorn and Lauren Datson were the Falcons’ best.
Undefeated Bendigo continued its perfect season with a 7.9 (51) to 4.1 (25) win over a finals contender Diamond Creek Women’s. After a tight first quarter, the Thunder’s class shone through, as they kicked the next three goals before keeping the Creekers’ at reach for the remainder of the day. Bendigo’s Laura Flanagan, Ayrlea Bailey-Mcclanahan and Diamond Creek Women’s Jessica Provan and Sarah Rigden were named best afield by their respective coaches. The Thunder face another finals challenger in Round 13 when they come up against a third-placed Melbourne University.
Melbourne University secured its eighth win of the campaign in a 16.9 (105) to 1.0 (6) result over Pascoe Vale at University Oval. The Mugars gained enough percentage from teh win to push above Diamond Creek Women’s on the ladder. The Mugars got off to a flying start, kicking 10 first-half goals and carried their momentum for four quarters. Kira Price was named best on ground with four goals, while Sian Wilson was also great for the Mugars. Rebecca Foggie and Lauren Young were solid contributors in defeat for the Panthers.
Whitehorse remains a mathematical chance to play finals following a 5.4 (34) to 3.3 (21) victory over La Trobe University. After taking only a one-point lead into the long break, the Colts managed to kick away from a hard-working La Trobe outfit in the second half. Katie Shanahan and Claire Dyett were excellent for the Colts, while Stephanie Castagnini and Antonietta D’Angelo were La Trobe’s best.
In Division 2, ladder-leader VU Western Spurs defeated Darebin 8.6 (45) to 2.2 (14) in a top-three clash at Henry Turner Reserve. The Spurs proved to be too strong in defence for the Falcons, who were unable to hit the scoreboard until the third quarter. Ashleigh Stonehouse was great, while Jessica Heath kicked three goals for Spurs – who need only win one of their final two matches to win the minor premiership. Eliza Neylon and Grace Kirley were the best performing Falcons.
Whitehorse secured its third win of the season, defeating La Trobe University 4.0 (24) to 1.0 (6). Away from home, the Colts produced a great performance to break a five-game losing streak. Camille Augustin and Fiona Rennie were important for the Colts, while Katrina Tyler and Sophie Toomey tried hard for La Trobe. The Colts face Kew next, where they will be looking for atonement after losing by only nine points in their Round 1 clash.
West Preston-Lakeside returned to the winners list with a 9.8 (62) to 0.0 (0) victory over Kew. The Roosters produced a commanding performance to restrict the Bears, while also attacking heavily throughout the game. Monique Dematteo continued her outstanding season, while Natarsha Bamblett (two goals) and Shania Austin Jones were also fantastic.
In a low-scoring affair, South Morang secured a pivotal four points, defeating Diamond Creek Women’s 2.6 (18) to 1.3 (9). The Lions set up their win with a 2.3 to 0.0 first quarter. The Lions are now six points clear in fifth position ahead of an important clash with fourth-placed Montmorency in Round 13. Cassie Hurst and Vanessa Sankovic were named the Lions’ best, while Marguerite Hickey and Kaitlin Smith were solid contributors for the Creekers.
Montmorency continued its surge towards the finals with a sixth-consecutive win, triumphing 10.12 (72) to 0.1 (1) over Laurimar. The Magpies produced a fantastic four-quarter performance, locking in their finals berth in the process. Sitting fourth on the ladder, they are just three percentage points behind Darebin. Rhiarn Daley put together her second consecutive best on ground performance, while Nicole Blythe and Claire Flynn (three goals) were also excellent.