Lions continue their winning ways

Pakenham teammates Rosie Davis, Sophie Gray and Hayley Denboer look on as skipper Rachel Betteridge provides a strong shepherd for Chloe Nagel against Cerberus/Crib Point on Saturday. Picture: SUPPLIED


Cranbourne enjoyed a strong weekend in the South Eastern Womens competition, picking up big wins against St Kilda Sharks in both Division 1 and Division 2.

The Eagles were excellent at home against the Sharks – who sit atop the Division 1 ladder – winning 42-29 to pick up plenty of confidence as they continue to push hard in the surge up the ladder.

In the Division 2 clash, the Eagles defeated the Sharks 5.6 (36) to 2.6 (18), with Quinn Watson, Emily Wallace and Meg Graham all starring. Other matches in Division 2 saw Tyabb defeat Beaconsfield 6.5 (41) to 3.0 (18) at Holm Park, while Edithvale-Aspendale got the job done under lights on Friday night against Pearcedale, 4.2 (26) to 2.6 (18).

In Division 3, Pakenham continued its unblemished start to the season with an impressive 13.13.91 to 0.3.3 victory over Cerberus/Crib Point at HMAS Cerberus on Saturday.

The Lions welcomed back a popular member of their team in Steph Scott, and then had to weather a strong start from the home side who had the better of the early exchanges.

It was only the efforts of Mimi Henderson, Zoe Loudon, Tash Wakenshaw, Nat Staunton and Beth Studd in defence that stopped the home side from opening up an early lead. A late goal to Kerrie-Anne Micallef gave the Lions a four-point advantage at quarter time.

Pakenham midfielders Bel McGee, Lauren Hojnacki, Rachel Betteridge and Rosie Bureta lifted their rating at the start of the second term, with the Lions taking full advantage of a three-to-four-goal breeze.

Key forward Rosie Davis kick-started the Lions with an early goal, with another to Hojnacki and two each to Betteridge and Micallef rounding out a great quarter of football.

The Lions utilised the corridor well and played an unselfish brand of footy, with smothers, tackles, shepherds and great passages of handball taking them out to a 42-point lead.

Ros Cook, Chloe Bluhm, Hayley Denboer and Beth Studd all had an influence in the second term, while a smother and tackle from Chloe Nagel showed the Lions’ intensity was back to a very high level.

Courtney Dodson, Sophie Gray, Dani Case and Mel Stocker all got plenty of touches in the second half as the Lions more than doubled their advantage. Trainers Kenny Harris and Kris Case were kept busy in the final term, while runner Dave Case was breathing heavy after getting some extra miles in the legs.

Micallef ended with four goals, and Betteridge and Davis three, while Hojnacki, Nagel and Henderson – who drifted forward from half back – all kicked solitary majors.

Scott, Gray, Hojnacki and Bureta were all outstanding for the Lions, while Wakenshaw was terrific in a final-term stint in the ruck.

Officer, meanwhile, fell narrowly at home to Red Hill, 2.7 (19) to 2.2 (14), with Allison Wartnaby the best for the Kangaroos.