BY NATHAN DOLE
STARS from the Champions IGA-backed Central Victoria FL senior women’s competition were in hot form at the Worksafe AFL Victoria representatives games on Sunday.
Victorious in both of the preliminary games at Mooroopna Recreation Reserve, Central Victoria took on North East Border in the grand final.
A big day for the Rick Ladson-coached CV began with a 14-7 win against North East Border.
Game two ended in a 15.6 (96) to 0.0 (0) result for Central Victoria against Northern Country.
The NEB line-up earned a shot at the title after a 66-nil win against Northern Country.
Strong defensive efforts from both teams across the 20-minute halves were a highlight in both of Central Victoria’s clashes with North East Border.
Led by the play of Castlemaine on-baller/forward Aisling Tupper, and Golden Square’s Liz Watkins at half-back, CV scored 2.5 (17) to 1.2 (8) in the grand final.
“Our defensive play in all three matches was excellent,” said Ladson.
A 2008 premiership-winning player with Hawthorn in 2008, Ladson praised the leadership of co-captains Liz Watkins and Bendigo Thunder’s Shae-Lee Murphy-Burke across the half-back line.
“The way they organised the defence and ability to win the footy was excellent.”
The CV defence included Carlee and Katelyn Hazlett from Woorinen Tigers who are in the senior women’s competition for the first time this season.
In the grand final it was Aisling Tupper who earned best afield honours for her play as an on-baller and in attack.
Tupper was a premiership winner with Castlemaine in ’22 and played a key role in the Magpies being unbeaten after four rounds this season.
Golden Square’s Keely Hare also impressed in all three matches with her skills and workrate when the opposition had possession.
This Friday night, Tupper and Hare will be opponents under Golden Square’s lights.
In the lead-up to the inter-league carnival, Ladson said a challenge would be the short break between the opening two matches.
“The approach was to treat them as being one full game.
“Probably the greater challenge was a two-hour rest before the grand final, but the girls coped really well.”
It’s an unbeaten run for Ladson as CV senior women’s coach after last year’s success on Queen Elizabeth Oval in Bendigo.
“The quality of play in Sunday’s matches was great and a chance to test yourself against many of the best from other leagues.”
The CV team included Castlemaine’s Abbey Bertram who was recruited from Bacchus Marsh; Charlotte Beavan, recruited from Golden Square; and Eillish Cumming and Lily den Houting who had played for Eaglehawk.
All six clubs in the CVFL senior women’s competition were represented at the carnival.
Central Vic FL senior women’s team
Bendigo Thunder – Acacia Edwards, Jessica Kennedy, Britney Mueck, Shae-Lee Murphy-Burke, Hannah Perry.
Castlemaine – Abbey Bertram, Charlotte Beavan, Eillish Cumming, Lily Den Houting, Aisling Tupper.
Eaglehawk – Eliza Long, Molly Metcalf, Molly Pianta, Freyja Pearce
Golden Square – Keely Hare, Bree Heiden, Paynton Jolliffe, Natasha Tile, Liz Watkins.
North Bendigo – Maddie Jelbart
Strathfieldsaye – Chelsea Reeves.
Woorinen – Carlee Hazlett, ,Katelyn Hazlett, Natasha Kelly.
Emergencies were Golden Square’s Marnie Gudge; North Bendigo’s Kira Gibbons; and Tenay Fellows from Woorinen Tigers.
The Bendigo Junior Football League’s under-18 girls’ team also made the trip to Mooroopna to play on John Gray Oval.
The team, coached by Molly Metcalf, took on Northern Country in the opening match which the NC line-up won 35-6.
Best for the BJFL in no particular order were Jayda Matthews, Sophie Sarre, Hannah Ripper, Scout Carmody, and Tahlia Kendall.
In game two it was North East which beat Northern Country, 39-22.
The leagues met again in the series decider which ended in a 4.4 (28) to 2.1 (13) victory for the Northern Country girls.
All five clubs in the BJFL’s under-18 competition were represented, plus one from Castlemaine’s under-16 girls’ team.
The Bendigo JFL under-18 girls’ representative team:
Bendigo Thunder – Oakley Turner.
Castlemaine – Lori Whaley.
Eaglehawk – Taylor Collier, Hayley Fitt, Courtney Gibson, Jorja Gibson, Charlotte Liddy, Jayda Mathews-Shanley.
Golden Square – Mackenzie Bickley, Gabrielle Drage.
Sandhurst – Scout Carmody, Chloe Naughton, Charlotte Scanlon, Dakota Steele, Chloe Taylor.
White Hills – Kiera Cook, Chelsea Edwards, Tahlia Kendall, Hannah Ripper, Sophie Sarre, Kadeisha Smith.
Meanwhile, the Champions IGA-backed CVFL senior women’s footy season resumes next Friday night.
Round five kicks off at Golden Square’s Fur Life Oval in Wade Street on Friday night when Golden Square takes on Castlemaine.
The clash between last season’s grand finalists starts at 7.15pm.
There will be two matches on Sunday.
Bendigo Thunder faces North Bendigo at Weeroona Oval in Napier Street, Bendigo at 1pm.
Woorinen hosts Eaglehawk at Woorinen Recreation Reserve from 1pm.
Strathfieldsaye has the bye.