RROUND 1 of the 2022 VFLW season saw a number of shock upsets across the six matches, including Collingwood’s first loss in over a year and an almighty comeback from the Darebin Falcons.
Darebin 6.1 (37) defeated Williamstown 5.4 (34)
The first quarter was all Williamstown. The Seagulls were absolute dominant in the opening term, kicking five unanswered goals to take a 32-point lead into the quarter time. Darebin did not even get an inside 50 in the first term, and many fans were left thinking this was going to be another long year for the Falcons.
But the Falcons themselves had other ideas.
The second quarter was a much more even term, with neither side really dominating the game. However, a two goal to none term in favour of the Falcons saw the margin reduced to 19 points at the main break.
The second half was where the Falcons really started to build. They started to get some good runs of play and some goals on the board and although the margin was still eight points in favour of the Seagulls at the final change, you could sense something was coming.
And something came alright. The Falcons just kept coming, and ultimately managed to take the lead from the Seagulls in the last term and hold on for a remarkable three-point win.
Despite having a stellar first quarter, things fell apart after that for the Seagulls. They did not kick a goal after quarter time and squandered all the good work they had done in the opening term.
For the Falcons, Stephanie Simpson was an absolute star up forward, kicking a pair of goals and providing a real leadership role down there.
Meanwhile for the Seagulls, Bridie Kennedy had a stellar game. Although she didn’t get on the scoreboard, she provided a lot of run into the Seagulls forward line and created plenty of opportunities for her side.
Post match, Falcons coach Kate Tyndall said that she felt the match was a good contest and was pleased with how her girls responded after quarter time.
“Overall it was a really tough contest. Williamstown came out of the blocks really fast and they were all over the ground, you know, we were nowhere,” she said. “They were beating us to the footy and we were kind of not even close to them, so it was a good chance to kind of reset and then I thought the second, third and fourth quarters it was just a really good contest between both teams and I’m just really pleased with the way that the girls responded at quarter time to come out and compete.”
Despite what it seemed like to observers, it was not what Tyndall said at quarter time that turned things around for the Falcons.
“We just kind of spoke about the need to compete,” she said. “They knew it, I didn’t even really have to say anything at quarter time. “They knew that first quarter wasn’t the way that they wanted to play their footy and we needed to reset and I thought they did that in the second, third and fourth.”
AROUND THE GROUNDS
- Essendon got its season off to a perfect start, absolutely demolishing the Western Bulldogs to the tune of 98 points. The Bulldogs were not able to put any score on the board, which although would normally be a positive for the Bombers is the one downside from an otherwise flawless performance from the Bombers. Since it happened in round 1, the Dogs not scoring means the Bombers have no percentage. It means they currently sit sixth, when they could be sitting in first. Jessie Davies, Natalie MacDonald and Cecilia McIntosh starred in front of goal for the Bombers with three goals apiece, while skipper Georgia Nanscawen and former Lion Jordan Zanchetta recorded a massive 28 disposals each.
- Casey got the chocolates over Port Melbourne. The Demons were down midway through the last term, but stormed home to claim a 10-point win. For the Dees, Maeve Chaplin and Alison Dowler kick two goals each, while Dees listed star Olivia Purcell had a stellar game with 20 touches and is progressing well towards an AFLW return from injury. Meanwhile for the Borough, it was Sophie Locke who topped the goal kicking tally for her side with two. Meanwhile Sophie Molan recorded the most disposals for the Borough with 17, and also recorded a whopping 14 tackles.
- Geelong were another side that got their season off to a great start, comfortably defeating Carlton at home. The Cats led all day and ran away with a 59 point win. For the Cats it was Paige Sheppard and Tamara Smith who led the way with 26 and 20 disposals respectively, while Olivia Barber led the goal kicking tally with three. Meanwhile for the visitors, it was Maddy Guerin topped the disposal tally with 16.
- Hawthorn got their season off to a fabulous start, comfortably defeating North Melbourne at Arden Street. After getting a good start in the opening term, they never looked back. It didn’t help North Melbourne’s cause when they didn’t score after half time. Former Dee Tegan Cunningham had a great debut game for the Hawks, registering 25 touches and 12 hit outs, doing a fair chunk of the ruck work particularly in the first half. Another former Dee in Mietta Kendall also had a stellar debut game for the Hawks. Playing down forward as opposed to her usual position in defence, she topped the goal kicking for the match with three. On the other side of the coin, Sarah Skinner and skipper Molly Eastman racked up the touches for the Roos with 16 and 15 respectively.
- The final game of the weekend was perhaps the most surprising result of all. After going through the entire of the 2021 season undefeated, Collingwood’s undefeated run came to an end at the hands of the Southern Saints. The Saints led 20 to one at half time, and at times made it very hard for Collingwood to pierce through the wall they had created through the centre of the ground. For the victors, new recruit Grace Buchan got plenty of the ball and finished with 25 touches, while for the Pies Katie Lee was brilliant in defence, and unsurprisingly got plenty of the ball. She finished with 23 touches.