2019 SFNL Women's Football Interleague Review
By Lincoln Edmunds
South East Women’s Football (SEWF) has claimed bragging rights over local rivals Southern Football Netball League (SFNL) with a 52 point triumph in an excellent display of women’s interleague football on Sunday afternoon.
The contest was a landmark occasion for the SFNL, with the league entering a women’s representative team for the first time in the competitions short history.
Both teams, and a bumper crowd, were greeted with a magnificent autumn’s day as the pristine RSEA Park bathed in glorious sunshine.
And the first few minutes certainly looked as though it would be a tough battle, as both sides got stuck in and put their bodies on the line for their respective team.
Southern held their own early on, generating the first couple of forward entries before SEWF were able to compose themselves and settle the game down.
The visitors looked especially dangerous on the rebound where their elite skills enabled them to transition from half back to forward 50 with supreme efficiency.
And this was reflected in the first goal of the match, as Chloe Hunt marked inside 50 following some crisp ball movement from defence.
Barring the opening three minutes, SEWF dominated the term, with their previous experience no doubt giving them a big advantage, as they took a 21 point led at the first break.
But Southern showed they weren’t going to be pushovers when the second quarter commenced, as Kristy Borg kicked the first ever goal for the women’s interleague side within the opening minute.
SEWF were able to get the quick reply though, as once again Chloe Hunt was causing headaches deep in the visitors’ forward line.
The defensive pressure from both sides was exceptional and SFNL were rewarded with a goal to young gun Kayla Germanier who kicked truly on a tight angle.
But for every occasion Southern threatened to challenge, SEWF were able to find an answer as they continued the goal for goal term with one of their own before the main break.
Despite trailing by four goals at half time, Southern shouldn’t have been too disheartened as they were putting in a commendable effort against a side full of seasoned stars.
But that star power of SEWF kicked into first gear after the resumption of play, as they rattled through four goals in a row locking the ball inside their attacking half for the majority of the quarter.
Their star-studded forward line was now firing on all cylinders with Olivia Aing, Tahlia Fellows, Chloe Hunt and Cassandra Meads all getting in on the action.
With the game out of reach with a quarter to play, Southern came out with plenty of heart and kicked the first two goals of the final term to restore some pride.
It was an encouraging final flourish from the home side who dominated inside 50’s and general play to finish the game on a positive note.
Despite spending the majority of the quarter under siege in their defensive 50, SEWF were still able to show their class in patches kicking the final two goals of the game to ensure they would run out strong winners.
Chloe Hunt and Olivia Aing were livewires up forward for SEWF all game, both kicking four goals each in a dominant display.
Jessica Baguley, younger sister of Essendon’s Mark, was excellent from the first bounce as was Sarah McNamara who was adjudged best afield for SEWF.
For Southern, coming up against SEWF in their first hit out in representative football was always going to be tough, but it provided a great stage to display the rapid development in the competition and the league will only get better from here.
The honour and pride felt by the girls to pull on the SFNL jumper for the first time is something that cannot be underestimated and for many it will be right up there as a career highlight.
Alice Kovess was declared best afield for the home side and was superb all day.
She was well supported by Lily Fitzpatrick and Sarah Sandoval, who bravely returned to the field after appearing to injure herself in the second term.
SFNL 0.0-0 2.0-12 2.0-12 4.2-26
SEWF 3.3-21 5.6-36 9.11-65 11.12-78
SOUTHERN FOOTBALL LEAGUE WOMENS
Goal Kickers: K. Germanier 2, D. Whelan, K. Borg
Best Players: A. Kovess, L. Fitzpatrick, S. Sandoval, N. Horua, K. Borg, I. Catrice
SOUTH EASTERN WOMENS
Goal Kickers: C. Hunt 4, O. Aing 4, C. Meads, J. Head, T. Fellows
Best Players: S. McNamara, J. Baguley, O. Aing, J. Wallace, V. Sanford, T. Fellows