2024 CTLG Talking Points: Geelong Falcons vs. GWV Rebels

UNDER lights at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong Falcons secured an early victory in the 2024 Coates Talent League season, defeating Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels by 26 points last night. Though looking like running away with a dominant win after racing to a 5.5 (35) to 0.0 (0) lead midway through the second term, the Rebels fought back and closed to within 17 points before the Falcons steadied.

As always there were plenty of talking points coming out of the standalone match so here are a few that stood out:

Rebels talls almost steer amazing comeback

GWV Rebels’ two stars in Claire Mahony and Millie Lang were simply outstanding in defeat. Lang worked tirelessly from defence, and when her side was in trouble the move from the coaches to put her on the damaging Sara Howley in the third term worked a treat. While Howley would have the last laugh, Lang won more than her fair share of the chocolates through the midfield, and on more than a few occasions hit up Mahony at centre half-forward.

Mahony was just as hard working and her aerial courage is second to none. To have to two players with the marking capabilities of both Mahony and Lang is rare, and had Mahony converted a couple more of her chances, she should have had an even bigger day. Still, she was arguably best on ground despite the loss.

Claire Mahony was an outstanding aerial force, clunking another contested mark here. Image credit: Rookie Me Central

Howley ices match with perfect goal

When everyone around her could seemingly not put it through the big sticks, and her side had kicked 6.11 for the match – and six straight behinds – it was the midfielder in Sara Howley who stepped up to the plate and cooly delivered the final blow. The Rebels had the majority of the momentum after a great third term and start of the fourth, but four consecutive behinds had proved costly in the comeback.

Enter Howley who made no mistake when her chance came along, drilling the goal with a nice celebration to match. She would finish with 33 disposals, three marks, seven tackles and five inside 50s, and aside from the third term where she was tightly watched around stoppages, Howley was clearly a standout throughout the course of the match.

Bottom-agers catch the eye

While the trio of AFLW Academy members were always going to stand up and deliver, there were a number of bottom-agers who had big moments in the match. Geelong Falcons pair Stella Huxtable and Georgia Tyrrell both found plenty of the ball and were influential through the middle going forward, combining for 17 tackles to go with 35 touches and seven inside 50s.

For the Rebels, Jovie Skewes-Clinton was the second highest disposal winner for the Rebels and used her height to advantage throughout the match, while on the last line, Elsie Conroy showed the same signs she had for Vic Country Under 16s last year. Maggie Johnstone is another player who also makes things happen.

Sara Howley celebrates the match-winning goal. Image credit: Rookie Me Central

GEELONG FALCONS 3.4 | 5.7 | 6.9 | 7.13 (55)
GWV REBELS 0.0 | 1.0 | 3.1 | 4.5 (29)

Geelong Falcons:
K. Woods 2, C. Charles, S. Howley, S. Huxtable, R. Clottey, S. O’Kane
GWV Rebels: C. Mahony 2, E. Cook, M. Cotten

Geelong Falcons:
S. Howley, S. Huxtable, S. White, G. Tyrrell, K. Woods
GWV Rebels: C. Mahony, M. Lang, E. Cook, J. Skewes-Clinton, M. Johnstone


5 – Claire Mahony (GWV Rebels)
4 – Millie Lang (GWV Rebels)
3 – Sara Howley (Geelong Falcons)
2 – Stella Huxtable (Geelong Falcons)
1 – Seisia White (Geelong Falcons)

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