Round 9 - Womens Conference - Dee's vs Wildcats
Ed Hooper | 08.07.22
For the 2nd time this season, our valiant Shedee2 played the Wildcats Premiership in the AFL London Women’s Premiership, which can only be described as the weirdest comp ever. As the only two clubs fielding 2 women’s sides, you obviously wouldn’t pit the 2nds against their own club’s 1s. Common sense would dictate that you also wouldn’t fixture them against the other 1s side either. But that’s the thing about common sense… it’s not all that common. In London.
Wednesday evening was set for a one-off, midweek game, and the crowd was strolling in from the working day.
The Common was freshly moved, but dusty as ever. The team assembled and prepared for their first game of 18aside football this season. But they were up against the top of the table team until last week.
It was going to be a difficult game. Facing the team that had bested our Prem girls on both occasions, we went out ready to give them a fright. And frighten they did.
We came out hot at the first bounce, and worked the ball down to our 50, contest by contest. We held there for some time, and looked like getting the first score on the board! But the wildcats held steady, and eventually went to win the quarter with 4 goals.
And then everything changed when the Demon nation attacked. From the 2nd quarter, our girls lifted, and applied tackle pressure across the 18 women. The wildcats still moved the ball some, but had to work the entire length of the field to score. In the 2nd, they only got 2 goals. In the third, they got one very late in junk time. In the last, they scored a goal just over Gemma’s fingers. The in game improvement was nothing short of phenomenal.
Some bone crunching hits were laid by our ladies, and made the wildcats absolutely work for their win. They arrived on the common expecting a walkover, and got walked on themselves. Aishlea was our leader in this area, crushing girls every tackle, and breaking them off as well. She earned herself a shoulder injury for her efforts, and eventually had to retire.
Didn’t matter though as Gemma nearly took the mantle of tackle machine from her, laying 3 in as many seconds, earning the free kick, and displaying exactly why you don’t handball 1m away. Our other stars for the day was vice captain Liz in fullback, reading the footy well off the other team and snuffling more than a few of their chances.
My personal favourite moment of the evening was the speedy and usually quiet Greta, putting her head over the ball and absolutely spinning a poor wildcat out of the way. She literally helicoptered 🚁after the bump, and just lay flat while watching Grets gather the footy and get the clearance. Greta told me later ‘didn’t even mean to’ hit her. Sure, Greta, sureee😏
There was many more great individual efforts across the board that contributed to our ever improving effort in the game. I’ll leave you with a onfield quote from a Wildcat player, ‘This is a disgrace.' You know you’ve done well when the other team hates their own performance💪
Final score 8.0.48 to 0.1.1
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