Round 1- April 7
Best: S. Hayes, E. Mutty, R. Young, H. Sweeney, J. Cain, K. Commerford
It was always going to be a tough task taking on a very strong Marcelin who had 6 on the bench. Kew had several first time players on debut with no previous AFL experience and only 2 extras on the bench after a few no shows. Marcelin came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and put 9 unanswered goals on the board in the first quarter. Despite the initial shock I think the group pulled together well and responded with great determination after the first quarter. Once we started to understand each other’s strengths the game flowed more evenly and the girls started to show how comfortable they were becoming in their positions.
I was particularly happy with a few of the girls who took it upon themselves to provide fierce contested tackling pressure and where determined to keep the scoring to a minimum. Acts of courage like Ruby floating back to take a mark on the goal line, Kahli’s legal bump that flattened a Marcelin player to the ground and Shannon relentless tackling pressure and asking me and I quote ‘can I throw a player to the ground?’ earnt her the nickname Rhino, where just some of the highlights. Other highlights include Deano & Ez strong leadership on the field, Ness putting her body on the line in a pack only to receive a wicked corky, Bree’s willingness to accept an additional role to put her body on the line in contested ball ups and Mutty’s continual fierce tackling.
Although Kew didn’t score as a team we set small targets for each quarter and achieved them. We said we would keep Marcelin to under 5 goals a quarter for the rest of the game and the girls banded together brilliantly to concede only 3 goals in the second. Likewise in the third quarter we kept them to 3 goals and whilst we started to tire in the fourth with no real bench relief we still kept them to only 4 goals.
As a coach I was extremely proud of the effort, endeavour and positive attitude in very trying circumstances. We found out firsthand what the standard of the top teams would be and if we continue this passion and determination in future games, I expect us to contend well and it won’t be long till we sing ‘We’re a happy team at Kew bears’…
Round 2- April 14
Kew 0.0.0 0.0.0 0.1-1 0.1-1
Fitzroy 1.2-8 4.5-29 4.5-29 6.11-47
Best: T. Malcolm, E. Mutty, S. Hayes, V. Munnecke, C. Potter, K. Mason
In a massive day for the club Kew hosted the first quadruple header and there was certainly a buzz in the air on Saturday. The reserves turned up early to watch the seniors play before them and started feeding off their intensity and hunger for a win against last year’s minor premiers. The moral was high as we left the seniors at half time and began our preparations for the game ahead. Channeling the clubs moto #fierce, the girls got out early onto the field practicing drills to familiarize themselves with the tough weather conditions.
In the first half of the game we rallied together as a team to let Fitzroy know we meant business. The backline was under attack often as Fitzroy put 4 majors on the board. However our tackling and determination around the pack in hard ball gets was fantastic led by captain Deano aka the voice, heard by everyone, everywhere on the ground. With the help of the usual suspects Hannah, Mutty and Shannon the Cannon, the on ballers threw themselves into contest after contest, preventing further clearances.
At the half time siren it was clear the team was frustrated with the lack of reward for effort on the scoreboard. Encouraging discussions broke out amongst the line groups in the change rooms and after the address the team rallied together ready to pounce for the second half.
It was clear we wanted to show Fitzroy we are #fierce and we did exactly that winning the third term by a point and keeping them scoreless. As the weather turned ugly once again we were faced with another challenge in the form of diminishing bench cover. The never say die attitude carried into the final term as we didn’t let up the attack at the footy however as the weather created havoc so too do did the injuries. All over the ground we started to feel the effects of the day’s battle some players were hit hard Deano, Casalaz and Ness went out after a nasty knocks and Shannon and Mutt had to come off to catch their breath after running all day.
The forward press from the backline brought players like Ness and Carlie into the game when the rebound was on out of our forward line. The team was very happy to welcome back the comeback kid Carlie who dominated contests all over the ground, collecting a mass of disposals in the second half. Maso also had a blinder of a game intercepting rebounds at will off our half forward line, often leaving her direct opponent to influence another contest to our advantage. The endeavor and intent of the team was obvious from the get go but with the injuries mounting and lack of bench cover available Fitzroy ran away in the final term scoring 2 goals and 6 points.
