Bond University QAFLW Round 4 2024 – Preview

Photo by Brooke Sleep Media

By Daniel Viles

Saturday 4 May 2024, 2pm at Hickey Park, Stafford
Live stream with commentary on YouTube
Head-to-Head: Played 12 – Bond University won 9; Wilston Grange won 3
Head-to-Head at Hickey Park: Played 6 – Bond University won 4; Wilston Grange won 2
Last time they met: 17 Jun 2023 (Round 10) – Bond University 10.13 (73) d Wilston Grange 0.1 (1) at Bond University Oval.

Highflying Wilston Grange will host premiers Bond University on the tenth anniversary of the Gorillas’ first ever match in the Bond University QAFLW.

While the celebrations are being held later in the year, Sunday 4 May 2014 saw the first Wilston Grange women’s state league team run out, going down to Yeronga 1.3 (9) to 10.5 (65). The Yeronga side that day included Kate Lutkins, who would win Best on Ground for the Gorillas in their 2018 Grand Final victory, and all-time Bond University QAFLW appearance record holder Kylie Welsh, who will line up for Grange on Saturday.

The Gorillas have good reason to hope for their first victory over Bond since that premiership year given their recent victory over a Coorparoo side who then went on to defeat the Bull Sharks on Anzac Day.

Alternatively, one could argue that facing the reigning premiers immediately after they’ve been stung by a loss is the worst timing possible.
The Bull Sharks have responded to the loss in the most Bull Shark way possible – by bringing in three former AFLW players. Forward Arianna Clarke and winger Tahlia Meyer return to the side after one match out while defender Leah Kaslar comes back to top grade after playing her first ever match in Reserves.

Grange has made four changes from the side that upset University of Queensland last Saturday. Captain Mackenzie Findlay and vice-captain Ash Moloney will strengthen the midfield and defence respectively, the ever-improving Siobhan Senior will begin from the bench, as will Emma Schumacher who plays her first top grade match after 26 matches for the Grange Reserves.

Traditionally, matches between these sides have been one-sided affairs with no match decided by fewer than seven goals. However, the goalscoring threat at each end of the park looks more balanced than in previous years.

The prowess of Clarke, Bella Iverach (three goals in each match against Grange in 2023) and Izzy Lowe (36 goals in 18 matches for Bond in all grades) is well-known. The new Gorilla forward combination of Hayley Finning, Summer Hamilton and Lauren Shackleton has yielded ten goals between them so far in 2024. Add the muscle of Jayme Winter and Daisy Carter and they have a more physical front five than in previous years.

The challenge for the birthday team might be winning the ball in the middle against the proven skills of premiership winners Courtney Sexton and CJ Landwehr plus former Collingwood and Coolangatta midfielder Imogen Evans.

Keyshia Matenga, also formerly of Coolangatta, has been a revelation for Wilston Grange since moving into the middle of the park after several years on the wing. Ontarian Haley Jones has seamlessly adjusted to the pace of the Bond University QAFLW, while Jasmin Rivers has shown a willingness to put her body, and face, on the line for her team.

Bond will go into the match as clear favourites to spoil Grange’s birthday party, but regardless of who wins, that lowest winning margin of 42 points is due for a rewrite.

Yeronga will make its own history on Saturday with its match against traditional rivals Coorparoo being its 200th in the Bond University QAFLW. Maroochydore hosts league leaders Aspley in the other twilight fixture. University of Queensland will wear black armbands in its match against Southport in honour of former coach Lee Whitehorn who passed away earlier this week.

Saturday 4 May 2024, 3pm at Fankhauser Reserve, Southport
Head-to-Head: Played 5 – UQ won 3; Southport won 2
Head-to-Head at Fankhauser Reserve: Played 1 – Southport won 1
Last time they met: 3 Jun 2023 (Round 8) – Southport 7.9 (51) d University of Queensland 0.2 (2) at Fankhauser Reserve.

Saturday 4 May 2024, 4:45pm at Domino’s Park, Maroochydore
Live stream on YouTube
Head-to-Head: Played 10 – Maroochydore won 7; Aspley won 3
Head-to-Head at Domino’s Park: Played 4 – Maroochydore won 3; Aspley won 1
Last time they met: 24 Jun 2023 (Round 11) – Aspley 9.10 (64) d Maroochydore 4.4 (28) at Zupps Aspley Oval.

Saturday 4 May 2024, 4:45pm at Giffin Park, Coorparoo
Head-to-Head: Played 35 – Coorparoo won 19; Yeronga won 16
Head-to-Head at Giffin Park: Played 15 – Coorparoo won 8; Yeronga won 7
Last time they met: 24 Jun 2023 (Round 11) – Coorparoo 6.11 (47) d Yeronga 2.6 (18) at Leyshon Park.

You can watch livestreamed matches in the Bond University QAFLW by visiting the Official AFLQ YouTube channel.

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