Women’s Premier Division Match of the Round Review – East Coast Eagles vs. Sydney University
Written By Lucas Holmes
The East Coast Eagles entered this round 9 clash after they defeated Pennant Hills by 19 points in round 8. Whilst Sydney University managed to hang on by two points over Macquarie University.
Despite a highly physical Sydney University, The East Coast Eagles were able to produce a 41-point win. With repeat forward 50 entries caused by their pressure, the Eagles capitalised with four first-quarter goals. The University defence only allowed 2 goals in the remaining three quarters, however this didn’t stop East Coast from claiming their ninth consecutive win.
After an end-to-end start to the quarter, it was East Coast who had the first chance. The Eagles swept the ball away following a stoppage on the centre wing. Tarni Evans sent them inside the forward 50 where they had a loose player in the pocket. However, a desperate attempt from Chloe Palazzo denied the first goal-scoring opportunity.
After repetitive forward 50 entries, the Eagles had their reward. A short handball on the attacking side of the centre square from Bryany Parker found Ally Dallaway. Dallaway’s short pass was collected Evans in stride, who straightened and kicked truly for the first goal of the game.
Evans kicked her second three minutes later. Maddie Finch centred the ball to the hotspot from deep in the forward pocket. After short handballs from Emma Scriven and Parker, Evans stepped through two tackles and snapped from 25 metres out.
East Coast followed up with goals to the leagues leading goalkicker Rylee Mcgartland and Georgia Garnett before Sydney University struck right before quarter time.
After a stoppage just inside the forward 50, University got the quick clearance through Brianna Murphy. Amber Laven (who was positioned in the hotspot) gained front position in the contest and took a strong mark. Laven added her tenth goal of the season to round out the first quarter.
Quarter time East Coast Eagles 4.1.25 Sydney University 1.1.7.
East Coast had an early chance in the second quarter. Following a stoppage 35 metres out from their attacking goal, a dominant tap from Emily Hurley found Parker who snapped but didn’t quite have the required distance.
The Eagles had several opportunities through the early part of the second quarter but were unable to register their fifth major.
Sydney University’s best chance came just after the midway point of the quarter. Following an East Coast turnover in the middle of the ground, Abbey Hindle sent the ball inside the forward 50. The ball took a horrific bounce that evaded Renee Tomkins, Rebecca Mitchell was the beneficiary but her kick to a wide-open Stephanie Gillon didn’t sit up and the Eagles defence recovered.
Half time East Coast Eagles 4.8.32 Sydney University 1.1.7.
Evans had an opportunity to add to her goal tally early in the third quarter. A long kick from Hurley landed on the goal line, Evans stripped her opponent of the football only to have her kick smothered by Mitchell on the line.
Although the Eagles made the most of their next opportunity. After a long kick to a contest by Louise Stephenson, Hurley extracted the ball and sent it high inside the forward 50. A dropped mark fell into the waiting arms of Finch who evaded three tacklers and snapped around her body from 25 metres.
University had a chance to respond minutes later. After some chain handballs in the middle of the ground, Amy Foo sent a long kick in Gillion’s direction. After the Eagles looked to rebound, Laven laid a strong tackle and was rewarded with a free kick. Laven found Stephenson 35 metres out. Stephenson had the distance but pulled the kick slightly which resulted in a minor score.
Three quarter time East Coast Eagles 5.13.43 Sydney University 1.2.8.
After some ferocious tackling from both sides to begin the fourth quarter, Evans added her third goal as the midway point of the quarter approached.
After a rare passage of open play in the second half, the Eagles were able to open up the centre corridor. Chloe Arndt found Garnett in space. Garnett received the ball back from Hurley before she kicked to the leading Evans. Evans made no mistake from the set shot.
This would ultimately be the last goal of the afternoon as the Eagles were able to grind out a 41-point victory.
Full time East Coast Eagles 6.13.49 Sydney University 1.2.8.
After an open start to the contest, it was a tough physical battle for the last three quarters in particular. For East Coast, Parker was crucial around the stoppages, Hurley too played an important role in the ruck and around the ground. Whilst Evans was clinical in the forward half as well with her run off the football.
Louise Stephenson was arguably the best on for University despite often having multiple opponents to deal with. Whilst Gillon and Laven provided targets in their forward half and applied their fair share of forward pressure.
East Coast Eagles 6.13.49
Goal kickers: T. Evans 3, R. McGartland, G. Garnett, M. Finch
Best: T. Evans, G. Garnett, A. Dallaway, J. Swabey, R. Tomkins, A. Barton
Sydney University 1.2.8
Goal kickers: A. Laven
Best: L. Stephenson, C. Reeve, R. Kenny, I. Gray, C. Lawton, L. Coleman
Premier Division Women’s – Match of the Round on June 19;
Sydney University vs. UNSW-ES Bulldogs – 4:20pm Sydney Univesity Oval No.1, Camperdown.
Photo by Merrillie Redden