BY NATHAN DOLE
EAGLEHAWK takes on unbeaten reigning premier Castlemaine in Friday night’s start to Pink Round across the Champions IGA-backed CVFL senior women’s football competition.
It’s second against first as the Hawks and Magpies meet in the ninth round showdown at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park from 7.15pm.
On the other side of Bendigo it’s Strathfieldsaye up against Golden Square from 7.15pm at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye’s Tannery Lane.
Pink Round will be completed on Sunday when Woorinen takes on Bendigo Thunder from 1pm at Woorinen Recreation Reserve.
North Bendigo has the bye.
The Geoff West and Molly Metcalf-coached Eaglehawk will be keen to end Castlemaine’s winning streak.
When the Hawks played at Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve in round two it was the Magpies who were in control most of the way to record a 51-18 victory.
The league’s top two were in great form going into last weekend’s general bye.
Eaglehawk won the round eight match at Golden Square’s Fur Life Oval by 25 points as Castlemaine scored a 75-nil win against North Bendigo at home.
Key players for Eaglehawk include Grace Edlin, Sienna Hobbs and Kelly Mensforth as key targets in attack, Eileen Mitchell at full-back, and Freyja Pearce.
The Hawks will also rely a lot on the run and pressure of midfielders Emily Field, Taylah Petrusma and Pearl Sullivan.
The Two Blues face a huge challenge against the Jordan Cochrane-coached Castlemaine.
There’s plenty of midfield and scoring power in the Magpies’ line-up.
Players to watch for Castlemaine include Lily den Houting, Abbey Bertram, Ella and Tiahna Cochrane, Eillish Cumming, Jemma Finning and Emma Pedretti.
The Magpies also have Eloise Gretgrix at full-forward, and the skilful Meg Ginnivan at half-forward.
Strathfieldsaye will be determined to play well after being scoreless in its latest hit-out against Bendigo Thunder at Weeroona Oval.
Key players for the Tim McCormick-coached Storm include Katrina Alford, captain Tracey Anderson, Hannah Cue, Melissa Freestone and Chelsea Reeves.
Golden Square goes into this match a win, but more than 130 per cent behind Bendigo Thunder.
A big victory for the Nathan Manuel-coached blue and gold could give the fourth-placed team a decisive break on Thunder which makes the trek north to Woorinen.
In round two, Golden Square won 58-4 at home against Storm.
Best for the Bulldogs in their latest match at Eaglehawk included Kendra Ahearn, Marnie Gudge, Bree Heiden and Olivia Hogg.
Other players to watch include Keely Hare, Paynton Jolliffe and captain Liz Watkins.
It’s been an outstanding debut season for Woorinen in the competition as the Tigers are third on a 4-2 record.
Woorinen has had an extended break as it had the bye in round eight after a 135-point victory at Strathfieldsaye the previous week.
The Tigers take on a Bendigo Thunder team desperate for the points to stay in touch with the top four.
Woorinen’s first victory in the CVFL was against Thunder in round two by 38 points at Weeroona Oval.
Key players in the yellow and black include Donal and Tenay Fellows, Carlee and Katelyn Hazlett, Natasha Kelly, Kerri-Ann Zeunert and Freda Wosomo.
Woorinen’s defence faces a task against Thunder star Isabella Ayre who kicked nine goals in the win against Strathfieldsaye to earn the High Street X-ray Player of the Week award.
A Thunder squad which has Terry Burt as coach and Hannah Perry as assistant coach also has the experience and skill of Shae-Lee Murphy-Burke, Jessica Kennedy and Jaime Sawers.
Champions IGA-backed CVFL senior women’s footy ladder:
Castlemaine 976 per cent, 28 points; Eaglehawk 266, 20; Woorinen 357, 16; Golden Square 77, 16; Bendigo Thunder 215, 12; North Bendigo 5, 4; Strathfieldsaye 3, 0.
Leaders in goalkicking race:
25 Eloise Gretgrix, Castlemaine.
15 Sienna Hobbs, Eaglehawk.
14 Natasha Kelly, Woorinen.
13 Grace Edlin, Eaglehawk.
13 Paynton Jolliffe, Golden Square.
12 Aisling Tupper, Castlemaine.
10 Jessica Kennedy, Bendigo Thunder.
9 Isabella Ayre, Bendigo Thunder.
9 Jaime Sawers, Bendigo Thunder.
8 Charlotte Beavan, Castlemaine.
7 Tiffany Bradley, Castlemaine.
7 Ella Cochrane, Castlemaine.
7 Jemma Finning, Castlemaine.
7 Keely Fullerton, Eaglehawk.
7 Kelly Mensforth, Eaglehawk.
7 Britney Mueck, Bendigo Thunder.
6 Jo Allan, Castlemaine.
6 Nikeah Anderson, Bendigo Thunder.
6 Jasmine Burzacott, Eaglehawk.
6 Molly Metcalf, Eaglehawk.
5 Abbey Bertram, Castlemaine.
5 Brianna Burt, Bendigo Thunder.
5 Molly Pianta, Eaglehawk.
5 Leonie Schulz, Woorinen.
5 Ainsley Taft, Castlemaine.