VFLW – Melbourne University v Diamond Creek

The final round of the Women’s VFL home and away season was upon us, and the match-up of the round had to be Melbourne University and Diamond Creek. Reminiscent of Saturday night’s clash between Geelong and GWS, these two teams were battling it out for second place. A win, and healthy 3 percent boost, would see Melbourne University overtake Diamond Creek at the last hurdle for the coveted double chance finals opportunity awarded to the top two.

 

On a chilly Sunday morning, both teams came out to play, with a tight contest around the ball and both sides defences stopping any traction in the forward fifty. As the University’s bell tower rung out signalling eleven, Kearney was clotheslined to the turf. The first goal of the game came late in the quarter when Diamond Creek were awarded a free kick in their forward fifty, with Grech going back and slotting the ball through. Melbourne University, deciding it was time to respond, quickly got the ball to Hope who easily converted. Heading into quarter time, Diamond Creek held a slight lead, 9-to-7.

 

The second quarter continued very much in similar fashion as both sides deciding to ramp up the pressure with plenty of big hits. One in particular left Pound, usually a tough competitor, wounded on floor where she took a few moments to compose herself before getting back into the game. Conti was showing her skills off the half back flank, finding space to swoop in and effortlessly scoop up the ball before getting the kick off. The play soon turned scrappy as both teams tried to find a way to break open the game, with plenty of players from either side availing themselves to the technique of ‘soccering’ the ball in front of them to gain any metres they could.  Late in the quarter a free kick, and subsequently fifty metre penalty, put Kearney at the top of the goal square. The easy goal gave University a lead of 14-to-10 going into half time.

 

Once back out on the field, Diamond Creek responded, as Bernardi kicked a goal to reclaim the lead. Minutes later, a goal to young Molloy was met with cheers as teammates got around to celebrate with her. On top of the goal kicking ranking all season, Molloy went into the game one goal behind Darebin’s Katie Brennan, after Brennan’s rise to the top with successive seven, eight, and five goal performances in the last three matches. The goal gave Molloy, in her first VFL season, shared honours with Brennan with 32 goals for the season. A missed set shot from Hope and repeated inaccuracy around goal foiled University’s attempts to take over the game, as they piled on 5 points for the quarter.

 

A minor score to University provided the only impact on the scoreboard in the final quarter as both teams fought hard for possession. With ten minutes to go, the rain decided not to hold off any longer, as players slide across the green turf as they attacked the ball. As Diamond Creek lined up for one last goal, the siren sounded, and cheers rang out from the Diamond women. The resulting kick, in which hoped to cap of a hard-fought win, decided to fall short of the distance, keeping the score to 24-to-16, and Diamond Creek firmly in second place.

 

About Meg Saultry

Studying at University of Melbourne. Keen supporter of the Saints (I’m not looking forward to the day Riewoldt retires), and Womens AFL.

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