WAWFL Semi Final Wrap Up

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - 12:34 PM

The West Perth Women’s Reserves team took on Subiaco at Leederville Oval in the first semi final, and to say we beat them would be lion. With a score line of 70 to 28, a more accurate description would be that we dominated and thrashed the Subiaco Lions. If big game hunting wasn’t so morally reprehensible, one might even say that we bagged enough lions to make a rug that covered the length of Provident Financial Oval.

We immediately dominated clearances in the first quarter with our midfield fighting hard to move the ball forward. Our first goal came from a timely tackle applied by Courtney McDaniel who then handballed unselfishly to Rebecca Boladeras to pierce the middle posts. From there our players started slotting goals like spare change rolling into pokies. Courtney Collard gathered the ball off the deck from a short kick at goals to snag her own, and then McDaniel decided her elite running should be rewarded with six points too. A quick centre clearance won by Subiaco resulted in the ball bouncing to their advantage and just over the outstretched fingers of our defenders. A drop in intensity towards the end of the quarter allowed the Lions to capitalise again, but we still held the lead going into the break.

McDaniel grasped her talons on the ball immediately in the second quarter for another goal, and from there it spent most of the time in our 50. Kat Bennett and Caitlin Guthrie read the play beautifully around the 50 to intercept the Lions’ kick outs and lock it in. Several Falcons swooped onto the ball in our 50 but we weren’t able to convert until Boladeras applied smart body work to make room for Amber Ugle-Hayward to run and gun the goals. Defensively, Trish Medwin hustled hard to minimise the impact of the Lions’ powerful full forward, and Zoe Jones moved skilfully around the structural set-up to close gaps. Again, the Falcons held the lead going into half-time.

Ashleigh Greenwell took advantage of the breeze and dive bombed the ball when a chance presented itself to gather and strike at goals. The Lions had the same idea at the start of the third quarter though and pegged one back quickly. On their second hunt, Hailey Merrick slowed the Lions’ advance by efficiently moving around the space to force them to second guess their direction. This time lapse allowed Dixie Corcoran to catch and tackle a Lion, and foil their chances. Tiahna Scandrett’s huge bomb of a boot also helped the Falcons move the ball out of defence and with Zoe Smith’s master class on shepherding we were able to shift into flight formation once again. Some well-timed body bumps by Amy Szeliga to knock the Lions off their paws meant that McDaniel could rove the ball for goals and put us even further ahead at the end of the third.

Subiaco proved they were all roar and no bite after they kicked one quick goal at the start of the fourth but were kept silent thereafter. The spirit of mateship and West Perth’s emphasis on teamwork was epitomised by our first goal of the quarter. As Erin O’Brien lined up for the set shot she spotted a hard lead from Boladeras who marked it and then handballed to Bennett whose long kick soared through the big sticks to the whooping of the crowd. Our Falcon fledging, Mahli Turland, even decided to get in on the action, beating the Subiaco player to the ball and soccering it through from five metres out. The combined talent of Ugle-Hayward and Collard led to our final goal, putting the Lions firmly to sleep that night and leaving us one whim away from a Grand Final spot.

The success of our Falcons Women’s Reserves team is testament to the passion and tenacity of everyone involved in their continuing development, from players to coaches to committee members to our loyal supporters. This Saturday we’re coming up against the Claremont Tigers in the preliminary final. According to people on social media who know stuff about cats, tigers are a little heavier and slower than lions, so we’re ready to take advantage of this biological deficiency to seize another whim. We hope to see the Falcons army flocking to the game and getting a murmuration going around our girls