Improvement was seen all over the ground as girls started to understand a bit more about their role and how it contributes to the whole team. What impressed me the most was the selfless acts of already sore and injured players on the bench who came back on field in the final term, in order to give relief to other injured players. This type of commitment and sportsman ship is what will get our team to our first of many wins. I can see this team is hungry and eager to learn and with this type of attitude it won’t be long till we see reward for effort.
Carn the Bears!
Round 3- April 22
Old Xaverians 0.4 - 4 1.6 - 12 2.7 – 19 3.9 - 27
Kew 1.0 – 6 2.2 – 14 3.5 – 23 5.6 – 36
Best: T. Malcolm, C. Stedman, L. Ayres, V. Munnecke, V. Webb, J. Cain
Goals: J. Cain, R. Young, E. Voulgaris, C. Morath, E. Murphy
It was a glorious day on Sunday at Xavier the sun was out and the backdrop was set for an epic battle between two very proud clubs eager to get a win on the board. The Reserves team have steadily made improvements week after week, getting down to training and today was the day to see the reward for effort. We welcomed some seasoned players back to the side as Lingy, Webb and Justine took the ground for their first game. #itstime was the motto of the day and my word that is exactly how the team played jumping out the blocks with intent, ferocity and voice it was evident they where hungry.
In the first quarter the midfield and backline worked tirelessly putting their bodies over the line for their team mates. Xavier got a few scores on the board early but only managed four behinds. Taking knock after knock the bears kept their fierce attack on the ball to finally be rewarded with a kick and mark inside attacking fifty. As the backdrop set for a titanic rendition Captain courageous Deano walks in to kick the clubs first goal of the year. The Bears went wild running from all parts of the ground to celebrate the first goal and we went into the quarter two points up.
Running out for the second quarter the girls sensed an opportunity for a win and it was clear as the ball was in our forward fifty for a lot of the quarter. A few rushed behinds before another goal by LV with a lovely banana kick from the pocket. Xavier responded late in the quarter, bringing the margin down to 2 points once again and setting the scene for an epic second half.
After half time the girls had the win in their sights and embarked on a relentless never surrender campaign. Once again the ball was often in our forward fifty thanks to the backline press led by Ness and the speedy Webb and courageous Lingy, Hannah and Mutty who tackled hard from the midfield all day. After a few almost goals resulting in rushed behinds it was Ruby’s turn to step up and kick a goal but once again Xavier responded bringing the margin back to 3 points going into the final term.
Huddled in for the third quarter address the girls where very loud shouting to each other salivating at the opportunity for victory. The coach was just as excited and after an inspirational address the girls ran out on the field once again with diminished bench cover. Xavier responded with a goal and a few points so Kew lifted and found another gear.
Desperation was the name of the game, Deano taking a kick to the stomach in an epic smother came off the ground and we welcomed back Kahli who went to get her finger put back in after having it dislocated in the first quarter. Thanks to this bravery we were rewarded with multiple goals as Courtney and Ez sealed the deal and the Kew girls came home victorious. With this type of heroic commitment for each other the Women’s Kew reserves are going from strength to strength and some of girls may just have to brush up on their theme song because it’s the ‘all for one and one for all’ attitude that will win us more games in the not so distant future.
Round 4- May 5
Kew AFC 0.0 0.3-3 2.4-16 3.5-23
Caulfield 1.6-12 1.11-17 1.13-19 3.16-34
Best: L. Bowra, J. Cain, K. Mason, V. Webb, E. Brierley, S. Hayes
Goals: C. Potter (2), J. Cain
#momentum was the name of the game, building on our first win and the girls knew it was going to take a four quarter effort to overcome the undefeated Caulfield. We welcomed some new members to the club in Ellen, Bonnie and Kelly had her first game for the year. Confidence was sky high and for the first time we had full bench cover, so the team left the rooms for the first quarter full of gusto.
From the bounce we hit Caulfield hard tackling and dispossessing in the tight contest and working the ball forward thanks to hard hitters Webb, Deano and Sionainn. Game plans started to fall into place as we backed each other in, started nominating in the contest and waiting outside for the handpass. Lucinda was unstoppable using her lightening pace and fend off pressure to break free of tackles at will and run forward to kick us to advantage.
