2022 NAB League Girls: Round 8 wrap

A CONDENSED four-game round of NAB League Girls action was stretched from Thursday night to Monday evening, as the Metro pool continues to take shape ahead of finals. Western claimed a massive win in that context, as did Eastern, while Dandenong remains unbeaten on the Country side of things. We recap all four fixtures in our weekly wrap.

  • Team
  • Western Jets
  • Calder Cannons

By: Michael Alvaro

A three-goal third term has seen the Western Jets kick away from Metro pool rivals, Calder Cannons at Highgate Recreation Reserve on Thursday night. Running out 17-point victors under lights, the Jets are now a game clear in second among the Metro standings, pulling away from their weekend adversaries with just two regular season rounds to play.

The visiting Jets lead from the first goal, getting one ahead at quarter time and absorbing some pressure to keep that advantage at the main break. After what was a hard fought, high intensity opening half, the Jets made full use of their third term tailwind to soar to a 27-point advantage at three quarter time, before holding on relatively comfortably despite their goalless final term.

Building on her ominous form of late Western midfielder Montana Ham was again prominent for the Jets, as skipper Charlotte Baskaran topped her side’s disposal charts with 25. Up forward, Kiera Leare snared a pair of goals, while 2006-born talent Sierra Grieves managed three behinds in a lively display. At the other end of the ground, Lou-Lou Field got stuck in with 10 tackles, Laura Elliott continued her intercepting ways, and bottom-ager Kiera Whiley worked hard for seven marks.

It was no surprise to see Calder captain Reese Sutton leading the way, as she racked up a game-high 26 touches and booted a goal. Also among the goalkickers was Heidi Woodley in just her third game for the year. Elsewhere, Abbey McDonald built on her Round 7 return, while the Amy Gaylor was again solid at the contest and 2006-born prospect Kyla Forbes showed her wares in the loss.

Western will be tested as it looked to hold onto second spot in the metro ranks. The Jets will be without some top talent as representative duties call next week, with Greater Western Victoria their Round 9 opponent before a meeting with Eastern. Calder will look to hunt them down, taking on Sandringham next week and Oakleigh in the final round. It is do or die for the Cannons.

CALDER CANNONS 0.1 | 1.2 | 1.4 | 3.5 (23)
WESTERN JETS 1.4 | 2.5 | 5.7 | 5.10 (40)


Calder: H. Woodley, R. Sutton, K. Forbes
Western: K. Leare 2, A. Gray, C. Tyrrell, C. Baskaran


Calder: R. Sutton, H. Woodley, A. McDonald, K. Forbes, A. Gaylor
Western: M. Ham, K. Leare, C. Baskaran, S. Grieves, K. Whiley


5 – Montana Ham (Western Jets)
4 – Reese Sutton (Calder Cannons)
3 – Kiera Leare (Western Jets)
2 – Charlotte Baskaran (Western Jets)
1 – Heidi Woodley (Calder Cannons)

  • Team
  • Dandenong Stingrays
  • Oakleigh Chargers

By: Peter Williams

Though it was hardly ever in doubt, Dandenong Stingrays secured their spot at the top of the Country pool with a seventh straight win. The top of the table Stingrays’ latest victim was Oakleigh Chargers, and the undefeated side needed just three quarters to get the job done, though not by choice. In what was a strange night, the sprinklers came on at the start of the final term, with communication between the NAB League and Frankston City Council blamed for the mistake, which forced an end to the game early.

Though the match did not conclude in its entirety, the Stingrays take home the points as they were 37 points in front and controlled play for the most part. When Dandenong kicked its sixth goal early in the third term, the score was 43-0 and it was very much looking like being one of Oakleigh’s heaviest losses for many years, but full credit to the Chargers who managed to stem the flow in the third quarter with the breeze, and Amelie Smith kicked a goal upon her return from injury to give the visitors something to cheer about. In the end though, the Stingrays still took home the four points, 6.7 (43) to 1.0 (6).

