The girls started steadily in the first quarter with nerves taking a few minutes to settle. It was goal for goal to start the game, with a few calls not going our way.
Heatherton’s Steph Peacock and Murrumbeena’s Olivia May teamed well around the attack circle, while quick passes between Zoe McAlroy (Murrumbeena) and Acacia Quinn (Heatherton) put them closer to the post for their shots. In the end, Southern enjoyed a two-goal lead at the first change.
In the second quarter we applied more defensive pressure. Heatherton's Kate Ebert came on at WD and was an option driving through the mid court and as a result we extended our lead to five at the main break.
We went in hustling in the third term and got the first turnover with Elloiuse Shanahan (South Yarra) strong on the defensive rebound. Aspendale’s Charlotte Gilley came on at WA and settled to the pace easily.
The Southern girls show plenty of patience feeding the goalers, as they were under heaps of pressure from the Riddell defenders. The hosts came back at us towards the end of the third, narrowing the margin to three at the last break.
Shanahan was moved into GS in the last, and her height gave us a different option in the circle. Mordialloc’s Tiahn Willis went out to GD and Ebert moved back to GK where she was able to read the opponents play and picked off several intercepts.
We tried to give the game to Riddell by many minor infringements, but our defensive pressure won out. Although we were outscored in the second half we were able to hold on for a two-goal win.
Best on Court: Olivia May (Murrumbeena)
The players were relaxed and confident going in to the match understanding one another’s skills. Caulfield star Domica Wescombe was quick off the line at WA, while gun Cheltenham goaler Alex Siedle was making front position at GA in the circle and finished off accurately. It was goal for goal in the first quarter, with the scores locked at 10-all.
We settled better in the second term and got an early turnover for a held ball on Riddell’s centre pass. Riddell then got a few in a row and we were neck and neck. The Southerners pushed out to a three-goal lead before we were pegged back with a minute to go. Again scores were level at the main break.
Kristy Clark (Dingley) had a number of intercepts at GD and Siedle was still providing an option in the goal circle, but a few errors in the mid court gave Riddell an opportunity to intercept.
The third quarter started with a number of turnovers to both teams early on and the ball went up and down through the mid court without any goals being scored. Then it was a game of nerves with each team playing in front and earning the whistle in their favour. In the end, we trailed by one at three quarter time.
Changes to our attack in the last. Great elevation by Mordialloc ace Caitlyn DeGaris and Clarke put heaps of pressure on Riddell goalers. Tiffany McConnell (Caulfield) at WD gave plenty of drive through the middle while Mordi young gun Kaylah Loulanting came on to GA and was 100% on shot. Both goalers had to be accurate as we had no height in the circle.
We got a couple of goals up and then Riddell brought back on their steady GS. It was headed for a tight finish with an injury called by Riddell with only 2 minutes left on the clock. We had possession of the ball, but an interesting umpire call took the ball from our attack end and it moved down to Riddell’s goalers who finished it off. It came down to our centre pass with moments to go and we got it to our attacking circle but the clock unfortunately beat us – a narrow one-goal loss the final result, 41 to 40.
Best on Court: Caitlyn DeGaris (Mordialloc)
A fantastic day out, the weather was perfect, the set up and hospitality terrific and the workload by all SFNL ladies exceptional. Only one trophy this year but we are hungry for more in the future!