Baby Bull Sharks lead Bond to QAFLW Grand Final

BOND University’s plethora of young stars returned to the QAFL Women’s and played key roles in steering the Bull Sharks into the 2023 decider. Having being the only team to defeat minor premiers Southport earlier in the season, and knowing they would regain their top young talent for the finals series, the Bull Sharks kicked away in the final term to defeat their Shark rivals by 22 points.

Following Queensland’s impressive showing at the 2023 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, the best youngsters in the state returned to their respective clubs for the finals series. Though Southport has been the benchmark team all season, the amount of talent at the Bull Sharks was always a concern for the ladder leaders, and it showed during the semi-final.

Bond University kicked away early to lead by 12 points at quarter time at Fankhauser Reserve, but the home side was never going to let the Bull Sharks get away without a fight. Southport kicked two of the first three goals of the term to close to within five points midway through the second term. Unfortunately the Bull Sharks found another gear in the second half of the term, kicking another 2.3 to extend the lead out to 20 points by half-time.

The premiership quarter was a tight one, and while the Bull Sharks did not manage to put one through the big sticks, their four behinds to Southport’s no score was enough to make it four straight kicks at the last change. Southport fought until the final siren, but in the end, Bond University had a bit too much firepower and came away with the 7.9 (51) to 4.5 (29) victory.

That was off the back off some superb play from a host of Maroons who already showed their class at the national carnival. Double bottom-ager Ava Usher racked up 18 disposals, six marks, five inside 50s, laid seven tackles and booted two goals in a best on ground performance to continue her form over the past month.

Her Queensland skipper Josie McCabe – who fractured a finger against South Australia at the national carnival and had discomfort from her protective sleeve coming loose – also kicked a couple of goals when forward, laid 11 tackles and finished with 16 disposals. Bond University had its fair share of injuries with captain Paris Lightfoot nursing a shoulder injury but refused to go to hospital until the job was done.

Defender Kiara Bischa (20 disposals, five marks – two contested – and two tackles) was strong, while bottom-agers Tara Harrington (15 disposals, two marks, three clearances and two inside 50s) and Nyalli Milne (13 disposals, three marks, two inside 50s and two goals) were also outstanding.

For Southport, the experience of Carly Remmos shone through with 28 disposals, six tackles, three clearances and seven inside 50s, while Madeleine Watt (21 disposals, nine clearances, eight tackles and three inside 50s) and Steph O’Brien (19 disposals, four marks – two contested – three clearances, 13 hitouts and five tackles) were superb. O’Brien also kicked two of her side’s goals, with Tayla Gregory kicking the other two majors.

SOUTHPORT 0.1 | 2.2 | 2.2 | 4.5 (29)
BOND UNIVERSITY 2.1 | 5.4 | 5.8 | 7.9 (51)

Southport: S. O’Brien 2, T. Gregory 2
Bond University: A. Usher 2, J. McCabe 2, N. Milne 2, J. Davidson

Southport: S. O’Brien, C. Remmos, T. Gregory, M. Watt, K. Harvey
Bond University: A. Usher, G. Moodie, C. Landwehr, N. Milne, E. Calleja


In the do-or-die semi-final at Aspley Oval, the Hornets proved to have too much firepower themselves and kicked away from Coorparoo to book their place in the QAFL Women’s Preliminary Final. It was a tight struggle for the most part, but the Hornets defence held up well, keeping the Kings goalless for the majority of the match and only conceding one goal in the 8.8 (56) to 1.7 (13) victory.

Aspley itself did not get a lot of successful looks, trailing by two points in a goalless first term, and leading by just five points at half-time. The Hornets built a bit of a lead in the third term, heading into the final quarter with a 19-point advantage. Not resting on their laurels, the home team finished strong, slamming home 5.2 to 1.2 in an incredible final term to run away 43-point victors.

Rachael Vetter proved to be the only multiple goalscorer in the game, booting two goals from 11 disposals. Hannah Giles (25 disposals, five marks – two contested – four clearances and two inside 50s) was superb, while Lucy Pengelly was named best-on after 16 touches, three marks and two tackles doing well behind the ball.

The usual suspects in Courtney Daniec (23 disposals, four clearances, three tackles and three inside 50s), Lucia Liessi (23 disposals, five clearances and two inside 50s) and Mikayla Martin (20 disposals, four marks – one contested – three tackles and a goal) were all prominent. From a youth perspective, Holly O’Flaherty and Rania Crozier both kicked a goal from 11 disposals.

For the Kings, Jo Miller (28 disposals, four marks, four clearances, eight tackles and four inside 50s) was prominent with the ball, as Lucy Schneider had 25 disposals, three marks, three clearances, two tackles and three inside 50s. Top-age draft hopeful Jacinta Baldwick was named her side’s best, collecting 19 disposals, three marks, three clearances, five inside 50s and laying two tackles. The loss was further compounded by an injury to Jessica Watts during the match when her head hit the ground following a tackle and had to be stretchered off.

ASPLEY 0.2 | 1.4 | 3.6 | 8.8 (56)
COORPAROO 0.4 | 0.5 | 0.5 | 1.7 (13)

Aspley: R. Vetter 2, H. O’Flaherty, J. Stallard, M. Martin, R. Crozier, H. Mirfield, H. Brennan
Coorparoo: C. Garton

Aspley: L. Pengelly, H. Giles, L. Tyson, A. Lingard, L. Thompson
Coorparoo: J. Baldwick, K. Zelinski, B. Farrell, C. Garton, J. Miller

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