By Ant Wingard
Aspley v Wilston Grange
The competition’s two northside teams may find themselves well outside of the finals bracket but there is still plenty at stake as they round out their respective 2019 seasons.
Both the Hornets and Gorillas enter Round 14 with just two wins each to their name making this weekend’s clash a battle avoid the QAFLW’s wooden spoon.
For various reasons, both teams have struggled at stages throughout the year but those struggles have been matched with the occasional flash of brilliance.
You only need to go back to the two teams’ other meeting this year – a game where Aspley claimed the four points – to see just how clinical either side can be when given ample opportunity.
In their previous contest, the Hornets largely dictated play through a combination of stout defensive work backward of centre and an accurate counterattack which produced frequent inside 50s for the side.
That game however, a sour one for the Gorillas, may carry some sort of an Asterix given the absence of Cathy Svarc for Wilston Grange who has been easily one of the top five midfielders in the competition this year.
Svarc will line up in the red, white and blue at Voxson Oval this weekend and her presence in a midfield also containing Amy Kelly and Emm MacNeill, the latter who also didn’t feature in that Round 10 loss, could help turn the tides this time around.
The Gorillas have recalled Imogen Stackelberg for the contest while losing first year Gorillas Hilary Martin and Annabel Pettigrew to the club’s QAFLW Development side.
For the Hornets, Michaela Campbell will make her return after one week off while also regaining Kylie Guarino.
Maroochydore v University of Queensland
The equation is simple for the University of Queensland. Win and you’re in – pending Coorparoo’s blockbuster with Bond University that is.
It’s a tough scenario for the Red Lions who have produced some scintillating football throughout 2019 but their fate in finals rests largely within their own hands.
Entering Round 14 – University of Queensland trail fourth placed Coorparoo by one win and a smidge under three precent on the ladder.
A Coorparoo win this weekend would render any result between the Roos and Red Lions redundant but the Kings’ matchup against a formidable Bond University outfit may just make things interesting.
Should the Kings fall to the minor premiers – a fixture that will conclude an hour before the end of this one mind you – University of Queensland would be required to prevail and make up the three percent to leapfrog the Kings and qualify for their second straight QAFLW finals series.
The stakes are high for the Red Lions, who may be sweating off a big last quarter if they find out the final score, the Coorparoo game heading into the final term.
For Maroochydore though, the contest isn’t as empirical having locked away a place in the finals last weekend thanks to their big win over Aspley and Yeronga’s fourth quarter comeback over University of Queensland.
Instead, the Roos may use the game as a dress rehearsal for finals next week given if the Red Lions sneak into fourth, they will face each other once again.
In an unlikely final twist, a sizeable loss to the Red Lions and a big Coorparoo win over Bond University could throw Maroochydore down into fourth place where they would lose home field advantage for next week’s game.
The season defining game for the Red Lions will have to be done without the talent of Dakota Davidson, who will miss the game after injuring her finger against the Devils in Round 13 while regaining Xanthe Cerutti and Sara-Jane O’Grady.
Maroochydore will miss young midfield pair Lily Postlethwaite and Belle Dawes who will be in Melbourne as they prepare for the AFLW draft later this year.
The pair will be replaced by Chelsea Chesterfield and Brooke Randall.
Coolangatta Tweed v Yeronga South Brisbane
Coolangatta have received a significant boost in their must-win Round 14 clash with Yeronga with the side still capable of making the top four.
A plethora of results would be required to fall the way of the Blue birds, who would first need to produce an ample win over the Devils while hoping the Bull Sharks beat the Kings and the Roos do away with the Red Lions.
It may be a far cry for the Blue Birds to qualify but it’s certainly not out of the question especially considering the ladder placings of the other matchups and the addition of Bri McFarlane back into the Bluebirds line up.
McFarlane missed last week through injury but has made a quick recovery in time for their season closer and her influence on the game could be the difference maker to pip the Devils.
The forward, while limited in appearances throughout the season, has been a force inside 50 kicking seven goals in her five games.
In the Bluebirds last meeting with Yeronga back in Round 8, it was McFarlane who kept Coolangatta in with a chance, kicking two goals in the narrow three-point loss.
It is a welcomed addition to a forward line also featuring Holly Mirfield and Lauren James, who is set to play her first game since Round 7.
Yeronga will regain Jordan Zanchetta for the contest but will be without tough midfielder Dee Heslop as well as Sam Virgo and Madison Goodwin.
Bond University v Coorparoo
Coorparoo, for all of their topsy-turvy form throughout the opening 13 games of the QAFLW season, have left their run to make the finals at the perfect time.
The Kings produced their best performance of the season in last week’s barnstorming win over Wilston Grange in the Grand Final rematch with a lot of their key personnel all back on deck and hopeful of propelling the Kings to a third straight Grand Final appearance.
It was a win that not only sounded the return of one of the competition’s heavy weights back into the premiership conversation but closed the percentage gap the Kings had against University of Queensland ahead of last weekend.
While the Kings could sneak into the finals with a loss to the Bull Sharks, they would need to sweat on the Red Lions falling to the Roos and most likely the Bluebirds also losing out the Devils.
A win though, while likely an upset given the potency of Bond University, would all but seal a sixth finals appearance in seven years for the Kings.
Their chances in the game have taken a boost with the re-inclusion of Emma Zileke back into the fray having missed last week’s win over Wilston Grange.
Zielke is one of five changes to the Kings’ line up which has again seen a number of key players shuffled around.
Matilda Ingram, Amy Duxfield, Abby Reynolds and Whitney Howson have all been promoted from the development side to cover for losses that include Tarni White, Caitlyn Huth and Ellie Hampson.
For Bond University, a win or a loss wouldn’t change their position on the ladder as they move toward their first ever QAFLW finals.
Defender trio Serene Watson, Charlotte Hammans and Kristyl Smith will all miss while Annie Muir and Georgia Eller have both been moved to the development team.
The five names have been replaced by Paris Lightfoot, Lucy Single, Taneille Wilshire, Wallis Randell, Esther Boles, and Taylor Smith who returns after a head knock a fortnight ago.