Approaching the halfway point of the Northpark NFLW season, Round 6 was a big weekend of action across both Division 1 and Division 2.
In Division 1, Bendigo remains the only undefeated side and won its sixth-straight game with a 14.8 (92) to 0.0 (0) result over Kew. Cold and wet conditions at Queen Elizabeth Oval didn’t deter the Thunder, who were well served by strong performances from Tiahna Cochrane and Grace Campbell. Ayrlea Bailey-McClanahan and Andrea Walsh did the damage on the scoreboard, each finishing with four goals.
Melbourne University bounced back from last week’s loss in the best possible fashion with a 3.6 (24) to 2.4 (16) win over the VU Western Spurs, who were undefeated heading into Round 6. The match was a tight contest throughout, with both teams struggling to hit the scoreboard in a low-scoring first half. Melbourne University took a one-point lead into the final change and a solitary goal in the last quarter was enough to seal the win and place them one game clear inside the top-four. Ruby Grounds and Prudence Cordes were Melbourne University’s best while Jessie Davies and Lauren Murphy were great for the Spurs.
Diamond Creek Women’s jumped up into second position on the ladder with a 4.11 (35) to 2.4 (16) win over Darebin. Despite a third quarter charge from the Falcons, which saw them within three points at the final break, the Creekers managed to kick away in an impressive fourth quarter. Beth Cruickshank and Jacqueline Barr were fantastic for the Creekers, while Emma Gianelli and Simone Nalder performed well for the Falcons.
Deer Park captured its first win of the season with a 9.8 (62) to 3.10 (28) victory over La Trobe University. Unable to make the most of its time spent kicking with the wind, La Trobe kicked 0.5 in the first quarter and 1.4 in the third. However, Deer Park made the most of its opportunities and scored heavily when it came its turn with the breeze, kicking 4.5 in the second quarter and 4.3 in the final term. Chloe Portelli had a brilliant match, kicking seven goals and Maria Afuhaamango was also great for the Lions. Emily Turnbull and Denae Clow were La Trobe’s best.
Whitehorse secured back-to-back wins with a 6.12 (48) to 1.5 (11) victory over a travelling Pascoe Vale. After a close first half, the Colts dominated the third quarter, holding the Panthers to a solitary scoring shot and kicking five unanswered goals. Lucy Watkin, Sarah Clough and Georgia Thomas were exceptional for the Colts.
In Division 2, Diamond Creek Women’s proved it is a genuine finals contender with a 4.1 (25) to 1.6 (12) win over previously undefeated Darebin. Trailing by four points at half time, Darebin produced a strong defensive effort to hold Diamond Creek to a scoreless third term but struggled to capitalise on its own momentum, only managing four behinds to level the score. The Creekers fought back with two final-quarter goals to get them the line. Tiahn Cowan (two goals) and Kayla Glazebrook were pivotal for the Creekers and Cori Rieger and Candice Dyson were best for the Falcons.
West Preston-Lakeside continued its charge, making it five wins on the trot with a 5.13 (43) to 0.0 (0) victory over La Trobe University. The Roosters controlled the match with 18 scoring chances, while also holding strong in their defensive 50 to keeping their opponents scoreless for the second-consecutive week. Jessica and Natarsha Bamblett excelled for the Roosters, while Sally Hunter and Jane Astbury did their best for La Trobe.
Laurimar defeated Whitehorse 3.2 (20) to 1.9 (15) for its second win of the year. After Whitehorse controlled the first quarter with five scoring opportunities to zero, Laurimar fought its way back into the match with a two-goal third quarter that saw it hit the front. It was a pivotal win for the Power, who are now only a one win off fifth spot. Emily Temple and Sam Fisher-Baker were critical in the Power’s win, while Amelia Frawley and Lucinda Smithson were the Colts best.
VU Western Spurs reclaimed top spot with a 5.13 (43) to 1.4 (10) victory over Montmorency. The Spurs dominated the first quarter with ten scoring shots to zero, but managed only one goal. They carried their good form into the next three quarters to run away 33-point winners. Kerrie Clarke produced her second consecutive best on ground performance, while Stacy Rigon was also great for the Spurs. Megan Allan and Jamie Lee Watson battled hard for the Magpies.
South Morang was on the winners’ list for a third week running with a 4.4 (28) to 1.3 (9) win over Kew. South Morang held sway for much of the match with the result catapulting them to fourth position, a win and percentage clear of fifth. Rechelle Mcswain was fantastic once again for the Lions and Awatea Poutini was a strong contributor, kicking two of her team’s four goals. Lily Barr and Laura Ayres were solid for Kew.