2023 Coates Talent League Girls: Round 16 wrap

A FULL complement of Coates Talent League Girls matches returned over the weekend with six games taking place in the penultimate round. Only Murray Bushrangers had the bye, and some of those top-age players suited up with the Bendigo Pioneers, as teams jostled towards finals spots.

  • Team
  • GWV Rebels
  • Western Jets

Western Jets held on for just their third win of the season, as the reigning premiers toppled GWV Reels at Mars Stadium on Friday evening. The Rebels had a lot of the play early and late, but could not capitalise, and the Jets made more of their chances once they settled into the game, winning by two points.

STANDOUT: Claire Mahony (GWV Rebels)

The bottom-age talented forward almost kicked the game-winner in the last minute – she thought she had – but it went the wrong side of the post. Throughout the match, Mahony providing a marking target in the forward half, and looked dangerous each time she went near it, kicking two of her side’s three goals.


Bringing her own ball to the game, Isabella Davies racked up a match-high 36 disposals and laid 10 tackles, while fellow small, Tyla Crabtree also cracked in. Laila Lappin tried hard through the ruck and found plenty of it around the ground, while Lily Jordan spent time on-ball and kicked a terrific goal in the second term. The Jets still got the points though in what was a team effort, with skipper Kiera Whiley and midfield partner-in-crime Kiera Leare doing well, while Alex McBride-Loane and Sierra Grieves were also among the best players.


5 – Claire Mahony (GWV Rebels)
4 – Isabella Davies (GWV Rebels)
3 – Kiera Whiley (Western Jets)
2 – Lily Jordan (GWV Rebels)
1 – Alex McBride-Loane (Western Jets)

  • Team
  • Calder Cannons
  • Geelong Falcons

In arguably their best performance of the year considering the opposition, Calder Cannons fired their way to a comprehensive 39-point win over Geelong Falcons at Highgate Recreation Reserve. The Cannons were switched on from the get-go with five goals to one in the opening half – including four first term goals, then kicked away with three final quarter goals to win, 10.3 (63) to 3.6 (24).

STANDOUT: Kayley Kavanagh (Calder Cannons)

The Vic Metro MVP was everywhere, largely playing through the midfield and producing a four-quarter performance en route to best on ground honours. She racked up a season-high 35 disposals and was influential in spreading across the field, providing great leadership at the stoppages.


A four-goal haul up forward to over-ager Maddison Ford was a highlight of the game, with the double bottom-age duo of Jade McLay and Chloe Baker-West both impressing. AFLW Academy member Amy Gaylor also had some great moments, as did the likes of Shauna McElligott and Maddison Albrecht. For Geelong, Vic Country speedsters Sara Howley and Mekah Morrissy were strong again, while captain Chloe Adams particularly stepped up in the second half, rotating between defence and midfield.


5 – Kayley Kavanagh (Calder Cannons)
4 – Maddison Ford (Calder Cannons)
3 – Sara Howley (Geelong Falcons)
2 – Mekah Morrissy (Geelong Falcons)
1 – Jade McLay (Calder Cannons)

  • Team
  • Dandenong Stingrays
  • Tasmania Devils

Dandenong Stingrays produced an incredible come-from-behind win to make it seven on the trot, defeating Tasmania Devils by five points at Shepley Oval. Trailing the whole way, the Stingrays kept themselves in it and then produced three goals to one in the final term to run over the top of the visitors, 8.8 (56) to 8.3 (51).

STANDOUT: Mikayla Williamson (Dandenong Stingrays)

The Vic Country co-captain was the star of the show, leading the midfield by example and earning our Player of the Week for Round 16. Collecting 32 disposals and laying six tackles, Williamson provided plenty of dash, and was key in keeping her side in the match.


Williamson was well supported through the middle and around the ground by Kayla Dalgleish and Meg Robertson who both kicked two goals from 20-plus disposals. Up forward, Sophie Butterworth kicked 4.2 from seven kicks, while Stingrays’ skipper Jemma Ramsdale was strong in defence. Tasmania had an even contribution despite the loss with young gun Mia Anderson, strong ball-winner Priya Bowering, hard speedster Mackenzie Ford and slick midfielder/forward Sophie Strong among the better players.


