Round 8 at the Rye was always going to be tough game for our Women’s team. The Giants, locked in a battle for finishing in the top 2, coming up against the Demons trying to sneak their way into the top 4 for a chance to play finals. Both had something to play for. To add to the challenge, the Giants were to take on the game today without 2x of their stars in Susie and Lucy who both had been honoured earlier in the week by selections to represent their countries in the AFL Euro cup!
This did however provide a great opportunity for Steve to step up as captain today, of which she certainly delivered.
Right from the opening bounce Steve had the Giants looking switched on, dominating field position early and certainly on top in the territory battle. Brookesy and OC were frequently creating intercepts and locking the ball inside our forward line. Whilst Filly, Crusty and their small forward brigade were tirelessly working to get clear and create opportunities. All this territory however, was ultimately not enough to convert into scores on the board, and unfortunately this proved costly. With the Demons able to wrestle back the momentum late, and score the first for the game.
Coming into the second quarter with a 1 goal deficit, the women were hungry for the ball again and nearly jumped the Demons before they’d even realised! With a small change to the mids structure proving masterstroke, Tuddy won the first contest down to Steve getting a clean clearance forward and OC nearly slotting an amazing goal in the opening 10sec! It was not to be however, but the Giants kept at the demons this quarter and again were dominating field position. With the demons panic kicking out of defence, Ellie Hyner was able to create an intercept mark inside our forward 50 and kick truly to open the account for Giants and squaring the ledger. Again however, another late goal against the run of play to the Demons saw them get their noses back in front before the half.
The Third quarter saw a large momentum swing in favour of the demons, the ball certainly spent a lot of time in our back half this quarter, but our defence proved strong. Under siege, Helen, Dayna and Em Holland all did a fantastic job, stopping multiple goal opportunities and creating 50/50 stoppages for the team. Nat, through the midfield, also started to get her engine going this quarter as she started to rack up possessions, helping the backline with multiple rebound 50’s and generally get in and under almost any and every pack of players.
This trend continued into the last quarter, with the weight of bench rotations likely a factor as the demons continued their hard running. Some individual brilliance from Hyner, rucking and clearing contests off her own boot, nearly gave us our own opportunities against the play. Although it ultimately not enough as the demons ran away winners in the end with a 3 goal lead.
In a hard fought game, there could be no fault to any of the Giants players out their today, with everyone putting all their effort on the line. I was certainly proud as an interim coach that they gave it their all.
This puts the Giants into a must-win situation now against the hawks next week, if they want to keep the dream of a top 2 finish alive. But If they can pull out a spirited performance like they did today, I certainly have belief they can do it!
Giants: 1.2 8
Demons: 4.6 30
Goals: Ellie Hyner 1 (1st)
Boat Race: Demon's
Breast & Fairest: Natalie McPherson
Dick of the Day: Alyssa Tuddenham