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Round 6 Womens Reserves Wrap Up

Monday, April 5, 2021 - 9:50 AM

Our Women’s Reserves team stretched their wings last Sunday and headed down to Fremantle Oval for their Round 6 encounter against South Fremantle. The day provided perfect weather conditions and the oval looked flawless, with no signs of the kind of brown patches you might expect for a home ground belonging to Bulldogs. While we didn’t claim the win, our future certainly looks bright with three players on debut in Kayleigh Whitehead, Lily Taylor, and the aptly named Summer Mollross.


The first quarter resembled the time warp; jump to the left and take a step to the right. Rinse and repeat for 18 minutes, and then finally put your hands on your hips while catching your breath during the break. Much of this back and forth was driven by the defensive efforts of Zoe Smith, who became a one-woman marking band, and Alison Blanchard who relentlessly harassed any ball carrier within range. Unfortunately, the Doggies were able to break through our backline to slot the first goal of the game. Amy Montgomery worked hard to send it back to our advantage later in the quarter, but Ilah Lennon and Lily Taylor were unable to make the most of her efforts, even though they looked dangerous swooping at goals together. By the end of the first quarter, South Fremantle had earned a six-point lead.


Jaymee Duke came out firing at the start of the second quarter creating numerous opportunities for our forwards to capitalise. We finally converted when Lili Taylor avoided a tackle inside 30, handballed out the back to Chelsea Doolan, and laid a protective shepherd that allowed Doolan to run and gun.  Celebrations had barely died down when Tiahna Scandrett foiled a quick rebound by South Fremantle, racing backwards towards goals to take a saving mark by a silk eyelash. As always, the ball was a yo-yo in the hands of Erin O’Brien. When she wasn’t directing it off her boot to her teammates up field, she was somehow teleporting directly to wherever it landed next. While we continued to push hard, South Fremantle punished us late in the quarter after stringing together a series of uninterrupted marks that led to an impressive goal by their full forward. Bulldogs aren’t known for their grace, but on this occasion their silky ball movement out of the backline was a noticeable reminder that we should have neutered them earlier in the game. Zoe Panagopoulos attempted to push forward one last time, but the siren was heard before we could regain the ground we had lost.


The Bulldogs went into the second half with a six-point lead and decided to cock their leg to extend it to 13-points by the end of the third. It took 12 minutes for the ball to enter South Fremantle’s 50, but our attacking efforts up until that point were for naught. One positive to come out of the quarter was the promise being shown by Lili Taylor to provide a strong target up forward with her safe hands that stuck to the ball no matter what direction it came at her. Tia Bergin was also up and about around the clearances and Summer Mollross’ fleet-footed agility helped to move the ball out of congestion. Alison Blanchard closed the quarter with a confident defensive mark in the final seconds to keep a win within reach.


Past experience has shown that our Women’s Reserves team always comes out hard in the last quarter. Until this game. South Fremantle took us unawares in the first minute of the fourth with two quick attempts at goal. Refusing to be rattled by creatures that slobber, we mounted a comeback through a ferocious tackle laid by newcomer Kayleigh Whitehead. Whitehead may look like a pony but she hits like a Clydesdale. The spilled ball was then moved forward through Erin O’Brien and Amy Montgomery, finally landing with Chloe Metcalf whose fingertips just reached it as it bounced over the head of her defender. With this, Metcalf spun and delivered our second goal. Sarah Henderson hustled ferociously for the remainder of the quarter to move the ball to our advantage, but we had simply left ourselves with too much to do. South Fremantle eventually ran the game out with an eight-point win.


Over the week’s break we’ll put all excuses to bed and address what is needed to increase our forward entry efficiency. With a little finessing we should be well equipped to take on the big-game fish at the shark tank in Round 7.