2023 Grand Finalists pick up where they left off

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Premier Women's

Lauren Atkinson

Football is back for the William Buck Premier Women’s competition in 2024, with an excellent standard displayed across all Round 1 matches.

Experience proved key for success, with the top five sides from 2023 all notching wins to kick off their respective 2024 campaigns.

The closest match of the round was the opener, which saw Caulfield Grammarians defeat Coburg by 5 points. Caulfield had the perfect start to their season, with Kylie Lynch kicking their first major of the day within the first minute of play. They continued to control the game in the first half, taking a 17-point lead into the main break.

Coburg showed great spirit in the third quarter, kicking three unanswered goals to even the scores going into the final term.

Both teams had moments of indiscipline in the fourth, resulting in a goal each from unnecessary free kicks. Sarah Kenny was the hero for Caulfield with a quick snap to kick what was ultimately the match-winning goal. The remaining minutes of the game were nerve-racking for all, as Coburg were able to get repeated forward entries, however, they were unable to find the necessary goal to reclaim the lead.

Ellie Cleland and Ella Baxter worked tirelessly for Caulfield, playing crucial roles in their side’s victory. For Coburg, it was the debutants who impressed, with Sarah Piggott continually repelling Caulfield’s attacks, and Zoe Attard’s dash helping to set up several of their scoring opportunities.

Kew have once again demonstrated that they are the benchmark of William Buck Premier Women’s, by beating last year’s Premier B premiers, Monash Blues, by 57 points. Monash started the game well, restricting Kew to three scoring shots in the first term while managing to get on the board with a major themselves, but they were unable to hold on. Kew increased their lead at each break, only allowing Monash to score one further point for the day.

Isabelle and Michaela Harding stood out for Kew, ably supported by their Vice-Captain, Alexandra Fitridge, while Monash’s newly appointed Captain, Alicia “Pish” Myers, led the Blues by example. In a brilliant team effort, Kew had seven individual goal-kickers, Lara Stevens leading the way with three.

Meanwhile, St Kevins launched their premiership defence with a convincing win over West Brunswick at Righetti Oval. Motivated by the unfurling of the 2023 Premiership Flag, the Saints jumped away to an early advantage, with West Brunswick never able to truly trouble them. St Kevins won each quarter, finally running out as 42-point victors.

2023 Big V Captain, Bree Doyle, got the best-on accolades once again for St Kevins, while Hannah Smith also impressed in her debut for the club with two goals. Taylah Watson was everywhere for West Brunswick, and Captain Sophie Stewart was threatening up forward, kicking West Brunswick’s two goals.

Old Scotch have made a serious statement to the rest of the competition, crushing Old Yarra Cobras by 91 points. The Stars came out firing, kicking 15 goals for the day with nine of them occurring in the first half. Beaten all day, it wasn’t until the final quarter that the Cobras managed to hit the scoreboard, with a goal off the boot of Alannah Murray.

After transferring across from Old Camberwell Grammarians, Eloise Defina was phenomenal in her first game for Old Scotch, finishing the day with four majors to her name. Lucy Morley and Millie Fraser-Smith were also busy up forward, finishing with three goals apiece. With such a spread of talent, Old Scotch look the goods in 2024.

Collegians got over the line by 11 points against Melbourne University. In a relatively low scoring affair, Collegians got the better of Melbourne University early, leading 16-0 at half time. Melbourne University eventually managed to find a goal in the third term to trail by 18 points at the final break. Melbourne University fought hard in the final term to reduce the margin to 11, but they had left their run too late.

Maia Sublet and Krystal Russell were best for Collegians, with Paris Rafferty also impressing with two goals. For Melbourne University, Angelena Roan battled hard through the midfield, with Asha Price leading the forwards with three goals.

As we look ahead to the weekend, Round 2 promises to deliver some exciting match ups.

Caulfield will host Kew with both teams coming off a win in Round 1. While Kew may appear as favourites to win this contest, Caulfield should be boosted by the knowledge that they were one of the two teams able to beat Kew during the Home and Away season last year and with the addition of their new recruits, it should be an intriguing match.

The next match of the round will see St Kevins travel to Ross Gregory Oval to take on fellow 2023 finalists, Collegians, in what is guaranteed to be another exciting clash. Collegians were unable to defeat St Kevins in 2023 but will be hoping they can finally get one back against the Saints.

Off the back of two close losses to begin their seasons, Coburg and MUWFC will battle it out at Piranha Park to get the first important win on the board. In each of their encounters last year the home side got on top, but can Melbourne University be the first to break this trend?

West Brunswick will have to bring their A game if they want to compete with Old Scotch this weekend, with the two teams set to face off as part of ‘Westival’, West Brunswick’s annual Family and Friends Day. Old Scotch looked formidable against Old Yarra Cobras, however, West Brunswick at McAlister Oval should pose a more serious threat.

The final match of the round promises to be as fiery as any, with Old Yarra Cobras hosting Monash Blues for the Premier B grand final rematch. The Cobras will be looking for revenge, after going down by just two points in the grand final, but will the Blues prove too strong once again?