Fans flock to Marong to watch Erin Phillips


MANY footy fans packed Marong’s Malone Park on Sunday to watch AFLW legend Erin Phillips play for Marong against Golden Square in the Champions IGA-backed CVFL senior women’s footy match.

A triple premiership player with Adelaide and dual AFLW fairest and best award winner, Phillips lined up for the Panthers as part of this year’s Carlton Draft promotion sponsored by Carlton Draught.

The match was brought forward from round 14 to be a stand-alone match on what was originally slated as a bye for all clubs.

Phillips started in the centre of East West Oval and then later switched to more of a defensive role as the powerful Golden Square took control.

The Bulldogs powered to a 30-nil lead by quarter-time and led by 59 points at the long break.

It was the first time in a brilliant footy career that Phillips had played at centre half-back, but she revelled in the challenge and inspired her young team-mates.

Marong goaled in the third quarter as Brooke Young was on target.

At the other end of the ground it was Gabrielle Drage who starred for the blue and gold as she kicked nine goals in a 119-6 victory.

A four-goal haul lifted Paynton Jolliffe’s tally to 62 where she is a runaway leader in the league goalkicking award.

Other goalkickers for Golden Square were captain Liz Watkins and Victoria Winstanley on two.

Best for the blue and gold were Molly Forde, Kate Douglass, Claire Picone, Brooke Hutchison, Victoria Winstanley and Gemma Roberts.

Marong’s best were Alex Campbell-Smith, Regeena Torney, Bianca Bourke, Naomi Ridsdale, Gemma Woodall and Brooke Young.

Although the final margin was 113 points, Marong co-coach David Blume said there were so many positives to take from the game in what is the Panthers first season in the CVFL senior competition.

Sunday’s match capped a hectic weekend for Phillips.

On Friday night she was among the Australian Opals world championship team of 2006 to be inducted to Basketball Australia’s Hall of Fame.

An Opals team-mate was Bendigo’s own Kristi Harrower, a four-time Olympian and member of the Bendigo Sports Star of the Year Basil Ashman Hall of Fame.

Phillips was at the MCG as boundary rider and later for post-match interviews in the Essendon and Collingwood match.

Champions IGA-backed CVFL senior women’s footy ladder:

Castlemaine 858 per cent, 44 points; Golden Square 1021, 40; Woorinen 243, 28; Eaglehawk 148, 28; Sandhurst 178, 24; Bendigo Thunder 50, 16; White Hills 14, 8; North Bendigo 13, 4; Marong 7, 4.

The Nathan Manuel-coached Golden Square faces a great challenge this Friday night against the unbeaten Castlemaine.

It’s second against first on Golden Square’s turf at Fur Life Oval in Wade Street from 7.15pm.

Round 13 will be completed on Sunday when all three matches start at 1pm.

Eaglehawk and North Bendigo clash in the Borough at Canterbury Park.

Bendigo Thunder and Marong will play at Weeroona Oval in Napier Street.

Woorinen is at home to take on the Winslow White Hills Demons.

Sandhurst has the bye.

Leading goalkickers:

62 Paynton Jolliffe, Golden Square.

39 Brydi Lewis, Woorinen.

33 Chelsea Reeves, Sandhurst.

30 Samantha Johnston, Woorinen.

29 Eloise Gretgrix, Castlemaine.

29 Taylah Moore, Golden Square.

28 Amanda Carrod, Sandhurst.

24 Tiffany Bradley, Castlemaine.

23 Tenay Fellows, Woorinen.

22 Molly Metcalf, Eaglehawk.

20 Tiahna Cochrane, Castlemaine.

20 Rachael Stubbings, Castlemaine.

19 Isabella Ayre, Golden Square.

19 Lily Campbell, Sandhurst.

18 Victoria Winstanley, Golden Square.

17 Brianna Burt, Castlemaine.

16 Jenna Bannam, Woorinen.

16 Courtney Wakefield, Woorinen.

15 Lacey Nihill, Sandhurst.

11 Gabrielle Drage, Golden Square.

11 Courtney Hingston, Golden Square.

11 Maeve Tupper, Castlemaine.

10 Jaime Sawers, Bendigo Thunder.

10 Aisling Tupper, Castlemaine.

PHOTO – Enzo Tomasiello