AFL Hunter Central Coast’s representative squad have rolled over the travelling South Coast outfit at Pasterfield Sports Complex, smashing their rep-rivals 12.21-93 to 2.0-12 in a “dominant display of the region’s ever-growing talent.”
“We’ve got a great result for the first year of the Hunter Central Coast rep fixtures with the league up and running for the first year,” squad coach Craig Golledge said after the 81-point victory last weekend. “There’s a lot of accolades we can take from the win.
“Our league has been around for a long time now, and all our players are getting better and better every week in the Hunter and the Central Coast. Our entire region is great, and we’ve shown that we’re a strong region.”
AFLHCC got off to a dominant first quarter in the inter-regional battle, with Jemma Astley getting her side off the mark less than a minute in. South Coast steadied after the early blow, before Hunter Central Coast cracked open their defence in a ten minute spree from Sarah Burns, Rebecca Ives, and Meaghan MacDonald. Arizona Cross also slotted two in the opening period, one of three two slot braces in the contest.
The onslaught continued in the second quarter, as Molly Simpson – who was eventually named best of field – and Emma Howe both joined in the scoring, while Ives added her second to give AFLHCC a 63-nil lead just eight minutes into the second stanza. Nicola Smythe hooked back one major for her side, but Hunter Central Coast still headed into the half-break 64-6 lead.
Smythe scored again in the third, the only major scored between both sides, before Morgan Ross finished two in the fourth. AFLHCC’s 93-12 victory was rounded out by half forward star Jemma Astley.
While Ross, Cross, and Ives all notched braces in the match and stood out with the offensive leads, Golledge said the two best on ground were MacDonald and Simpson, both of whom had chipped in a major each for the team.
“Meaghan and Molly were probably two of the best on the ground, they played a little differently to how they play in clubland but we wanted to make use of their speed considering the style of play we wanted to bring,” he said. “They normally play up in the half-forward line for their clubs I think, but we had them more on the ball.
Read more recent news
- Nova shooters Fennings, Gray ‘on fire’ against BNC in battle for fourth
- Giants stars Halvorsen, Smyth named to face Richmond in VFLW second round
- Newcastle seal major home win ahead of Sydney journey: ‘Everything is clicking’
“We wanted to utilise our strengths with a free-flowing, attacking kind of football, and we really put an emphasis on the midfield to create an open space to run in to. That worked across the first two quarters, for the second half the opposition changed their tactics and that kept the score a bit lower.
“They [the AFLSC coaches] realised quite quickly we had a really talented group of girls, and they condensed the field up so that the ball was crushed out a bit. It restricted our open footy a bit, but the damage had already be done really.”
After the major victory in the women’s first representative outing, Golledge issued a new challenge for the side as it continues to develop as a region and as a talent pool – let’s take the battle to AFL Sydney and AFL Canberra teams.
“Our female players are really quite great and we’ve highlighted that,” he said.
“The players did an outstanding job, had a really positive vibe, and I think their willingness to learn shows that we have this exception league and squad.
“We need to get them playing more and more rep football in the next couple of years, we can soon put our hands up to play the stronger regions near us like Sydney, or Canberra.”
The local AFL Hunter Central Coast Women’s competition had a league-wide bye due to the representative round. The league will return on Saturday, May 25.