Castlemaine must strike back against Bendigo Thunder
AFTER back-to-back defeats, Castlemaine must beat Bendigo Thunder in Friday night’s preliminary final or its debut season in the Champions IGA-backed CVFL senior women’s football competition will be over.
The Magpies and Thunder will clash under the Canterbury Park lights in Eaglehawk from 7pm.
At stake is a place in the September 9 grand final against Golden Square to be played under lights at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
The Tiahna Cochrane-coached Castlemaine had gone on a 12-game winning streak before Thunder struck for a 32-31 on the Magpies’ turf at Camp Reserve in the 18th round.
A week later and the Magpies were back on home turf for a second semi-final clash with Golden Square.
It was the Todd Deary-coached Golden Square which led 21-13 at half-time and then scored 4.1 to nil in the third term on the way to a 48-14 victory.
This season’s meetings between Castlemaine and Bendigo Thunder have been split at one-all.
They first met in round nine on Thunder’s turf at Weeroona Oval.
Thunder led 19-7 at quarter-time and 25-15 by the main break.
It was a second-half blitz by the Magpies as they scored 3.7 in the third term and 4.4 in the last and also kept Thunder scoreless to mark an impressive 68-25 victory.
Shelby Knoll led the attack on five goals as Eloise Gretgrix added two, and captain Meg Ginnivan and Lily McMahon were also on target.
Thunder’s goalkickers were Georgia Gordon, two, and Britney Mueck.
Best for Castlemaine were Tia Davidge, Meg Ginnivan, Scarlett Orritt and Jemma Finning.
Jessica Kennedy, Katelyn Hazlett, Jacqui Graham and Imogen Kendal were BT’s best.
The Magpies were aiming to mark an unbeaten run to the finals when they took on Bendigo Thunder in the 18th round at Camp Reserve.
Castlemaine led 13-5 at quarter-time, but Thunder hit back to lead 17-15 by the long break.
The visitors were up 26-17 going into the last quarter.
Although the Pies won the final term, 14-6, a goal to Thunder was enough to clinch a 32-31 victory.
The competition’s leading goalkicker, Britney Mueck led Thunder’s attack on two goals as Louise Bibby and Jaime Sawers chipped in with a goal each.
Shelby Knoll kicked a match-high three goals for the Magpies as Bridie Semmens added a major.
Thunder’s charge to victory was led by Megan Williamson, Jessica Kennedy, Phoebe Cuttriss and Abbey Barber.
Castlemaine’s best were Victoria Christie, Meg Ginnivan, Tia Davidge, Jemma Finning and Bridie Semmens.
In week one of the finals, it was Davidge, Finning, Aisling Tupper and Beppina Marshall who were Castlemaine’s best against Golden Square.
Thunder overcame a slow start to the first semi-final against Eaglehawk at Weeroona Oval to mark a 63-22 victory.
A tally of 5.3 to nil in the second put Thunder well in control of the match as Britney Mueck went on to kick five goals and Jaime Sawers added two.
Jessica Kennedy and Jac Loutti were BT’s other goalkickers in a match where Madeline Holt, Jessica Kennedy, Shae-Lee Murphy-Burke and Jaime Sawers were best.
Centre breaks and stoppage wins will play a crucial role in the preliminary final as both teams are stacked with plenty of goalkicking options.
Shelby Knoll starts the match a goal shy of the 50 mark, while Meg Ginnivan, 22; Lily McNair, 13; have capitalised on the Pies’ on-ball and midfield dominance in many matches.
Thunder’s key target is Britney Mueck, with strong support provided by Georgia Gordon, 15 goals; Jessica Kennedy, 14; and Phoebe Cuttriss, 14, the talented on-field leader.
Written by Nathan Dole.