VAFA Wilson Women’s Preview: Round 9

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Alisha Min

With the June long weekend bye round in the books, our VAFA Wilson Women’s competition returns to the field this weekend for Round 9 as we edge all the more closer to finals action.

William Buck Premier Women’s

Headlining this section’s fixture for the week is undoubtedly the Friday night blockbuster scheduled between Fitzroy-ACU and West Brunswick at the immaculate Brunswick St Oval. Though there is a sizeable gap on the ladder distinguishing the second placed visitors and seventh placed Roy Girls, Fitzroy-ACU may just cause an upset here – especially with Big V BOG recipient Teresa Zampaglione running amuck in the middle. Boasting the most Big V representatives from any one team over the weekend (4 players – Grace Dillon, Imogen Barnett, Sally Peers and Vanessa Murphy – Captain and Umpire’s BOG player), it’s difficult to imagine Old Trinity (1st) not notching another bout of premiership points over SKOB Saints (4th) at Righetti Oval. Don’t completely discount the SKOB side though, as I’m sure their Big V stars in Ali Hynes (VC) and Sarah Cameron will have something to say about the match result. With the Spirit of the Big V Award recipient in their ranks (Stephanie Lawrence), look out for St Mary’s Salesian to extend their three-round winning streak with a victory over Melbourne University on Sunday morning at the Uni Oval. Rounding off the weekend’s games is the clash awaiting between a Marcellin unit set for redemption after falling to St Mary’s in Round 8, their first loss since Round 3, and a Kew (5th) team wanting to stay in touch with the top four.

Premier B

Still searching for their first victory since promotion to Premier B from Premier C, St Bedes/Mentone Tigers will be primed and ready to reverse their 11-point shortcomings to the Fields from Round 6 when they travel to Glenhuntly Oval on Saturday morning to again challenge Caulfield Grammarians. A number of bye rounds have formed part of Old Geelong’s fixture in the last month, though they will look to their Round 9 encounter against Collegians as a real test as they hustle to lift from the bottom spot on the ladder. With the former coming off a tough five-point loss, and the latter a 21-point win, the Old Xaverians v Old Camberwell contest at Xavier College has a lot of promise, despite the 30-point victory in Xavs favour when they last met in Round 4. Our ladder leaders, Monash Blues, will enjoy a double-bye following the long weekend as their fixtured bye round awaits.

Premier C

The going in Premier C has certainly been tough for Mazenod (5th) in the last few weeks, highlighted by their single win since Round 4, but the opportunity to reaffirm their finals credentials will present itself at Central Reserve on Sunday afternoon as they host Canterbury (4th). Though a compelling result in Brunswick Renegades (2nd) favour in Round 2, Old Melburnians are sure to play a far more competitive brand of football at Elsternwick Park when the two re-meet for the second time this season. Looking around the remaining grounds in our Premier C competition, first placed Yarra Old Grammarians will fancy themselves against RMIT University in front of a home crowd at Doncaster Reserve, and South Melbourne Districts certainly wouldn’t mind a bit of history repeating, particularly their season-high 15.12-102 score, when they host North Brunswick.

Division 1

The cream of the crop are certainly rising in Division 1, with the disparity between the best (Old Scotch (1st), Old Brighton (2nd)) and the rest becoming more and more apparent as we near the pointy end of the season. With that in mind, however, spots remain to fill out the final four and no two teams look better placed to do so at the moment than Ivanhoe (4th) or Old Haileyburians (5th), and luckily enough for the Division 1 enthusiast, the two are set to meet at Ivanhoe Park this Saturday morning. In other Round 9 match-ups, Old Mentonians has the challenge of toppling the Tonners at Brighton Beach Oval, Hawthorn will travel to Lynden Park to face our ladder-leading Scotch Stars, and finally, La Trobe University will welcome a Beaumaris (3rd) side floundering in deep water following three-consecutive losses.

Division 2

Only two correct tips in Division 2 from Round 8, and although you might attribute that result to poor tipping ability, it could also be seen, moreso in fact, as a credit to the competitiveness of the section. After upsetting Old Ivanhoe (4th) in Round 8, could Power House (8th) go one further and bring the house down over Williamstown CYMS (3rd) in Round 9? Both suffering a loss in the last round of football, the Old Carey (5th) and Aquinas (6th) encounter at Aquinas College could be a close one, as should our top of the table battle between Therry Penola (1st) and Whitefriars (2nd) at John Pascoe Reserve. The Hoers will want to bounce back from their upset loss to the House last round with a compelling win over Westbourne Grammarians – but this may be harder than the Warriors’ seventh place suggests if they see the return of some key players.

Division 3

No longer can we boast an undefeated side in Division 3, as Preston Bullants were handed their first blow by way of a massive come-from-behind victory from Hampton Rovers in Round 8. The Rovers, who at 3QT were sitting on the same 1.2-8 score line from the opening quarter, booted an incredible 3.3 in the final term to steal a two-point victory over the Bullants. Looking ahead to Round 9, can the Rovers deal UHS-VU a blow of similar proportions at Brens Oval? Will the Bullants immediately atone via a victory over Prahran Assumption? Bulleen Templestowe will look to continue their winning ways from Round 8 when the take on Swinburne University, while Emmaus St Leo’s and Oakleigh are in a similar position at present, both carrying five-game and three-game losing streaks, respectively, and will see this as a golden opportunity to get back on the winners list.

Division 4

Division 4 is seemingly the division of the draws in our VAFA Wilson Women’s competition, as we were graced with yet another said result between MCC Football Club (6th) (their second draw in consecutive weeks) and Glen Eira/Old McKinnon (1st) in Round 8. Though differing greatly in terms of ladder positions, MCC were seemingly unperturbed by the prospect and went on to boot their highest score of the season to date and deny the Gryphons victory for the first time in 2019. Can the MCC women get the better of a formidable Ajax (2nd) in Round 9, keeping in mind that Ajax also had a bye recently in Round 6 against Parkdale Vultures? Will the Gryphons secure four premiership points over the Vultures? De La Salle could be a smokey in this section after their nail-biting one-point win over Albert Park in Round 9 – a thought which might just be validated pending their performance over Richmond Central. The Falcons will travel to the Snake Pit to face St Bernard’s.