By Ant Wingard
Hervey Bay have blitzed the inaugural AFL Wide Bay Women’s competition, ending their undefeated season on a high with a resounding 17-point Grand Final victory over Across the Waves Eagles on Saturday night.
The Bombers placed the icing on a successful 2018 campaign with the premiership win; their seventh straight in the competition.
The Grand Final was contested between the league’s two best teams, with Across the Waves’ only loss coming at the hands of Hervey Bay in Round 4.
No team could challenge the eventual premiers who dominated the league in it’s first year, conceding just 13 points in total; finishing the home and away season with an unprecedented 51,600 percentage.
Played in front of a large crowd in a featured double-header with a men’s Round 1 match, the Grand Final drew positive feedback from the participating clubs.
It was estimated that up to 40 per cent of the crowd comprised of spectators not usually seen at local AFL games.
In it’s first season, the Wide Bay Women’s league boasted six participating teams, rivalling the men’s competition with every club in the region fielding a team.
In total, 142 players were registered meaning teams were able to play a full list each week.
The league consisted of teams from the Fraser Coast (Bay Power, Hervey Bay Bombers and Maryborough Bears), Bundaberg (Across the Waves Eagles and Brothers Bulldogs) and Sunshine Coast (Gympie Cats).
Feedback from respective club Presidents at a meeting last week heralded glowing reviews of the competition, noting the benefits for clubs in having a women’s program
Sunshine Coast & Wide Bay Competition Manager, Dean Wicks, said the competition was a resounding success.
“The competition was a fantastic result in its first year,” Wicks said.
“I think we got the timing of the season and length of the seven-week season spot on (sic) for the first year.
“Together with the AFL Wide Bay league, we look forward to continued work in this space and on the back of the success of this season, introduce a longer length season for 2019 and beyond.”