The Warners Bay women took a devastating loss against Maitland at Max McMahon oval on the weekend, bringing their season to an end. The girls needed a win against the Saints to secure a position in finals. Unfortunately, injuries and low numbers made it difficult to keep up with the fresh legs of the opposition, losing the lead in the second half.
The Bulldogs were off to a good start with coach Tracey Baker locking in the first goal 5 minutes into the first quarter. The Warners Bay backline were under heavy fire for the majority of the first quarter but were able to keep most shots at goal limited to behinds. Maitland did manage one in the first quarter before Baker took back the lead kicking another goal for the Doggies.
Top goal scorer and midfield legend, Amy Pittman scored the first goal of the second quarter, with Maitland following with another two shortly after. Key forward pocket Samantha Delaney had another stand out game using her speed and agility to bring the Bulldogs back into the lead.
The third quarter saw Baker take the sideline with a suspected broken nose, before key defender Sammy Lawrence went off injured. However, the Bulldogs defence managed to keep the Saints to only one goal in the quarter, despite it being in Maitland’s attacking 50 for majority of the 20 minutes.
Sammy Delaney scored another goal for the Bulldogs in the final quarter. Unfortunately, Maitland were able to run away with the game, after the Bulldogs were left down a player and unable to keep up with a rotating bench. The Maitland girls proved strong and deserving of a place in finals.
The best on the day were Kate Booth, Baker, Caitlin Wolfe, Jessica McKenny, Kirsty Jedrzejak and Emma Chester. Wolfe had another incredible defensive game, sticking to coaches’ orders and shutting down numerous Saints play. McKenny had a stand out game in the midfield, never losing intensity and consistently being first to the ball.
The Warners Bay women had an incredible final few weeks of football. Despite not making finals this year, they are no doubt strong contenders to take out the competition next year. It had been an incredible season with the girls both on and off the field, with no doubt exciting things to come in 2019.
The Black Diamond Plate side travelled to Hillsborough for the final game of the regular season against arch rivals Cardiff and eager to make amends for last week’s poor performance against very strong opposition. With a few blow-ins required once again to field a team, it was not going to be easy.
The first quarter started much like it has all season, with the opposition out of the blocks early and the speed and fitness of Cardiff was telling as they raced to a 40 point lead at the first break.
The second quarter, despite an increase in intensity from the boys resulted in much the same as Cardiff kicked 71 points clear at half time.
Coach Chair implored the boys to lift at half time and pleaded with the team to ask themselves what they wanted to get out of the season and to salvage something from the second half.
Tom Prentice and Angus Lodge were working tirelessly in the midfield and Lydon Bligh-Parker was doing a good job keeping the leagues leasing goal kicker under close watch but the quality across the park for Cardiff was too much as they extended the lead further at the final break.
Rob Barlow, Rick Robertson and Murray Younger kept trying for the Bulldogs but after what felt like an eternity, the final siren sounded signally a heavy loss of 163-5 to end the regular season.
The team has limped into finals and will need a desperate turnaround in form as they face Newcastle City next week in an elimination final. The boys will take comfort from a solid showing against them earlier in the season and will be hoping to spring a major upset.
Premier Grade Review
Round 18 saw the boys nearly return to full strength with the inclusion of Ben Hunter, Jack Hardman, Nicholas Metcalfe and Riley Warner, however Matt Spinks and Isiah Olsen were still unavailable due to injury and Ky McGrath was away due to NSW rep duties.
Like the weather, the contest was hot with plenty of numbers around the footy. The boys were able to win the footy at the stoppages due to the dominance of ruckman Ben Crawley and onballer Ben “the steam train” Hunter. The Dogs could not capitalise on the dominance at the stoppage however with the running game and zone of Cardiff proving to be too difficult to overcome in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Dogs made a few structural adjustments which saw the boys man up more defensively and kick through the Cardiff zone and were therefore able to hit the scoreboard more. At half time, Cardiff lead 4.11.35 to 3.4.22.
The second half saw the game open up more with more scoring as both teams began to feel the effects of the heat. In an end to end game, the boys just quite couldn’t get over the top of Cardiff, with the Hawkes running away with a 3 goal win. Final scores were 10.16.76 to 8.10.58. The Dogs were best served by ruckman Ben Crawley and Tom McDonell, Ben Hunter, Corey Deverell and the ever reliable Lincoln Stewart.
Next week the boys will head up to Muswelbrook to take on Singleton in an elimination final. Go Dogs!