Game Day 7 - Northern Lights seal spot in final
Wednesday, August 24 2011 @ 09:31 pm ACST
Contributed by: Tobietta Rhyman
To grab a grand final spot Canada's Northern Lights went into today's game against the Australian Indigenous Multicultural team needing a win to go ahead of the US in the Women's Division and then have the US lose to Ireland, else rely on an unlikely percentage outcome.
Given the form of the Australian IM side in Sydney this should have been straight forward, but there was always a suspicion the Aussies would have some added depth available in Melbourne. Indeed they looked a totally different outfit when they came onto the field, and not just because they’d been bolstered by a few VWFL girls who hadn’t been in Sydney. They by far looked the more dangerous team at first, but after they’d finally conceded a behind, Canada's Northern Lights regained their confidence from last week’s win against the USA Freedom, and came back strong. They got the opening goal, and looked threatening for the rest of the quarter, but despite their many chances, they also came away with 5 behinds at quarter time.
In the second quarter, the Australians slammed straight into the game, determined to show what a few extra players could do and got their first goal. Could they shock the North Americans and deny them a spot in the grand final?
The Northern Lights came straight back and got a controversial goal from a mark in the goal square. After that there was a tough contest as the AIM girls fought to make back some ground. Finally, after a free kick was given to the Lights after a goal attempt went out on the full, the got onto the ball and sent if flying straight back, this time between the posts for their second goal.
After the break, the Canadians were determined to shut the Aussie team out of the game and looking just like the impressive Northern Lights team that defeated the Freedom in Sydney, they kick started the second half with an early goal. The AIM girls fought back and not only was the contest looking even, they even looked threatening a few times, but after Canada got their 4th goal it was all over.
In the fourth quarter, the Lights were pushing to put some more points on the board, but the Australians were just as determined to catch up. The Canadians were unable to break the AIM team’s strong defensive line, but neither were the Australian girls able to break through the Northern Lights back line. This struggle back and forth continued to the end, both sides starting to look tired on a warm day for footy. The Lights found energy from somewhere for one last surprise push, but were unable to add to their goal tally, the ball going through for a behind.
With one foot in the Grand Final the women from Canada then had to wait nervously to see if the dominant Irish Banshees would do "the right thing" by them and keep the US Freedom out of that spot. They had to wait a long time as that game remained in doubt until the last quarter, but eventually they knew they were through.
Final Score: Canada 4.8 (32) defeated AIM 2.0 (12)
Goal Kickers: Smith, Goodfellow, Loughnane 2
Best Players: Loughnane, Kidd, Smith, Perry, Ennor, Goodfellow
Goal Kickers: N Daylight 2
Best Players: N Daylight, Paulic, MacNiel, C Daylight, Garrawurra, Urquhart