Semi Final '19: Demons vs Lions (Women's Premiership)
Ed Hooper | 25.07.19
Wandsworth Demons 3.5.23 def. by North London Lions 4.5.29
No dice in a tough outing for the Prem Girls... A tough to swallow game for our girls, as we were in it all day, even in the last quarter, and lost it in the last 2 minutes.
The Prem Girls finished top of the table and earned themselves a 1v2 match first week of finals. But we knew the Lions, who we beat twice in the season, were coming in with their absolute best 24, while we were down on injuries and availability. To only lose by a goal, right at the death, was a great testament to our depth of squad, especially with the Conference girls that graciously accepted the call up and did their role.
They got the opening goal in the first quarter, but we knew they would come out hard to start. We hit back with one of our own, but felt good that we were matching their intensity. Their physicality was something we weren't used to, and not a true strength of ours but full credit to the girls, they did manage to match them when asked.
The second quarter we had the wind, and held the ball into one quarter of the ground, getting repeat throw ins inside 50, for almost the whole quarter. Unfortunately we couldn't quite capitalise, despite many kicks in, and didnt get the marks inside 50 and the shots on. Lisa Elsworth did take a great mark, running back and grabbing it with her fingertips.
Gotta mention again, the Lions girls were ferocious tacklers, as well very body on at the contest. But mentioning it at quarter time, the girls rose to the occasion and matched it. They started playing the ball when it was in dispute, and riding the tackle when taken.
Skipping to the last quarter, we were behind by a single point with about 5 mins left. Once again we had the wind, and were doing well to keep it our half, searching for the mark inside 50. We got it with Buckets, about 30 out on a slight angle. We were confident, as she's our leading goal kicker for the year, and always kicks true. But not today... kicking a behind to have us up by one.
We managed to keep it in our forward line for a bit longer, but the Lions defence was very good to move it out the fat side, and clear it to the midfield. We managed to hold it up and kick it back once or twice, but eventually, they found an overlap. An easy kick to their two girls who had stayed deep in their forward line, who walked it in for a winning goal.
Mentions to Jess Jones providing plenty of run and clearances to get the ball moving forward, as well as KJ finding gaps through the contest for the same result. Both have gotten better as the year has gone on, and will be crucial next week.
Laura Kealy has been possibly the most consistent player all year, and kept it up Saturday. A major ball winner, she not only got her own footy and roved around well for clearances of her own.
My last mention is one of our two resident kiwis, Tracey, who played most of the backline all day and I dont think ever came off for a rest. Usually a forward, she managed several intercepting marks that definitely helped curtail the Lions score from being any higher. Also laid the biggest tackle of the match, and just flattened this poor lion girl. Think All Black bearing down on a baby wallaby.
Have to pick ourselves up next week to play the Wildcats, our cross town rivals.
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