How would you describe the role of a lioness? Well this weeks round of footy definitely rang true to the original meaning of the lionesses role within the pride… (ahem I mean Club).
“Lionesses are a coordinated group with members who perform the same role consistently in order to stalk and bring down their prey successfully.” This is exactly what the QWAFL girls achieved this week against the gorillas at Wilston Grange.
Training over the recent weeks has really focused on drilling the girls into playing higher levels of footy. With the last few rounds for the QWAFL girls being losses, everyone was ready and prepared to give it their all and put those new found drills and skills to good use to bring home a win.
The conditions were less than favourable with the cold wind yielding its strength on the game towards the south of the field; the first quarter saw the girls going against the wind and they knew would have to work extra hard to adjust their kicks in order for it to reach the mark.
The game started with the mid-field going hard around the ball. ‘Go hard or go home right?’. Our very own Queensland state star, Sharni Webb made the game her own every time the golden ball touched her hands. With no time for messing around she went about the game showing her experience creating space and at times running the field to boot it right up to the forward half and into the goal square, showing everyone how footy should be played. Backing her up was Bre Koenen, everywhere the ball was you could guarantee she would not be far behind. Giving 100% from every bounce, the girl would be following the ball up and down spoiling all the advantages Wilston Grange had gained up on the field. The opposition figured out Bre was the one to tag but no matter how hard they tried their efforts fell short.
In and around the ball, with no fear and the ‘luck of the Irish’ encompassing her, Eimear Nolan played her last game for the Lionesses. The superstar was ‘Best on Field’, and for good reason, running hard and linking up with the forwards. She made every effort to take down her opponents, grab the ball whenever she could to run out of the pack and boot it down the field creating the best opportunities for the likes of Anna O’Keefe and Britta Phelps to score goals for the team. Lionesses take advantage of factors that reduce visibility and will tend to sneak up on the prey/opposition and right on par Daryl Jensen fulfilled that exact role. There is a certain awe when you watch Daryl take her opposition down with her tackles, because there is absolutely no remorse which makes you happy that you are on the same team as her and extremely grateful that you are not on the opposition. With quick grabs and effective clearances the mid field was consistent throughout the whole game even when at times they were faced with some tough obstacles.
The game really showed how far these girls have come with the tackling pressure. Kate Harvey, Maddie Glasby, Chantal Beaudin and Tayla Mackay listened to the coaches and stepped up to enforce their name on the game. The tackling pressure and shepherds these girls put on gave the other uni players such as Jess Wiggan, Beth Newman and Flik Angliss the chance to break away from the congested pack and either run the ball or handball off to outside options such as Marnie McGorm and Bridie Carter. The strategic talk that comes from Marnie and Jess on the field during high pressure situations must be noted and commended as it is extremely beneficial to the team mates around them when looking to play their next move. With proud coach ‘Swanny’ beaming on the side-line at how well the girls we’re able to put the drills from practice into play, by the end of the second quarter everyone started to get excited to the chance they had at winning the game.
The Lionesses back line really showed just how the game should be played in all aspects. Bec Barnes, Kate Heliotis, Sinead Hastie, Naomi Fitzpatrick and Ally Priest-Taker have a certain strength and personality when it comes to defending the ball. Defending the ball can be a hard task at times but these girls really make it look easy especially when they work to their strengths to clear the ball. While many of the key opposition players were quick on their feet nothing was going to stop the uni girls from defending their territory. With a “too legit to quit” attitude the girls went 100% each time at the contest to prevent the Wilston Grange Gorillas from scoring regularly. With the 3rd quarter being the only quarter the opposition were up in front, it just showed how well the back line worked to turn over and clear the ball. At the end of the third quarter the score stood 19 to 16.
In the final quarter the wind which was initially the biggest obstacle became the uni Lionesses best friend. The fierce play of ball in the fourth quarter was something all the girls should be proud of. The hunger for the ball and the glorious win drove the girls to play strong till the very end. With the girls and boys on the side lines screaming and yelling, cheering the girls on from the top of their lungs, it was definitely the push the girls needed to get over the line. With final goal coming from Anna O’Keefe, the score stood firm at 32 to 21. Holding on to the end the girls continued to attack the footy allowing the ball to stay in their forwards till the final siren rang out. The girls in true lioness cheered and roared with pride as they secured a much needed win after a tough string of games against the competition’s top sides. The girls ran into the change room with excitement and bellowed out ‘Drunk Last Night’ along with the boys who stuck around to watch and support the team. All in all it was a great game of footy which boosted the confidence levels of all the girls as they prepare to enter the second half of their season.
With a bye next week, both the QWAFA and QWAFL teams look to train hard and in a fortnight play a double header against Zillmere.
A big thank you goes out to all the boys and girls that helped out with duties for the game, all the help from everyone really made the difference. As well, a big thank you goes out to the QAFL boys who stuck around to support and cheer on the girls’ right to the end and for joining the team in singing the song it was simply a great way to the end the game.