My International Women’s Day sportsfest

AFLW Round 5 West Coast Eagles v Melbourne at Casey Fields

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Australia v India at the MCG




It’s a long trek from West Footscray to Casey Fields in Cranbourne but the chance to support the West Coast Eagles AFLW team for the Round 5 match against Melbourne was worth the drive.


There was a very strong wind gusting across the playing arena so after the banner shredded at Victoria Park in Round 1, the West Coast cheer squad this week opted to welcome the girls onto the field with several large team flags instead, and they flew vigorously in the breeze. Off the back last week’s first-ever victory again the Bulldogs, there seemed to be an extra spring in the step of all the players as they completed their pre-match warm-up.


Alas today the Demons were way too strong for us, and with the aid of the breeze in the first quarter, they held us scoreless, while slotting 2 majors. In the 2nd quarter we were finally able to get a score on the board, although a late goal to Melbourne into the strong wind, put the half-time margin out to 11 points.


Our score of 1.1 at halftime unfortunately became our fulltime score, whilst Melbourne piled on 7.6 in the 2nd half to run out comprehensive winners by 59 points. It was our lowest score of this season so far, and our biggest losing margin, so not a lot for anyone to celebrate. Because of the timing of the 2nd leg of today’s sportsfest, we had to leave at the end of the 3rd quarter to head to the MCG, but at least we could listen to the last part of the game on ABC Radio. From adversity comes strength and greatness, and days like today whilst painful for both players and supporters alike, will hopefully serve to build greatness for the future, and I remain so immensely proud of the girls.


Back in Melbourne, and we just got into the MCG as the first ball was being bowled in the Women’s T20 World Cup match between Australia and India. This was the first ever cricket match I’d attended, so what a match to select as an introduction. I’ve grown up on a diet of cricket on TV so am no stranger to watching the game being broadcast, but any sport live is a totally different experience and with a huge MCG crowd, and all the colour and noise of a T20 match, it was certainly an eye-opener.


The Aussies had won the toss and elected to bat first, a decision which we debated the wisdom of, but as soon as Alyssa Healy despatched the first ball of the innings to the boundary for 4, we agreed that the decision had been totally vindicated. 119 balls later, and the Aussie innings closed at a massive 184 runs for the loss of only 4 wickets, which it turns out is the highest ever T20 score in a final by a women’s team, and our hopes were high that Australia would win the game.


As the Indian opening pair strode out to the middle to begin the massive run chase, Dad expressed a wish for a wicket in the first over. I thought he was being a touch over-optimistic, but with only her 3rd ball opening bowler Megan Schutt had the first of the Indian openers caught behind for 2 runs, and Dad got his wish. Unfortunately for India, nothing really went right for them all night, and their final wicket fell at 19.2 overs with the score at 99. The Australian victory celebration began.


Setting up for the presentation ceremony seemed to take quite a long time (I’m sure they do it much quicker for the AFL Grand Final), and it was clear that the setup was geared towards the TV audience, as much of the player interviews conducted during the ceremony were unfortunately inaudible to the live audience, and I feel, should have been conducted as the post-match press conference instead. Medals were presented to the umpires, Aussie Alyssa Healy was announced as Player of the Match for her innings of 75 off only 39 balls, and fellow opener Beth Mooney was awarded the Player of the Tournament. The Indian players were then presented with their runners-up medals. The Aussie players were given their winners medals and finally the trophy was handed to captain Meg Lanning; the girls could officially begin their celebration of back-to-back championships.


There were fireworks behind the presentation stage, cannons filled with green and gold confetti sprayed high in the air. There were also plenty of yellow streamers, but someone had the fly camera in the wrong place just as the streamers were unleashed and the camera ended up almost totally encased by them.


Whilst the presentation was happening at one end of the ground, there was a flurry of activity at the other end, with what seemed like hundreds of workers setting up a massive stage for the after-match concert by Katy Perry. We decided not to stay for this part of the evening, so ended our sportsfest and headed home.


After the disappointment of the AFLW result we had the high of the T20 result, so it was an inspiring day celebrating the best of women’s sport…definitely the ideal way to celebrate International Women’s Day.




Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE




  1. Sounds like a massive day for you Cathi. What a way to finish.

    I really feel for Rachel Haynes, who was being drug-tested and as such missed out on celebrating with Katy Perry!

Leave a Comment