The back line was under fire often but held off many attacks as Caulfield kept pushing forward in a relentless assault. Thanks to the hard pressure of Mackey, CLP and Maso laying hard bumps the backline held strong disallowing many scoring opportunities. The harder we worked the more opportunities opened up for us. We frequently got the ball into our forward line but was unable to score a major in the first half so went in at half time 14 points down.
Discussion was tense in the rooms at half time as the team desperately wanted to win and had fought so hard but couldn’t see any reward for effort on the scoreboard. After some encouragement and reinforcing the game plan we headed into the second half with a few minor offensive adjustments to help the team score.
The next half of the game belonged to Kew as we responded well to the task building a wall each time the ball went into our forward line making it nearly impossible for Caulfield to get a clean kick out of defence. This worked to our advantage as CLP and Deano put through 2 majors in the quarter bringing the margin to 3 points at the final turn.
The last quarter was a good old fashioned bout, both teams scoring a major each and having the ball often in the forward lines. We dug deep and continued the relentless pressure thanks to repeat efforts from Hannah and Lingy in the tight contests but unfortunately ran out of time. As the final siren blew the team felt frustrated as they smelt a win, yet also proud of each other knowing that the game plan is now working. The team is now starting to gel, players feeling comfortable in their roles and has a strong sense of belief. This was the first four quarter effort from us as a team, going down by 11 points to the undefeated Caulfield is an admirable loss and we should hold our heads high knowing we gave it our all. This is exactly what is expected of us each week if want to play finals and I look forward to our next opportunity to show how brutal we can be. Bring it on Bears!
Round 6- May 19
Kew 0.0 0.3-3 0.3-3 0.6-6
Melbourne Uni 3.5-25 6.6-42 9.11–65 12.14-86
It was a huge day for the club and the league at large as Kew hosted the inaugural pride match we have become well known for. Playing for more than just pride but one of our own team mates Carter, the girls arrived pumped for the game. After the bye in our very close match against one of the top teams Caulfield, we were eager to put our new found intensity to the test. Our pressure was so switched on from the get go that even before the start of the game we lost Lucinda in the warm up to a finger break.
#bringyourweapon was the theme of the day and from the start we showed Melbourne Uni we have the pressure and the intent to match it with the best. A few changes to the centre structure brought a new ferocity to the game as Chloe played her first game of the season in the middle. The on ballers as a collective Deano, Webb, Ruby, Sionainn and Chloe where spectacular around the congestion putting fierce pressure on the ball carriers forcing errors from Melbourne Uni and often winning free kicks from great tackles. The back line held strong disallowing many goal opportunities and forcing behinds as we went into quarter time 25 points down.
In the second quarter we began to get the ball into our forward fifty through sheer grunt and determination. Melbourne Uni were very well prepared and certainly looked as strong as the ladder suggested however we managed to keep their scoring to a three goals as CLP drifted across half back to fill the hole on multiple occasions. Jade had a snap on goal but unfortunately was unable to convert.
The third quarter belonged to Maso as she lit it up a storm across the backline running off her opponent several times in the space of about 5 mins to win the ball to our advantage. Melbourne Uni put on another three majors as we went into the third quarter huddle a little surprised at the result.
After an encouraging address from the coach we set about aiming to achieve the aim of converting a goal to see some reward for effort. The last quarter was a bit of see saw effect as the ball entered both teams fifties often. Deano lifted and tried to repeat a titanic effort of mark and goal but unfortunately didn’t convert. CLP went forward and then marked but the kick fell short in front of goal and we felt the pressure of some missed opportunities. Ez then brushed off a tackle deep in our forward fifty and had a quick snap on goal but also missed. Melbourne Uni where able to convert their opportunities and put on another 4 majors.
Throughout the game we saw some excellent examples of what we are capable of through some linkages of play one in particular from the back line starting with a kick out from Jess to LV and then LV to Deano and then Deano to CLP and then CLP to Webb who took the ball and ran with it to put it deep into our forward fifty. When we took the game on and ran with the ball we looked very good often getting the ball into our forward line but unable to score. The game may not have gone our way but there was something certainly different amongst the playing group as many girls vocalised their optimism for games to come. What was pleasing from a coaches point of view was seeing girls grow in confidence such as Bonnie, Kelly, Romey and Lauren who really started backing themselves in and either laying tackles or bumping the opposition.
