Newcastle City defeated the Cardiff Hawks in the preseason gala day at Tulkaba Park. Image via Bruce Edmiston.

Newcastle City have secured momentum heading into the 2019 AFL Hunter Central Coast Womens competition, knocking over the Cardiff Hawks 30-1 in the preseason gala day to claim bragging rights in the short-format carnival.

Although the five goal victory boosted City into the top spot, the main focus of the gala day – hosted by Lake Macquarie at Tulkaba Park – is to focus on fitness and team synergy. Eight teams took part in the day-long event on Saturday, March 23.

Despite it being a preseason competition, City coach Kirsty Ferguson said it was “really good” to get the result and see how well her squad was gelling ahead of the 2019 season.

“Last year we had two teams and we’ve moved back down to one for this year, so because of that we lost about 20 or so girls,” she said. “It feels a lot like a new team, so we really relished the opportunity to get together in some competitive games.”

City will turn their eyes to the first round of the regular season, where they face Maitland this weekend, and Ferguson said she was happy the team is heading into that clash “with a lot of confidence”.

“It was great to get back out onto the field and get the confidence from the gala day, and it was really great that it went ahead this year,” the City coach said. “It was a shame we missed it in the past two years, because it’s good for clubs to see where each other are at after player swaps and movements. It’s also just really fun overall.”

“Our squad feels like a new team, and I’m really excited to get in to it all this season. We’re gelling well, and we’re really happy with where we’re at. I’m excited, and bring it all on.”

While eventual grand final rivals City and Cardiff took the top spots in Pool A of the competition, it was Maitland and Terrigal-Avoca that emerged from Pool B as the leading lights.

In the semi-finals, Cardiff was able to grab a major upset over the Maitland Saints in a 3.2.20 to 2.2.14 battle, while Newcastle City made sure Pool A was the superior group with a 3.5.23 to 0.0.0 win over the Terrigal-Avoca Panthers.

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Warners Bay and Lake Macquarie played off for fifth place when the group games had been played out, while Wallsend-West Newcastle and Wyong Lakes contested the seventh place game in the afternoon.

It was Wyong Lakes that edged out the second-to-last spot in the gala day, with a 3.3.21 to 3.1.19 scoreline falling their way over the Swans. Hosting team the Dockers moved into fifth place at tournament’s end with a 2.3.15-1.1.7 win over the Bulldogs.

The AFL Hunter Central Coast Womens 2019 season will kick-off on March 30.

  • Pool A – Final Standings: City, Cardiff, Warner’s Bay, Wallsend-West Newcastle.
  • Pool B – Final Standings: Maitland, Terrigal Avoca, Lake Macquarie, Wyong Lakes.