A spirited Queensland side has tasted defeat in its opening game in Round 2 of the NAB AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships, succumbing to a strong Victoria Country side by 56-points.
The Queenslanders, playing at home for the second straight year, couldn’t match a strong Country side who were boosted by Lucy McEvoy who kicked a game-high five goals.
Victoria midfielder Tyla Hanks got the away side on the board early, converting the game’s first major with a slick running goal. Country controlled most of the play in the opening term, but struggled to convert their chances inside 50 against a stout Queensland defence.
Having settled into the game and opting for a calculated short-kicking game plan, the Queensland side found themselves producing repeat inside 50s. Ruckman Lauren Bella’s continual forward pressure allowed for Gold Coast SUNS Academy prospect Dee Heslop to get the home side on the board from 30m out.
Scores were tied as the second term commenced and it was Moreton Bay product Zimmie Farquharson who set the tone early with a crunching tackled on Country’s Bec Webster. However much in the same way as the opening stanza, Country controlled the opening minutes of the second term with Queensland failing to break the opposition’s zone.
Julia Harvey, one of four Murray Busharangers lining up for the away side, kicked the first goal of the term. Victoria Country’s stronghold on the contest continued in the second quarter despite Queensland’s best efforts. Two goals to Country spearhead Lucy McEvoy extended the lead to 27 points at the main break.
Charlotte Hammans provided a consistent option across half-forward and was lucky not to convert an early opportunity in the third quarter. Country went coast to coast following Hammans’ chance and kicked their sixth major inside three minutes.
The 39-point lead at the final change meant something extraordinary by Queensland was required to claim the win, but despite the deficit, the side began the final term with a rise in their attack on the ball. Coorparoo’s Tori Groves-Little had an opportunity to boot Queensland’s second of the game five minutes into the quarter, but was stopped agonisingly short by a Country defender.
Country would then go on to boot three final term goals to run away 1.5 (11) to 10.7 (67) victors. Lily Postlethwaite led the way for Queensland with 15 disposals and five inside 50s. The Dalby youngster, who enters her draft year in 2019, was complimented by Jade Ellenger (14 disposals and three marks) and Kitara Farrar (13 disposals).
Queensland will face Victoria Metro at Subaru Oval, Broadbeach, at 11am on July 11.
QUEENSLAND 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.5 (11)
VIC COUNTRY 1.2 5.5 7.6 10.7 (67)
Vic Country: McEvoy 5, Harvey 2, Caris, Hanks, Morrison
Queensland: Postlethwaite, Watson, Farqurharson, Farrar, Ellenger, Hammans
Vic Country: Morrison, Caris, Cripps, McEvoy, Webster, Purcell
Photo: Jason O’Brien