Round 18 has shaken things up in the William Buck Premier Women’s competition with Caulfield missing out on a top four spot only be percentage, while Kew dominated St Kevin’s in what could have been a Grand Final preview.
The round kicked off with Caulfield Grammarians hosting Coburg in what was a must-win for the Grammarians to earn themselves a spot in finals. Alas, it wasn’t to be and with Coburg too strong on the day, Caulfield fall just short of that fourth placed finish on the ladder.
Coburg are to be commended for their final performance of the 2023 home and away season. They started uncharacteristically slow only registering a single behind and took an 11-point deficit into the first huddle.
Although Caulfield had a strong start out of the gates with 2 straight goals, they relinquished their lead in the second and struggled to get back in the game from that point. Chloe O’Malley had another 2-goal match, while Matilda Mottram and Jessie Mount fought hard for their side in a devastating loss.
Coburg ran away 8-point victors thanks to Teagan Brett and Ruby Tarranto who shared the load in front of the big sticks.
Coburg finish the season in sixth whilst Caulfield will be looking to do one better on their fifth-place finish next season.
Victoria Park was home to the match of the round on the weekend as top of the table Kew hosted the reigning premiers St Kevin’s. The last time they met back in round 8, Kew got the advantage over their rival by a mere 2 points.
The contest was neck and neck early at 7-points apiece. SKOB turned up the heat in the second and were able to carry a lead all the way through to three-quarter time. One could say they were in the driver’s seat heading into the final term with Emily Condon and Catherine Stanton at the helm.
Hungry to retain that minor premiership position, Kew ramped it up and kicked 5-straight in the fourth to overrun St Kevin’s. Kew had seven individual goal kickers who helped to get the job done, spearheaded by Ashlea Melnikas with 2.
The question on everyone’s lips lingers, is this a preview of what is to come in finals, and will any team be able to stop the in-form Kew Bears?
Kew and St Kevin’s will have their rematch as soon as next weekend in the Semi Finals that will put one of them straight through to the big dance, whilst the other will be fighting in the second chance preliminary final.
Heading into the weekend, Collegians were very much still in finals contention and needed to secure the win at Harry Trott oval over Melbourne Uni Women’s to be in with a chance for that fourth spot.
Collegians were dominant from the outset with a 2.2 first quarter, closely trailed by Melbourne Uni’s 1.2 opener. Heading into the main break, Collegians had an extra goal under their belt whilst Uni sat on 8 points. Rebecca grant had 2 majors for the day and Aoife Geaney was best afield for the purple army.
Bridget Hudson arguably had her best game of the season against a challenging Collegians outfit, named as the best on, with a goal to round out the day.
It was the Collegians who were in front by 18 points at the final siren, with this victory ultimately securing them that illustrious finals appearance, with other results going their way.
To round out the 18th weekend of the season, West Brunswick came up against Old Scotch who were looking to continue their pre-bye winning streak. Already set to play in finals, the Stars were simply looking to add the cherry on top of a comprehensive season.
West Brunswick had kicked 2.1 to half time, and unfortunately that’s where it ended for the Westies, unable to hit the scoreboard in the second half. At the other end the Stars had much of the ball, registering another 6 majors for the match to run away victors 75 to 13.
Just when we thought Lucy Morley had shown us her best of the season in round 17, she went two better to kick 6 majors in another best on ground performance.
The Westies have produced a very well-rounded season, finishing only one win behind fourth place, and are not to be underestimated heading into 2024. Meanwhile, the Stars job is not done just yet, as they head into a Semi Final at Piranha Park against Collegians.
Fitzroy had a bye on the weekend and finish the season in ninth.