Tupper tops superb season for Castlemaine


CASTLEMAINE’S Aisling Tupper has marked a brilliant season for Castlemaine by being fairest and best in the Champions IGA-backed CVFL senior women’s footy competition for 2023.

In a brilliant start to the club’s quest for back-to-back premierships, Tupper was adjudged by the umpires as best on ground in the opening five games.

After votes had been called to the end of the fifth round the Magpies’ on-baller led the award race on 15 votes.

Next best were Magpies’ team-mate Charlotte Beavan, six votes; and Woorinen’s Tenay Fellows, North Bendigo’s Kira Gibbons, and Golden Square’s Keely Hare locked on four votes.

Then some of the league’s big guns started to make their move.

Eaglehawk co-coach Molly Metcalf went from just one vote after four rounds to be outright second on 10 votes after eight rounds.

Metcalf gained the maximum three votes in round seven and two votes in the Hawks’ matches in the fifth, sixth and eighth rounds.

At six rounds to be called it was Tupper in front on 15 votes.

The chasing pack was led by Molly Metcalf, 10; Woorinen’s Carlee Hazlett and Bendigo Thunder’s Jessica Kennedy, 9; and Eaglehawk forward Sienna Hobbs, 8.

A best afield performance by Hobbs in the 11th round meant she drew within four votes of Tupper who had not polled any votes in six consecutive matches.

Both players gained three votes in the 12th round.

Tupper surged clear again as she was best a week later in the Magpies’ victory in the Pride Round match against Golden Square at Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve.

After the final card was called it was Tupper in front on 21 votes as Hobbs was runner-up on 16.

Woorinen’s Carlee Hazlett was adjudged best afield in five matches to finish on 15 votes and in third place.

The league medal was presented to Tupper by Marg O’Rourke.

On Friday night it will be Aisling Tupper, Carlee Hazlett and their Magpies’ and Tigers’ team-mates chasing premiership glory in the grand final to be played at Bendigo’s iconic Queen Elizabeth Oval from 7pm.

Leaders in the CVFL senior women’s footy fairest and best for the 2023 season:

21 Aisling Tupper, Castlemaine.

16 Sienna Hobbs, Eaglehawk.

15 Carlee Hazlett, Woorinen.

14 Jessica Kennedy, Bendigo Thunder.

12 Eloise Gretgrix, Castlemaine.

12 Molly Metcalf, Eaglehawk.

10 Keely Hare, Golden Square.

9 Kira Gibbons, North Bendigo.

8 Meg Ginnivan, Castlemaine.

7 Brianna Burt, Bendigo Thunder.

7 Donal Fellows, Woorinen.

7 Lexie Moss, Eaglehawk.

7 Molly Pianta, Eaglehawk.

There were many highlights across a 14-round home-and-away series which involved more than 220 players.

Woorinen marked its entry to the league by beating Bendigo Thunder in the fourth round.

On the same weekend, North Bendigo celebrated a long-awaited victory against Strathfieldsaye Storm under lights at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane.

Clubs celebrated First Nations people in the sixth round as Eaglehawk, Castlemaine and Woorinen hosted matches.

Grounds were awash with pink for Pink Round in the ninth round, and a week later the league marked a first by playing all matches in Sunday Showdown at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

It was wins for North Bendigo, Castlemaine and Bendigo Thunder as all matches were live streamed.

The top four was not decided until the 14th and final round.

Bendigo Thunder had to win against Eaglehawk, but a Two Blues’ victory meant Thunder would miss CVFL finals for the first time.

There’s plenty of work done off-field by clubs, the CVFL administration, and the CVFL advisory committee of Marg O’Rourke, Emma Grant, Colleen Rogers, Carol Cathcart and Gavin Hore.

Major partners of the league are Champions IGA, High St X-Ray and The Bendigo Club.

All seven clubs were represented in the High Street X-Ray Team of the Year.

Selection criteria included votes in the league’s fairest and best award, amount of times in the best for club, games played for the season, and consideration of the player of the week award.

The unbeaten Castlemaine had six players selected.

Woorinen Tigers were next best on five, and Eaglehawk had four chosen.

There are three players from Golden Square, two from Bendigo Thunder, and one from North Bendigo and Strathfieldsaye Storm.

High Street X-Ray Team of the Year:

B: Molly Pianta, Eh; Molly Metcalf, Eh; Kira Gibbons, NB

Hb: Liz Watkins, GS; Katelyn Hazlett, W; Tenay Fellows, W

C: Lily den Houting, Cm; Meg Ginnivan, Cm; Shae Murphy, BT

Hf: Donal Fellows, W; Sienna Hobbs, Eh; Lexie Moss, Eh

F: Carlee Hazlett, W; Eloise Gretgrix, Cm; Abbey Bertram, Cm

Foll: Keely Hare, GS; Jessica Kennedy, BT; Aisling Tupper, Cm

Inter: Freda Wosomo, W; Eillish Cumming, Cm; Natasha Tile, GS; Dani Jeffery, S’saye.

Club legend – BT Bendigo Thunder; Cm Castlemaine; Eh Eaglehawk; GS Golden Square; NB North Bendigo’ S’saye Strathfieldsaye; W Woorinen.

In the race for the goalkicking award, Castlemaine’s Eloise Gretgrix kicked 47 goals in 10 matches.

A great run by the Magpies’ ace included 11 in the opening game of the season, and five-plus tallies in five other matches.

The goalkicking trophy was presented by AFLCV regional general manager, Craig Armstead.

Club by club voting for CVFL senior women’s best and fairest award for the 2023 season:

Castlemaine – 21 Aisling Tupper; 12 Eloise Gretgrix; 8 Meg Ginnivan; 6 Charlotte Beavan, Abbey Bertram; 5 Lily den Houting; 3 Eillish Cumming; 2 Ainsley Taft, Rachel Thomas, 1 Jemma Finning.

Woorinen – 15 Carlee Hazlett; 7 Donal Fellows; 6 Tenay Fellows; 5 Katelyn Hazlett, Madeleine Jeans, Freda Wosomo; 3 Jemma Meehan, Izabella Palermo; 2 Remi Maher, Tiana Shepherd.

Eaglehawk – 16 Sienna Hobbs; 12 Molly Metcalf; 7 Lexie Moss, Molly Pianta; 3 Drew Ryan; 2 Keely Fullerton, Alex Summerfield; 1 Kayla Cox.

Bendigo Thunder – 14 Jessica Kennedy; 7 Brianna Burt; 5 Shae-Lee Murphy-Burke; 2 Isabella Ayre, Acacia Edwards, Britney Mueck; 1 Jacqui Graham.

Golden Square – 10 Keely Hare; 6 Liz Watkins; 3 Rebecca Berry, Gabrielle Drage, Natasha Tile, Jorja Van den Berg; 1 Brooke Hards, Paynton Jolliffe.

North Bendigo – 9 Kira Gibbons; 3 Quetta Holloway-Jinks, Maddie Jelbart.

Strathfieldsaye – 2 Dani Jeffery, Bryde O’Rourke; 1 Chelsea Reeves.