AFLW Round 3 – Adelaide v Carlton: Heaven of a weekend
AFLW Round 3: Adelaide Crows v Carlton Blues, Thebarton Oval, 19 February 2017
It could possibly be a difficult weekend on the horizon when you barrack for the Hawks and the editor of The Footy Almanac signs off all his correspondence with “Go Cats”. And then we have the women.
Despite the fact that I live in the nation’s capital, I have spent every waking moment after the Hawks win looking over the AFLW. And my adopted team, Adelaide.
The backdrop is that I’m in north east Victoria this weekend. Our base is Wangaratta, the heart of the Wangaratta Rovers – also called the Hawks – in the Ovens and Murray footy and netball league. I couldn’t get the real Hawks match on the tellie on Friday night, so I rang our hotel reception and the helpful staff were able to cleverly hook it up to one of the stations coming into our room. How did they do that?
I didn’t particularly enjoy what is traditionally Hawthorn’s premiership and third quarter, with the Cats booting nine goals, but the tussle in the last quarter was as tight as you’ll see. Waiting till the last kick of the day after the siren to win the match was not my idea of fun, but Kade Stewart did a great job in guiding the goal through. Phew; Hawks by 4 points. A cheeky SMS to the editor and it’s off to bed.
Saturday was a day of rest if that’s how you describe visiting wineries around Milawa which also has a footy club – the Demons – and is part of the Ovens and King football and netball league.
Sunday dawned as a glorious day for gliding, which is the main reason I’m in this neck of the woods. My husband (Pies – and happy) and son (Bombers – and sad) are glider pilots and members of the Gliding Club of Victoria in Benalla. As an aside, the club hosted the World Gliding Championships last month. It was a huge event and great watching about 127 gliders on the grids being marshalled for take off. And landing.
I left the boys in Benalla and headed up to Wahgunyah to meet family and then to Rutherglen at about the time of the bounce of the ball at Thebbie Oval. I was watching on my phone, but giving a semblance of courtesy to my cousin, with whom I was eating lunch. He knows a lot of people in this small town, and they all seemed to be at our luncheon cafe. And they wanted to chat with him while I’m trying to watch my phone.
When Darcy Vescio scored first – a behind and then a goal, I started to worry. However, the intensity of the match kept my hopes up in the Murray Valley. It was an extremely difficult game with an intensity I’ve not seen; ever. The weather wasn’t a great help either. But the home crowd seemed to spur Adelaide on with more than 9,000 squeezing into the ground.
There were two key moments that impacted the result: first, moving Angela Foley onto Darcy Vescio in the third quarter which contained Darcy’s goal kicking. Darcy is a game changer for the Blues, so it was essential to close that potential down. And second, Erin Phillips kicked an absolute blinder of a goal from 60 metres out, goading her team mates to keep trying. It’s no surprise that Erin was best on ground with 19 possessions, three tackles and five marks. She leads by example and is a terrific young woman!
I wondered what Adelaide coach Bec Goddard* would say as she probably downed the odd heart burn tablet. I look forward to her bon mots at the end of each match. Another pearler too: “The foot was on the goose’s neck and it was up to us as to whether we put the foot down. And the girls put the foot down.”
Fingers crossed that Kellie Gibson, a Crows marquee player, will recover from the ankle injury she suffered early in the match. It will be a pity if she is unable to take part in next week’s match in her home state against the Dockers.
The low score belied the quality of the game. It was a bit scrappy to watch on my small screen, but the intensity – the “never give up” approach of both teams – was the magnet. Carlton was unlucky to lose. The Crows fighting spirit is something to behold.
That bottle of sparkling chardonnay that I bought in Milawa has never looked so good. Cheers!
Adelaide: 0.0 0.2 1.2 2.5 (17)
Carlton: 1.1 1.2 2.2 2.2 (14)
Adelaide Riley, Phillips
Carlton Vescio, S. Hosking
Adelaide Phillips, Marinoff, Cramey
Carlton Davey, Jakobsson, Hardiman
Umpires: Crosby, Wachel, Beyer
My votes 3 Phillips, 2 Foley, 1 Davey
*I know this is tedious and sounds like I’m big noting myself, but ethically it would be remiss if I didn’t declare the conflict of interest here – the coach of Adelaide is my niece.