By Nick Creely
VICTORIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE – WOMEN’S
REVIEW – ROUND 8
Saturday at Casey Fields saw Cranbourne as the student and Darebin as the teacher.
And in the Eagles’ 94-point loss to the premiership favourites, the 22 pupils learnt just what it takes to make it in the leading women’s competition in the country.
Matched up against AFL stars Daisy Pearce, Darcy Vescio, Katie Brennan and Mel Hickey, the Falcons flattened the Eagles, allowing them just one goal for the match while their side slammed on 14 themselves.
It took until the early parts of the final quarter for the Eagles to finally score a point, with the Falcons’ impenetrable defence counter-attacking with class when the ball rarely got down there.
“Darebin are a quality unit – they are by far the best side we’ve played, and are getting all their players back at the right time – they’re a professional outfit,” coach Sein Clearihan said.
“The girls learnt how professional the competition is and the discipline of how Darebin were with their structures and rotations.
“When you’re playing on girls like Daisy Pearce, Katie Brennan and Darcy Vescio they take you to the ball – Daisy just had that second or third gear and was exceptional – I was impressed with how the girls went at them and learnt from them.”
Although the scoreboard looks unfavourable, Clearihan was proud of his side’s effort despite being obviously outclassed.
“We had 12 players out – that hurts when you take those girls out against top sides, but to the girls’ credit they battled hard,” he said.
“We took the ball in our scoring zone 13 times in the second quarter, but just couldn’t score and that hurts too, but that’s a learning curve for the group.
“This time last year, Darebin beat us by 240-points – we’re making inroads and we’re improving a lot, but because of the AFLW a lot of the top sides have improved too and perhaps more than us at the moment.
“In the last six or seven minutes and the girls were tired – they chased hard and tackled all day which was good.
“And the girls are staying to the structures – we are trying to get through it and keep learning along the way.”
It was also a chance for Clearihan personally to feed off the ideas and structures of highly rated Falcons’ coach Jane Lange.
“I’m still learning as a coach too – just being able to watch the other top line coaches and how they do it – I’m good with it, and actually learnt a lot myself on Saturday in a number of different areas,” he said.
The Eagles sit eighth with a 2-6 record and face Geelong on Sunday at Osborne Park.
CRANBOURNE 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1(7)
DAREBIN 5.5 6.6 9.10 14.17(101)
GOALS: J. Grierson.
BEST: J. Grierson, H. Wildes, K. Ripari, A. Johnson, B. Moody, K. McLeod.
GOALS: G. Hammond 2, D. Vescio 2, K. Brennan 2, S. Simpson 2, D. Pearce 2, G. Colvin, I. Porter, E. Marinoff, J. Dalpos.
BEST: D. Pearce, M. Hickey, M. McDonald, S. Egan, E. Marinoff, K. Tyndall.