VFLW Round 7 – Eastern Devils v Darebin: The Darcy and Daisy Show

VFWL Round 7 – Eastern Devils v Darebin: The Daisy and Darcy Show

Eastern Devils versus Darebin Falcons

2.00pm, July 2nd, 2017

Mulgrave Reserve

Jackie Lynch


It’s a long way from Coburg to Wheeler’s Hill. 26 kilometres on the M1.


My kids refused to come with me, despite bribes, threats and the inducement of seeing Darcy Vescio ply her trade, so I pointed the car east and headed out alone. I listened to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” on repeat for the drive. One bright spot on the dystopian nightmare that is CityLink: a huge Western Bulldogs AFLW billboard on the flyover. Seeing a 30 foot tall Katie Brennan felt like a good omen for my Falcons.


There was a big reason to go to the Devil(s), so to speak. Yesterday’s match was the Cath Wotton Cup. This is an annual match between the Devils and the Falcons to raise money for a scholarship to advance the training of registered nurses specifically in the area of gynaecological cancers. One of Cath’s daughters, Lou, is the captain of the Eastern Devils and a Collingwood AFLW player, while another of Cath’s children, Jo is the club President. You can donate to the fund here: http://www.cathwottonfund.org/


Another big reason to get to the match was the return of two of the League’s finest: the inimitable Daisy Pearce and the Devils’ magnetic Sarah Perkins. There were no TV cameras, no fanfare, no big deal. Daisy Pearce, surely a million dollar player in terms of value to her team, the league and the “brand”, was on the ground for the first bounce, top-knot in place. Perko, also a valuable commodity  – an AFLW Premiership player – lined up deep in the Devils’ forward line.


It wasn’t to be the Devil’s day. Instead, the picturesque Mulgrave Reserve provided the leafy green backdrop for the Daisy and Darcy show. Right from the opening, Vescio looked dangerous and the Darebin forward line looked sharp. Jessica Dal Pos popped up for a clever goal and the Falcons were off kicking 5 goals in the first quarter to the Devils’ none. One big highlight came from Meg McDonald. Given the big job on Perkins, Meg Mac played a ripper of a match. Under huge pressure in the backline, with no, McDonald scooped up a contested ball, got her kick away and the resulting play saw Darcy Vescio kick a sweet goal.


The Devils came back in the second as  they used swifter ball movement through the middle to their advantage. Perko kicked a lovely goal to huge roars from the partisan crowd, but this was to be her best moment for the day. The Devils outscored the Falcs in the second, kicking 3.3 for the term, giving them some hope heading in for the long break.


This hope was short lived, however. The third term was all Vescio, all the time. Vescio spent the match in the forward line, combining well with the likes of Stefanie Simpson and Lauren Arnell. Darcy read the play faster and smarter than her opponents.  The Devils worked hard, but Vescio maneuvered her way to a remarkable 7 goals, three of which she snagged in the third and the Falcons kicked away to a big lead. By the final term ,when she turned her player inside out and screwed the ball across her body for a final goal, the Darebin bench was chuckling in wonder at her skill and daring. Darcy Vescio sees possibilities where others see problems. The number 3 player won the BOG medal, richly deserved for her dominant performance.


And how’s about that number 6 for the Falcons? She goes alright, I reckon. Watching her zip around the ground, picking up the ball off her laces, kicking with penetration and giving off handballs from under packs, it was hard to believe that Daisy Pearce’s last match was 106 days ago. Pearce was as sharp as ever, as unstoppable as ever, hard to tackle, hard to chase. Her work rate meant that she often found space and her foot skills meant she was damaging with the ball.


At the and of the match, players and support teams stood in an honor guard for the presentations and the shadows stretched across the ground. The quiet at this moment reminded us all about the big picture and the value of community clubs: people coming together to make a difference.


The Falcons look to be on song, again. Aasta O’Connor was very strong in her third game back from injury and Crow-eating recruit Ebony Marinoff adds both menace and finesse to an already formidable outfit. Since going down to ladder leaders Diamond Creek by 1 point in Round 3, the Falcs have won their last 4 games, mostly without the services of one K.Brennan who may almost be available for selection again.


