Perfect 10 for Queensland to cap off AFLW U18s
AN impressive 10 unanswered goals from Queensland – after being held scoreless in the first term – saw the Sunshine State come away with the 50-point win over Allies to close out the 2022 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. The Allies slotted the first two goals of the match, but from that point on it was all the Maroons who slotted 10.6 to 0.4 in the final three quarters to run away with the 10.6 (66) to 2.4 (16) victory. Queensland’s Alana Gee was awarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for her state after another outstanding performance, whilst Zarlie Goldsworthy added to her growing trophy cabinet with the Allies’ MVP.
In humid and warm conditions, it was the Allies who started the stronger of the sides, and slotted two first quarter goals in what would become the scoring end. The first came after a big contested mark from Northern Territory AFLW Academy representative J’Noemi Anderson, whilst Tasmanian Under 16s talent Bellah Parker made it two by quarter time. Both sides had chances in the opening term but Anderson and Goldsworthy were particularly busy, picking up five disposals apiece, on their way to have a plus-seven in total disposals. Queensland smooth-moving midfielder Charlotte Mullins lead all-comers with six touches, whilst clearance jets Jasmyn Smith (four disposals, three clearances) and Gee (five and two) were stepping up for the home side.
From the second term on though, the foundations started to be set, with Queensland’s stars stepping up. Gee, Smith, Imogen Evans and Fleur Davies were starting to consistently get their hands on the ball, and that was always going to be bad news for the visitors. It took three minutes for Havana Harris to get her side on the board, laying a great tackle and slotting truly from long-range. After being caught a couple of times in the first term, the tackle was somewhat of a reversal for the Queensland 2006-prospect, and it kick-started the momentum for the Maroons. Goldsworthy missed a chance off a fantastic pass from Tasmanian star Brooke Barwick, and it would turn out to be the Allies’ only score of the term.
Evans racked up multiple touches in a couple of meaningful plays, then teamed up with Gold Coast Suns Academy teammate Gee with a beautiful pass inside 50. Gee made not mistake, and then soon it was Sasha Rival-Quinn on the board for Queensland to put her side up. When Davies slotted one after a set shot, the home team was up and buzzing. So much so, Harris was pulling out the party tricks late in the last quarter, with the 181cm ruck-forward getting goalside of her opponent and dribbling home a ripping goal under pressure. Though the siren beat her, even Kadie Fletcher was able to get her hands on the ball. When the siren sounded for half-time, the Maroons were up by 19 points and now firmly in control.
Gee was having herself a day out with 13 disposals, two marks, five clearances, three inside 50s and a goal, whilst Mullins, Smith and Evans were not far behind. Davies pulled down five marks from nine disposals in that first half and was providing a target everywhere. For the Allies, Mackenzie Williams (eight disposals) was on top ahead of Tasmanian teammate Georgia Clark (seven). A clearance differential of nine to two in the second term was the tale of the tape.
The third term was much more of an armwrestle with just the one goal kicked, which came via the nonchalant boot of Christine Watson. Surprised the ball had got over the pack in the goalsquare, Watson almost hesitated for a moment expecting it to go over the line, before realising it was in play and slamming it off the deck for a breakthrough goal. Queensland almost had a second goal in the final second through Davies, but her opponent Georgie Jaques did enough to rush it across the line. At the final break, the Sunshine State had extended the lead to 27 points and were arguably one goal away from putting the final nail in the coffin.
That goal came from the exciting Nyalli Milne who got on the end of a great team play, and it signalled a big quarter for the home team. Sophie Peters and Kaylee Kimber both added their names to the goalkickers list, with Milne making it 10 consecutive goals for the Queenslanders. After quarter time it was largely one-way traffic with the standout midfield of Smith, Gee, Evans and Mullins all taking control, and Milne finishing off some great work late. For the Allies, their prime ball winners had gone relatively quiet, though the Tasmanian contingent of Barwick, Clark and Williams tried hard, whilst Anderson kept cracking in all game long.
Gee was again the standout for the winners, picking up 26 disposals, four marks, six clearances, five inside 50s, three rebound 50s and kicking a goal, whilst Smith recorded a tournament-high eight clearances with her 19 disposals, four tackles and five inside 50s. Evans (20 disposals, five marks, four tackles, three clearances and three inside 50s) and Mullins (16 disposals, five marks, four tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s were also influential. Davies and Harris both had 12 hitouts on the day to win the ruck battle, whilst the likes of Ava Seton, Tara Harrington, Milne and Kiara Hillier were among a long list of players in the best.
For the Allies, Williams finished with 17 disposals, four marks, three tackles, three clearances, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s, with Clark (15 disposals, three marks and five tackles) and Barwick (!5 disposals, two tackles, two clearances and three inside 50s) among the best. Anderson (14 disposal, three marks, four tackles, four rebound 50s and a goal) and Ciaralii Parnell (12 disposals, five marks, three tackles and five rebound 50s) were the pick of the Northern Territory contingent, whilst Zara Hamilton (12 disposals), Cynthia Hamilton (11) and Goldsworthy (11) had lower numbers than usual but still had their moments. Dakota Mason and Madison Brazendale contributed through the midfield.
QUEENSLAND 0.0 | 5.2 | 6.5 | 10.6 (66)
ALLIES 2.0 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.4 (16)
Queensland: H. Harris 2, N. Milne 2, S. Peters, A. Gee, S. Rival-Quinn, F. Davies, C. Watson, K. Kimber
Allies: J. Anderson, B. Parker
Queensland: A. Gee, J. Smith, I. Evans, C. Mullins, N. Milne
Allies: B. Barwick, G. Clark, M. Williams, j. Anderson, C. Parnell