The sun was out, and our girls were given a prime time kick off time of 2.20pm for our Round 4 clash against the East Brighton Vampires.
Aside from Hannah, who was at the MCG improving her skills at a footy clinic, we had a full list of 16 girls to take on the scarily-named Vampires. Sixteen was a perfect number of players as each girl had a go in each of the three zone areas plus one quarter on the pine – well on the grass anyway!
Sophie and Michaela were announced as our captains for the day and we didn’t mind losing the toss and being asked to kick into a slight breeze plus uphill in the first quarter. Jazzey, Michaela, Audrey P and Tess were asked to work overtime in the middle so that the ball could be pumped into our forward area as often as possible. They followed the game plan of taking 10 steps and kicking long to a tee and it was only a short time after Ray Killey bounced the first ball that our girls were right on top. Audrey H, Jessica W, Bianca and Jess T were bouncing around the forward line like a group of five year olds at Cold Rock. The ball kept coming in and our forwards were reaping the benefits of our midfield dominance.
Audrey H was the star of the first quarter and kicked two great goals which could easily have been three if not for a wayward kick. Jessica W was after Leigh’s $5 per goal and duly saluted with a major plus also missed one that I am sure she will convert next week. Lucky Leigh, as our runner, was nearby to have a big double high five with Jessica as part of the celebration – it was a great moment! Jess T and Bianca also put on a great show and each kicked a point. Another highlight of the first quarter was our outstanding tackling with our co-captain Michaela leading from the front. Our backs didn’t see the ball at all and were no doubt keen on a move into the middle for the second quarter.
Sophie, Jasmyn, Tara and Poppy maintained our midfield domination in the second quarter and the ball continued to be driven into our forward area. Jazzey looked dangerous each time it came anywhere near her and could have kicked 3 goals for the quarter but ended with 1 goal, 2 points. Michaela hit the board with her first 6 pointer and Audrey P also went close with a kick that just missed. Tess read the play well and was out the back when the ball cleared the pack a couple of times but couldn’t quite get a kick on goal at the right time. A highlight of the quarter was the point that Jasmyn kicked even though it was disallowed since she was in the midfield zone – it sure was a monster kick. The backs weren’t seeing much action due to the dominance of our girls in the middle once again. At half time the girls were commended for the outstanding pressure that they were putting on the Vampires and our parent volunteers doing the tackle count were saying they couldn’t keep up.
It was pretty much more of the same in the third but it was good to see the Vampires rewarded for their effort with a goal. Cate, Lily, Tilly and Sienna worked hard in the middle and all of them were staying on their opponents and pushing to get the ball forward at every opportunity. Jasmyn kicked a point and our other forwards in Poppy, Sophie and Tara were all working well together. The ball spent a reasonable amount of time in our defensive half and Jessica W was totally dominant and was able to repel most attacks. Jess T, Bianca and Audrey H all showed great teamwork and kept the relentless pressure on the Vampires forwards.
The Rovers girls continued to run hard in the last quarter, and we always had numbers around the ball. It was at about the five-minute mark that we saw the play of the day. Lily swooped on a loose ball on the wing in front of our group, collected it like an eagle, ran her 10 steps and banged it 30 metres forward to the top of our goal square. A pack of about four girls were at the fall of the ball and Tilly wrapped her mitts around the pill to take mark of the day. She went back and slotted the goal to make it our seventh for the afternoon. Just prior to that Sienna used her footy nous to grab a loose ball right near the goal line to bang it through.
The girls sang the Rovers song with gusto and thanks to whoever provided laminated copies of the words! The group were praised for their terrific four quarter performance and the high-pressure game that the girls are now playing once again stopped the opposition from moving the ball freely. The four awards went to Michaela (great tackling all day), Sienna (most improved), Lily (play of the day) and Audrey H (sensational all day, particularly in Q1 with her two goals which got us going). The grading games are now completed and no doubt the girls are already looking forward to next week’s assignment.
Coach – Sean