Mitcham the run away winners of the second-semi final are though to the “big dance”. Will it be Marion or Flinders Park who get to challenge the Hawks next week?
By Jessica Phipps
Mitcham V Marion
After a season that was full of tough contests, nail-biting margins and last quarters that were either make or break, the first round of finals footy for SAWFL Division four was, to put it simply, entirely not what we were expecting. As Marion took on Mitcham once again this week, following a devastating loss to the Mitcham girls last week, all were expecting Marion to come out searching for redemption. However, as the first siren sounded on Saturday afternoon Mitcham came out with fire in their eyes and with last week’s dominant performance continuing into this weekend’s match effortlessly. After such an impressive season from Marion, only suffering one lost across all eight games, many were shocked at the first quarter break to see that their score on the board read zero, whilst Mitcham was beginning their rampage on 13. The pressure was there from Marion in the first, but as Mitcham was the only team able to convert in front of goal, Marion needed to find a second burst of energy if they didn’t want to miss out on a spot in the grand final. As the second quarter began, it was Mitcham who took the game to another level in a goal-kicking extravaganza which was far too strong for Marion’s backline. The second quarter saw Marion struggle while Mitcham conquered, and after a scoreless first half of footy for Marion, Mitcham brought their lead to a now impressive 44 points. As the game looked set in stone early, Marion pulled back the girls at Mitcham and we were welcomed to glimpses of the great women’s footy we all know Marion can play, however, those glimpses were not enough. The girls finally got a score on the board, a mere point, but the more promising signs came from their pressure in the midfield and the backline where they were able to suppress Mitcham to only score six points in the third. It was going to be a tough final quarter for the girls at Marion and the efforts they showed in the third needed to continue into the last if they wanted to find some momentum to carry into next weekend’s game. With the taste of a home final on the tip of Mitcham’s tongue, they were not going to back out now, increasing their final score to 71 points, with J.Wittervan finishing on an impressive five goals, E. Betterman dominant on four, and E. Berger also contributing with a major. As for Marion, the final siren sounded to declare that they would carry their tired bodies into another finals game next week, and after finishing on just one point it was a tough day out on the oval for the girls. On a positive note, P.Ridgway, S. Brown and G.Mitton were named their best for their efforts on the day. It was a long list of contributors for Mitcham, but it was J. Wittervan and her performance in the forward line, M. Hurley, E. Betterman, A. Scott, and I. Adam who were named their top best for the game. After being granted a grand final at home, Mitcham has a week’s rest as they wait for their opponent for the grand final of division four women’s footy to be named.
Flinders Park V Gepps Cross
Following in suit came Flinders Park and Gepps Cross for the final game of footy this weekend, and taking a note out of Mitcham’s book, Flinders Park came out ready to wreak havoc. Although the game began with an even contest, and both teams were applying pressure around the ball, Flinders Park had more luck converting in front of goal, giving them an eight-point lead as they headed into the second. As soon as it was the first bounce for the second quarter, Flinders Park began to look dangerous as the girls at Flinders Park began to accelerate, and unfortunately for Gepps Cross they could not keep up. Keeping Gepps Cross at just seven points going to the half-time break, Flinders Park extended their total to 22. However, Gepps Cross were not out of the game just yet, they just needed to bring their best performance which we had seen on multiple occasions throughout this season. But as the third quarter came around, it was all about Flinders Park as they dominated in the midfield and the girls in the forward line continued to convert. Impressive efforts in all areas across the field allowed Flinders Park to keep Gepps Cross scoreless in the third, only while they doubled their score, now sitting on 46. In one final act to keep their finals hopes alive, Gepps Cross came out in the last and were able to convert in front of a goal with a major, but sadly their efforts were not strong enough to beat Flinders Park. As the final siren sounded, deeming Gepps Cross’ season had come to an unfortunate end on 13 points where Flinders Park were proud of their efforts with 71 points on the board. With goals coming from K.James and S. Pelentsov, who were both strong up forward for Gepps Cross, it was S. Payne, E. Brown, L. Robinso , C. Beames, and S. Solly who were named their best on the day. As for Flinders Park, it was a dominant performance in all areas across the field, however N. Fazzalari, I. Battifuoco, A. McNeill, M. Raynes, and G. Trowse had their names down as the best. For the goalkickers at Flinders Park, A. McNeill 4, I. Battifuoco 3, A. Beaumont, G. Trowse, D. Marciano, and S. Stanton were all important contributors to their dominant performance up forward. After an unfortunate loss for Gepps Cross, the girls can end the season with their heads held high knowing they played some good footy throughout the season, and their future as a playing group holds promising signs. Flinders Park head into next weekend feeling strong, and with such a dominant display of women’s footy that was on show this weekend, Flinders Park are more than capable as they take on Marion for a grand final spot next Saturday afternoon, and we cannot wait to see what the second round of finals women footy has in store for us.
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