Pressure and intensity was the name of the game and we certainly delivered on our promise to each other. Let’s work on our skills and linkages of play and next week see some more reward for effort. Carn the Bears!
Round 8- June 2
Fitzroy 2.4-16 4.8-32 7.12-54 8.12-60
Kew 0.1-1 0.1-1 0.1-1 0.3-3
Winter football has certainly arrived, the sun was out yet it was extremely cold. For the second week in a row, to the coaches delight, the team had arrived well before the agreed time and were dressed and ready to start the warm up. #Grin&BEARit was the theme for the day and this was chosen to highlight our resilience and never give up attitude.
Today was a chance to try something new as we flipped the usual line-up and gave the fwds a chance to defend and backs a chance to attack. Courtney started off at the opposite end of the ground and we welcomed Ness back from illness. Maso became a target up front and Steads and Bree found comfort in their traditional forward line up roles. Fitzroy came at us hard from the get go but we matched their level of pressure with a constant harass on the ball carrier. Fitzroy put on a couple of quick goals but to the new look backlines credit we kept them to only 16 points. Moving Steads forward proved a great tactic as she marked and had a shot on goal twice in the quarter. One from 40 out but dropped short to the goal line and another from a Fitzroy kick out that dropped short and Steads marked it again this time about 30 out. Steads goes back on the mark and this time distance is not the issue as the ball sails through for a behind.
The mids where working very hard as usual Deano using her body to provide shepherds so speedy Sioannan or Hannah could get the ball. It was pleasing to see tactics we trained on during the week coming into play on game day as LV often presented herself front of packs at the right time to receive a hand ball out of congestion. Kelly kept on running hard and getting plenty of the ball proving she is a worthy asset to midfield group. Fitzroy managed to score another couple of goals but to the credit of a backline we forced four behinds.
We went in to the half time huddle again disappointed with our lack of ability to see reward for effort on the score board. Plays we had practiced during the week at training where being implemented in the game. Silky soft taps from Ruby were going straight to Hannah or Sionnann and we would get clear out of the ruck stoppages only to fall down across half forward. Deano was getting clobbered in the contest by her selfless acts of courage throwing herself in front of the opposition. With a lack of true rotations for this role we had to give Deano a rest and in came Zoe Gladstones who rumour has it can take down girls twice her size. Rumour became reality as almost straight away Zoe stepped up to the challenge and lays a massive tackle in your David vs Goliath moment. Fitzroy managed another 3 goals 4 behinds in the third quarter.
At the last quarter time huddle I could see a lot of tired and bruised bodies but our resilience was strong and we set about the objective of getting ourselves a goal and boy oh boy, wow wee didn’t we look good? We won the last quarter hands down having the ball in our forward line for over eighty percent of the time and conceded one solitary goal to Fitzroy. Lingy in her usual hard ball get wins herself a free kick due to a sling tackle, goes back and kicks a behind. Kelly marks on the wing and waits patiently for a lead from Steads and then honours that lead with a perfectly timed pass and Steads marks about 40 metres out from goal. Steads goes back and miss times her kick slightly and we score another behind.
Plenty of bodies were sore today as the whole team threw themselves into contest after contest. Fitzroy are a well drilled side with good skills to boot and they could have scored 4-6 goals each quarter but to our credit and resilience we kept them well below that. What was pleasing to see is new girls gaining in confidence more and more each week. We welcomed a new tall addition in Deano’s mate Elise who proved a very handy utility playing across half back and then in the ruck. Notable passages of play were Hannah Lindsay mark and kick down the line and then positioning herself a kick behind play to mark the ball once again on the counter attack. Other new comer Bonnie putting her body on the line in a 50/50 contest and winning a free kick for a high tackle.
Each week we are improving, I’ve always said you can’t train attitude but you can train skill and we have the resilient attitude to #grin it and so in time we will BEAR the fruit of our efforts.
Round 9- June 16
Kew 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Marcellin 5.6-36 8.10-58 9.14-68 14.18-102
It was always going to be a tough ask against ladder leaders Marcellin, but we went into the game united as a team believing our work ethic will yield results soon. Though the scoreboard didn’t reflect our effort we played the game as a team and lived up to our hashtag #nofear.
