Talent League Girls Round 12 preview: Eastern Ranges vs Geelong Falcons

TWO title contenders will face-off in a massive Round 12 clash in the Coates Talent League Girls competition. Second placed Geelong Falcons lock horns with third placed Eastern Ranges in the highlight of a five-game fixture over the weekend.

  • Team
  • Eastern Ranges
  • Geelong Falcons

Sunday, July 2 @ Shepley Oval, 11am

Both Eastern Ranges and Geelong Falcons have won six games from eight matches, with the Falcons’ percentage of 196.9 shading that of the Ranges’ 177.6 per cent. Both teams trail Oakleigh Chargers by four points and percentage, and both have also been on the receiving end of defeats from the Chargers.

Unfortunately for the Ranges, they will be missing its top-end star quality due to Vic Metro playing in the AFLW Under 18 Championships on the weekend. It gives their next group the chance to stand up against an in-form lineup.


#30 Georgie Pruden (Eastern Ranges)
21/10/2004 | 171cm | Midfielder/Forward

The over-age midfielder will be crucial for the Ranges in the absence of a stack of key players due to Vic Metro, and has had some solid performances throughout the season. She kicked a goal from 16 disposals against Tasmania devils back in Round 5, and while not always consistent, has some nice athletic traits and goal sense when forward.

#25 Chloe Adams (Geelong Falcons)
13/12/2005 | 167cm | Midfielder

The Falcons skipper has not dropped below 20 disposals in a game all season and that is not expected to change in this worn. With two 30-plus performances and a further four 25-plus efforts from eight games, she is averaging 25.9 disposals and 7.1 tackles per match. A good all-round talent, she will start in the midfield and work hard around the ground to have an influence at both ends.

#24 Chantal Mason (Geelong Falcons)
28/05/2005 | 167cm | Tall Forward

The in-form forward has slotted 21 goals in her past four matches, with two bags of four, one bag of six and a haul of seven in a formline hard to ignore. She has catapulted herself into the minds of recruiters and is benefiting from an overwhelming number of inside 50s and the slick kicking of Falcons midfielders.


#22 Grace Belloni (Eastern Ranges)
09/09/2006 | 175cm | Forward/Midfielder

Able to play both inside 50 and through the middle, expect the latter to be where she largely plays given the losses to Laura Stone and Hayley McLaughlin to Metro. Belloni is that bigger midfield who can equally match it with taller defenders, taking a strong mark and setting up her teammates inside 50. It will be a big ask against a quality midfield, but also a great experience.

#17 Grace Baba (Eastern Ranges)
17/09/2006 | 176cm | Key Defender

Likely to be tasked with the tough job of containing Mason, Baba has played some big roles this season and held her own, including against Emma McDonald and Sophie Butterworth. Mason is the most in-form forward in the competition, but Baba has great closing speed, can compete aerially and will not allow many easy looks.

#7 Sara Howley (Geelong Falcons)
29/01/2006 | 173cm | Midfielder

The bottom-age midfielder is racing away in the Rookie Me Central Medal after her fifth consecutive 30-plus disposal performance, including two games of 40 touches. Not only does she accumulate with ease, but has the athletic traits and vision to pinpoint passes down the field, and often look for repeat touches running from half-back inside 50, and working into space to create her own shots on goal.


Geelong Falcons will be too strong in this one. It was set to be a battle of the titans, but with Eastern Ranges missing a stack of talent due to Vic Metro duties including Stone, McLaughlin, Alyssia Pisano, Jess Vukic and Ava Campbell, it makes it incredibly tough to overcome a Falcons side that is in the form it is in.


Sandringham Dragons vs. Calder Cannons
Saturday, July 1 @ Trevor Barker Beach Oval, 2:00pm

Both these sides will be missing Metro representatives, which opens the door for others to standup. The Dragons are in some great form, winning three on the trot to move up to 11th on the ladder – and eighth from the full-time teams – which Calder has been on the slide of late and now sits in seventh. The Dragons will leap over them with a victory.

Calder’s double bottom-age duo of Chloe Baker-West and Jade McLay have been welcome inclusions to the side, with Bridie Collings and skipper Amy Trindade set to step up in the midfield. For the Dragons, Judie Goldman returns to take her spot alongside Daisy Flockart and Cameron Millias as they hope to hold sway in that midfield. Calder has a chance in this one given the players missing for the Dragons, but expect it to be tight.

Murray Bushrangers vs. Bendigo Pioneers
Saturday, July 1 @ Rumbalara Recreation Reserve, 3:00pm

Unfortunately another side affected by the AFLW Under 18 Championships in Murray Bushrangers, will take on a team unaffected by the Metro-Allies clash in Bendigo Pioneers. Back in Round 1 the Pioneers won a thriller against the Bushrangers, but since then, Bendigo has only beaten Northern Territory, while the Bushrangers remain winless.

The Pioneers are minus Lila Keck and Jemmika Douglas for the game after both were injured early in last week’s game, which means the likes of Lucia Painter, Bryde O’Rourke and Steph Demeo will be key players in getting the game on their terms. The Bushrangers will regain Tamika Rourke into their midfield, while Holly Egan and Molly McLaren have also been impressive all season.

Western Jets vs. Oakleigh Chargers
Sunday, July 2 @ Avalon Airport Oval, 11:00am

Fresh of their first win of the season defeating Murray Bushrangers, Western Jets now get a task at the other end of the table, taking on ladder leaders Oakleigh Chargers. After losing six straight it was good for the reigning premiers to get on the board, while the Chargers’ only loss came at the hands of the Gold Coast Suns Academy.

Oakleigh will be minus some key players due to Metro duties, but forward Amelie Gladman is coming off a nine-goal haul against the Pioneers. Maiya Stobie is also dangerous inside 50, while Chloe Bown has been sensational in her two matches. Western Jets have retained Sierra Grieves and Lou-Lou Field for the match, while Alex McBride-Loane is a target up forward.

Northern Knights vs. Gippsland Power
Sunday July 2 @ Preston City Oval, 1:30pm

A full-strength Gippsland Power side taking on a Northern Knights outfit missing a couple of key players makes for an interesting clash to complete Round 12 of the Coates Talent League Girls. Gippsland has played some great football of late and had it not been for a couple of final terms, could well have won four matches instead of its two. The Knights are up to fifth with a healthy percentage of 140.2 and loom as the favourite at home still.

The Power have some strong bottom-age players who have shined, with Jasmine Sowden and Siena Lane joining the already impressive pairing of Ash Centra and Ella Stoddart. Northern will be minus Zoe Hargreaves for the game, but have younger sister Phoebe, as well as defender Hannah Scott and forward Isabella Parnell who have shown promising signs.

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