Women’s Premier Division MOTW: Newtown in a one-point thriller
Written by Phoebe McWilliams.
A late last quarter goal to Newtown Breakaway’s Laura Holdsworth was the match winner in a one-point thriller against the UTS Shamrocks on Saturday at Trumper Park.
The Breakaways were trailing by five points with less than three minutes to play when Holdsworth roved the ball from a forward-50 stoppage to kick the sealer from ten metres out on a slight angle.
The close finish was representative of the match throughout, with no team able to break clear at any stage of the game.
Great defensive work from Newtown’s Jessica Jackowski kept the Shamrock’s leading goal kicker Gillian Behan quiet, whilst Anna Ruut dominated across half-back with a number of intercept marks.
Ruut’s influence allowed Breakaway forward, Codie Briggs to present up the ground, with Briggs often leading her player to the ball and then delivering deep inside 50. Briggs managed to kick two goals herself in a best on ground performance.
Briggs, who played with the GWS GIANTS in the 2017 AFL Women’s season, said her team went back to basics at training during the week after a 37-point loss to the Southern Power in Round 3.
“We all played a pretty flat game last week (against the Power), so training was about regathering and getting everyone’s focus back,” said Briggs.
“We went back to basics, especially when it came to our marking skills. That was one thing we really focused on because the Power really dominated us in that area.”
Briggs took three marks herself and had 21-disposals before coming off in the final quarter with a knee injury. Thankfully the injury wasn’t serious and she was able to return to the ground for the final minutes.
Briggs says her side’s senior players really lifted on the weekend.
“The team really needed the senior players to step up – me, Holdsy (Holdsworth), Anna Ruut, Alex Shroeder. We needed our seniors to lift and as soon as we did, our newbie’s did as well.
“We knew it was a must win game. UTS came out and played well, but our girls got around each other and really dug deep. That makes the win just that little bit sweeter,” tells a proud Briggs.
Newtown will now play Sydney University this weekend on Saturday at Mahoney Park.
Other Round 4 results included a massive 110-point win by the UNSW Eastern Suburb Bulldogs (17.9.111) against the Western Wolves (0.1.1). Bulldogs forwards Sera Kaukiono and Rebecca Privitelli both had a day out kicking seven and five goals respectively.
The Auburn Penrith Giants (6.9.45) defeated Southern Power (2.4.16) by 29-points. Finally, top of the ladder Macquarie University (5.3.33) defeated Sydney University (2.1.13) with the competition’s leading goal kicker Simone Freeman adding another two goals to her tally (10 goals).
Phoebe McWilliams is a current AFL Women’s GWS GIANTS player, who is also a freelance writer for publications such as Inside Football Magazine. Following the 2018 NAB AFL Women’s Season, McWilliams will be playing for the Hawthorn Football Club in the VFLW for the remainder of the year.