Can you smell it in the air?
Finals Footy baby, it’s here.
There is no better month in footy, then when the finals series rolls around, and in this year’s Sydney AFL Women’s Premier Division Competition, five teams headed into finals all looking to make an impact.
For our EAGALS the task was simple:
- Beat Southern Power, and go on to book a date with Manly at home in a Grand Final Qualifier.
- Lose to Southern Power, and face either Inner Wests Magpies or North Shore Bombers (the only two sides we did not beat in the Home and Away season) in an Elimination Semi-Final.
With the added occasion of finals, there was an enhanced degree of pressure imposed on East Coast approaching the game, knowing full well they were meeting a fired up Power army from the South.
However, I firmly believe that finals footy it is not about the skill.
If you weren’t a skilful footy side, you wouldn’t be in finals. To win finals footy, you have to want it more than your opponent in every facet of the game. You’ve got to find that extra effort to go all the way.
In all the drama and excitement of finals footy, we also welcomed an EAGAL debutant, with athletic forward Abbey Martin earning her first Prems Jersey. Hell bent on kicking off her Prems Career in style, Martin kicked the first goal of the game, letting Southern Power know she was here to make a statement.
Elsewhere, East Coast looked to play a physical brand of footy and intimidate their opponents. To see proof of this, look no further then EAGAL Ruckman Em Hurley’s brutal hip and shoulder to one poor Southern Power soul. The poor girl was rattled, but this didn’t led to EAGAL domination straight away.
On a whole, the first quarter saw a lack of consistent connection amongst the EAGALS, with Southern Power winning tons of hard footy right under our noses to apply forward pressure. Brenna Tarrant, Bailee Hourgian and Renee Tomkins were outstanding in defence nonetheless, collecting plenty of crucial intercept and rebounding possessions.
7 all at QT.
It was an arm wrestle going forward, with momentum so hard to capture for long periods. Both sides looked to use their speed through the midfield to gain an advantage, and East Coast took the bogey lead into half-time by just 13 points. It would take some strong leadership from senior EAGALS to get the W.
The Premiership 3rd Quarter was a tantalizing contest, personifying the back and forth notion that so often appears in finals footy. Southern Power looked to make their move, kicking three goals to East Coast’s two, but their inaccuracy in front of goal let the EAGALS off the hook as we tired defensively. With a 5 point lead at 3QT, it was there for the taking for both sides.
As bodies began to cramp up, we gritted our teeth and pulled together for one final surge. We knew what lay ahead, and what a victory would mean. We had that added desire, determination and dedication and we would not let this game slip. We powered home against a Southern Power side who lacked power late, winning by 23 points.
Georgina Fowler played her best game of the season, as the wiry young speedster kicked two goals whilst wreaking havoc in the forward line. Sarah Ford played a real captains knock, and debutant Abbey Martin starred with 3 goals.
As mentioned above, we now face Manly at our Kanebridge Oval home next week with the winner going through to the Grand Final, and the loser getting one more bite of the cherry. Believe me, we could be about to bear witness to one of the best games of footy Kanebridge Oval has ever seen. Make sure you get down there, to witness our EAGALS play for a spot in the big dance.
|East Coast Eagles||1.1-7||3.2-20||5.4-34||8.6-54|
East Coast Eagles
Best Players: G. Fowler, S. Ford, R. Tomkins, A. Martin, A. Dallaway, B. Tarrant
Best Players: N. Murray, R. Sargent-Wilson, B. Mowbray, J. Whelan, B. McGuire, M. Smith