After losing our Captain Deano to yet another finger break the leadership group gave the chance to some emerging younger players to step up to co-captaincy roles. Jade, Ruby and Ness all took to the task in fantastic style, each bringing their own flavour through the spines key positions. Marcellin came out of the gate hard and put a few quick goals on the board. We made the change to put CLP deep into their forward line to stop the bleeding. This proved to be successful as the pressure of our backs caused many kicking errors as Marcellin started to get frustrated with our hard tackling as a team. Our desire to win the footy was so pleasing to see as we backed our team mates in to win the hard ball which was evident as first year players grew in confidence with examples of Kelly and Ellen having to come off the field due to early to a head knocks.
Half time we went into the rooms united as a team proud of nullifying the competitions leaders from a complete demolition. Every time Marcellin went for the ball they were tackled hard by the whole team. We were winning the tackle count for the day thus far but struggled to spread enough to create forward attacking opportunities.
We well and truly won the third quarter, we held Marcellin scoreless until the fourteen-minute mark of the quarter where they finally hit the scoreboard. This was a huge defensive effort by the team. The tackling pressure was immense, this caused Marcellin to make many more errors and were not able to capitalise on their forward opportunities. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make the most of this on the scoreboard but overall it was, easily, one of our strongest defensive quarters. It was in the third quarter that we demonstrated one of our best passages of play. Four consecutive linkages of play starting with the kick out from Courtney to Chloe who marked strongly overhead. Then Chloe’s kick spotted Siannon by her-self in the center of the ground and she weaved around to kick to Lucinda who then went back to drive the ball into our forward fifty. Unfortunately we were weren’t able to covert this possession inside 50m. When we backed each other in and took the game on we looked very good.
The third quarter address was brilliant as Jade stood up for the challenge and shined in the spot light as she spoke of our collective efforts summed up by the evident use of heart by every player. She encouraged the group to give one last effort and we went into the last quarter with a drastically reduced bench cover. Marcellin kicked a few quick goals in the last quarter but what was most impressive was that no one dropped their heads. They continued to tackle hard, put their head over the ball and giving one hundred percent effort. This was most impressive and something that could not be faulted. The day was beautifully summed up with Maso’s superb effort after the siren, with a smother to save a goal that Marcellin had the opportunity to kick. This smother exemplified the day. Despite the scoring pressure that the opposition put on from the onset – no one dropped their heads.
For the first time we had someone recording stats. This provided us with some crucial information about where we were losing the game but also provided us with some positive focus points such as the incredible tackle count. Marcellin beat us in the front and centre and spread count, which is something that we will continue to work on. Keep working hard girls – THE REWARD WILL COME.
Round 5- BYE
Round 10- June 24
Melbourne Uni: 2.5- 17 5.7- 37 9.9- 63 9.9- 63
Kew: 0.0 0.2- 2 0.2- 2 0.2- 2
Gee whiz, wow wee what a strange day it was against Melbourne University MUGARS. Before the ball was even bounced there was a comedy of errors delaying the start of the game. Not being able to enter the change rooms, with no marshals having a key and holes as big as buckets on the field the stage was set for some epic drama from the get go. Whilst the field was filled with sand Kew rallied in the rooms and ran out onto the ground to unite with Melbourne Uni in a moments silence to honour the life of victim Eurydice Dixon.
The playing group voted Ness to be captain for the day and the girls responded very well to her call to action for the day. Under the hastag #Headsup she put the call out that we give 100% all day and never drop our heads and that was how the day played out.
In a brilliant start to the game we worked the ball into our forward fifty often in the first quarter unfortunately not being able to get a clear mark and kick on goal. It was a genuine scuffle all over the ground as Kew tackled hard putting relentless pressure on Melbourne at every opportunity. Melbourne managed to score 2 goals but the defence stood up strong forcing a number of minor scores from ill directed kicks under pressure.
