By Ant Wingard
Yeronga South Brisbane v Maroochydore
Saturday July 5, 2:45PM
Maroochydore have the opportunity to earn some pegging back in their overall QAFLW record against Yeronga South Brisbane in the two sides’ crucial contest this weekend.
The Devils hold a commanding lead over the Roos throughout Maroochydore’s three-year tenure in the premier women’s state competition, losing just one game of the two club’s five contests thus far.
Luckily for Maroochydore however, that lone win over the red and black fell earlier this year and if the Roos’ form is anything to go by, there is every chance another W is added to their tally this weekend.
Maroochydore grinded out a gutsy win over Coolangatta last weekend on the Sunshine Coast – a theme the Roos have displayed on several occasions throughout the season.
Their knack of clinching the four points in even contests has been a significant influence on the team’s rapid improvement this year,
Afterall, both teams sit within the top four in second and third respectively with second spot up for grabs for whichever team can produce more.
The Devils have made four changes to the side that fell to Coorparoo last week including prime midfield pair Jordan Zanchetta and Emily Bates, while also losing mercurial forward Zimi Farquharson who has been called up to Queensland Under 18 level.
Yeronga will however welcome back Jacqui Yorston for the game while Maroochydore’s changes include the additions of Brooke Randall and Ruby McDowell back into the side.
University of Queensland v Coorparoo
Saturday July 5, 3:45PM
UQ Oval 2
Reading the team news for University of Queensland ahead of this weekend, one may be mistaken for thinking this game was taking place in mid-February.
The Red Lions have made eight changes in total for their crunch matchup against Coorparoo, but the team’s inclusion read more like that of an AFL Women’s team than a QAFLW side.
Nat Grider, Sharni Webb, Bree Koenen and Nat Exon all return for the Red Lions this weekend, including the latter who hasn’t dressed up in the claret and blue since Round 7.
It’s a dominant list of additions to the side who have won three of their past five games and are on the cusp of the top four.
Even their non-AFLW contingent of inclusions is impressive with Jane Childes and Bec Barnes also returning.
The additions to the team could hold them in good stead against Coorparoo – a team that has one the past two encounters between the two teams.
With both teams level on points – an honour they also share with Coolangatta, this weeks’ contest; with just one month of fixtures remaining in the home and away season, is imperative.
UQ will be without tall Dakota Davidson and Queensland Under 18 defender Sara-Jane O’Grady.
For Coorparoo, the Kings have been bolstered by the addition of Gold Coast QW Winter Series squad member Mary Ross for the remainder of the season after switching from cross-town QFAW Division 1 outfit Morningside, while Abby Reynolds and Abby Anderson also feature in Coorparoo’s ins.
Aspley v Bond University
Saturday July 5, 4:45PM
Aspley’s breakthrough Round 10 win over Wilston Grange produced one of the most memorable moments of the season to date, but the Hornets face the daunting task of backing up the triumph with an even bigger feat.
The Hornets will host ladder leading Bond University in Round 11 – a matchup that could prove more difficult to replicate last weekend’s score line.
Aspley’s improvement, even while scoring hasn’t been first and foremost, has been commendable and Saturday evening’s showdown with the Bull Sharks is the perfect litmus test to prove just how far the young Hornets have come.
The Hornets, who could lift themselves off the bottom of the QAFLW with an underdog win, have lost key personnel for the contest with the side losing veteran defender Renee Tomkins just one game after her club debut.
Tomkins is one of three changes to the side which also includes energetic forward Kylie Guarino while the club will also regain Renee Weller.
In much the same way, Bond University, who have the chance to likely lock up a place in the finals with a win, have also lost one of their key defensive pillars with Tiarna Ernst listed among the team’s outs for the game.
Queensland Under 18 representative Wallis Randell has been included in the Bull Sharks’ team.
Wilston Grange v Coolangatta Tweed
Saturday July 5, 4:45PM
Wilston Grange have been given a slight boost in their must win showdown against Coolangatta Tweed this week as the Gorillas face the prospect of missing the finals after winning it all in 2018.
The home side will see the addition of Catherine Svarc back into the fold who missed the crucial Round 11 loss to northside rivals Aspley last week.
The loss sees the Gorillas sitting precariously in seventh place with just percentage keeping them above Aspley but three wins outside of the finals bracket.
If the Gorillas were to miss the finals, it would mark the second straight year the previous winner has missed out of finals action.
You’d need to go back to the 2017 season to find the last time a reigning premier had made finals the following season when Coolangatta Tweed back up their 2016 flag by finishing fourth, but even then, the Bluebirds only made the cut by a mere five percent.
The writing may be on the wall for Wilston Grange however flashing back a few weeks may make this contest a bit rosier for the reigning premier, who handed Coolangatta their worst loss of the season back in Round 5.
Svarc headlines the changes for both teams in the must-win game which also include Marissa Hayes, Megan Byriel, Sarah Greatorex, Annabel Pettigrew for Wilston Grange who will also be without versatile defender Clare Lawton and Emily Bashforth.
For Coolangatta, forward options Bri McFarlane and Rosalie Adamson feature among for outs for the Bluebirds while Indy Sleeth and Holly Mirfield, who have been among the side’s most consistent performers this season, come into the team.
Image: David Layden Photography