Vic Metro proved too strong for Vic Country in the teams’ first match of the 2019 NAB AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships on Saturday, prevailing by 44 points at Avalon Airport Oval.
* CLICK HERE to watch a replay of the Vic Country vs Vic Metro NAB AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships match.
Metro head coach Nathan Burke’s team controlled play from the outset, with match captain Isabella Grant (Western Jets) kicking the game’s first two goals early in the opening quarter to set the tone for the contest.
Metro built a 29-point lead by the main break after the ball spent most of the first half in its territory, the likes of Sarah Hartwig (Sandringham Dragons), Isabelle Pritchard (Western Jets) and Laura McClelland (Eastern Ranges) regularly proving impassable for Country as it attempted to move the ball forward.
Meanwhile, Metro’s playmakers consistently found space to work in once their teammates won possession back, with Ellie McKenzie (Northern Knights), Gemma Lagioia (Oakleigh Chargers) and Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons) among those who provided plenty of drive for the victors through the middle of the ground.
Metro also boasted weapons inside 50 to translate its dominance in general play onto the scoreboard, as Northern Knights trio Alyssa Bannan, Nell Morris-Dalton and Gabrielle Newton constantly provided a threat for Country’s defenders.
Geelong Falcons on-baller Lucy McEvoy was a standout for head coach Aasta O’Connor’s Country outfit in defeat due to her tireless effort in the contests, while Murray Bushrangers defensive anchor Millie Brown provided plenty of rebound from the back line.
Country’s Paige Sheppard (Geelong Falcons) and Renee Saulitis (GWV Rebels) looked dangerous when given opportunities in attack, but Metro’s superiority for much of the match meant their chances to impact the result were few.
Both teams will now travel to the Gold Coast for three more games from July 8-12 against Queensland, Western Australia and the Eastern Allies (NSW/Tasmania).
VIC COUNTRY 1.0 1.1 2.1 4.2 (26)
VIC METRO 3.3 5.6 8.9 10.10 (70)
Vic Country: R. Saulitis (GWV) 2, I. Simmons (GWV), S. Notman (Gippsland)
Vic Metro: I. Grant (Western) 3, A. Bannan (Northern) 3, N. Morris-Dalton (Northern) 2, E. Georgostathis (Western), G. Newton (Northern)
Vic Country: L. McEvoy (Geelong), T. Smith (Dandenong), P. Sheppard (Geelong), R. Saulitis, K. Douglass (Bendigo), M. Caris (GWV)
Vic Metro: E. McKenzie (Northern), I. Grant, G. Lagioia (Oakleigh), A. Bannan, S. Hartwig (Sandringham), G. Newton
- M. Brown (Murray): 21 disposals, five marks, four tackles eight rebound-50s
- L. McEvoy: 20 disposals, eight tackles, three clearances, five inside-50s
- P. Sheppard: 17 disposals, three clearances, four inside-50s
- T. Smith: 13 disposals, four tackles, five rebound-50s
- S. Molan (GWV): 13 disposals, three rebound-50s
- M. McDonald (Dandenong): 12 disposals, four tackles
- I. Shannon (Dandenong): 11 disposals, five marks, four tackles, five rebound-50s
- B. Vernon (Dandenong): 10 disposals, five marks, four rebound-50s
- M. Caris: 10 disposals, 18 hitouts
- L. Gardiner (Geelong): eight disposals, six tackles
- G. Patrikios (Calder): 29 disposals, three clearances, five inside-50s, three rebound-50s
- E. McKenzie: 25 disposals, five marks, three clearances, eight inside-50s
- G. Newton: 24 disposals, six marks, three clearances, four inside-50s
- E. Georgostathis: 20 disposals, six tackles
- G. Lagioia: 18 disposals, three clearances
- B. Gutknecht (Northern): 14 disposals, nine tackles
- A. Burke (Sandringham): 13 disposals, five tackles
- S. Hartwig: 13 disposals, seven marks
- M. Purcell (Sandringham): 13 disposals, three clearances
- M. Denahy Maloney (Sandringham): 12 disposals, 11 hitouts, four tackles
- N. Xenos (Oakleigh): 11 disposals, six tackles, three clearances
- A. Bannan: 11 disposals, seven marks