2022 NAB League Girls: Repechage match wraps

PUTTING a full stop on their 2022 NAB League Girls season, the eight Victorian teams not competing in the finals series clashed for one last opportunity to grab a win, and for individuals to showcase some form. There were some ridiculous individual performances with a plethora of 30-plus disposal winners, and Gippsland Power grabbed their first win of the season as the highlights.

CALDER CANNONS 2.2 | 5.3 | 6.7 | 7.7 (49)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 2.0 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 6.2 (38)

Calder Cannons finished their 2022 NAB League Girls season off on a high by defeating Northern Knihts by 11 points. They had 14 scoring shots to eight in the match, fending off a late Knights surge. In the 10th minute of the fourth quarter, Ava Gerada slotted a goal to put the Cannons 29 points up. Then seemingly out of the blue and against the momentum, the Knights slammed home three late goals, including two to Isabella Parnell, to reduce the final deficit to 11.

Bottom-age talent Amy Gaylor saved her best until last with a massive 33-disposal, five-mark, four-tackle, four-inside 50 and one-goal game in a standout performance. Heidi Woodley (25 disposals, six tackles, five inside 50s and a goal) and Kayley Kavanagh (22 disposals, three marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and four rebound 50s) also impressed, whilst top-age talents Reese Sutton (24 disposals, eight tackles and three inside 50s) and Abbey McDonald (19 disposals, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s) finished off their years in style. On debut, Lara Chuchill slotted three goals from nine disposals.

For the Knights, the usual suspects in Ava Jordan (19 disposals, two marks, four inside 50s and a goal), Brooke Plummer (18 disposals, five rebound 50s) and Rylie Wilcox (16 disposals, three marks, four tackles and four inside 50s) all stood out, whilst Suwindi Buckley (20 disposals, two marks, 12 tackles, two inside 50s and two rebound 50s) was fierce throughout the match.

BENDIGO PIONEERS 1.2 | 1.3 | 1.5 | 1.6 (12)
GWV REBELS 0.2 | 4.5 | 4.6 | 6.11 (47)

Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels finished their season on a high with back-to-back wins, this time defeating the Bendigo Pioneers. The Rebels suffered a heavy defeat against the Pioneers in Round 2 of the NAB League Girls season, but ran out the far stronger side by slotting six goals to nil after quarter time. Both sides had issues with inaccuracy with a combined scoreline of 7.17 (59) for the game, but by keeping the Pioneers goalless after quarter time, it enabled the visitors to post the handy 35-point win.

Molly Walton continued her consistent season with 27 disposals, four marks, eight tackles and six inside 50s, lending support to Lilli Condon (24 disposals, six tackles and five inside 50s) in the midfield. Laila Lappin had a career-high 21 disposals as well as 10 hitouts and eight inside 50s, whilst Paige Scott had plenty of it, but could not convert, with four behinds to go with 23 disposals, five marks, four tackles and four inside 50s. Jamie-Lee Speakman played in attack and slotted two goals in the victory from 14 touches, while Lily Jordan also slotted two goals.

Drew Ryan was the standout ball-winner for the Pioneers with 23 disposals, seven marks, five tackles and seven rebound 50s, as Octavia Di Donato (17 disposals, four marks, seven tackles and four rebound 50s) worked hard from the defensive half. Nadia Peebles kicked the Pios’ only goal of the match to accompany 17 disposals, four marks, two tackles and six inside 50s, whilst Scarlett Orritt (17 disposals, nine tackles and three inside 50s) and Alexis Gregor (14 disposals, three marks, four tackles and six rebound 50s) also tried hard in defeat.

GIPPSLAND POWER 1.0 | 1.4 | 1.5 | 4.6 (30)
MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 1.3 | 1.4 | 2.4 | 2.7 (19)

After two weeks of so close, yet so far results, Gippsland Power broke through for their first win of the season. Saving their best until last, the Power produced a three-goal final term against Murray Bushrangers to finish strong, something that they had just failed to do the last couple of weeks of the season which left them on the end of narrow defeats. But this clash was different, and the Power managed to surge home to run out 11-point winners in the clash.

It was a ridiculous ball-winning performance from 15-year-old Ella Stoddart who racked up 35 disposals, six marks, five tackles, six inside 50s and 10 rebound 50s in one of the most mind-boggling statlines of the season. Had the usual defender-turned-midfielder turned her four behinds into four goals, then it would have been the performance of the year without a doubt. She was not alone though, with tackling machine Alisha Molesworth (28 disposals, six marks, eight tackles, two inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal) finding plenty of the ball, as did smalls Sunday Brisbane (27 disposals, four rebound 50s) and Alexei Guy-Toogood (24 disposals, four tackles and seven rebound 50s). Bottom-age ruck Ahlee Penry also had a big game with 26 hitouts from 15 disposals and seven tackles.

In fairness to Murray, the Bushrangers were missing midfield powerhouses Zarlie Goldsworthy and Zara Hamilton, as well as leading goalkicker Mindy Quade, but still had control and the lead through the third term, only to be run over the top of in the last quarter. Using all of her experience, Keeley Skepper was the clear best from the losing side with 31 disposals, three marks, 11 tackles, 11 inside 50s and seven rebound 50s in another mind-boggling statline. Ellie Hall (21 disposals, two marks, 11 tackles and one goal) and Destiny Dodd (20 disposals, two marks, nine tackles and five inside 50s) found plenty of the ball, whilst Tayissa Gray had 16 disposals, four marks, three tackles and four inside 50s in a solid effort.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 1.1 | 4.5 | 5.8 | 8.10 (58)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 1.2 | 2.2 | 3.4 | 3.5 (23)

Sandringham Dragons finished off their season with another big win over local rivals Oakleigh Chargers, reaffirming themselves as the clear ‘Wayne Cripps Cup’ winners in the NAB League Girls competition, after slotting seven goals to two in the final three quarters. The Chargers actually lead by a point at quarter time, but were soon on the back foot as the Dragons got on top and then ran away with it in the final term courtesy of a three goals to nil last quarter. Despite the Chargers’ best efforts, the Dragons came out on top, 8.10 (58) to 3.5 (23).

Sandringham’s Vic Metro midfield duo of Keely Coyne and Sofia Hurley stood up in the absence of the third member of their dominant ball-winning midfield Bridie Hipwell, as they shared in 62 disposals. Coyne amassed a career-high 34 disposals, four marks, four tackles, four inside 50s and two rebound 50s, whilst Hurley slotted two goals from four marks, three tackles and six inside 50s. In attack, Mia Zielinski reaffirmed herself as one of the forwards to watch next season, pulling down seven marks from 26 touches, having six inside 50s and booting 2.2. Fellow bottom-agers Meg Webster (18 disposals, two marks, five tackles, five inside 50s and two rebound 50s) and Annabelle Embelton (16 disposals, eight tackles and six rebound 50s) and over-agers Emma Stuber (16 disposals, three marks, three tackles and three inside 50s) and Pia Staltari (16 disposals, three tackles and a goal) were all impressive.

Without their two star midfielders in Jasmine Fleming and Charlotte Taylor, the Chargers struggled through midfield, as talented forward Amelie Smith stepped up to record a team-high 15 disposals, as well as three marks, four tackles and two rebound 50s. Mikayla Lee (14 disposals, three marks, four tackles and two inside 50s) and Abbey Vincino (14 disposals, two tackles) shared plenty of the ball. Lily Hart (13 disposals, two tackles, four inside 50s and three rebound 50s) tried hard, whilst Jamie Piperkos (12 disposals, nine rebound 50s) was an anchor in the back 50.

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