Eagles go back-to-back in AFL Sydney Women’s
EAST Coast Eagles are basking in premiership glory after completing back-to-back flags in the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division. Despite finishing second on the ladder this season, the Eagles stood up when it counted, knocking off minor premiers UTS Bats twice in the finals series, including in by 42 points in the decider.
It was a dominant performance and experience on the biggest stage was the key. Renee Tomkins was awarded best on ground and rebounded everything, but it really was a universal team effort. The whole list had contributions and never allowed UTS into the game.
Annaleise Barton was very influential in the tight clinches and behind the ball, racking up possessions, while Sarah Burns and Erin Naden really impressed, constantly getting clear from the immediate congestion and and getting the ball forward.
As the game wore on, more and more East Coast players started impacting, and Brooke Bailey also started racking up possessions. Chloe Arndt impacted up forward and Summer Hall provided quite a few crucial interceptions and rebounds out of the backline. Jessica Whelan would have been in the conversation for best on ground, playing just off the contest where Caitlin Reid provided a huge effort all day.
The game played out as expected, with UTS trying to go over the heads of the Eagles half-backline, and though the Bats succeeded for the first six minutes or so, could not put the finishing touches on, or find the extra space to score majors.
When Caitlin Davidson launched a long bomb from outside 50 that was dropped by Martin but then soccered through from point blank range, the game was effectively over. Because UTS had settled into the long bomb kicking out of contest, just as so many teams had been lulled into on previous occasions.
Whilst they never gave up, and should be so proud of the season they put together, unfortunately for the Bats, they just got worried out of too many contests and could not find any clean linkages. Gabrielle Stanwix had an enormous amount of work do in the back half. She applied herself well and the effort of Danika Spammer at the coalface is something to behold.
Overall, it was worth remembering that it was UTS Bats’ first time as a group on the big stage and if they can keep their group together, they should have learnt a lot. With improvements, they will likely be there at the pointy end of the season yet again.
EAST COAST 3.0 | 6.1 | 7.3 | 6.6 (56)
UTS BATS 0.4 | 1.4 | 1.5 | 1.6 (12)
East Coast: A. Martin 2, C. Arndt, B. Bailey, A. Barton, S. Burns, A. Prosser-Shaw, C. Reid
UTS Bats: G. Behan
East Coast: R. Tomkins, J. Whelan, A. Martin, S. Tarasenko. S. Burns, A. Barton
UTS Bats: G. Stanwix, D. Spamer, T. Canobie, G. Knight. S. Goldrick, H. Cerezo