Women’s Premier Division Match of the Round Review – Sydney University vs. Pennant Hills Demons

Written By Lucas Holmes



Sydney University enters this round 7 matchup after a 27-point defeat to Manly Warringah. For Pennant Hills Demons they look to bounce back after a three-point loss to North Shore Bombers in last weeks match of the round.

Both sides played a physical brand of football for four quarters. Sydney University’s intercept marking and transition from their back half was the key. Pennant Hills had many goal scoring opportunities but were unable to keep the ball inside their forward 50 for sustained periods.


First quarter

After some early forward 50 entries for Pennant Hills, it was Sydney University who struck first. After a stoppage at centre half-forward for University, Georgia Mann sent a low kick deep inside the forward 50. Stephanie Gillon picked the ball up on the half volley and snapped from 20 metres out for the first goal of the afternoon.

It took five minutes for Pennant Hills to respond, Hayley Lowe did well to keep the ball inside the boundary before sending the ball into the forward pocket. Laura Donohue scooped the ball up and evaded three opponents as she snapped on the run for the Demons first goal.

Natalie Pajor quickly followed up to kick the Demons second.

The quarter time score Sydney University 1.2.8 Pennant Hills Demons 2.2.14.


Second quarter

It was a physical start to the second quarter with neither side being able to enter their respective forward 50’s. Isabella Gray took an intercept mark and sparked University’s attack. Georgia Mann drove the ball inside 50 before an unselfish ball found Kara Durante just outside the goal square who made no mistake from the set.

Mann then found herself on the score sheet. After a hurried kick by the Demons defence, Mann scooped the ball on the half volley and snapped off a step to kick Sydney University’s second goal of the quarter.

It didn’t take long for the Demons to answer back. A kick to the far centre wing from Yolande Webster opened the forward 50 for the Demons. The resulting kick found Pajor out the back who strolled into an open goal to kick her second goal of the match.

The half time score Sydney University 3.4.22 Pennant Hills Demons 3.3.21.


Third quarter

The Demons were out early from their halftime huddle and ready for the commencement of the second half. Pennant Hills had some forward 50 entries in the opening minutes but the University defence held strong. This was the theme for the remainder of the third quarter as both defensive units were dominant.

Sydney University was held scoreless with the Demons only being able to add two points.

Three-quarter time at Sydney University number one Oval. Sydney University 3.4.22 Pennant Hills Demons 3.5.23.


Fourth quarter

With it all to play for in the final quarter, it was the Demons who kicked the first goal three minutes in. Tamika Sutton was the beneficiary of a high contact free kick on the half-forward flank. Sutton elected to keep the ball in the pocket rather than centre it. Tayla Duguid was awarded a free kick and made no mistake as she worked the ball back from left to right for the first goal since halftime.

It took a little over two minutes for Sydney University to respond. Following a kick out, University were able to intercept on the centre wing. Gray using her non-dominant left foot gave (University) a repeat forward 50 entry. Durante roving chipped the ball to the hotspot where Amber Laven took a contested mark. Laven kicked truly from 20 metres out with the scores level.

Laven had the opportunity to make it two goals in less than a minute, However, the Pennant Hills defence scrambled limiting the attempt to a minor score.

Another two behinds ultimately proved the difference as Sydney University held on to win.

Full-time Sydney University 4.8.32 Pennant Hills Demons 4.5.29.

For Sydney University GWS Giants listed Louise Stephenson proved crucial around the contest as did Georgia Mann (particularly in the first half). However, the best player on the ground for University was Isabella Gray at centre halfback whose intercept marking was a feature all afternoon. For the Demons Round 6 Rising Star nominee Ella Morris was important as was Tayla Duguid who kept Stephenson company at times.


Sydney University 4.8.32

Goal kickers: S. Gillon, G. Mann, A. Laven, K. Durante

Best: L. Stephenson, I. Gray, L. Maneschi, A. Laven, K. Durante, S. Gillon

Pennant Hills Demons 4.5.29

Goal kickers: N. Pajor 2, T. Duguid, L. Donohoe

Best: E. Rugg, T. Duguid, C. Owen, N. Pajor, T. Sutton, H. Lowe


Premier Division Women’s – Match of the Round next week; 

Manly Warringah Wolves vs. Southern Power – 4:30pm Weldon Oval, Curl Curl



Photo by Merrillie Redden