5 – Mikayla Williamson (Dandenong Stingrays)
4 – Kayla Dalgleish (Dandenong Stingrays)
3 – Sophie Butterworth (Dandenong Stingrays)
2 – Mia Anderson (Tasmania Devils)
1 – Jemma Ramsdale (Dandenong Stingrays)

Dandenong skipper Jemma Ramsdale played a key role in defence on AFLW Academy member Georgia Clark | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

  • Team
  • Sandringham Dragons
  • Eastern Ranges

In one of the strangest finishes to the season, Eastern Ranges took home the chocolates against Sandringham Dragons by two points, 7.12 (54) to 8.4 (52). A late goal to Mia Zielinski at the ground had the Dragons players believing they had won – with the scoreboard reading 52-51 – only to find out the correct score moments after the final siren.

STANDOUT: Tayla McMillan (Eastern Ranges)

Double bottom-age midfielder McMillan lead her side in the absence of Laura Stone, showing her speed at the stoppages and clean hands under pressure. Generally making good decisions even under pressure, McMillan gave a glimpse in what to expect for the next couple of years.


Along with McMillan, Stasia Stevenson (18 disposals, 11 tackles, five inside 50s and two goals) had an all-round performance, while Isla Baldwin found plenty of the ball. Indigo Linde and Grace Belloni were also among the better Ranges. For the Dragons, Sophie McKay was influential at the stoppages in the first half, while fellow Vic Metro representatives Emily Gough and Isabel Bacon also had their moments.


5 – Tayla McMillan (Eastern Ranges)
4 – Stasia Stevenson (Eastern Ranges)
3 – Sophie McKay (Sandringham Dragons)
2 – Emily Gough (Sandringham Dragons)
1 – Isla Baldwin (Eastern Ranges)

Eastern Ranges’ Tayla McMillan was a standout in the win over Sandringham Dragons | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

  • Team
  • Gippsland Power
  • Northern Knights

In a blustery game at Morwell, Northern Knights were able to navigate the tricky conditions and kick four goals to one in the second half to come away with the victory. Both sides were goalless at the main break, but Northern managed to add two majors in the third term – one after the siren – and it gave them enough confidence to go on with it, 4.6 (30) to 1.3 (9).

STANDOUT: Holly Ridewood (Northern Knights)

The bottom-ager was born only five days early from being a double bottom-ager and has shown some nice signs throughout the season. Picking up another 14 disposals, taking six marks and having five inside 50s and four tackles, Ridewood certainly had her say on the game. It was an even game across the board, but she was key across the four quarters.


The Knights had a nice balance of players stepping up, with Hannah Scott and Matilda Fitzgerald standing tall in defence, Ava Jordan dangerous in the forward half of the ground, and the likes of Marlo Graham and Scarlett Johnson also among the impressive players. Bottom-ager Jasmine Sowden laid a whopping 17 tackles from 26 disposals for the Power, while Rebecca Fitzpatrick and Amber Schutte tried hard all game.


5 – Holly Ridewood (Northern Knights)
4 – Jasmine Sowden (Gippsland Power)
3 – Hannah Scott (Northern Knights)
2 – Rebecca Fitzpatrick (Gippsland Power)
1 – Marlo Graham (Northern Knights)

  • Team
  • Oakleigh Chargers
  • Bendigo Pioneers

In the most one-sided game of the round, Oakleigh Chargers obliterated Bendigo Pioneers, falling just shy of 150 points in a 140-point victory. The Chargers kicked 12 goals in the first half and maintained the rage throughout the match, with a 23.11 (149) to 1.3 (9) victory at Warrawee Park on Sunday.

STANDOUT: Emma McDonald (Oakleigh Chargers)

Continuing her fantastic form in her debut season for the Chargers, McDonald kicked a goal from 15 disposals and clunked six marks, going into defence for the last quarter as well. Able to read the ball well in the air and show off her clean hands, she was an impressive player in a team that had plenty of stars.


In a 140-point win, Oakleigh shared the ball and the goals around, as Chloe Bown (25 disposals, three goals) had a day out. Kristen Smith (six goals), Maiya Stobie (five) and Lily Hart (four) all filled their boots. Abbey Vicino and Amy Cariss-Brett provided some nice dash across the ground in the match. For the Pioneers, overager Octavia Di Donato returned for her first game to rack up 25 disposals, while Steph Demeo, Lila Keck and Alice Voss – the latter of whom was filling in from the Murray Bushrangers – all tried hard.


5 – Emma McDonald (Oakleigh Chargers)
4 – Chloe Bown (Oakleigh Chargers)
3 – Kristen Smith (Oakleigh Chargers)
2 – Amy Cariss-Brett (Oakleigh Chargers)
1 – Maiya Stobie (Oakleigh Chargers)

Oakleigh bottom-ager Emma McDonald spent time in defence later in the match | Image credit: Rookie Me Central

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