Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 05:48 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Tash Gunawardana
It was tough going for both the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Adelaide Crows at Blacktown International Sports Park in Sydney, as they played out the first draw of the 2018 AFLW season in wet conditions.
Image Source: Twitter @GWSGIANTS
Neither of the teams was able to break away with clean disposal and this is what’s expected in wet weather football. It was an extremely physical brand of football by both teams from the first siren to the final siren and it was a credit to both teams to play with such a high intensity and skill for the entire match. This showed at the final siren with nothing separating both teams.
It was a tight tussle in the first quarter with great hard tackling from both teams in tough wet conditions. The Giants were able to score the first goal of the match after the Crows were unable to clear the ball out of defense, because Jessica Dal Pos stole the football and she kicked the football to Rebecca Beeson who marked the football and she nailed through the goal. The Crows kept the football in their forward line for about two minutes, which put pressure on the Giants defenders and eventually they were able to score a goal as Ellie Brush gave away the free kick to Courtney Cramey on a 25m out on the angle and she slotted through the goal nicely and the scores are leveled. The rain started to bucket down in the last five minutes of the quarter and made the game very tough for all players. At quarter time the scores were leveled.
In the second term the Giants kept the Crows goalless and they were only able to kick a solitary goal for the quarter. Britt Tully kicked the football forward into space in the Giants forward line and Cramer placed a hard knock on Courtney Gum and Gum was slow to get up, as she looked to be winded. Soon after due to the Giants having a lot more inside 50s and attacking play they scored the first goal of the second quarter. The Giants were rewarded a free kick and the Irish woman Cora Staunton had a set shot on goal and she snap kicked the football in her own unique “Gaelic way” on her side and nailed through the goal truly. Staunton was everywhere in the forward 50 for the Giants in the first half of the match and she showed how tough and hard she was in the wet as a player despite coming off a broken nose from last week. Late in the second quarter, Ruth Wallace pushed Alicia Eva behind play and Eva came to the bench sore. Ebony Marinoff remained to be on fire in the match and she already had 13 tackles at the main break. At half time in trying conditions in Western Sydney the Giants had an 8-point advantage over the Crows.
Both teams continued to play tough and hard football. It was a good old fashion slog the third quarter as neither team was able to score a goal. The only score to occur in the third term was three behinds. Eva showed how she is one tough nut, as she was everywhere and was playing unbelievable football for her Giants and did not take a step back despite being dealt with strongly late in the second term. The Crows had a lot of inside 50s, but their kicking and disposal efficiency let them down and as a result they could not capitalize with a major on the scoreboard. Erin McKinnon the Giants no.1 ruckman was carried of the ground by the trainers and looked like she has injured her lower leg. The margin at three quarter time was the Giants with a 9-point lead over the Crows.
Good news early in the last quarter, as Erin McKinnon started in the ruck. McKinnon looked to be in a bad way when she came off with what seemed to be a lower leg injury late in the third quarter. It was a great start by the Crows with a Wallace quick snap around the corner for a goal. The goal from Wallace was very “simply amazing!” Marinoff laid a big hit on Tully and Tully was on her haunches, because she was a bit slow to get up. The Giants defenders were under siege in the last term, as the Crows came out with all of the attacking play and they tied up the match with eight minutes left in the final quarter. In the last ten minutes of the football it was a hot football with both teams putting their bodies on the line and doing everything they could to get the goal. Scores remained leveled with less than four minutes left on the clock and both teams continued to play strong hard football. The tackling from both teams was top-notch and it was great to see players from both teams giving it their all to the very end.
So at the final siren the Giants and Crows played out our first draw in 2018 AFLW season. The scenes at the end of the match were heart wrenching from both teams, because all players gave it their all but none earnt four vital points for their team.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 1.1 2.3 2.6 2.7 (19)
ADELAIDE 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.7 (19)
Greater Western Sydney: Beeson, Staunton
Adelaide: Cramey, Wallace
Greater Western Sydney: Eva, Staunton, Beeson, Barr
Adelaide: Marinoff, Randall, Wallace, Foley