Hornets sting Bull Sharks in statement win

A GOAL moments before the siren sealed Aspley Hornets’ incredible win over Bond University to announce themselves as a genuine premiership contender in the 2023 QAFL Women’s season. In one of the matches of the season, a goal to Rachael Vetter with the last kick of the game, ensured the Hornets came away six-point winners over the Bull Sharks, 8.1 (49) to 6.7 (43) at Graham Road.

The Hornets led for the majority of the match, but a barn-storming finish by the Sharks – which included three consecutive goals to be up by six points late in the final term – put the match on a knife’s edge. In what was a remarkable end to a must-watch match between two contenders, it fittingly came down to the last kick of the day and some nerves of steel to win the game.

In an accurate display of straight shooting in the first term, the sides combined for seven goals with the Hornets leading 4.0 to 3.0 and making the most of their chances. Both teams have their fair share of tough inside midfielders and it was the Hornets who through the likes of Louise Tyson and Ella Smith, while Mikayla Martin was continuing her wonderful start to the season.

A critical second term where the Hornets kicked away with the only two goals of the quarter resulted in the home team going up by 17 points at the main break. Skipper Courtney Daniec was leading from the front for the Hornets, as she guided the team to a comfortable lead.

As expected Bond Uni would fight back, cutting the deficit to eight points by the final break, and would continue to come into the fourth quarter. Within the opening few minutes of the term, the Bull Sharks would have another through Mikayla Pauga on the run reducing the Hornets’ lead to just two points and giving the visitors plenty of hope.

Pauga had another chance moments later even closer to goal but missed to the right which meant there was just one point between the sides. The Bull Sharks kept driving it forward amping up the pressure on the Hornets defence. A flying shot from Andria Heard went well wide. Then a free kick and subsequent 50m penalty to the Bull Sharks for encroachment resulted in a set shot for Tobi Chapman.

Going back with the momentum swirling strongly in her side’s favour, Chapman made no mistake converting the goal and putting her side in front in the 10th minute of the final term. With the ball camped up the Bull Sharks’ end for the next five minutes and several pot shots at the goals falling short, key forward Lily Tarlinton marked within range 35m out. That too went to the goalsquare and the Hornets defence bravely got it clear.

Tarlinton marked again 25m out from goal slight angle but with the chance to seal the result, it went wide and to the right for a behind. Aspley had just four and a half minutes to close the six-point gap though and it looked incredibly unlikely. Then the Hornets just pushed it forward, and thanks to a shepherd from Holly Mirfield, Martin marked 30m out and made no mistake with the set shot to level the scores.

By the time the ball went back to the middle, there were two minutes left in the match, and scores were level. The next centre clearance was crucial. It went the way of the Hornets and Jessica Stallard marked on the attacking side of the centre square. The kick went into the player on the mark but the ball was in the zone with Aspley scrapping it forward.

Bond Uni got the rebound 50 but a short kick missed its target and went out on the full with a minute on the clock. A thumping kick-in from Tarryn Meyer to a pack saw Mirfield clunk a contested grab at the top of 50. Putting it into the hotspot before numbers could get back, the kick was perfect to the leading Vetter.

All her teammates ran up and told her to go back and take the set shot in the final 30 seconds, only needing a score for victory. Making no mistake from 30 metres, she delivered the match-winning goal to hand her side the six-point win with the siren sounding before the ball was returned to the middle. It capped off a remarkable performance from the Hornets that almost slipped away.

Tyson was named best on ground in the performance, with Angela Lingard providing an intercepting four in the air and at ground level. Martin was again prolific and finished off with that critical goal, while Lucia Liessi was steadfast as ever in defence.

For the Bull Sharks, Tarlinton was strong throughout and had several chances, while ex-AFL defender Leah Kaslar and Brisbane talent Pauga were both important. Georgia Hutton was also named among the best in a losing side.


Wilston Grange caused the bigger upset of the weekend, downing finals contender Coorparoo by five points for the Gorillas’ second win of the season. The side that went winless last year is far more competitive in 2023, and snapped a three-game losing streak thanks to the 6.7 (43) to 5.8 (38) triumph.

Naomi Celebre kicked two goals in a best on ground performance for the Gorillas, while triple bottom-ager Mia Geere had 16 disposals, seven marks, five inside 50s and kicked a goal. Mackenzie Findlay was also among the best for the winners. For the Kings, Lucy Schneider had 24 disposals at an elite 79.2 per cent efficiency, while Jessica Watts and Hannah McLaughlin found plenty of the ball.

Reigning premiers University of Queensland strung its second consecutive win together, knocking off Yeronga South Brisbane by two goals at Leyshon Park. Ava Seton had another 25 disposals and five clearances, while Jane Childes was also busy with 18 touches. Caitlin Laycock (17 disposals, 18 hitouts) looked good through the ruck in the 4.5 (29) to 2.5 (17) win. For the Devils, Madison Goodwin and Lucy Bellinger were the most prominent ball-winners.

In the other match, Southport Sharks made light work of Maroochydore thanks to a 10-goal second half at Fankhauser Reserve. The Sharks only lead by seven points at quarter time due to inaccuracy, but found their kicking boots after that and never looked back, piling on 13 goals to nil in the last three quarters to run away with the 14.17 (101) to 1.0 (6) victory.

Darcie Davies booted three goals from 13 disposals in the big win, while the Sharks top midfielders all racked up some ridiculous numbers. Eight players had 23 or more disposals, with Georgia Breward (40 disposals), Carly Remmos (34) and Madeleine Watt (32) leading the way. For the Roos, Renee Teys and Kelsee Sills were named the best in defeat.

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