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Wednesday, June 26 2019 @ 11:59 pm ACST

Fiji Vonu Round 1 match day diary vs Ireland Banshees

International Cup 2014

Contributed by Dylan Wolfgramm

Early start. Brekky at 6am.

In the bus and on the road by 7.30 and at our grounds at Parkville a half hour later. It's the third day of cold for the Tribe and they are just now acclimatising.

The women, Vonu Tribe, are up first - against the Ireland Banshees - and it's warm ups. But no one knows where our balls are. Panic momentarily followed by bag searching produces a ball. By 9.15

the two teams are gathering on McAlister Oval where the usual cool south-westerly transverses the ground.


It is clear teams will need to favour the western boundary for scoring at both ends. The ball is thrown up for the start of the first quarter and immediately it becomes clear our Vonu will be slow out of the blocks against the slick, structurally sound, experienced Irish.

Our girls seem to be chasing rather than initiating play and this is evident all over the paddock. By quarter time the Irish are 3 goals up.

The Vonu coaching and support staff are nevertheless pleased with the endeavour shown by their young women. The encouragement has a positive effect as the Irish manage only two further goals in the second term.

During the half-time break, the Vonu are again commended for their endeavour and commitment to the hard ball. They are obviously struggling with structure and manning up on their opposites, but this due to inexperience.

This is their very first match, ever. They have never played anyone except themselves before and to be just five goals down by half-time against the current world champs is a great effort for a new and learning side.

The third quarter sees further improvement in consistency of application, but again through cheap Vonu mistakes, the Irish push their lead to a further three goals.

At three-quarter time, two Vonu support staff, Robert and Patrick, address the brave girls who are tired, but still gutsing it out and ask them for one goal. "Everything you have done here deserves a goal, girls, come on, give yourselves one goal for the day - you deserve it".

Two minutes from the end of the match the Vonu give just that - a grubber from mid-fielder, Cathy Bale, spills across the line at the city end of the ground.

The ice is broken, the crowd are cheering, the team is high-fiving and the Vonu are in the history books.

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