Listen back to the call of Friday night's historic East Brighton V Oakleigh District match in the player above.
By Jarryd McGuane
It was an amazing weekend as welcomed Women’s Football into the SFNL with a bang and an array of amazing performances.
East Brighton 7.11 (53) def Oakleigh District 3.5 (23)
The game of the week and the season opener was fiercely contested under lights at the beautifully refurbished Hurlingham Park, with East Brighton handing Oakleigh District a 30-point defeat.
Oakleigh District started brightly and captain Rachel McNamara kicked the first goal in the competition’s history as the ball came to her from a clearance.
But this would awake the Vampires, as they would add seven unanswered goals up until half time. It was the speed of Jade Barnden and Jessie Pham, the inside work of Monica Ward and the forward craft of Jemima Broadhead that turn the game after the early stages.
After half time it became a game fought out in the clinches, as the outside run for both sides fell away from fatigue from the hard hits the girls were delivering and receiving. Alana Brown moved up the ground after dominating the backline for Oakleigh District to helping the forward drive after half time. Ruckwoman Jess Szalek started to get ascendency in the middle, allowing Rachel McNamara and Jodie Bray to level out the contest. Oakleigh District went on to kick the only two goals in the second half.
Monica Ward and Jessie Pham were dominant in the middle and were deservedly voted as the best two players on the ground. Ward added two goals alongside Jemima Broadhead and Jade Barnden as the Vampires multiple goal kickers.
Oakleigh District only had single goal kickers, while Jess Szalek was their best on ground with strong support from Jodie Bray, Rebecca Adams and Rachel McNamara.
Highett 2.5 (17) def by Mordialloc 11.12 (78)
In somewhat of a surprise, Mordialloc asserted their dominance away from home early and maintained control over Highett with a 61-point victory at Turner Road Reserve.
Mordialloc slammed on six first half goals as they held the Bulldogs to one of their own to lead by 32 points at half time. They would kick five more in the second half to Highett’s one to put the game beyond doubt.
Natalie Cardamone was dominant up forward for Mordialloc and had strong performances from Megan Tymko, Tanya Rosenquist and Aleisha Thorne.
Hannah Bowey was battled extremely hard in defeat, with Ally Gilchrist also putting in a good performance before she was taken from the field in the fourth quarter after an awkward fall.
Bentleigh 2.1 (13) def by Endeavour Hills 8.12 (60)
At Bentleigh Reserve, Endeavour Hills broke away after a tight first quarter to defeat Bentleigh by 47 points.
After a first quarter where both sides would manage a goal apiece, the Falcons put the Demons to the sword, as they held them scoreless and they added two goals to extend the lead to 17 points at half time.
Bentleigh would add a second in the third quarter, but that would be all they could manage for the rest of the game as they allowed Endeavour Hills to put on three goals in the third and two in the fourth.
Of the Falcons’ eight goals, Samantha Richardson kicked five of them and was among their best. Jennifer Dean was best on the ground with Aleisha Lannigan and Siona Pilkington also putting in great performances.
Lyndhurst 4.7 (31) def Hallam 2.1 (13)
In a low scoring affair, Lyndhurst opened their season on the winner’s list with an 18-point comeback victory over Hallam at Marriot Waters Reserve.
Hallam had control of the early proceedings and would take a three-point lead into quarter time and half time respectively. As the two sides came out for the second half, the Lightning took the momentum and held the Hawks to one behind after the long break. Their three second half goals secured the victory for Lyndhurst.
Alyssa Weston kicked two goals for Lyndhurst and was joined on the scoreboard by captain Kelly Baker and Sarah Brown who managed a goal each.
Edithvale-Aspendale 2.3 (15) def by Murrumbeena 7.16 (58)
Edithvale-Aspendale was welcomed to SFNL competition by a strong Murrumbeena performance, as Beena came away from Regents Park with a 43-point victory.
It looked like it was going to be a tight match as Murrumbeena would only lead by four points at quarter and 13 points at half time. Despite Edi-Asp adding their second goal in the third quarter, Murrumbeena would extend the lead to 22 points at the final change before taking charge in the final quarter.
Jasmyn Brandon was influential up forward with four goals for Beena, Shanae Carter and Amran Ibrahim putting dominant performances on the park.
Steph Canty and Olivia Purcell were Edithvale-Aspendale’s best players with Samantha Vinson and Jennifer Aarons their goal kickers.