Wyong Lakes won by 87 points at Don Small Oval when they came up against Lake Macquarie, but it was Aleece Williams’ ten goal haul – and six behinds – that proved the difference.

The Magpies bounced back from their outing against the Novas last weekend with the 14.12.96 to 1.3.9 contest, and Williams now moves three goals clear at the top of the leading goalscorer table.

Although Williams “could have had sixteen goals” and shone on the field, coach Josh Lawler revealed he has been impressed with both the club veterans and the Magpies’ new recruits.

“It was a good team effort, [the women] all played great and they’re starting to gel really well,” Lawler said.

“The new girls are starting to step up, and the veterans are starting to direct really well as we continue into the season. Emily Bohan, Alex Pearce and Rachael Potts have all stepped up in big ways alongside this year’s recruits.”

Despite the team continuing their upward trajectory, Lawler had to applaud Williams’ ten goals, a haul he felt “could have been even bigger”.

“Aleece was going through some things during the week and we weren’t sure if she was going to play,” Lawler revealed. “The fact she stepped up and got that many goals shows so much character, she played so well.”

“She doesn’t miss too many, and when she misses she lets herself know about it. She’s a really harsh critic about herself.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Warners Bay and Cardiff played out a gritty 3.8.26 to 3.3.21 battle at Feighan Oval, with Amy Pittman’s late goal proving the eventual difference as the Bulldogs claimed the third round points over the Lady Hawks.

Matisse Coram-Parker had scored just minutes before to put Cardiff into a 21-20 lead with the end in sight, after the Bulldogs had led for most of the match off goals from Samantha Delaney and Dianne Crep.

Taylah Wilks and Arizona Cross both scored in a high-scoring third quarter to put Cardiff back into the match, but Pittman’s late contribution proved the winner as she was also named one of the Bulldogs’ best on field.

Gosford stormed Ferodale Park elsewhere on the weekend as they came up against Port Stephen Power, with the northern club still finding their feet in the competition.

Claire Walsh and Ange Jones kicked seven goals apiece in the 32.32.224 to 0.0.0 match. Karina Berry kicked five, and Jade Burkinshaw and Maddison Kacarovski both scored hat-tricks for the Tigers.

Both Newcastle City teams had success as they continue their march towards the finals, with the Novas downing the Muswellbrook Cats at Weeraman Field 21.17.143 to 0.0.0, and the Stars defeating Wallsend-West Newcastle.

Taylah Smith scored nine goals in the 143-point victory, falling just one short of Williams’ tally in the Magpies victory, while 2017’s top goalscorer Meaghan McDonald and Kate Handley both added three each.

Although the Stars walked away 24.34.178 to 0.0.0 winners at Bill Elliott Oval, it was a historic day for the defeated side – Wallsend-West Newcastle Swans played their first match in the women’s top grade after failing to field a side in the opening two rounds.

Killarney Vale kept Terrigal Avoca scoreless in the first half of their match as the Bombers ran out 10.11.71 to 3.1.19 winners over the Panthers, while Singleton defeated The Entrance Bateau Bay by 129 points at the Bateau Bay Sports Facility.

Nelson Bay continued their strong start to the 2018 season with a 12.10.82 win over the Maitland Saints, 1.3.9. Eliza Smyth was the standout goalscorer for the Marlins as she bagged a hat-trick.