Four teams remain in hunt as QAFLW finals begin
IT has finally reached the pointy end of the Queensland Australian Football League Women’s (QAFLW) season. Four teams have been left battling it out in finals for the ultimate prize in Queensland women’s footy.
Last year’s Grand Finalists to battle it out in the Qualifying Final
Last season’s Grand Finalists – Bond University and University of Queensland – were again two of the teams to beat all year, and so meet in the Qualifying Final for the chance to head on straight through to yet another Grand Final.
One extra draw to Bond was just about all that separated them on the ladder, and with some tight results between the pair during the year expect another tight affair out at St Lucia tomorrow. The Red Lionesses and Bull Sharks have met twice this year for a combined winning margin of eight points, with a draw and an eight point win to UQ the margins of both games.
Back in Round 2, it came down to a frantic kick in the last 40 seconds to get the draw but it had been a tight affair, while in Round 7 the tough conditions meant scoring was at a premium, but it was ultimately the reigning premiers who got the chocolates. Both sides will have a lot of motivation heading into this game with a Grand Final spot on the line and neither side wanting to front up again next week if they do not have to.
Although both teams will be missing key AFLW stars they had in this seasons’ earlier encounters, there is still plenty of talent on both sides to keep an eye on.
Isabella Iverach has really come to the fore for Bond in the past few weeks, as has the likes of Georgia Hutton and the likes of Teagan Tatlock have been reliable all season. Meanwhile for UQ, Stephanie O’Brien, Isobel Hartog and Jacqui Russell have all had great seasons and will be looking to continue that form in these very important few weeks.
Competition newcomers to battle Roos in do or die clash
Tomorrow’s other final sees Southport up against Maroochydore in a do-or-die battle to see who will take on the loser of the Qualifying Final next week in the Preliminary Final.
Southport has had a pretty remarkable debut season in the top grade competition. The Sharks were undefeated for over half the season, but some losses in the back half of the season meant they slipped to third and find themselves in this do or die situation.
Maroochydore on the other hand have hovered round the middle of the table, but a few upset wins ensured they still have a chance to take out the title. One of those was against the very opponent they face this weekend.
These two sides have met twice this season with the pair splitting the results. Back in Round 3 it was a 14 point win to the Sharks, but in the return leg it was the Roos who got the chocolates by 16 points, so although Southport likely go into the match as the on paper favourites things are not all as they seem.
Both sides have key players who have starred for them all season that the opposition are going to have to keep tabs on.
Although Southport have a pretty star studded line up, a couple of talls from either end of the field in Brianna McFarlane and Selina Priest will certainly be ones to keep an eye on. As for Maroochydore, Mikayla Martin was a really dangerous target up forward last week so is in good form, and Chloe Gregory has also had a great season.