The Dandenong speedsters took control from the get-go, with burst midfielders Olivia Robinson, Taylah Gatt and Amber Clarke breaking the lines and causing all sorts of headaches for the Chargers defence. Gatt in particular arguably has the highest impact-to-disposal ratio with just the eight touches, but nearly every one memorable. AFLW Academy member Mackenzie Eardley also laid some fierce tackles and even sold some candy at one stage, whilst fellow co-captain Felicity Crank, and the in-form Charlotte Blair also busy. Though not as influential as other weeks, Charley Ryan worked tirelessly spending more time at the coalface and amassing more touches (15) than any other player.

Missing star midfielder Jasmine Fleming, Oakleigh did struggle to get clean touches out of the middle, with Charlotte Taylor crashing and bashing her way to try and single-handedly take control on the inside. She was aided on the outside by Sarah Poustie who stood out with her balance of offensive and defensive traits. In defence, Erin Woodford kept driving it out time and time again alongside Caitlin Matthews, whilst Charlotte van der Vlies and Lily Hart worked tirelessly.

Oakleigh Chargers have the week off in Round 9 before finishing up their season against the Calder Cannons on Saturday, March 26, whilst Dandenong Stingrays have last placed metro side Northern Knights at Parade College next Saturday, before tackling the Tasmania Devils at the mysterious To Be Confirmed venue.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS 4.1 | 5.7 | 6.7 (43)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.0 (6)


Dandenong: A. Clarke, T. Heath, M. Otto, J. Pacevski, O. Robinson, A. Tregellis
Oakleigh: A. Smith


Dandenong: O. Robinson, T. Gatt, A. Clarke, C. Blair, M. Eardley
Oakleigh: C. Taylor, E. Woodford, S. Poustie, A. Smith, C. Matthews


5 – Olivia Robinson (Dandenong Stingrays)
4 – Taylah Gatt (Dandenong Stingrays)
3 – Amber Clarke (Dandenong Stingrays)
2 – Charlotte Taylor (Oakleigh Chargers)
1 – Charlotte Blair (Dandenong Stingrays)

  • Team
  • Eastern Ranges
  • Tasmania Devils

By: Peter Williams

Further establishing themselves as the team to beat this season from the metropolitan pool, Eastern Ranges took full toll on an inaccurate Tasmania Devils to run out 31-point winners. Despite the visiting Devils having just one less scoring shot (12-13), a run of seven straight behinds in the first 27 minutes of the match proved costly for them. Whilst they did close within seven points when Bellah Parker finally converted through the big sticks, that was as close as they got.

Eastern piled on the next six straight goals over the next 30 minutes to race out to a 44-point lead by the time Charli Granville converted her third three minutes into the final term. Luckily for Tasmania, 15-year-old Priya Bowering kicked a couple of consolation goals to cut the final margin back to 31, but it was a case of too little, too late. Had the Devils been able to convert some of their seven straight behinds – when they had three more scoring shots than the home side – perhaps the result may have been different. Nonetheless, full credit goes to the Ranges defence during the 9.4 (58) to 3.9 (27) victory.

Returning back to the side after missing last week, Isabelle Khoury (21 disposals, four marks, seven tackles, six inside 50s and a goal) and Mia Busch (21 disposals, three marks, five tackles and six inside 50s) provided a strong one-two punch. In what was a dominant midfield performance by the Ranges, bottom-ager Hayley McLaughlin provided some nice dash on the win in just her second game, amassing 17 disposals, three marks, five tackles and four inside 50s, whilst Ruby O’Dwyer had 19 touches, three marks, two tackles, three inside 50s and a long-range bomb that sailed home who were all amongst the best players. Granville’s three majors also caught the eye in an impressive forward performance for the Ranges.

Tasmania had a number of different players stepping up in the loss, with Bowering a standout thanks to her two late goals, but also laying nine tackles, and racking up 17 disposals and three inside 50s for the game. Mackenzie Williams made the most of her 14 disposals, three marks, six tackles, two inside 50s and four rebound 50s coming off half-back, whilst Madison Brazendale (24 disposals, two marks, seven tackles and two inside 50s) played a sweeping wing role. Up forward, Georgia Clark (20 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and six inside 50s) was prominent. Meghan Gaffney and Brooke Barwick worked hard throughout the game, whilst star talent Claire Ransom still had 14 disposals but was down on her usual impact.

