Bats soar into AFL Sydney Women’s Grand Final

UTS BATS have claimed their right to re-challenge East Coast in next week’s AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division Grand Final after a hard-fought nine-point win over Macquarie University in the preliminary final on the weekend.

On a perfect Sydney day, it was a relatively high scoring contest, with UTS constantly taking a lead and the Goannas consistently returning fire, but they just could not get them in the end.

The absolute main difference for the day was the tactical battle, and in the first quarter, every single forward Goannas movement was surrounded by huge numbers of Bats players suffocating every possession.

UTS left its forwardline almost completely empty, and playing high so the Bats’ agile runners could run into the ball path towards goal and slot through the finishes. It was a spectacular show from the minor premiers.

Any sort of break out of the centre and Jessica Quade (three goals) and youngster Imogen Brown (four) were just too good on the day. If they were not scoring, the were assisting or providing run out of contests. It was a real break out game for Brown.

For Macquarie University, it was the Goannas’ one tactical limitation that they always go backwards from ruck contests that was not only limiting them, but being sharked by UTS coalface players. Any mistake with disposal caused another running forward 50 entry for UTS.

Things evened up in the second quarter after the Goannas adapted to the style of play and started suffocating the Bats up the other end. The first of many comebacks was on.

Goannas’ Kiera Yerbury gave a really good effort all throughout the game and looks to have a lot of potential for growth. Her run and ball collection through the edges of contested play was very damaging to the UTS team.

As the game really got going, the big guns for Macquarie Uni started having an influence, and the scoreboard gap started to close. Unfortunately for the Goannas, they never just quite clicked all together or at the same time, to really take control of the game.

Repeat stoppages and lack of clean possessions made it tough for both sides, but then when a breakout touch did occur, it usually resulted in a goal. When the final siren sounded, both teams could be proud of their efforts but equally ruing missed opportunities.

There were a lot of influential players on the day. Goannas’ Paige Pirotta was forced to do an extraordinary amount of work, and had a lot of touches, but the UTS coaching staff found a way to blunt her influence in the last three quarters.

Yerbury was clearly in the six best on ground and when Michala Ford was involved in the play, she was difficult to stop. Amanda Farrugia tried hard but was kept in check from breaking free for most of the day.

For UTS, Quade’s finishing in the first quarter was the game winner, but Brown showed plenty of future potential as well. Eloise Carey and Samantha Goldrick were also among the better players on the day.

The Goannas’ Lauren Easton was influential around the contests and in delivering forward, while Megan Mifsud also had a strong game. Along with Yerbury and Farrugia, the losing side gave its all.

UTS BATS 3.2 | 5.2 | 8.4 | 9.4 (58)
MAC UNI 1.1 | 4.3 | 5.5 | 7.7 (49)

UTS Bats:
I. Brown 4, J. Quade 3, M. Lindsay, K. McCaffery
Mac Uni: M. Mifsud, K. Yerbury, L, Easton, M. Jansen, O. Plummer

UTS Bats:
E. Carey, I. Brown, D. Spamer, S Goldrick, K. McCaffery
Mac Uni: M. Mifsud, K. Yerbury, L. Easton, K. Fogarty, A. Farrugia

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