The Devil went down to Georgia and the Eastern Devils went down to Darebin. The Devils were caught between a hard Daise and the Red, White and Blue Darcy. Or should that be a Hard Darce and and a Daisy Dee?


Back in the car, I turned up “Sympathy for the Devil” and headed home.


Eastern Devils   0.1.1 3.4.22    3.4.22 3.4.22   

Darebin Falcons 5.4.34 6.4.40 11.5.71   13.5.83




Goals: Sarah Perkins, Lauren Tesoriero, Jaimee Lambert

Best: S. Casey, L. Wotton, M. Johns, T. Nestor, C. Laan, Pepa Randall




Goals: Darcy Vescio 7, Stefanie Simpson 2, Gabrielle Colvin, Lauren Arnell, Jessica Dal Pos, Elise O’Dea

Best: Darcy Vescio, D. Pearce, Meg McDonald, Mel Hickey, Aasta OConnor, Ebony Marinoff

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. Rick Kane says

    Great write-up Jackie. It would have been a treat to see DV kick seven! And still with KB to return. Good to see Daisy back on the park.

    I haven’t been able to get to a Falcons game yet this year but it sounds like they’re firing on all cylinders.


  2. Jackie Lynch says

    Seeing Darcy Vee do her thing is an exercise in suspension of disbelief. She’s an incredible footballer, a rubber woman, a Houdini. HOW DID SHE DO THAT? I kept thinking.

    Was also a real treat to see Daisy Pearce in action. Honorable mention to the Queen of Consistent Footy – Karen Paxy Paxman. Gut running week in, week out and one the best readers of the play in the women’s game.

    Thanks for you comment. It’s my first go at writing for the Footy Almanac and I enjoyed the experience so much, I’ll be doing it again.

  3. Jackie – I watched Paxman play a week back. She is a gun. Darcy didn’t have a great day when I was watching. One of the Hawks most improved players, Chantella Perera, did a wonderful job on her that day, keeping her to one goal. Keep an eye on her. Emma Mackie for the Hawks is also having a wonderful season.

    Great write-up.

  4. Jackie Lynch says

    Yes, Perera did the job on Darcy V, that’s for sure. Emma Mackie also impressive. One thing about the Falcs – it’s probably a bit tricky to get the younger players into the VFL team as there’s so much star power. But Darcy is still only 23 (!!!!) and Katie Brennan only 24 (double !!!!!!!) that there’s a lot of youth amongst those stars in any case. I too was at that Box Hill match and was impressed by the Hawks never say die attitude. Also the return of Lauren Arnell (3 goals, if you don’t mind) was a thing of beauty.

    Diamond Creek also chock full of future AFLW stars – Sophie Abbatangelo and Chloe Molloy. They broke Falcs’ hearts in a round thriller. I should have taken the time to write that match up – it was a ripper.


    1. It’s Round 8, not Round 7

    2. I’ve since learned that Aasta O’Connor has been rubbed out for 2 matches after the VFLW tribunal found that she DID strike Sophie Alexander. I must have missed that in all of the excitement of watching the Daisy and Darcy show.

    Thanks for your comment, Dips!

  5. Jackie Lynch says

    PS – My fave Paxy moment? She was cleaning up every loose and contested ball that came her way playing Diamond Creek back in round 3. Daisy Pearce, in a coaching/support role called out from the Darebin bench “YES, Paxy Paxman!” and Paxy turned around, grinned and gave Daisy the finger in an affectionate manner befitting long term teamates at DWCS and now MFC. The Darebin bench cracked up.

  6. Rick Kane says

    Love those stories from the coaches bench!

    Dips, great to see you referencing the Hawks in a positive manner. As Dylan noted, the times they are a’changin.

    Jackie, our daughter plays for the Falcons U18s. Jess Del Pos was the coach a couple of years ago. Cheers

    Oh, and keep writing!

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