Bolting Bannan blitzs Eagles to set up huge Demonic win

NAARM bounced back from its first loss of the 2023 AFL Womens season in emphatic fashion on Sunday, thrashing the West Coast Eagles to the tune of 70 points.

One of the key stars of that performance was Alyssa Bannan, who piled on five goals in one of the young forward’s best performances in red and blue.

Bannan may have only had 13 touches to her name, but she certainly made them count.

She became the fourth Dee to kick five goals in a match – after Daisy Pearce, Kate Hore and Eden Zanker – but could have had even more. With the number of potential shots she then decided to pass off to team mates so they could have had a shot, she could have recorded a club or even a league record for most goals in a match.

One of Bannan’s biggest strengths in her game is her speed, and she really put that to good use on Sunday. No one in West Coast’s defence could match her for pace, and so she was able to exploit this weakness of the Eagles to explode away from congestion and towards goal.

This ability of Bannan worked well in conjunction with the speed on offer from team mates further up the ground. From the likes of Sinead Goldrick off the half back to Blaithin Mackin and Aimee Mackin through the middle and into attack, the speed of the Dees was a particularly strong weapon on the weekend.

Bannan did most of her damage in the first term, kicking three of her five majors in that first 16 minutes of the game.

Her speed was a huge factor in almost all of her goals.

The first goal came after she received a handball out of a pack from Casey Sherriff as a second effort in the contest and sped away to goal to slot Melbourne’s first of the game.

Her second goal came in very similar circumstances where she printed onto a ball that had been kicked out in front of a pack, and then sped towards goal and slotted it home.

Goal number three broke the trend a little, but there was speed involved in the build up. She was trying to sprint onto the ball to pick it up, but got given a free because she was held without possession. She then went back and kicked the free kick straight through the middle.

Goal four came in a similar way to the way the first goal did, but this time she was on the receiving end of an intercepting tap from Hore.

Her final goal bucked the trend again, but came after she took a strong mark in front of goal, then went back and slotted it through.

She also helped set up team mates for goals, including the likes of Zanker. Other team mates like Tyla Hanks benefitted from Bannan’s selflessness and team first attitude in being handed goal scoring opportunities that could have just as easily been Bannan’s.

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