Quarter time came and we regrouped both energised and optimistic, believing we are a genuine chance if we could only maintain that pressure all day and work hard to create space for leads. Our goal was to covert the forward 50 entries to some scoreboard pressure. This quarter belonged to Kew as we had the ball on our forward fifty 75% of the quarter. The midfield worked hard all day LV, Sionainn, Sweeney, Lucinda, Casalaz, Ruby and CLP all running hard and putting relentless pressure on the ball carrier. Timely kicks into strong leads from Steds gave us 2 shots on goal unfortunately both out of range and they both dropped short in the square. CLP and Ellen then chimed in with marks and set shots at goal but both fell short. Through our never say die attitude we forced 2 behinds and Melbourne Uni rebounded well showing us how quickly top teams can respond to a challenge and retaliated with 3 goals and a couple of behinds within minutes.
We continued to win the tackle count all day and the bench cover once again started to diminish as Ellen and Zoe came off the field from hard knocks. Melbourne Uni was definitely feeling the reality of our intimidating fierceness and they lashed out at one of our players and a small scuffle broke out just before the half time siren.
Due to the late start the breaks where cut short to compensate for the loss of time and we readjusted the line up getting ready to work on converting our forward opportunities. Maso took to tagging their best forward and Bri and Ruby swapped positions to give us a taller target down forward and help relieve the pressure on Steds. This turned out to be an instant success as Brianna lit up the ruck contest using her body well and then backing up with second efforts after the hit outs. Again we had the ball in our forward line but couldn’t manage a score. Melbourne once again retaliated and put a few scores on the board however our defence held up strong with Jess taking a strong mark overhead after positioning herself a kick back from the play.
In a true captains effort minutes before the end of the third quarter Vanessa put her body over the ball stopping a certain forward entry for Melbourne, only to be rewarded with a shocking dislocation of her knee. The game was stopped as the medical staff flooded the field to assess the injury and decide on the required action. An ambulance was called and both teams waited patiently for it to arrive as they huddled in an attempt to keep the momentum going.
In an anticlimax after the late start and injury overtime it was decided to call the game off and Melbourne Uni took the points. To the teams credit Kew once again never dropped their heads all day and gave 100% all over the field but our ability to not score from forward entries ultimately cost us the game. As a development side we continue to show great signs of growth each week. As the comrade amongst the playing group continues to go from strength to strength so too in time will our scoreboard pressure making us a formidable side in the not too distant future. Well done Bears.
Round 12- July 14
Kew: 0.2- 2 1.3- 9 2.3- 15 2.4- 16
St Kevins: 2.0- 12 5.0- 30 8.3- 51 9.4- 58
Best: E. Casalaz, K. Mason, R. Young, L. Bowra, J. McDonald, H. Sweeney
Goal Kickers: R. Young, P. Bertrand
The conditions were perfect for footy. The sun was out, there was very little wind in the air and it was dry underfoot. It had all the makings for a good contest. St Kevins kept Kew goalless in their previous clash and the bigger and much longer ground at Basil Street allowed St Kevins to get a lot of space to link-up and run and carry but this time we were at home at the Bear Cave! The objective was simple; apply pressure and intensity, man-up and be in-front and to utilise the wings. The girls understood what they needed to do, and they did it well. The first bounce resulted in a penetrating kick clearance from the centre which landed deep in our forward line and was chased hard by both teams resulting in a point to Kew. From that moment we knew it was on! Kews relentless efforts to apply pressure and win the contested ball meant that they were able to shut down the running play that St Kevins did so well in round seven. This time we made sure that every time St Kevins got hold of the ball there was a Bear waiting to pounce. The hard-defensive efforts of Casalaz and Maso provided us with a solid defensive wall across the half back and Jocelyn played exceptionally well in her return game where she was immediately thrown into the defensive action as full back. After the first quarter both teams had the same amount of scoring opportunities, however credit to St Kevins, they were able to convert 2 goals to our 2 points. The constant ruck and running efforts from Ruby and Lucinda resulted in some quick clearances and the girls were able to transition the ball with some effective kicking and marking along the wings. Even though at quarter time the scoreboard favoured St Kevins, the intensity of the first quarter belonged to Kew.
