Women shine in Gabba clash



The Brisbane Lions 5.8.38 defeated the Gold Coast SUNS 3.6.24 in front of 4,000 plus fans in a tight QClash11 curtain closer at the Gabba on Saturday night.

The Women’s Exhibition Match was a major step toward the planned 2017 National Women’s Competition, with the Queenslanders putting on a strong display from the first bounce.

In a tug-of-war style match, Brisbane set up the win with a strong second half, kicking four goals to the Gold Coast’s single major.

Canberra United W-League Soccer player, Jenna McCormick was outstanding for the Lions, booting three goals and running riot along the wings.

Gold Coast SUNS best on ground, North Queensland’s Delma Gisu, was pivotal down back, using her speed all night to break the lines and generate attack.

Lions captain Emma Zielke worked hard, getting 21 disposals, 4 tackles and continuously delivering the ball deep into the forward.

AFL Queensland Female High Performance Manager said the tight contest gave selectors a better idea of who will be able to handle the big stage of the MCG.

“Our regular midfield state players Bates, Zanchetta, Zielke, and Hunt found plenty of the ball and we were pleased to unearth 2015 Youth Girls graduates Delma Gisu and Danielle Wall at this level,” Starcevich said.

“Of our multisport players, Jenna McCormick was outstanding given it was her first AFL game for over 6 months.

“Our last kick into the forward 50 for both teams remains an area of focus which we need to work on before we play Melbourne.”

A Queensland representative team will now be selected to take on Melbourne at the MCG on May 22.

Talking Points:

  1. Tayla Harris’ Big Birthday Bash

It was enormous day for Brisbane Lion Tayla Harris, turning 19 and wearing number 19 for the team she has barracked for her entire life. Despite not kicking her trademark goals, the superstar forward was essential in the Lions win, playing all over the ground and finishing with 16 disposals. Her tenacity was tested early in the fourth quarter, coming off the field with a badly dislocated finger. Within a minute her finger was treated, then strapped and she asked, “Can I go back on now?”

  1. Gold Coast SUNS Duo relentless

Yeronga Devils teammates, Emily Bates and Jordan Zanchetta combined for 49 touches for the Gold Coast SUNS. Bates was strong overhead, taking several marks and using her left boot to produce clean opportunities for SUNS forwards.Jordan Zanchetta was zipping around the ground, racking up the possessions and creating havoc for Brisbane Lions players.

  1. Danielle Wall gave the SUNS coaches headaches all night

Brisbane Lions fullback Danielle Wall was extraordinary, rarely letting the ball past her all night. It’s hard to see the Lions getting the result they did, without Wall being in their side on Saturday night. Her determination to win the ball was outstanding, with her physicality lifting the game to the next level. She worked hard finishing with a game high seven defensive-50 rebounds, and proved that women can step up to the men any day.

Gold Coast SUNS coach David Lake said that Wall made it extremely difficult for his team throughout the game. “She was making it tough for our girls to go forward,” Lake said. “She was too strong and repelled too many of our attacks.”

  1. Young utility Tahlia Randall set for bright future

In a first quarter where the women were racked with nerves, Tahlia Randall put the butterflies to good use. The Queensland U18 representative was by far the best on ground in the opening 20 minutes, taking multiple intercept marks and racking up plenty of touches.Her skills were clean and she showed class all night. A stand out moment was when she attacked a loose ball in a crowded Gold Coast SUNS forward line, grabbing the footy and spinning out of the reach of three opposition players. It’s hard to see Tahlia, not being on a list in next year’s National Women’s Competition.

  1. 150 Year Celebrations continue for Queensland Women  

The highly anticipated game lived up to its expectations, with the Queensland women showing the diverse talent the state has to offer. The game, which fell in Queensland’s 150 year celebrations, provided Queensland women an opportunity to really put their names out to the wider AFL community. AFL Queensland CEO, Dean Warren said that it was a really historic night at the Gabba for women’s footy.“It’s the first time that we’ve had a women’s game of this standard here in Queensland and it’s really significant that it’s in our 150th year,” Warren said.  “The quality of the game was amazing, certainly with out best 50 female players in Queensland out there.”He was thrilled that 4000 fans stayed to watch the all women’s match after QClash11.“It was quite phenomenal and really pleasing to see such a great crowd here tonight- very emotional and very vocal,” Warren said.

By Jessica Stewart

Twitter: @Jess_Stewart16

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