VFLW Round 10 – Darebin v Geelong: The Falcs versus the Wind versus the Cats versus the Clock

VFLW Round 10


Darebin Falcons v Geelong at Ikon Park, Saturday July 29


The Big Kid agrees to accompany me so we stroll across the park and into the Oval Formerly Known as Princes for the clash between my Falcons and the up and coming Geelong side.  I am looking forward to seeing how fast the players can move across the beautiful turf, and feeling nostalgic about the AFLW as the match begins. The Big Kid and I take up the best seats in the house – on the wing, just past the Darebin bench so we can watch the moves and hear the calls of the coach and the assistants.


The wind, a pleasant breeze overnight has turned into a real gale. Like many people, I associate football, footy players and certain games with various songs. For me, this game is like a combination of “Windy City” from Calamity Jane and the Nasty Neighbour/ Wicked Witch cycling montage music from The Wizard of Oz, such is the sound and the fury of the wind. A piece of roof or part of the fence is loose and the banging sound it makes is a strange and loud soundtrack to a messy game. Skilled players’ kicks go astray in the maelstrom. A Karen Paxman kick is pushed around by a freak gust as she tries to centre the ball. Her pass flies straight into the arms of a Geelong player with a resounding thump. A Geelong player, bravely camped out underneath a high kick, is (fairly) flattened by Daisy Pearce who has the time to get there as the ball bobs, not like a cork in the ocean, but more like a balloon in the breeze.


Initially, Darebin adapt better to the conditions. They set up their forwards, move the ball in long kicks to advantage and build their wall against Cat invasions. For the first quarter, this works a treat. Katie Brennan continues her fine form and takes a lovely mark on the lead. She converts with ease and when Georgia Hammond goals, it looks like it might be a tough day at the office for the young Geelong team. Instead, the Cats redoubled their efforts and reversed the narrative to make things very uncomfortable for the Falcs. They harassed, tackled, smothered and bothered the Falcons until what we got was a war of attrition, mostly played out in the centre and the Darebin forward fifty.


For the second and third quarters, no one can score a goal (the Cats are yet to score at all) although the Falcs go agonisingly close more than once. In the final term, the Cats came home with a wet sail. They really give Darebin something to think about when their debutant Millie Klingbiel kicks a ripping goal to close the gap. A couple of the wise heads in the crowd and on the bench looked to the clock for reassurance – and there it was. It was too little, too late for the brave young Cats.


In such a congested game, the coolest heads were going to stand out, and there is none better at making the right decisions than Daisy Pearce. In a best-on-ground performance (her third, in my view, since her stellar return last month), D. Pearce won the ball, kicked cleverly and then won the ball again as it ricocheted around the midfield. She had excellent support from the smarts and strength of Meg McDonald, who is in rare form playing in the backline. She has become a super reliable and safe pair of hands. Returning from a break due to suspension, Aasta O’Connor showed what a specialist ruck does on a day of many ball-ups and Captain Nic Callinan was another welcome return for the Falcs.


The Big Kid enjoyed saying hello to Darcy Vescio (rested this round) and she enjoyed playing kick to kick during the breaks. I will overlook the fact that she read all throughout the actual match – Paul Jennings’ Spooky Stories for those who would like to know.


Some days in footy you feel like you got a bit lucky. The Falcons were perhaps a bit lucky that there wasn’t another quarter to go, and the Cats can feel a bit lucky that Lauren Arnell’s head wasn’t considered important enough for her to get a free kick on those two occasions in the third quarter when an opponent tried to remove it from her shoulders.


Next week, it is a top of the table clash as the Darebin Falcons take on Diamond Creek at Preston City Oval. Here’s hoping the wind stays away so that the stars can shine.


Darebin                2.3.15                    2.4.16                    2.6.18                    2.8.20

Geelong               0.0.0                      0.0.0                      0.0.0                      1.1.7

Goal Kickers

Darebin: Katie Brennan 1, Georgia Hammond 1

Geelong: Millie Klingbiel 1

Best Players

Darebin: Daisy Pearce, Meg McDonald, Aasta O’Connor, Alex Reynolds, Kathleen Roe

Geelong: Hannah Mangan, Cassandra Blakeway, Krista Woodroffe




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About Jackie Lynch

North Melbourne fan by birth, but Bulldogs for the AFLW and Darebin Falcons for the VFLW. I am a high school teacher in the Mighty West and a parent of two kids. Other interests include history, reading, running slowly and the Facebook Page Shit Brick Fences of Melbourne.


  1. Jackie Lynch says

    Nic Callinan is a DEPUTY Vice Captain (and a fine player). Elise O’Dea is of course the CAPTAIN of the Falcons.

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