Women’s Match versus the Inverell Saints

This weekend had the Nomads travel to the outpost of Inverell for the Women in Sport round. In recognition of women in footy, the women’s game was played at the blockbuster time slot of 2:30 in the afternoon. The stage was set for a blockbuster women’s game. Again, numbers were not in our favour. The efforts of Keely ‘Coat hanger’ Ryan and Aimee Strawbridge to bolster troop numbers were much appreciated. Despite the best efforts of the girls, a fast starting and clinical Saints outfit proved too great a challenge and they came out eventual winners 14.9.93 to 3.5.23.

We knew Inverell would be looking to bounce back from a loss to Gunnedah the week before and would be red hot from the first siren. Being a team that normally starts well, our girls seemed a little flat and lacklustre in the first quarter. We were being outclassed at the contest and across the ground. We were finding it hard to get in the game despite the best efforts of el Capitán, Ellie Ryan and newly announced co-captain Madi Moar. The Inverell girls really brought it to us. Molly Fraser had a big hole to fill in our defensive line with notable outs Caiti D’Gluyas and our other newly appointed co-captain Charlotte ‘The General’ Star being in absentia. Molly well and truly stepped up to the mark and played a blinder in her best game so far this season, earning herself a well-deserved Player’s Player.

The girls all knew that we weren’t playing our best footy and would have to lift if we wanted to keep some respectability in the score-line. Better composure allowed us to hit targets and begin to get the game back on our terms. Alas, Inverell showed why they are serious contenders this season and still managed to pile the goals on. Every time we’d win a hardball, there’d be Saints jumpers all around. They were using our hard, high pressure brand of footy against us. By half time we knew that they had bested us and clawing back such a deficit would be near impossible.

To the credit of our girls, we had a better second half than first half. The scoreboard became irrelevant as we focused on getting the little things right. The backline worked hard to stem the flow of goals, limiting the Saints to only three goals for the quarter. Connie Blake was great across half back, giving us run and being an option when exiting our defensive 50. Brianna Spratling was fighting hard to win the ball across half forward and get it into our girls in the forward line. Molly Martin looked dangerous every time she went near the ball, leading hard at the footy and taking strong grabs. Molly also continued to play well in the ruck, filling in for an injured rucking protégé in Lauren Nest. Despite a revitalised effort we still struggled to get opportunities to score up forward as the Saints defence made any attempt treacherous.

Heading into the final term, the girls were absolutely knackered but still found the energy to finish the game off well. This capped off what was a tough day in the office for the girls and was a shining light on an otherwise dim day. Ash Wright did really well to inject herself into the game and get involved across the half-forward line and in her natural habitat, the wing. A second goal from skipper Ellie reduced the difference to make it a little more respectable. Again, the backline held up to minimize the scoring of the Saints and keep them under 100 points, a little win in our books.

Tired legs again plagued our girls, but yet again the endeavour and fight cannot be understated. Week in week out, we are proving our credentials as a strong footy team. The effort we put up despite being short is making opposition teams nervous for the day they face us at full strength. While it was a taxing day for our girls, it was a great day for women’s footy in the North West region with the spotlight being put on some of the incredible talent out on the paddock.

Lindsay Brown

Awards:
Player’s Player: Molly Fraser
Captain’s Award: Molly Martin
Coach’s Award: Connie Blake

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