The second quarter was a tight tussle and our pressure and intensity remained equal to the first quarter effort and we were standing up to the challenge. We were advancing with forward entries and the pressure was on. Sweeney and Lucinda provided a lot of run and Maso and Walby created plenty of chaos in the back winning a lot of the front position battles. Newcomers Bonnie, Hannah L. and Ellen all started to get their hands on the ball and began to create impact. Our use of the wings kept St Kevins from effectively using the corridor to gain forward entries which was something that really hurt us back in round 7. Another 2 scoring opportunities resulted in a point and Ruby kicked a silky goal out of a pack contest from the pocket. Unfortunately, at a couple of crucial moments St Kevins were able to find space which resulted in goals. They were effective at breaking through some of our tackle attempts and a couple of free kicks all resulted in majors and St Kevins advanced on the scoreboard. However, the girls were pumped going into half time. They’d delivered two solid quarters of pressure and intensity, created scoring opportunities and every single player was contributing to the fight.
The third quarter is where St Kevins got away from us but credit to our girls they kept fighting and applying pressure. The backline was under fire, but they fought hard, however some clean skills from St Kevins saw them hit the scoreboard again and they started to kick away but suddenly Kews latest recruit Pia snagged a ripper goal in her first game of footy and we hit the scoreboard again! This fired the girls up even more and the final quarter was all Kew.
Kew continued to fight! They slowed the momentum of St Kevins and reduced their run in the last quarter. It was hot, and the girls were tired but their desire to win the contested footy was outstanding. It was a solid team effort and I could list every player for creating impact. Every single one of our girls continued to run, tackle and implement the key objectives; pressure and intensity, man-up and be in-front and utilise the wings. It was a heroic effort by everyone and even though the scoreboard told otherwise it felt like a win! Up the Bears!
Round 11- Bye
Round 13- July 21
Caulfield Grammarians: 3.0- 18 6.5- 41 9.6- 60 9.6- 60
Kew: 0.1- 1 0.1- 1 0.2- 2 0.2- 2
It was a cold and early start to the weekend as the coach arrived the playing group where already dressed and walking out of the rooms for the pre-game warm up. It was Caulfield’s turn to host the pride match this time and graciously the photographer offered his services’ and took a team photo of the playing group. The group was energised after the photo shoot and keen to make amends for our last game against Caulfield that could’ve gone our way if we started more switched on.
The goal this week was to give our all for four quarters, use the large wings and keep the ball out of the centre corridor. As the ball bounced and we were caught napping as Caulfield immediately put us under attack with 2 quick goals but to the credit of the team they rallied and brought the tempo of the game back onto our terms.
Maso became the floating extra in defence and we started to stem the bleeding as Brianna stepped up to the ruck challenge and we started to win some of the clearances. The back line led by Mackay and Courtney pushed up and created a wall that kept the ball in our forward line for what felt like an eternity. Multiple times Caulfield panicked and put a quick kick on the boot out of defence only to be marked 15-20 meters out by the Kew wall and again we kicked deep into our forward fifty. After many forward entries we could only manage one solitary behind and Caulfield converted another opportunity going forward to end the quarter.
After agreeing we started slow again the team went out for the second quarter keen to switch the play in our favour. Our pressure lifted in the tight contests as the midfielders started gaining valuable clearances from the congestion only to be met by an equally aggressive Caulfield. The attack on the ball carrier was fast and we struggled to get a kick to advantage out of the packs. Caulfield where able to respond better and managed to put another 3 goals and a few behinds for the quarter. Notable moments in the quarter was Walby’s run and launch at a running Caulfield player earning herself a free kick from a great tackle and new comer Lindsay’s forward pressure tackle giving us a shot on goal that unfortunately dropped short.
In the third quarter the team really started to gel and a straight swap forward to back saw Ruby and Maso take a turn in their least familiar end of the ground. This proved to be a great success as Ruby intercepted marks at will across their back line stopping the scoring and Maso used her contested fierceness to keep the ball in our forward fifty. It was a real team effort this quarter and we managed to score another behind and Caulfield could only manage 2 goals. Just as the tempo started to swing in our favour for the second time this season was game was brought to a sudden holt. In a true display of courage Kelly went down in the third quarter after feeling the blow of a tough contest and we all panicked thinking the worst as she lay motionless on the ground. After calling the ambulance for a possible neck injury the game was called off as we waited about 40 mins for the ambulance to arrive. Thankfully it was nothing too serious but you want take all precautions to be 100% sure with any form of neck injuries and to our relief we heard news some hours later that she was all okay.
