VFLW – VU Western Spurs v Darebin Falcons: A Tale Of Two Bookends

VFLW Round 9

Saturday July 15

Henry Turner Reserve


VU Western Spurs v Darebin Falcons


A Tale of Two Bookends


On the way to Henry Turner Reserve, I was listening to “80 Hits from the 80s” when “Taxi Mary” (by Jo Jo Zep, feat. Jane Clifton) came on just as I pulled into a parking space.


“Oh no, I feel I’m walkin’ on a tightrope.

With my heart as a shield.

Yes I felt the pull when the bubble burst at the parking lot.

As I touched the point of no return” *


I decided this was a good omen for the Falcons for three not at all ridiculous reasons**:


  2. The singer of this song Jo-Jo Zep (aka Joe Camilleri) also formed a band called Jo-Jo Zep AND THE FALCONS.
  3. I decided to ignore the bit about bubbles bursting.


Do I place any real stock in my weird footy rituals? As a kid, I used to kiss the four (for Ross Glendinning, North Melbourne edition) on the back of my duffle coat before putting in on. I also once recited the names and jumper numbers of the North Melbourne 1996 Premiership team, backwards and forwards 13 times to bring good luck to the 1999 team. That worked.


In any event, I was right. It was an omen (or it was not), we won the match handsomely.


This Falcs vs. Spurs match promised a lot. The Spurs were on the up and up. The Falcs were looking to solidify their top-4 spot. The game started with a Spurs bang when speedy (and I mean, like SUPER speedy) AFLW Melbourne up and comer Aleisha Newman burst through the pack and snapped a quality goal. A false herald: the Spurs were not to kick another goal until halfway through the second term.


Two AFLW players from the Western Bulldogs provided formidable bookends for a surging Darebin Falcons team in their win against the Western Spurs on Saturday: Meghan Macdonald and THE Katie Brennan.  Playing mostly as a key defender so far this year, Macdonald is a key part of the Falcon’s premiership defence. In my last entry, dear reader, I wrote of her big job on Sarah Perkins in the Falcons’ demolition of the Eastern Devils. Well, Meg Mac has done it again. In this match, she hung tough through Spurs forward 50 entries and rebounded to effect AND held Alyssa Mifsud (12 goals in eight games until the Darebin game) goalless. Meg Mac is in fine form.

At the other end (and bolting through the midfield) was Katie Brennan. KB’s AFLW season came to a painful end when she did her ankle as her Dogs (my Dogs too, actually) were being towelled up by Adelaide. She missed the rest of the season. After a stop-start VFLW 2017 campaign, she is back. And how. In the second term, Brennan provided a football highlight for the ages for the newsreel of my mind. Heading into the forward line from the very wide wings of the Henry Turner Reserve, she encountered two Spurs defenders. They zoned off her, trying to corral her to the boundary line. In my brain, I can play this in slow motion: she balked – the classic selling the candy move- and then sidestepped as if she was doing the Nutbush (or dancing to Taxi Mary) to get inside her opponents. Thirty out, right foot kick, bang, goal. KB also booted three goals in under 6 minutes at the beginning of the fourth to put the issue beyond doubt.


Speaking of players who have an array of moves, Darcy Vescio played another really good game, three goals capping off a good afternoon of chasing, tackling and trapping the ball in the forward line. Darcy also featured in a dream team goal, Karen Paxman to Darcy to Brennan in a move that started in the Falcs backline. Paxy had a solid game, Elise O’Dea starred in the midfield. Stephanie Simpson also very well, following up some hard running into the forward line with three goals.


The Darebin team ran right over the top of the Spurs in the end through the middle part of the game. In the third term, Newman of the Spurs streaked down the wing to kick a ripping goal. She took three bounces and kicked a beauty at full speed. This was one of the few bright spots for the Spurs In fact, only by St. Kilda’s defeat of Melbourne Uni meant that they retained their spot in the top four.


In the last month, Falcs have kicked big scores and won by big margins: 66 points against Box Hill, 61 against the Devils, 94 against Cranbourne and 49 points against the Spurs. There is so much to admire about Jane Lange’s game plan. Lange appears to be backing her players’ fitness, commitment and teamwork all the way. When the ball was in the Falcs forward 50, Lange had her backs build a wall across the centre to chop off longer kicks and to rebound quickly. The backs set up repeatedly, trapping the ball in the Falcs forward line and making any Spurs’ forays sluggish and error prone. Mel Hickey (also in rock-solid form) picked off Spurs’ kicks at will, massing touches as a rebounding back.


With bookends like KB and Meg Mac, cue up “Taxi Mary” DJ, the Falcs are flying.


* You can watch that magnificent piece of Latin inspired pop here:




** These reasons are of course, ridiculous.


VU Western Spurs  1.0-6           2.0-12               3.1-19               4.1-25

Darebin Falcons      2.2-14         6.5-41                8.6-54              11.8-74


VU Western Spurs

Goal Kickers: A. Newman 2, M. Ward, S. Lampard

Best Players: B. White, S. Scott, S. Lampard, A. Guest, E. Gamble


Goal Kickers: K. Brennan 4, S. Simpson 3, D. Vescio 3, L. Arnell

Best Players: Katie Brennan, M. Hickey, D. Vescio, S. Simpson, E. O’Dea


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. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Jackie lovely game report. Felt I was there. Love hearing how the women of the AFLW are faring, and getting to know new names.

    You must write for the next AFLW season and get into next years edition of The Women’s Footy Almanac. If you are coming to the launch, make sure you come up and say hello to me on the sales desk (before the speeches) and I’ll get your details.

  2. Jackie Lynch says

    Don’t know how or when or where.. .But I left Meg Mac off the best list. INCONCEIVABLE! She was absolutely key to the win. Sorry! I need better proofing processes.

  3. Jackie Lynch says

    Thanks Yvette! I would LOVE to contribute to the AFLW Women’s Footy Almanac next year. That would be fantastic. I hope to make it next week, but if I can’t, can I get in touch with you another way? Thanks for reading my piece. I am really enjoying getting along to the VFLW. I’ve joined the Falcs as a social member and really they have been very welcoming. Hope to see you next week,

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