Eagles retake top spot with Bomber belting

EAST COAST Eagles sent a message to the rest of the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division competition via a 57-point belting of ladder leaders, North Shore Bombers.

The previously unbeaten Bombers had started the season on fire, but with the Eagles regaining some key players, were no match for the reigning premiers, going down 9.6 (60) to 0.3 (3).

The Eagles, who were topped up with players returning from both the VFL Women’s and the Coates Talent League Girls, shook off some early resistance to run away with the contest in the second half. They led by 12 points at quarter time, 26 at the main break and 44 by the last change until finally finishing 57 points to the good.

In taking home the four points, the Eagles leapfrogged the Bombers into pole position as the two sides are the only teams with a 4-1 record to start the season. It should come as no surprise that goalkicking machine Caitlin Davidson was the main source of goals booting three, while the likes of Teagan Germech and Abbey Martin both kicked majors and were named among the best.

The return of some youth, in particular the Prosser Shaw sisters in Amelie and Darcie provided some speed in transition, while Summer Hall impressed once again. The seven individual goalkickers for the Eagles spoke to the evenness across the board with tall Jessica Whelan and youngster Lucinda Watson also getting in on the act.

For the Bombers, it was a reality check after what had been an impressive season to-date. They still had their standouts, with skipper Matilda Eder leading from the front, while the likes of Pippy Clegg, Emily Bliss and Georgina Maher also impressive. Ava Barraclough – who returned from her Giants Academy duties – was also an eye-catcher for the red and black.

EAST COAST EAGLES 2.1 | 4.3 | 7.5 | 9.6 (60)
NORTH SHORE BOMBERS 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.3 | 0.3 (3)

East Coast:
C. Davidson 3, T. Germech, A. Martin, R. McGartland, L. Moran, L. Watson, J. Whelan
North Shore: Nil.

East Coast:
T. Germech, A. Prosser-Shaw, S. Hall, A. Martin, C. Davidson
North Shore: P. Clegg, E. Bliss, G. Maher, E. Cleghorn, A. Barraclough


In a one-sided round of matches, the other top six teams all picked up victories to build a 12-point buffer between sixth and the bottom three. UTS Bats proved too good for Pennant Hills Demons at Mike Kenny Oval, winning 6.5 (41) to 1.4 (10).

Tilley Edwards Hill and Sophia Gaukrodger both kicked multiple goals, with Ruby Reid, skipper Kaitlin McCaffery and athletic tall Madeleine Quinn all amongst the Bats’ best. For the Demons, Tara Coopman was the sole goalkicker, with Kaitlin Quinlan and Natalie Pajor the better players for the red and blue.

The closest match of the round was Parramatta Goannas’ 19-point win over UNSW-ES Bulldogs. The Goannas trailed at quarter time and only led by a goal at the main break, but a three goals to nil third term opened the game up and the visitors won, 5.5 (35) to 2.4 (16) at Henson Park.

Brianna Wade (one goal) was a standout for the Goannas, as teenagers Sophie Kavanagh (two) and Megan Mifsud (one) were both outstanding. Senna Gulden did her best in defeat kicking one of her side’s two goals, while the likes of Chloe Anderson and top-ager Ellie Veerhuis were also impressive.

In the other match, Manly Warringah Wolves crushed league newcomers St George Dragons by 10 goals in a convincing win. Keeping the Dragons scoreless in the first half and to just one behind for the match, the Wolves had 21 scoring shots themselves, and should have won by more had they been more accurate in the 8.13 (61) to 0.1 (1) result.

Holly Wickham kicked three goals in her return, while ex-Giant Zara Hamilton was amongst the best with Ruby Michniewicz and Montana Bray. For the Dragons, captain Kaitlyn Eisenhuth and Bianca Clayton were named as the best.

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