Prelim Finals: Demons v North London Lions (Women)

Mitch 'Boxy' Skelly | 04.08.16

Wandsworth Demons 3.2 (20) def. by North London Lions 3.3 (21)

The Shedees' season came to an end on Saturday in a nail biting match that could have gone either way. We had a really strong side on the park, despite missing some key players, and expectations of a win were high. The footy was played hard and tough from the outset, at no point did either team look comfortable when in the lead. Unfortunately in the last quarter whilst kicking with the wind we just couldn’t capitalise. The Lions scored the first major and then we took until after the final whistle to kick back. A 1 point loss was the difference between 1 more week as a team, or saying farewell to 5 amazing Demons who played great games on Saturday;

Kate 'Crabs' Grabowski not only built this women’s team from the ground up, she has lead it with pride on and off the field. Whether liaising with AFL London, other clubs or members of the Demons Crabs is always a true professional. On Saturday Crabba played all 4 quarters without rest in the ruck, typifying her season as the player to fill every void. Clearly the ruck is not her best position, yet this didn’t stop her winning tap after tap after tap, as well as dropping back in the hole to take defensive marks and rebound from the back. There is no way we can replace her on and off the field, but we can definitely keep some of her passion for seasons to come.

Sarah 'Townsy' Townsend came into this season with a big reputation as one of the teams guns. All season Townsy provided a great target and set up play across half forward line. It wasn’t until late in the year when the girls got in my ear to move her closer to goals, and we’re glad that if finally happened! The last 4 weeks Townsy has been our go to forward, and again on the weekend she showed her value in the role. With limited opportunity we always felt a chance to score goals with Townsy and her forward line buddies waiting for every scrap. I think her mum Jill has worked it out perfectly… Work hard, save hard, and come back next season on a 3 month tourist Visa… it’s the only option!

Em 'Nips' Dillon played her best game of the year. Set the task after quarter time of running with the Lions best player, she did this to incredible effect and in many cases won the ball herself. Nips ran herself into the ground and put her body on the line all day long, without her I’m sure we would not have been within a goal of the Lions when the game ended. Nips quirky sense of humour and voice on the field (especially when sharing her frustration at the umpires) will be missed next season, if only we knew what a gun lockdown midfielder she could be three months ago!

Bec 'Becks' Dickson is the smooth mover of the Demons backline, the way she reads and uses the ball is as good as anyone at the club. After starting the season as a forward I’m taking full credit for Becks move to centre half back (some say masterstroke?). Originally a move to try and stop the Hawks tall forwards, Becks created so much play off the half backline she looked like she’d done it all her life. On Saturday was a prime example with Becks dominant, the Lions resorting to a hard tag after half time to try and nullify her impact but hardly making any difference. Whilst there is some chance we will see 'Belinda' (Becks and Linda) again next year, if this was her final game she went out on a high.

And finally Linda 'How does she not have a nickname' Connolly our dashing Irish winger. Back on the wing where she belongs, Linda was again involved in many of our attacks, linking the backline up to the forwards. Linda was playing on a girl that had serious speed, but was able to win the footy many times herself with her elite game smarts and clever use of her body. During the 2nd quarter Linda was lined up and taken out with a huge and late hit from the Lions number 10. Whilst this may have ended many peoples day, Linda kept charging up and down the members wing and even got a chance to give the rogue Lion a taste of her own medicine a little later. It was brilliant and showed the Demons won’t be f***ed with!

On the day we had many great performances, however I felt it was worth recognising the efforts of these 5 players who I may never be lucky enough to see play footy again, and it has been a pleasure to work with for this season. It’s now time for the continuing girls to step up and fill their shoes for next year, support the boys on Saturday and start recruiting all your tall mates to the Dees for 2017!

Goals: Townsy 2, Tessa 1

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