Both sides play next Sunday, with Tasmania Devils to host Bendigo Pioneers at North Hobart Oval, whilst Eastern Ranges tackle Geelong Falcons at Deakin University. Given the day clashes with the Vic Metro and Vic Country AFLW Under 19s match, the Ranges, Falcons and Pioneers are all expected to field slightly understrength squads, giving the Devils a bigger chance against the Pios.

EASTERN RANGES 3.1 | 5.3 | 8.4 | 9.4 (58)
TASMANIA DEVILS 0.6 | 1.7 | 1.7 | 3.9 (27)


Eastern: C. Granville 3, M. Kelly 2, I. Khoury, J. Vukic, G. Pruden, R. O’Dwyer
Tasmania: P. Bowering 2, B. Parker


Eastern: I. Khoury, M. Busch, H. McLaughlin, C. Granville, R. O’Dwyer
Tasmania: P. Bowering, M. Williams, M. Brazendale, G. Clark, M. Gaffney


5 – Isabelle Khoury (Eastern Ranges)
4 – Mia Busch (Eastern Ranges)
3 – Priya Bowering (Tasmania Devils)
2 – Hayley McLaughlin (Eastern Ranges)
1 – Charli Granville (Eastern Ranges)

  • Team
  • Northern Knights
  • Sandringham Dragons

By: Peter Williams

Sandringham Dragons have bounced back from their loss to Dandenong Stingrays to knock off Northern Knights. In conditions that featured wind, rain and at times threatened to storm with inconsistent thunder overhead, it was the Dragons who adapted best early and did all of their best work with the breeze, slamming home 4.4 before the Knights had a chance to score. Northern finally kicked its first major through Maykaylah Appleby in the second term, but the damage was done, with the Dragons breaking even in the second quarter.

The second half started with the Dragons again having the breeze and kicking the only two goals of the term, and extending the lead out to 41 points at the break as they brought up the half ton. When Sofia Hurley slotted her second in the opening couple of minutes, the lead got out to 47. Northern kicked its second goal through Ella Smallacombe in response and kept fighting until the final siren, but it would not be enough going down 9.9 (63) to 5.3 (33).

Sandringham had a number of terrific contributors throughout the day, with an even spread across the board. Mia Zielinski was a strong presence in attack, making numerous leads and looking dangerous throughout with one goal and a number of other chances. In the midfield, Sofia Hurley and Ella Sciberras slotted two gaols apiece getting forward on a number of occasions, whilst Keely Coyne and Bridie Hipwell kicked a goal each as well.

Northern Knights young gun Ava Jordan put up an incredible effort through the Knights midfield to arguably earn best afield honours despite the loss. Over-agers Tarrah Delgado and Ella Smallacombe had some impressive moments to try and aid the Knights up their respective ends and even pushed up the ground to win the ball through the midfield. Suwindi Buckley had another eye-catching effort and kicked a goal for her troubles late in the game.

Next week Northern Knights take on the undefeated Dandenong Stingrays at Parade College on Saturday, whilst Sandringham Dragons clash with Calder Cannons at Highgate Recreation Reserve on Sunday.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 5.3 (33)
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 4.4 | 5.6 | 7.8 | 9.9 (63)


Northern: M. Appleby 2, E. Smallacombe, S. Buckley, M. Haas
Sandringham: E. Sciberras 2, S. Hurley 2, M. Zielinski, K. Coyne, L. Mitchell, B. Hipwell


Northern: A. Jordan, T. Delgado, E. Smallacombe, S. Buckley, M. Appleby
Sandringham: S. Hurley, M. Zielinski, K. Coyne, E. Sciberras, C. Ryan


5 – Sofia Hurley (Sandringham Dragons)
4 – Ava Jordan (Northern Knights)
3 – Mia Zielinski (Sandringham Dragons)
2 – Keely Coyne (Sandringham Dragons)
1 – Ella Sciberras (Sandringham Dragons)

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