Bulldogs break drought with Demon defeat

IT WAS a proud day for UNSW-ES Bulldogs fans as the club secured its first win in the 2024 AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division. The Bulldogs overcame fellow winless side Pennant Hills Demons in Round 7, kicking four goals to nil during the middle two quarters to set up the three-goal win, 5.3 (33) to 2.3 (15).

The Bulldogs song rang loudly and with gusto as the first win of the season echoed around the opponents sheds, and it was a deserved victory. But despite the loss, there was a lot to like about the Pennant Hills Demons future chances as well.

The game was very tight in the first quarter, with Pennant Hills actually kicking the first goal via a very nice breakaway. The second quarter saw a back and forth between the arcs like a pinball match with neither team gaining the ascendancy and finding clean avenues to goal.

But it easily the third quarter where the Dogs’ prime central players busted the game open. Hayley Stanford really shone in the inside football battle, whilst Senna Gulden was everywhere.

The rest if the match was Pennant Hills trying desperately to claw its way back, but the Demons just could not find that last effort, even missing an open goal from 15 metres out by kicking it too low to the one player standing in the way, acting like a soccer goalkeeper.

The Dogs brought a very suitable gameplan on the day, which included Shelby Koh playing in a half-back role like a quarterback which proved very effective. UNSW’s tackling pressure was huge, and was another big element to the win, with Chloe Anderson and Emma Haley also among the best for the Bulldogs.

The Demons’ team was almost unrecognisable from previous seasons, with a lot of younger talent coming through and would be very proud of their efforts. But they have not yet adapted to senior football yet, and was the unique key to the win.

As a senior player Kaitlin Quinlan was clearly the best player afield despite being on the losing side. Looking a class above in influence and anticipation, and together with Kaitlin Noble whom was very similar, they repelled consistently time after time after time.

It really was a key feature of the game with vice-captain Eliza Harvey also contributed well around the contests and is displaying much more freedom jin her executions recently due to deliberate use if her athleticism to created space for herself. She got the ball forward many times, but the linkages down the ground are just not there yet.

PENNANT HILLS 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 2.3 (15)
UNSW-ES BULLDOGS 1.1 | 3.1 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)

Pennant Hills:
E. Harvey, E. Waters
UNSW-ES Bulldogs: E. Conlan, S. Gulden, H. Klement, E. Mieville, H. Stanford

Pennant Hills:
K. Quinlan, N. Pajor, E. Rudd, M. Hartley, A. Bennett
UNSW-ES Bulldogs: S. Gulden, C. Anderson, S. Koh, E. Haley


It was an otherwise one-sided day for the competition, with the winning sides booting a combined 30.22 (202) to their opposition’s 1.6 (12). Ladder leaders East Coast Eagles crushed Sydney University by 56 points, Parramatta Goannas were far too good for Manly Warringah Wolves despite the Wolves having been in some nice form, while UTS Bats showed no mercy against St George Dragons, winning by 98 points.

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