Terrigal Avoca have put themselves in the driver’s seat for finals ahead of the AFL Black Diamond Cup run-in, after Morgan Ross and Gabrielle Ralphs kicked ten between them to down last year’s runners-up Maitland in a key 71–17 victory.
Ross got the victory off to a flying start in the first quarter, shooting the Panthers to a 19–0 lead at Max McMahon Oval. The top-four team capitalised on Ross’ first-quarter hat-trick with three more, including one for Erin Wakefield, and two for Ralphs.
Terrigal Avoca’s forwards added one more each in the third, while the Saints shot in two behinds. The on-the-road squad headed into the final stanza 53–2.
Ross rounded out her six-goal charge in the fourth, while Maitland finally got on the board with two majors through Georgia Box and Cheyenne Neu. The 54-point win now puts the Panthers firmly into fourth, seven rounds into the delayed season.
Killarney Vale also helped out their Central Coast rivals, edging third southern team Wyong Lakes in a 13.11–89 to 3.1–19 clash at Northlakes Oval on Saturday.
The Magpies have been nipping at Terrigal’s heels in recent weeks, but their 70-point loss to the league leaders halts any upward momentum they were hoping to achieve ahead of the run-in. They now sit two wins behind the Panthers.
Their loss also puts them within striking distance of Warners Bay and Maitland, though both teams suffered losses this round. The Saints, as mentioned above, lost to the Panthers and the Bulldogs were downed by Newcastle City away from home.
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The Blues opened fire at Warners Bay early at No.1 Sportsground after losing the battle for first last weekend. Giants’ AFLW star Sarah Halvorsen was the lead shooter in the Round 7 salvo, slotting home four alongside former Bulldog Amy Pittman.
Warners Bay gave a good account of themselves in the loss too, with number seventeen Tracy Baker-Holmes finding the mark three times in the team’s 87–point defeat.
Finally, Cardiff fired off a warning shot to the rest of the competition with a hefty 185-point scoreline against the Nelson Bay-Port Stephens combined outfit. The win keeps the Hawks level with rivals Newcastle City ahead of their clash next weekend.
Minerva Bailey and Tayla Gregory led the way for the home side at Cameron Park on Saturday, kicking six and five. Clare Clummings also chipped in to the lopsided score with a hat-trick. Sophie Rankin and Hayley Hawkins both scored twice.
STANDINGS: Killarney Vale (28), Newcastle City, Cardiff (24), Terrigal Avoca (16), Wyong Lakes (8), Warners Bay, Maitland (4), Nelson Bay-Port Stephens (0).