Women’s Premier Division MOTW: Back and fourth footy goes the way of the black and white
Written by Michael Shillito
Inner West Magpies vs. Newtown Breakaways – Picken Oval on Saturday 6 July
A wet week had turned grounds into mud, and several ovals were closed by the time Saturday came around. Picken Oval was one of the few that remained open which allowed the Inner West Magpies to play host to the Newtown Breakaways in a Women’s Premier Division clash. The sun emerged from behind the clouds in the early morning and by the first bounce the ground had dried out to some extent. Still a heavy track, but fine to play on.
Both teams have endured their share of trials and tribulations this season, and the desperation was there for all to see as the game got under way. The first quarter wasn’t one for the faint-hearted, with some heavy tackles and plenty of congestion around the ball. Neither team were prepared to cede an advantage to the other. The scoreboard would reflect the tight and tough opening, as the two teams were only able to score a single goal each in the first quarter. Newtown were able to put through a couple of behinds to be up by two points at the first change.
Few would have seen the importance of it at the time, but the goal the Magpies managed in the first quarter would be the only score at that end all day. There was a slight breeze and a few wet patches, but it wasn’t the conditions that caused the fluctuation in fortunes. This was to be a game of twists and turns, and in the second term the momentum swung the Magpies’ way. Quickly taking the lead, the Magpies lifted around the ground and starved the Breakaways of opportunities. Three unanswered goals would see the Magpies 19 points ahead and looking good.
It’s been a tough season for the Breakaways, and they’ve struggled to get their best game plan going in 2019. But in the third quarter, everything clicked for the team in red and white and they would find a way back into the contest. Confidence was returning to the weary warriors as Breakaway passes began to hit their targets and for one quarter they began to show the football they know they have in them. Keeping the Magpies scoreless, the Breakaways landed three goals in the third quarter. You could see a spring in the Breakaways’ step as they returned to their huddle at three quarter time with the scores level.
Despite the momentum being in their favour, the dream of the Newtown breakthrough win was not to be. The Breakaways were forced into desperate defence by an Inner West side who had regrouped during the break and lifted in the last quarter. It was a defensive term of footy, not always pretty to watch. The Magpies did what they had to and got it done, kicking the only goal of the last quarter and keeping Newtown scoreless for a hard-fought nine-point win.
Melissa Freckelton, Belinda Harrison and Madeline Convery were standout contributors for the Magpies. They had to dig deep against a determined Newtown side but managed to get the result they needed to keep their slim finals hopes alive.
Eilish Sheerin, Clare Deegan and Chavvauhn Calver were best for the Breakaways. It had been a solid fighting effort, but the search for the first win of the season remains ongoing. They will be disappointed; this was a game they could have won.
Other results in round 12 saw Macquarie Uni hold UTS AFC scoreless to record a commanding 115-point win at Mahoney Park and maintain top spot. East Coast completed a comprehensive 57-point win over Sydney Uni at Kanebridge Oval which extends the break between second and third to two games plus plenty of percentage.
The battle which is likely to be pivotal to the final place in the top four will have to wait another week, as the clash between UNSW Eastern Suburbs and Southern Power was postponed.
Inner West Magpies – 1.0 | 4.3 | 4.3 | 5.6 (36)
Newtown Breakaaways – 1.2 | 1.2 | 4.3 | 4.3 (27)
Inner West Goals – M Ceilesh, M Ekan, L Marshall, M Convery, A Causley-Todd
Newtown Goals – E Sheerin 2, L Black, K McInerney.
Inner West Best – M Freckelton, B Harrison, Convery, B Ruderzky, L Marshall, A Causley-Todd
Newtown Best – E Sheeran, C Deegan, C Calver, H Warren, S Rennie, E Kneebone