What I love about this group of girls is their passion, comradery and commitment to each other. After the ambulance was called Esther and Zoe ran across to the main road to help direct the ambulance to the right part of the ground. This type of ‘All for one and one for all’ devotion is what makes Kew a great club to belong too and will set us up well next year as we continue to play #ourgame
Round 14- July 28
Kew 1.0-6 1.0-6 2.2-14 2.2-14
Old Xavier 1.5-11 2.6-18 3.7-25 5.7-37
The last game of the season against Old Xav’s was set to be a ripper, the weather was perfect for football and the scene was set for a genuine tussle, both teams keen on avoiding the wooden spoon. Kew hungry for another win against the old enemy and Xav’s keen to make amends for their loss to us on their home turf earlier in the year. The message was simple go hard early and make them chase us and that is exactly how the first quarter started.
We jumped out of the gates fast and in under 30 seconds had the first goal of the match. A silky tap from Brianna to Sweeny who put us deep into the forward line, Ruby shepherds out the pack and Steds snaps one on the boot for the first six pointer. The Kew girls go into a frenzy running to congratulate each other from all over the field and the home crowd erupts in unanimous applause.
Xav’s then responded and tightened up the contest in the centre and found space out of the congestion to drive the ball into their forward line. The backs held up strong forcing many errors and Xav’s only managed a solitary goal and a handful of behinds for the quarter.
At the quarter time huddle there was a genuine buzz about the group as we sniffed an opportunity to win. Dozer in her final game for the season gave the Reserves a chop out and came onto the ground to have an impact straight away. It was a real midfield team effort as Sweeney, Lucinder, Sionainn, Casalaz, Pia and Brianna kept the ball bouncing between halves. As Xav’s tried to lift, credit to the entire team we also found another gear and once again tackled very hard. We held Xav’s to a single goal and one behind as we walked into half time. We had a lot of the ball in our fifity but couldn’t manage to score.
We went into the rooms at half time full of confidence knowing this game was well within our limits if only we could continue the harassment on the ball carrier. To the teams credit they did exactly that, once again shifting up another gear and hammering Xav’s every time they had the ball. This quarter belonged to Kew as we outscored the opposition 1.2 to their 1.1. Notable mentions for the quarter was Courtney follow up after a kick, shepherd and voice allowing the quick mids to run the ball into our forward line. Walby once again gut running after the opposition and launching herself for a flying tackle to win the hard ball and Zoe’s tackle in the last line of offense to win the free on the 3rd quarter siren.
In a massive chance to shift momentum for the game leading into the final term Zoe’s tackle gave us a chance to kick truly reducing the margin to 2 kicks. Xav’s sensed the urgency of the situation and got many players behind the mark to distract the kicker. This was our moment to shine and L.V took on the challenge walking in cool, calm and collected to put the goal through middle sending the team into hysterics.
As I watched the group walk over for the 3rd term address they were smiling from ear to ear and booming with confidence. It was an absolute pleasure to see such reward for effort in a group of many first year AFL players who to their credit never ever dropped their heads. It was time to shift things around and go on the attack full throttle leaving no tricks in the bag. The coaching team decided to throw Maso into the forward line to bring that extra bit of pressure once the ball entered our forward fifty.
This move was bold and came at a risk as we added to the artillery of the forward line we also removed one of our key defenders and play makers coming out of defence. Unfortunately this swap didn’t yield the result we were after and Xav’s found a way to score 2 more goals for the quarter to put the game out of our reach.
From a coaching perspective what an absolute privilege it has been to share this journey with the playing group. Many of you playing AFL for the very first time it has been awesome to see the growth, improvement, love and passion for each other and the game. Every single one of you has contributed to the beginnings of something very special. Do not despise our humble beginnings, what we have achieved this year is a group of unified, courageous young women committed to the cause. Everybody wants the platform but nobody wants the process, when you are convinced that what you offer is yours, whether it be mediocre or of standard quality, your originality will make people love you in a way you did not expect.
Thank you to the Captains, off field leaders, players, volunteers, partners and coaching team that has made this such a great experience. Bring on 2019!